The Mentalist

Sundays 10:00 PM on CBS
The mentalist
TV Fanatic Works Better with Prime Instant Video
40,000 other titles are available to watch now.

The Mentalist Review: The Irreplaceable Teresa Lisbon

by at .  Updated at . Comments

By the end of The Mentalist Season 6 Episode 18, I was left wondering what the show would be like without Teresa Lisbon.

It was a frightening thought. I could only imagine how Patrick Jane might feel.

Money Burning

First, let's get the murder of the week out of the way. When they figured out that Madison Pryce was an escort, it was one of the few things that made sense. There were only so many reasons why a young woman would be hanging out at a boring, stuffy, men's club, especially since she wasn't interested in the men, just their money. 

Unfortunately, thanks to the special"fishing cabin," I don't know if I'll ever hear the term and think of one in the same way again.

Each member of the club appeared more arrogant than the last. I especially liked when Cho honed in on Russell's ability to evade a question. Not many people can get an evasion past Patrick Jane but Russell did. Cho was quick to realize what a talented liar the man must be to have accomplished that feat. 

I also appreciated Wiley's response to Cho's request in this The Mentalist quote

People only talk to me like this when it's doing something shady for Jane.

Wiley

I got the feeling that Wiley's job was filled with rather boring tech work until Patrick Jane came along. Jane makes his job a lot more fun. 

Of course, he wasn't the only one smiling. I think Abbott also enjoys Jane's plans, as long as they continue to work and even Lisbon appeared to enjoy her time on stage helping Jane with his con. 

It didn't go unnoticed that Jane referred to her as the irreplaceable, Special Agent Teresa Lisbon.

At the beginning of the hour, when Lisbon and Jane were entering the office, Jane couldn't take his eyes off of her and he looked unsure. It's not often that Patrick Jane appears anything less than confident. 

He cares for Lisbon and he wants her to be happy. He wants her to be with a man who deserves her but the reality of watching her get close to another man may be more than Jane anticipated. 

If witnessing Teresa date another man is disconcerting for Jane, I can only imagine how he'll feel when he finds out she's considering moving to D.C.

Teresa told Marcus that…

You are a terrible liar. I like that in a man.

Teresa

She's never been comfortable with Patrick's ability to lie so readily. She's also never quite sure where she stands with him and he's disappeared from her life more than once without a word. So a man who is open, honest and wants her with him certainly has its appeal.

The offer to move to D.C.is impractical and foolish. Marcus and Teresa haven't been dating long and she'll have to find a job in D.C. On the other hand, this scenario is also impulsive and romantic. 

Which will Teresa choose and how will Patrick react when he finds out she's considering leaving Austin? Leaving him? 

What do you think, TV Fanatics, should Teresa make the leap of faith and move to D.C. with Marcus Pike?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (64 Votes)

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

Tags: ,
Avatar

I would very much like Lisbon to leave the show. I enjoy all the characters except her. Never have enjoyed her on anything she's ever been in. It would bring a breath of fresh air to the show, which it needs. I'd love to see a brand new twist with no Lisbon!

Avatar

I'm reposting this since the original post has moved so far down. “Because we like him we accept all of him and have minimized his wrong doing.” - antraward1 Exactly! Humans condemn criminals in the real world because all we are ever shown is their bad deeds. But there are often other people who know these criminals personally, who defend them. We look at them and think “How can they defend such a terrible person?” Well, this is how. They have experienced another side to this person that we have not observed. Humans tend to focus on only what they want to believe and overlook the negative when it doesn’t fit with their personal view. That is why loved ones can stand by murderers. It’s why abused spouses stay with their abusers and why children often still love and want to stay with abusive parents. It’s part of the human condition. I love the character of Jane. He is complex and very well presented by Simon Baker. However, that does NOT mean I like everything he does or think every choice he makes is the right one. I try to view the character as a whole: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I admit, this is probably easier for me than some because I am not overly impressed with Simon Baker’s appearance. So, the physical cuteness of Jane/Baker is irrelevant to me. I do not think Jane is “evil” or a “dirtbag” (although, he can be dirtbaggish at times). In fact, no one on this site, myself and anitraward1 included, have ever claimed such a thing. However, I will not condone, let alone praise every action Jane has taken just because I like the character overall. Jane is not a hero; he is an anti-hero. And sometimes they make for a more compelling character, as is the case here. Clearly, everyone commenting in this discussion loves the character and the show or we wouldn’t be wasting our time thinking about it, let alone putting those thoughts into words. Just try to think a little more objectively sometimes. It can actually add to the viewing enjoyment of the show by looking at things from a different perspective.

