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The Mentalist – Will Jane and Lisbon get together?

Are the writers setting up Jane and Lisbon for a romantic relationship, or are they doing something much more brilliant?

- Season 2, Episode 13 - "Redline"

“I just love that new car smell.” – Jane, while sniffing the trunk where the corpse was found

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? And if they do get together, I don’t think it will be anytime soon. In the most recent episode of Mentalist, though, the writers did something very brilliant with Jane and Lisbon, and Grace and Rigsby, on a couple of different levels.

When Lisbon informs Van Pelt and Rigsby that she’s turning them in for having a romantic relationship at the end of this case, she believes she’s doing it for the right reasons. Following the rules is always the right thing to do, in Lisbon’s mind. So aren’t we all glad that we have Jane, the anti-rule follower, there to balance her out.

Jane manipulates Lisbon into finally telling Grace and Rigsby to hide their relationship and pretend that they never told her about it. What was interesting is that Jane’s manipulation was completely unselfish — he did it to help Van Pelt and Rigsby stay together and to help Lisbon realize she’s got to loosen up a bit, and think about her real motivations for such strict adherence to the rules. Sure, Jane still enjoyed the manipulation — after all, playing the game is what he does — but  he did it with complete selflessness.

Now let’s take a look at Rigsby and Grace… there was a bit of manipulation going on in their relationship as well, but with very different motivation. Rigsby is such a selfish lunkhead and he doesn’t even realize it. I don’t think he realized he was even trying to manipulate Grace when he insinuated that his career was more important than hers.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Grace didn’t fall for Rigsby’s manipulation, not even a little bit. Lisbon, on the other hand, has such an easy, comfortable relationship with Jane that she let him guide her, hook, line and sinker, into exactly what he wanted her to do. Whereas Jane really wants what’s best for Lisbon, Rigsby wants what’s best for Rigsby (which includes a relationship with Grace), even though he can’t see that.

At the heart of both of these relationships, lies trust, or lack thereof. Rigsby doesn’t trust that he and Grace are forever, and Grace doesn’t trust that Rigsby’s got her best interests at heart. Jane and Lisbon, on the other hand, have a solid trust and respect for one another at the foundation of their relationship. If anyone has each other’s backs, it’s these two.

I don’t know where all of this will leave Van Pelt and Rigsby, but it’s fun to speculate where time might take Jane and Lisbon. Jane really doesn’t want Lisbon to carry around the guilt of breaking up Rigsby and Grace, and he really does want her to get out with the likes of Walter and loosen up. But at the end of the day, who does she drive off into the sunset with? I don’t think they even realize that they are on a date.

I like the turn their relationship has taken this season, because I don’t think the trust between the two of them was there in season one. It’s taken time to grow in a natural way and the writers have portrayed these two with such honesty and believability. I hope they continue to take it slow and just like and trust each other. It’s a nice solid foundation for the team.

Photo Credit: CBS

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9 Responses to “The Mentalist – Will Jane and Lisbon get together?”

February 7, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Hum. I saw the “You didn’t tell me about it” as well as the “So you think you will be safe anyway” ‘twists’ coming from two miles away. Or better two episodes away. It was still entertaining but on the other hand it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.

Of course it’s entertaining but at the moment I find Nathan Fillion’s “Castle” relationship with Becket a ton more interesting than this one here.

I guess it’s because of Simon Baker’s behavior on “The Late Show”. Kind of condescending towards David Letterman telling him they’ll give him a good lead-in. I don’t know if it’s a schtick but I don’t like it. And I also don’t really like the chemistry between all the actors on “The Mentalist”. It’s not really cute but rather icy. Also I think while Bigsby is just a klutz when it comes to behaving right towards his girlfriend, Jane is a selfish, caniving, calculating bastard.

Honestly I think the sooner we get rid of the Red John storyline the better. Once that driving fore behind Jane is gone we might see him change as a person, but as you pointed it out that’s more of a Season 5 to 7 storyline.

The only person I can really stand on this show right now is Cho. His being an ass is quite entertaining :-)

February 7, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Rigsby. Before some lunatic is accusing me of not fact-checking again.

*grinds teeth*

February 7, 2010 at 5:53 PM

We need more Cho! As an old fan of “Dragnet” I swear Tim Kang is channelling Jack Webb sometimes, especially during interrogations. It’s just too bad we don’t see more of his character.

February 7, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Totally agree — I think he’s my favorite! It looks like next week’s episode will be a very Cho-centric one, and we’ll get more than just laughs from him. Looks like some nice character development to maybe explain why he is the way he is. Looking forward to it!

February 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Rigsby has hinted half a dozen times now that Cho was a gangmember in the past. Can’t wait to see Cho interact with his former partners in crime :-)

February 7, 2010 at 7:23 PM

To be fair, this is exactly what Lisbon wanted to do in the first place. When Van Pelt and Rigsby came out to her the other week, her immediate reaction was to tell them, “No, you’re not [dating]. Because if you were, I’d have to report it, and one of you would be transferred out of the unit.” Lisbon wanted them to take it back, but they insisted on following through with it, so she was forced by her own conscience to follow the rules. It couldn’t have been hard for Jane to convince her to look the other way this week.

I’ve seen the Jane/Lisbon thing since season one myself, and they’re definitely playing it up more as time goes on. They definitely seem to be the endgame at this point. Personally, I’m still hoping that Lisbon is Red John instead, and she’s just playing with Jane.

Sebastian, I have no idea if Simon Baker is an ass in real life, but I thought that 2008 interview was adversarial starting out. IIRC, Letterman had mildly insulted Nicole Kidman, who was an old friend of Baker and his wife, when she appeared on the show earlier that week. It appeared to me at that time that Baker just wanted to get in a slight dig at Letterman in response.

February 7, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Yes, I’ve seen Nicole’s interview followed by Simon’s interview with Letterman. I think Letterman had rubbed Simon up the wrong way. Simon is usually very charming at interviews and comes across as grounded and humble. Check out the interviews on Ellen Degeneres showon Youtube.

While I’m amused by Chos deadpan humor,the character is too one-dimensional for my liking. Plus, the guy playing Cho is not much of an actor.

March 12, 2010 at 1:56 PM

you can tell between lisbon and patrick their is sexual tension

and some times i think theyr gunna kiss

March 23, 2010 at 1:39 PM

I think that their chemistry is awesome, personally. And this was one of the best episodes (the one that you reviewed). I don’t know where it’s going, this whole show is a huge puzzle to me. But in the end, I think. . . it will be Lisbon and Jane.

Somebody close to me said that Jane’s manipulating Lisbon and planting seeds for the end. And I have to agree with his planting seeds.

I’m confused right now. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your article, and I can see where you’re coming from.