The Mentalist 6×11 ‘White Lines’: or Jane’s got a date

Source: CBS

With the mid-season break over and the origin story of Jane’s new career told it’s time to start getting into some good old fashion episodic storytelling. This is a perfect jumping on point for anyone not already watching the series. If you’ve never seen the Mentalist then this was a great introductory episode. Five DEA agents dead, drug cartels running amok, and Jane doesn’t care because he’s to busy on the dating scene. You know, the usual bits that make us love this show, but with a new dynamic.

Source: CBS Did we just become best friends?

Source: CBS
Did we just become best friends?

Specifically some very nice character dynamics involving Lisbon. First off Cho now outranks Lisbon, which is a pretty neat change of pace. It hasn’t come up yet, but I do expect it to at some point. For Lisbon’s part she seem perfectly fine being just another field agent. She doesn’t have the stress of running the unit and she can join in on Jane’s fun. I think she’s going to like it. She is also getting to know the new woman in charge Kim Fischer. They seem to be getting along rather well. They share similar interests and drive and one big pain in the neck, Patrick Jane. There are a few scenes in here between the two of them, Fischer welcoming Lisbon to the team, Lisbon warning Fischer that Jane is up to something. Scenes that serve to recap what’s going on, and also round out the characters, but the best part about it is the dynamic. In the show before, Lisbon and Van Pelt were friends, but ultimately Lisbon was her boss, so no matter how friendly they got it always came down to a working relationship with Lisbon on top. With Lisbon and Fischer it is different even though it’s still the superior/subordinate role. Although part of a state investigative bureau, instead of a federal one, Lisbon essentially was the same rank as Fischer when she worked at the CBI. She was also in that position longer, and has more experience with Jane. Fischer seems to look to Lisbon almost as an equal if not even a bit of mentor in certain areas, and Lisbon is more than happy speak her mind and give her advice, yet ultimately Fischer is still the one in charge. It’s a relationship that allows much more flexibility then the Lisbon/Van Pelt one, and has much more potential. I look forward to seeing where their new-found friendship will go.

A recently introduced potential source of fun is the character of Agent Wylie, who is apparently staying on as a regular, at least in some capacity. He didn’t really do much in this episode, yet in the last episode, ‘Green Thumb’ he was hilarious. He’s a complete air head who has no social skills whatsoever, but he’s very good at one thing, computers. He’s kind of the complete opposite of Jane. He could be a great source of comedy and, if they let him, have a great story arc. I’m curious to see where they take him.

Source: CBS Literally pointing out the murderer 7 minutes into the episode

Source: CBS
Literally pointing out the murderer 7 minutes into the episode

Now, if you are a fan of the franchise and you’ve watched your fair share, then honestly this episode was subpar. The moment Jane asked who the woman in the photo was everyone should have known she was the killer, and if you didn’t get it then you should have realized as soon as Jane asked her out, and if you somehow still didn’t see it then as soon as Jane loses interest in the case and becomes more eager for his date then that was a dead giveaway. The thing about Jane is that we accept, purely on precedent, that he always knows what he’s doing. We’ve seen it enough times to know by now, just like Lisbon in this episode when she tells Fischer he’s up to something. We just know it simply because we’ve seen it before. Because of that this episode is predictable. They spend the first part of the episode trying to convince you she isn’t involved and then there’s the big suspenseful reveal that she is, which we already knew. Then the next half is spent trying to convince you that Jane doesn’t know what kind of trouble he’s in. Which he does, and we know he does. We’ve seen it before. It’s actually derivate of earlier episodes. Granted I assume it would eventually get hard to find new ways of convincing the audience that a character who knows everything doesn’t know something, but they don’t have to make it so obvious. Now of course we don’t want the villains to get away, and we trust Jane to catch them, but in this case that trust makes the ending obvious.

Source: CBS Where's the Mentalmobile?

Source: CBS
Where’s the Mentalmobile?

On a lesser note, where is Jane’s car?  I assume it’s been impounded, and probably sold, he was wanted for murder after all, but I hope he gets it back. He used to drive this awesome 1972 Citroen DS. It was classic, out of place, and bizarre. It fit Jane perfectly. It was his Batmobile. In this episode however, he’s seen driving a product placement for Chevy. He did get his couch back in this episode so maybe we’ll see his car again at a later date?

Now the flip side to all this is that if you are just now tuning in and you enjoyed last night’s subpar episode then stay tuned because you’re gonna love what’s in store.

Paul Choate

was born with a remote control in his hand. He’s a Trekkie and an avid fan of comics as well as equally nerdy fare. When he’s not watching television on the couch he’s working on his new webcomic. Follow him on Tumblr and check out his website: wheatunryemedia.com

Twitter 

Both comments and pings are currently closed.
  • Eric Pharand

    Krystal is Jane’s type.