The Mentalist s6 ep 19

Lisbon is on a date with walking plot device Marcus, who tries to convince us he was once in a band before he took up his current full-time job of Jane Jealousy Generator. Nobody cares, Marcus. Luckily, Jane is too busy detecting serious crime to bother with such flummery, and interrupts the date to alert Lisbon to it, much to her chagrin. Does she apologise when he turns out to be right, just like he always is? Not that I recall.

No matter. Jane’s discovery is both tragic and chilling, launching us into a terrific episode with a different type of mystery from the standard Mentalist ones, a story I really, properly cared about, a joyous appearance from “Big Pete” (Heh) and a casting coup in the form of the Man in Black himself, Titus Welliver, aka the most menacing guy on tv.

On the shipping front, meantime, things are definitely shifting up, er, half a gear. It appears that Abbott (who has mellowed into a much better character over the past few weeks than the shouty cliche we first met) is also Team Jisbon, but I’m not convinced that Jane didn’t know about Lisbon considering a DC move, since Jane knows everything about everybody, whether he happens to be in love with them or not. But that’s all by the by. He definitely knows now, she’s given him the green light to say and/or do something about it, he remains resolutely at Red. For the moment. Given her blatantly stricken looks at him in the trailer, and his equally blatant discomfiture at the idea of her leaving, he’s going to make his move, soon, right? RIGHT?

The Mentalist s6 ep 18

After last week’s unexpectedly awesome episode, we go right on back to bland for this one as Jane and his FBI minions investigate the murder of a young woman at an exclusive male-only country retreat.

The mystery and its resolution are both utterly perfunctory with the best moment being Cho’s deadpan expression at Wylie’s tech talk, although I have no idea why he and Wylie were acting like doing “something shady for Jane” might get them into any kind of trouble. Like Red in The Blacklist, Jane now seems to be running the FBI – yes, Jane? A helicopter, Jane? No problem, Jane – so the only thing he actually wants but can’t/won’t/is choosing not to get at the moment is Lisbon.

The Jisbon factor’s a little lower than last week, of course – down a notch to DEFCON 3 now, I’d say – but Jane’s jealousy is still palpable and about to get, er, more palpable since Marcus (who does have the look of an acolyte about him, as unpopculter Capt Dobey pointed out last week), having already made considerable headway with Lisbon, is now raising the stakes by suggesting she move away with him. Will she decide to go? Will Jane stop faffing around and beg her to stay? Or will I just write my own fanfic resolving the issue to my satisfaction once and for all? Come on, writers, get them together so I don’t have to, eh?

The Mentalist s6 ep 17

The FBI investigation of an explosion at a bus shelter leads to an old murder and a man on Death Row about to be executed for a crime he may not have committed…. Can Jane “come up with something” to solve the murder and save the man’s life?

Well, HELLO show I love – where have you been the past few weeks?!?!

Smart, fast-moving and compelling, “Silver Wings of Time” was The Mentalist on close to top form and best of all – squee! – there was Jisbon Jisbon Jisbon everywhere you looked.

Last week’s episode put me in somewhat of a huff, but gosh this one made up for it. The case of the week was terrific for a start: yes, the logistics and the legalities wouldn’t bear close examination and you wouldn’t have to look too hard for plot holes, but I found myself genuinely caring about the outcome. And I felt like the new characters were properly, interestingly used for the first time, instead of just being there to cut down everybody else’s screen time. Abbott in particular had a brilliant episode; his scenes with Cruz were genuinely moving and even little moments like his “just keep letting us know what time it is” to Wylie had unexpected punch. Wylie’s tech-y tics – the speaking clock, the fire alarm – could have been stupendously annoying but were beautifully integrated into the plot instead, and even Agent Fischer… well, even Agent Fischer was tolerable (let’s quit while we’re ahead).

And the case of the week might have been enough, but the shippers among us got much more than that as Lisbon dating Marcus Pike finally cracked Jane’s composure and gave us something solid to squee about: his “that’s great, excellent” at news Lisbon’s date went well was completely at odds with the expression on his face, his obvious annoyance when she made another date with Marcus on the phone and his “nothing” when she asked what was wrong were both riven with tired frustration, and the moment between them at the end when he told her she looked beautiful… Well. We’ve not had signs this blatant since “love you” all those episodes ago (when he, er, shot her) and while Jane and the show pulled back from that, suddenly there’s hope that we might actually be moving forward again. Based on past experience, I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up – as the magnificent Cho pointed out, wondering what Jane thinks about Lisbon may well “make my head explode” – but I can’t help it, so I might as well enjoy it while it lasts even if it is only for an episode. What the hell. SQUEE!

The Mentalist s6 ep 16

OMG – Jane and Lisbon are going undercover as a couple! OMG – they have to spend a night alone in the same house! OMG – it’s the time-honoured, trope-tastic way to push two characters in a will-they/won’t-they holding pattern together! Will they lock eyes or lips? Will one accidentally walk in on the other in a state of undress/uncharacteristically vulnerability? Will the air crackle with the tension between them? Oh, the excitement, the anticipation, the…. total indifference of every character involved?

Huh?

