You are absolutely right! I've always noticed how Robin's ability to project complex emotions with subtle facial expressions matches Simon's totally. I've seldom commented on it, I think because it is Jane who carries the story and what he says with his expressions is important. One expression by Robin I never forget is when Jane told her about meeting with his psychiatrist. Robin said he hated psychiatrists and was surprised he would stay in the same room with one. Then Jane said, "It was a locked room". She just said, "Oh." but the look on her face said everything as she realized the pain he had suffered- endless empathy, understanding, desire to protect, love - it was all there.. I think she realized she loved him at that point.
Well! That sneak peak has Jane telling Lisbon (re Pike) "You deserve to be with a good man." So that looks like evidence that Jane thinks he doesn't deserve a woman like Lisbon even though he loves her. His voice had a tone of saying what he needed to say to reassure Lisbon and wanting her to be happy while hiding his own feelings. That self-hating guilt over his part in the murder of his family just doesn't go away. If he loses Lisbon he feels he had it coming.
I'm inclined to think Jane's childhood has more importance for understanding his character than we have realized, now that we are discussing it. The thing is, there is a huge amount of story material here and no time to tell it all, so we get hints and portents the writers hope to build on later if the show runs long enough. I have suspected the Airstream is there to give a foundation to moving the story back to Jane's carney roots IF the show is renewed. Then we would learn more about Jane's parents and what Sean Barlow was up to that made Pete see him as totally evil.
As it is, we have been given only items that can be built on later, if there is a later. Meanwhile, they do help establish some things about Jane's character. I don't think there would be stray dialogue about a children's protective agency and a foster home if it wasn't to give us a glimpse of Jane's early life. Then there's the food thing, and the physical fear thing, and the childlike behavior thing. All there for a purpose and the only one would be Jane's childhood experiences. And don't forget the happy memory RJ killed, a suggestion that Jane had too few of them. Also don't forget how Jane acted when he first returned to the carnival and he and Pete recognized each other. Jane ran to Pete like a little kid would and jumped into his arms. A suggestion that perhaps Pete and Samantha were a safe haven for the very young Jane.
Of course by the time Jane was 15, his father - if he had been physically abusing him - was not doing it any more because Jane's talents had surfaced and he was now a money maker. And we see how Jane's inherent decency was showing in his objection to stealing from that grandmother and her dying granddaughter. And don't forget the epaulets on 15-year-old Jane's shirt and how Jane on the island refused to have a shirt with epaulets. Bad memories? Very likely.
Simon Baker is unusually talented at embodying his character. If his reaction to the threat of torture seemed strange, Simon meant it to be what it was and for a reason. It seemed very little-kid-like to me when I watched it. I wondered why Jane didn't sound more adult-like. Really bad memories? Very likely.
Far as I can tell, we either see all this stuff as indications of an abused, emotionally deprived childhood or Simon has failed totally as an actor who was picked precisely for his ability to create a character.
As for Jane leaving the carnival, he said (to his brother-in-law) he always wanted to but you know hard it is to leave that life. He was accused of taking Angela away from the carney family but Jane said they "escaped" together. They left a life that had been a family thing for 100 years. That had to be a culture shock. And Jane was so happy to have a wife and family he couldn't give up the fake psychic stuff that brought so much material wealth, tho Angela begged him. And then his hubris and arrogance on TV got them killed! And Jane had a mental breakdown that lasted a year.
And is still not over. He got revenge but it hasn't been as satisfying as he thought it would be. It didn't bring Angela back. He can't take off his wedding ring because it helps him keep her with him so in that sense she still lives (like the woman with that picture in Violets). And there are still no dates on his wife's and child's tombstones.
Jane is now doing a lot of thinking and he'd better stop thinking about himself and more about what his emotional straitjacket has done to Lisbon, and how he has taken her for granted and never once thought of how his behavior affects her. He lost one person who made his life worthwhile because of his self-centeredness. Now it's up to him to decide if he wants to lose another one.
© 2014 TV Fanatic