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The Mentalist Review: The Cancer Lottery

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Despite its serious storyline, tonight's The Mentalist was a lot of fun. "Ruddy Cheeks" had the CBI team investigating the murder of a terminally ill man. The question quickly became: why any one would bother to kill an individual who only had about a month to live?

One of the things I liked the most about this episode was Jane's interaction with Liesl. Where Jane can come off cold and manipulative toward adults, he's much more open with kids and teens. Granted, the girl was a good source of information but Jane obviously had a bond with Liesl from the beginning. Just when Jane's conman ways can become too much, I'm reminded that he lost a child.

Ruddy Cheeks Scene

Speaking of children, Wayne looked wildly uncomfortable in the elevator with the crying baby. It worried me that that was an omen of things to come but then his brush with death had him taking a different point of view. His conversation with Grace while looking at the sonogram of his soon to be born child was very touching.

One small issue, though: has this been the quickest pregnancy in TV history? It felt like Sarah only announced her pregnancy a few weeks ago. Oh, wait. She did - and now she's going to have a baby any day. Where has the time gone?

Of course, Wayne's close call only came about because of Cho. I was thrilled to see him and Summer together, but I had hoped she'd step up and get him some help. Since she's siphoning off his pills for her own personal use, that doesn't look like it's going to happen.

Cho came close to asking for help twice. The first time took place when he tried to apologize to Rigsby but Wayne was so happy to be alive that he didn't see it. Then when Cho walked into Lisbon's office, I have to believe his plan was to tell her the truth but he chickened out. 

Kimball Cho believes he can handle this type of thing on his own. The problem is that he's most likely wrong. Addiction is a powerful thing and I'm worried about where he'll end up by the end of the season.

Back to the murder investigation: it was scary to see how many people were looking to take advantage of a man with cancer. Most under the guise of helping him live. The nurse was taking gifts to get people into the drug trial. The kooky medicine man was claiming to harness the power of the sun by using stinky tea. Worst of all, Braddock's new wife pretended to have cancer to get close to him and win the cancer lottery when he died. That's damn cold. Talk about a long-term con.

One of my favorite scenes was when Brother Joseph went to hug Lisbon and Jane. I don't think he could have found two more devout non-huggers if he tried.

I loved how gleeful Lisbon was to charge the wife with fraud. That girl's got a vindictive streak and I believe Patrick Jane appreciates it.

As a matter of fact, Jane and Lisbon had quite the partner vibe throughout the episode. There's a trust and camaraderie between these two that has really grown this season and it's fun to watch, even when the underlying subject matter is as dark as cancer.

My only complaint was that I really wanted more tigers. They're such beautiful animals that I was hoping they'd have more of a role in the story. But who didn't laugh when Jane ran ahead of Lisbon and told her he didn't need to be able to outrun a tiger, he simply had to outrun her. 

What do you think of the Lisbon/Jane vibe? And will Cho's pill popping lead to seriously trouble? Thanks to college basketball we'll have a few weeks until the next new episode, so there's plenty of time to talk about The Mentalist.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (76 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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The upcoming finale may be a game-changer. Patrick Jane is scheduled for a major mental breakdown that includes a lover and shooting someone. Bruno Heller says Jane's fatal flaw is his arrogance. That arrogance may take a serious blow here that causes him to revise his narrow focus on revenge and see a bigger picture - not just his own pain and loss, but a broader reason to put an end to Red John's serial killing. Interesting plot developments coming up. The series finales seem to be getting more and more dramatic and violent.

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I have an idea about how the series may end. Yes I do see Jane and Lisbon in a relationship and whoever said that he isn't objective about himself was spot on. She is going to get under his defenses and BAM! it will hit him like a freight train. I see him feeling guilty also because LIsbon will start to become more important to him than his revenge which will make him feel like he is betraying his family. I also see him being a bit cruel towards her during this time. And as far as Moby Dick is concerned, it could be that RJ is the White Whale but that Jane may learn from Ahab's hubris and not be drug down with him. That is my hope anyway.

