Five years or so ago someone told me I should watch the tv crime show “The Mentalist”. So, I finally got around to watching the pilot and bam! I was hooked. I think I caught up on all episodes until the end of season two within a week and started following all new episodes religiously as they came out!
I fell in love with the character of ex-fake psychic Patrick Jane, his humour and zest for life but also his tragedy and deep grief over losing his wife and daughter to a serial killer and tirelessly seeking revenge and justice. His interaction as consultant with agent Teresa Lisbon who is the only one who can even penetrate a bit of his outer shell is beautiful. She gives him hell but she has heart and plays along with his methods even if they aren’t always kosher. Never a dull moment with Patrick Jane around and although they don’t always agree, they strive for the same thing: justice and they enjoy achieving it.
Halfway through last season (season 6) Patrick Jane finally was able to unmask the serial killer Red John who had killed his wife and daughter and was able to get his revenge… and the series changed. Normally finding your nemesis means the end of a series but The Mentalist creators thought differently. They explored a different angle: what happens after you accomplish your sole mission in life? Jane had to figure out what next… And it turns out that what is next is that he wants to be with Lisbon, that he needs to allow himself some happiness after 12 years of misery and that he is finally free to admit that his feelings for Lisbon have grown deeper than just friendship. At the end of season 6 it wasn’t known yet whether there would be a season 7 so the season ended with Jane and Lisbon finally admitting they loved each other and there was a very sweet romantic kiss.
Now season 7 has started… it’s only half a season, really, and the final one. Jane and Lisbon have to try to figure out what next together… What we see now is their old friendship with that little bit extra: looks and touches and when they’re alone together trying to figure what they will do in a future together. They are still negotiating and taking baby steps in their relationship. No endless kissing scenes and hanky panky but many small looks and touches and I love how the relationship is slowly unfolding like that.
With each episode it feels like they let more of their cover slip (at work ‘no one knows’ they are a couple now). Last week’s epsiode showed us Jane and Lisbon lying next to each other on a bed (fully dressed) talking about the future. While sweet and intimate, I love even more what I saw today when I caught up with the latest episode (The Silver Briefcase, season 7, episode 5), where there were secret looks and there was handholding while still focusing on solving the Columbo-like murder. We know who did it, it just needs to be proved. I very much enjoyed the murder case but also all the ‘Jisbon’ moments. I think I loved three moments best:
Moment 1: When trying to reconstruct the murder in the victim’s house they work so well together and exchange these beautiful smiles and long glances… aww… Just a side note: Simon Baker as Patrick Jane has one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen.
Moment 2: Jane and Lisbon meet up in a warehouse and for just a few seconds he takes her hand before letting go again and getting ready for business.
Moment 3: At the end of the epsiode they bicker about their future and walk off into the night with Jane putting his arm around Lisbon’s shoulder. The whole thing, the bickering, the smiles, the ease between them… it all feels so very real.
I think what I love about all this is that they both remain their old selves with differences of opinion and yet they are open to each other. Their friendship has been tested a lot over the years, they know each other well, and yet there is this new element of a relationship that needs to be negotiated. And they do that in a very Jane and Lisbon way – no sappiness but real feeling and let’s get down to business. And from the bickering at the end of this episode it looks like Jane is the more scared of the two!
I can’t wait to see what’s in store for these two… and only 8 more episodes to go until the series ends forever…. 😦 I will so miss The Mentalist.