Avatar
@ euterpe

"Humans tend to focus on only what they want to believe and overlook the negative when it doesn’t fit with their personal view." So very true, on a daily basis. "that does NOT mean I like everything he does or think every choice he makes is the right one". That we are permitted this option by the writers is so good. So often we are totally directed what to think within a film or program. This show trusts its audience to have intelligence and enables us to make use of our intelligence and apply our own judgements. "I admit, this is probably easier for me than some because I am not overly impressed with Simon Baker’s appearance. So, the physical cuteness of Jane/Baker is irrelevant to me." Thats good as how we judge people can be so biased just on how they visually appear to us. I think you are right that being objective and analysing the different perspectives on the same subject can be helpful to all of us, and not just about this show. I have once again learned things here about the show and indeed about myself and how I think things through, my thought processes in life.

Anitraward1
@ euterpe

Well put and thank you. Also thank you for pushing the issue. It clearly made me find out things about the character that could have been lost. Our discussion has opened up a new perspective about Jane that I have been missing. And you are very right about why people stay with persons we would condemn.

Anitraward1

Not yet, one last thing. Have you all noticed that Jane exhibits the same behavior when he in the con zone? Inside the con he seems confident and outside the con he seems lost, lonely and devoid of animation.

Avatar
@ anitraward1

Good point. I will look out for this more.

Anitraward1

Ok, now I can go to sleep!

Anitraward1

Well I guess I'm just going to have to finish this. The way Jane was raised was his primary source for justice. His profession was inherited and he liked it. Jane has always had a moral compass, it was just more liberal then what we were use too. Jane was a product of his environment. Jane only saw himself separating suckers from their money. The ramifications from the con was not intentional they just happened as a result of it. Did Jane know what he was doing was wrong? Sure he did. But everything shows he was not the type to hurt people intentionally. What Jane did inside the Red John zone was intentional. Jane was involved in a situational type of psychosis that was brought on by a traumatic event in his life and Red John exacerbating the circumstances by his continuous taunt. Jane's seemingly reckless behavior was produced by this situation. Jane could not control the ramifications that spilled out into his normal life and affected the people around him. These things were not controllable but occurred none the less. Jane pushing the people closes to him away shows that he did care and he did it in a calculated manner that would cause them not to follow him into danger because they cared. In the episode where Jane was blind and had to think about his dealings with the woman that committed suicide, he passed out because he realized at that point what the ramifications were. He didn't pass out because of the injury. There are many instances where we see Jane's regret and this is what makes him redeemable. A common criminal would not care. Jane sees law enforcement as a tool, the same way they seem him. When we saw Jane act erratic in solving cases, they were Red John cases or something surrounding that. Outside these cases, he never acted that way. Jane doesn't fully disrespect law enforcement but he doesn't completely rely on it either. He knows the short comings of being in a box. What make Jane so keen is that he understands this and outside of the Red John zone he has not endangered anyone. Jane is playful, charismatic, good looking and a great catch for anyone now that Red John has been removed. That is what Erica saw in Jane and that is why he was tempted by her. Jane is needy and was in need of that type of understanding. Erica only used Jane's vulnerability to get away with murder. Jane is redeemable and is worthy of it. This is why he works so hard to resolve his cases and redeem the innocent no matter how guilty they look. I can't remember who said it but they were right about Jane considering himself as the right man for Lisbon not Pike. With all that I found out about the Jane character in this week's analysis, I can say that he is truly a lovable character that deserves a shot at a good life. Jane is lovable, arrogant, manipulative, caring and a big pain. He is childish, playful and understands life in a way most people will never understand. We got to see him in all his ugliness and see him push on to a new life. What will he fill it with? Wonderful things I hope. Now that I understand Jane I can totally forgive his actions. I can see why he did what he did. Yes he can pay for the ramifications of his actions. That is what is is doing right now. Jane 2.0 is looking mighty good from where I stand now. It also shows Heller's innovative thinking.