Given the lack of any actual movement on the Jisbon front since this season started, I probably shouldn’t have got my hopes up: the idea of the new team going after art thieves didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm, but Jane’s plan was cute enough and in picking Lisbon instead of Fischer as his fake-girlfriend, a) poor Teresa finally got out of the office (HURRAH!) and b) the possibility was there that we might finally make some progress, especially since these two faux-moving in together only to real-move in on each other is the kind of cliche that has launched a thousand fanfics.

But no. Apart from the baddie telling us he sees “the way (Jane) looks at her,” what we actually got was a defiantly chemistry-free operation, the sole function of which seemed to be the introduction of a new love interest for Lisbon in the shape of new pal Marcus. FFS. The Mentalist is about to be cancelled. How many more new characters to get between the old ones do we need?

The main plot was ok, I suppose, and probably one of the better Mentalist 2.0 ones – I even smiled once or twice – but, more than anything, it was a missed opportunity to actually do something, anything, with the relationship between these two characters – who used to be so close and now seem to spend as much time apart as possible – and yet another step along the road to ennui that the post-Red John show has insisted on taking us down. I don’t care about any of these new people. I don’t care about this new set-up. And, at this rate, if there actually were to be a seventh season, I doubt even I’d care enough to watch it.

The Mentalist s6 ep 15

After last week’s brilliant cliffhanger, this week’s Mentalist wussed out completely by having REDACTED go missing rather than be killed like everyone else but, to be honest, I didn’t really mind, since it meant the old gang working together again (sort of) to try and find REDACTED, and gave us the best episode since the death of RJ by far.

Not that that is a high bar.

Genuinely, though, “White as the Driven Snow” was well-plotted, often tense stuff with a few properly creepy moments, even if the majority of them were lifted straight from the Big Book of Horror Movie Cliche. Most of the stuff involving the poor victim still worked pretty well, although the rest of it was perhaps a little less successful. The ridiculous notion of Haibach strolling in to the office to rub everyone’s face in it I can just about accept, since it at least gave Jane someone evil to spar with, but Fischer’s chat with the lawyer was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen on this show, the lawyer herself was a cartoon and FFS WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET LISBON OUT OF THE OFFICE? Is she under house office arrest? Has she developed an allergy to fresh air? WEEKS she’s been trapped in that stupid “Austin FBI HQ” set with only Abbott and that computer fool for company. Teresa Lisbon deserves better than this.

*shakes head*

Anyway, back to the rest of the ep. The final showdown stuff (involving people who were not Lisbon, obviously, since they were allowed to go outside) was exciting and scary, even if you-know-who practically coming back to life after two to the chest was ridiculous, and even if the episode completely wussed out again with the ending. A darker ending would have been way more powerful and waaaaaay more believable, but I’m ok with the one we got: the coda was very sweet, anyway, and Cho smiled repeatedly so hurrah! I’m not saying it was anywhere near the show’s best, but with the newbies more in the background while the original characters took precedence, this ep felt a lot more like Mentalist Original Flavour than Mentalist 2.0. Which suits me fine – I liked it.

The Mentalist s6 ep 14

Here we go again.

The CBI-in-danger story this week is even better than before; “Grey Water” begins and ends terrifically and, in between, I was so pleased to see Cho and Rigsby back together again that I could have hugged my tv. I loved all that stuff.

However, the New Mentalist format means that in order to enjoy all that, we also have to sit through another deeply boring instalment of Jane and – *grits teeth* – Agent Fischer going off to solve yet another under-plotted, underwhelming mystery nobody cares about, while Lisbon hangs out at FBI Texas HQ waiting, I guess, for the show to hurry up and be cancelled. Since you went to the trouble of actually bringing Lisbon out to Austin, writers, could you not give her something to do? And I don’t mean with Abbot either.

The Mentalist s6 ep 13

Another game of two halves this week.

In the “let’s pretend we care about the newbies” strand of the show, Jane and – *grits teeth* – Agent Fischer investigate the murder of a respected Public Defender whose body turns up in Mexico. Jurisdiction doesn’t seem to be an issue, but me caring about the story is; even Jane infiltrating “the peanut-butter people” and Abbott’s untrammelled delight at his new Voltron can’t do much to elevate it beyond workman-like. I like the original characters (ie LISBON), I want to see Jane interact with them (ie with LISBON), and instead the show seems determined to sideline Lisbon as much as possible and focus on Fischer, with Cho as little more than muscle. By now, this new dynamic will either be working for each viewer or it won’t. You can guess which category I fall into.

The second strand of the show, bringing in old CBI characters, is a lot more entertaining, however, with the marvellous JJ Roche making a welcome guest appearance and grumpily teaming up with Rigsby to search what looks suspiciously like exactly the same “building” Rigsby found Ardiles in last week, but maybe all abandoned places in the Warehouse District just look the same, I don’t know. Anyway, that storyline is actually interesting, so yay for that, albeit the ending disappointed me a bit because that means no more REDACTED, which is a shame. But still: more CBI, less FBI stuff please, or the rest of this season (and probably the series since cancellation is looking almost inevitable) is going to be a real yawn-a-thon.