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I think there will be a relationship between Lisbon/Jane, not exactly sought after by either of them but it's obvious Lisbon cares deeply for him (I can see that turning sexual) and the level of intimacy they share will slip under Jane's guard & smack him up-side his head before he even realises it's there. I don't care how much of an expert he is on human nature, theres not a person alive that can be as objectively observant of themselves as they can be of others, that requires a personal distance from a subject thats simple impossible, we may only be lucky enough have flashes of self honesty occassionally. Always remember too, friends make the best lovers.

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@rationalgal: damn, I hope you’re not right!!! What a tragic ending that would be, and yet you may have hit the nail on the head :-(. This is the only show I watch and to be honest I’m not looking forward to when it ends. Btw, I love how the Jane/Lisbon relationship has developed. Love Cho too. It’s really nice to see that everyone in the unit cares deeply about each others’ well-being. When it’s crunch time, they’re there for each other.

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Let me just throw in a downer here, for the record and I hope I'm wrong, but this series is shaping up like a rewrite of Moby Dick. That's been referred to a time or two and Bruno Heller also referred to it re the ending of the series. Patrick Jane is Capt. Ahab and Red John is the white whale. Jane is out to get revenge. Heller says Jane's "fatal flaw" is his arrogance. So in the end, Jane takes down the Red John empire and goes down with it just as Capt. Ahab went down with the whale. It's the logic of the story so far. I can see the final scene being Lisbon (accompanied by Mashburn) putting flowers on Jane's grave, which is next to those of his wife and daughter. He has found peace at last. A lot of new stuff has to show up in the story for me to see a better ending. I can envision one, but that's if certain threads are picked up. Bright side: In TV there is always a resurrection and we can watch Simon Baker in another series or movie.

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correction of comment: I hope the pills down the toilet is NOT the end of it. It's not that simple and I would like them to show that.

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I love Jane with kids and teenagers, it shows his soft side, since he can be a real a** to everyone else. I think that Liesl knew from the start that her step mother was a fraud, probably did not know she did not have cancer, but sensed something wrong. Kids are more intuitive then people give them credit for, her getting mad and saying if she knew who killed her father they would not be breathing would be perfectly normal. Tell me you would not at least think the same thing. Jane and Lisbon are great together, I don't see a romantic hook up until the show's end either, but they are still going to hint at it every now and then.
As far as Cho, I'm glad to see that he is getting a story line. I hope that him just putting the pills down the toilet is the end of it, they are finally showing him with a less robotic side, lets keep it that way. I liked him with Summer, until she took the pills he was taking, Cho doesn't need an enabler.

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Ithink that there is chemistry between Lisbon and Jane. I don't think it's sexual. I love Jane with kids. Simon Baker is a great actor,but I like the whole cast as well. I wonder what is going to happen with Rigby and Sara. I can feel the build up to something big. I hope Cho will get help.

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it was interesting to see a completely different episode. I suppose they actually film more than one at a time so there is no sequence at all. Thursday saw us completely wigged out because of Darcy and no mention of her or the fact that she now is Jane's enemy on the following episode, the following day. I guess I was still holding my breath waiting for RJ to react.

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I see no sexual tension between Lisbon and Jane in the show whatsoever. That got lost somewhere near the end of season 2.
I hope they never hook up, they are better off s friends and first of all I like to see Lisbon having her backbone back and not her running after Jane like a schoolgirl. How pathetic the write her (and the team) especially when Jane is occupied with another case is truly saddening.
Imho Lisbon has become one hell of a shallow character and a romance with Jane would be the final nail on the coffin (literally).

The Mentalist Season 4 Episode 18 Quotes

Who wears hemp other than rich men and medieval peasants?

Jane

Don't fret. Rich dead men don't go unclaimed for very long.

Jane
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