Avatar
@ anitraward1

Thanks Anitra, I truly enjoyed reading your summery.

Avatar

Part of the discussion has been would we have accepted Jane so much if he were not created by Simon Baker. You could ask the same of Lisbon - could anyone but Robin Tunney have made her so admirable? It would have been an easy slide into the audience seeing her as a desperate socially inept woman with a self destroying crush on a man who has no interest in her. Yet Robin Tunney has made her into an heroic and almost tragic figure that the audience admire.

Anitraward1
@ Just+Passing

I totally agree.

Anitraward1

If they had a focus group with the cast, writers and creator and I was invited. A lot of people would be mad at me because I would drop everything I was doing to be in it. I would love to express my views on how enlightening this show is. I kind of glad at this point everything thing wasn't explained, it made it more meaningful for me.

Avatar
@ anitraward1

Must be tough to decide what to reveal or what to hold back. I have mixed feelings. It does indeed add to the story, I totally get that and agree. However some of the stuff they hold back are just dangled plot lines they have cut off, which is not the same as a myserious inner thought or background info. I am happy if you get the focus groups if I can get to sit in the writing room and watch how they decide who writes which episode and what will happen in it and how much they have to match a plot to interference from CBS and budget constraints. Bet that day would be an eye opener.

Anitraward1
@ Just+Passing

I totally agree.

Avatar

I hate autocorrect. Well, I dislike it intensely.

Anitraward1

On the night Jane found his family dead, I'm sure he tried to commit suicide then but could not do it. This lines up with the fact that he couldn't do it after he killed Red John. So since he couldn't kill himself because he is not normally a violent man he gave up his will to live. That and Jane's guilt over what happened caused his mental breakdown. Sophie Miller said, you can choose to fight this or give up and die. So because you just can't die , Jane got better or tricked Sophie into believing that he was fully recovered and had resolved all the issues. When he only told Sophie enough to let him out so that he could go on a suicide mission to kill Red John. When we see Jane leaving the hospital he was sharply dressed, looking and sounding like he was in full control of himself. We see him in the 100rh episode he is disheveled which I believe represented what he was going through on the inside, where he was mentally. If you noticed Lisbon was the one that cleaned Jane up and set a moral compass in Jane's life. That's why he told Bertram that Lisbon was the one who could control him and that's why he got her back. The cross Lisbon wore represented the right way to go and that Jane got better being around Lisbon. Her character, beliefs and actions were righteous. She was a safe haven for Jane and healed most of the broken parts of him except for his vow to kill Red John. One of the reasons that Jane didn't go after Lisbon romantically was because he was healing mentally. I believe these two were mutually attracted to each other from the very beginning. It wasn't a time for love in either one of there lives. Lisbon could see , as she watched Jane asleep on the couch that he was in need and Lisbon because of who she is intrinsically took care of him. Here is the redeemable psychology behind Jane's behavior. Jane is not a killer outside of the Red John zone. Outside of that zone he shows he does not like violence and always runs from it. This accounts for the behavior with Haibach that seemed so strange. Inside the Red John zone Jane was an intense crazed killer with a focused target. Whenever Jane got close to Red John or thought he was , he became erratic almost seeming like another person. This I believe was the unstable part of Jane's mental functioning which he hid form everyone but Lisbon. Hence their talks about what would happen when they caught Red John. In the beginning Jane consistently said Red John was his. Lisbon consistently said Red John did belong to anyone. Lisbon set the tone for the way Jane would conduct himself while working for the CBI. Jane could adequately hid his unstable behavior towards Red John if he was distracted. When he was involved with a Red John case is when we saw the erratic behavior. This is something Jane could not control. Because Jane fully expected to die and because no one knew this about him, it was always do or die with him. One of the reasons Jane didn't care about the fall out of his actions was because he considered himself a damned man who was going to die anyway and his death would be justice served. While in the Red John kill zone Jane was dangerous to others and he was evil and bent on destruction. He knew that chasing after Red John was a nasty affair. He was willing to trade his life for what he wanted to do. This is why he always said everyone one around him always gets hurt. Jane knew the ramifications of what he was doing. That's why he kept it to himself and was constantly ditching Lisbon. Jane knew this was his crazy obsession which had nothing to do with Lisbon. His actions towards Lisbon changed whenever he got around Red John. Jane needed to put Lisbon off by treating her nasty or she would have walked right into danger as she did when Red John painted her face. Jane knew the treachery of Red John, Lisbon did not. This is why Jane became so emotional when he saw the smiley face in blood on Lisbon. It reminded Jane of what could have happen to Lisbon and what would happen to Lisbon he he kept perusing Red John. Red John leaving Lisbon alive was a psycological ploy on Red John's part to show Jane he has all the power over what happens in Jane's life. This is why Jane so frantically removed the symbol as not to be manipulated by it. It was a frightening revelation for him. Removing the symbol from Lisbon's face removed what could have quickly become a reality for Jane. He wiped the slate clean and went on with the hunt. Red John basically pissed on Jane's possession and territory. Lastly the ring on Jane's finger represented is wife and daughter and his death. When he pulls the ring off it will represent his willingness to live and that the whole ordeal is truly over.

