Review of Episode 5×11: Days of Wine and Roses
Overall: The Mentalist is back! YAY!!!! This may just be my excitement talking, but I thought the episode was great. It had nice continuity, everyone in the cast had at least one significant moment, Lisbon was seriously impressive in her pursuit of Volker, and Jane was actually mature for once. All in all: wow.
Lisbon: Was she awesome in this ep or what? It was amazing to see the lengths that she went to, trying to bring Volker to justice: using her own money to pay for a second autopsy analysis, personally persuading a judge, utilizing Van Pelt’s mad computer skills to follow the money trail, personally persuading another judge. I love it when Lisbon is so take-charge. She wants this guy, and she wants him bad. You could just see the glow of triumph on her face whenever she scored a small victory, and the sickening heartbreak whenever there was a setback. Plus, you could practically see her skin crawling right out the door when Volker was complimenting her appearance. There is a word for people like him, and it is “Slime.”
To me, this was Lisbon at her very finest, using her passion, her resources and her connections in any way she could think of to bring down a filthy murderer. Although I respected her desire to do it all “on her own,” I had even more respect for her when she asked for Jane’s help. After everything Lisbon managed to accomplish in this episode, she is anything but helpless or lost without him. It didn’t seem like a moment of weakness, but a moment of strength. This episode helped me to see Jane not as the guy who swoops in and solves everything, but as one of the team’s many resources. Lisbon did so much on her own, but at a certain point all of the conventional avenues had failed. And Jane’s gift is – and always has been – getting things done the unconventional way. Lisbon put her pride aside and used one of her team’s best assets in order to bring down a psycho, and I can only think more highly of her for making that decision.
Jane: I think I am one of those people who wants Jane to be a better man than he actually is. Therefore, in many episodes, I feel let down when he acts selfishly or cruelly or simply without regard for the consequences to other people. Last night, however, was not one of those episodes. From his first appearance, Jane was quietly supportive of Lisbon and her pursuit of Volker. Jane offered his help, but never forced it on her. He expressed concern for Lisbon’s well-being, and also said he wants her to be happy. I felt like a proud parent. Of course, he’ll probably totally regress back to his usual self by next week, but it was so nice to see him be a real, grown-up friend to Lisbon – even if it won’t last.
That said, Jane’s juvenile antics are always a pleasure to watch when he is using them to solve a case, and last night was no exception: Jane the regretful, apologetic kleptomaniac was a riot! I loved every second of his over-the-top performance. Jane is a bad actor, and Simon is a great one. I especially loved that there was some truth to Jane’s therapy scene – I’m sure his father really did teach him to pick pockets, and that on some level, as we saw in “Throwing Fire,” Jane really is still trying to please dear old Dad. Of course, the bit about knocking over banks was nonsense, but the way Jane said, “I didn’t like that, though – all the screaming and the tension” – too funny. This was an all-around great episode for both his character and Lisbon’s.
Cho: Whenever he has a scene with Jane, my heart-rate goes up a little. These guys don’t have nearly enough screen time together, making last night’s episode a rare treat. Cho is the perfect “straight man” to Jane’s comedy act, and the two of them worked together flawlessly to solve the crime. Cho’s reaction to Jane’s “stealing” was hilarious (“Put it back…put it back!”) and I hope we get more Adventures in Babysitting in upcoming episodes. Cho is probably the only one other than Lisbon who can even remotely “handle” Jane, and at least this time no one’s expensive car got driven off a cliff. 🙂
Van Pelt: Her computer skillz really are off-the-charts awesome, aren’t they? Just like Jane’s niche is unconventional solutions, VP’s special gift that she brings to the team is her amazing ability to research and investigate online. She’s like the Penelope Garcia of The Mentalist. Only, Van Pelt doesn’t just do the technical stuff – she also gets out there and does cool car stunts and takes down bad guys. I loved her pairing up with Lisbon in this episode to go after Volker. And, as soon as she’s ready, I’d love to see her back in the action part of the show, too.
Rigsby: The standout moment for his character last night was his confrontation with the killer. His fury and disgust not only at what the victim went through, but what the parents went through, struck a powerful note. Rigsby is a father, now, and he can’t help but empathize with the horror the victim’s parents must have felt, believing their daughter died buying drugs, when really she was attempting to set things right. Owain portrayed the moment beautifully, and it’s wonderful to see the evolution of Rigsby’s character following the milestone of fatherhood.
Final thoughts: Volker, aka “Slime,” is going down. Lisbon is pulling out all the stops, and now, with all of her assets in play, Slime doesn’t have a chance. I can’t wait for the showdown.