Avatar
@ anitraward1

"While in the Red John kill zone Jane was dangerous to others and he was evil and bent on destruction. He knew that chasing after Red John was a nasty affair... This is why he always said everyone one around him always gets hurt. Jane knew the ramifications of what he was doing. That's why he kept it to himself and was constantly ditching Lisbon." Yes. Absolutely. I think so many fans (not those on here generally) under rate how fearful he must have been about attacting RJ to Lisbon. So often I see versions of "why didnt he romance Lisbon much sooner" and the answer is it would have killed her. RJ would have killed her, and Jane would have destroyed a woman he loved all over again.

Anitraward1
@ anitraward1

There is a psychology behind Jane's behavior that directly relates to why Jane acted the way he did. While in the Red John zone he was a crazy criminal, look at his actions. Outside of that zone he was normal and caring. Now his backstory can be added in with evidence of how he is redeemable and not comparable to a common criminal. Because Jane lived he has to deal with all the ramifications of what he did which is now answerable under the law. This is the understanding I wanted to come too. I could not justify Jane's behavior without knowing why he did what he did. I believe this adds that dimension in the character that Simon Baker was talking about. This is why Simon too felt the character could have just as easily been Red John. I can also see why Heller said no. First it would have been emotionally devastating because of emotional attachment and it would have robbed us of the visual of see a dirt bag get his due.

Avatar

Here is a bone to gnaw on. Everything that PJ has done, criminally, has been instigated by the writers, chiefly Bruno Heller. I would think mostly to bring entertainment that fans could/would relate to. They are all part of the imagination the writing crew with a lot of oversight of Mr.
Heller. Simon Bakers job is to bring the character to life, which he has done superbly. So the character analyses are really based upon the imaginations of those writers. Baker has a stupendous job of interpreting the script and playing the character in such a way that makes us drawn to him and makes him lovable. Sometimes he vexes us with arrogance, sometimes he brings tears with angst; all those things he manifests to draw the audience in. So, I have to remember this is a TV show, with characters written by talented writers and actors who are top notch, especially Mr. Baker. Those writers know full well what he has done criminally or what character defects he has, they wrote them, but he is on the way to redemption as Heller has said from the beginning. He has also said you can't go around doings stuff without paying the consequences. So, even though the analyses pricked my hide because I don't exactly see things that way, I have to respect them. My view is that all these escapades and so called character flaws are all part of the intricate persona of Patrick a Jane. I love him, but do have to keep reminding myself.....this is a TV show.

Avatar
@ Washgurl36

Excellent statement Washgurl.

Anitraward1
@ Washgurl36

You have said exactly what I arrived at. That is what makes this a great show. The powers that be don't have a clue or they would have renewed it already.