The Mentalist: “Green Light” – It’s All About Surprises

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Oh, “Green Light” was good! Not as good as “The Silver Briefcase”, but I guess we’ll just have to accept the fact that the episodes not directed by Simon Baker can’t be as good as those that were. Still! Any episode of The Mentalist is better than no episode at all, so….

“Green Light” opens with the DEA team raiding a restaurant, supposedly used as underground facility for selling drugs. However, they don’t find anything, except trouble – the owner, Steven Korbell, is pissed and files a complaint against the team’s leader, Darrell Gonzalez, which leads to the FBI investigating their work. Abbott meets with Bill Peterson, his former boss, who may or may not know something big and bad enough about Abbott’s past to screw up his wife’s career should he choose to do so. And he makes it perfectly clear that if Abbott doesn’t keep him in the loop, that’s exactly what will happen. Oh-ho!

Abbott goes to talk to Gonzales, but finds him tortured and killed in his house. Plot thickens! Not only the FBI must catch the drug dealers, but it’d also be cool if they managed to find Gonzales’s killer as well. Never a dull day for them, huh?

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Not that it matters….

…because we cut to Jane’s Airstream, and Jane and Lisbon leaving for work. Gosh, they are so cute! And cozy. Lisbon totally looks like she’s moved in with Jane already. Ahem… Lisbon tells Jane to keep the following night open because it’s his birthday, and although she told everyone in the office to skip the singing and the cake routine, she’s got a surprise for him. Jane is intrigued but doubtful about her ability to keep any secrets from him. DID YOU SEE THE WAY THEY LOOKED AT EACH OTHER?! AW!

Back at the office, Wylie is practicing asking Vega out. It’s okay, Wylie. You don’t have to call her Michelle. Look at Jane and Lisbon, or Castle and Beckett. First names are overrated anyway. Oh, hi, Vega! Shame they have to go to a meeting and actually work and stuff. Wylie is just too cute, really.

Abbott introduces Peterson to the team and explains the case before sending them off to San Antonio to talk to the DEA guys. After everyone is dismissed, Jane asks Abbott what his deal with Peterson is, but Abbott denies everything, saying that all is cool. In related news, people really need to stop lying to Jane – just accept that fact that he KNOWS everything and move on. Jeez!

San Antonio is fun! The DEA guys are jerks. For the most part. It’s not like the FBI asked to be on this case! Jane being Jane, he crashes Cho’s interview session with Korbell and lets him go, much to the DEA agent’s frustration. Gosh, I love people’s initial reaction to Jane! He has his reasons though – which, unsurprisingly, include lying to the DEA team about another raid planned without their participation.

Intrigued yet? Good!

Peterson shows up at the restaurant, thinking he’d be intervening in said raid only to find Abbott and Jane watching Korbell open his place for business. Naturally, the raid was a bluff. Thing is, Jane noticed something on the surveillance photos and needed to check his theory. It appears that one of the lights on the restaurant’s sign is on on some days and off on the others. It is obviously a signal, allowing the other party to know when Korbell is selling drugs. Jane helpfully – and stealthily – turns the light on, but Korbell, thinking that another raid is coming, turns it off. Naturally. Question – how did he know about the raid? Well, there’s got to be a snitch in the DEA team. Gonzales figured it out as well, and that was what got him killed. Now the trick is to find out who it is!

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Jane has an idea what to look for, and a plan – naturally – but he needs Vega to do something for him first. WAIT, DID HE JUST COCKBLOCK WYLIE? Ah, we all know nothing is a coincidence with Jane. I mean poor Wylie is having a hard time asking the girl out as is, what with all the rehearsing and all that, and Jane is so not helping! Anyway, Vega is gone to get the profile pictures of the DEA folks. Don’t you just wish sometimes that the government institutions used Facebook for that kind of stuff or something?

Peterson summons Abbott for yet another meeting and threatens to expose his past and thus send him to prison and most definitely ruin his wife’s career if Abbott doesn’t find a way to share the credit for catching Gonzales’s killer. He’s such a dick! Poor Abbott, it’s not like he has a choice.

Abbott returns to the office, all sulking and broody, just as Jane and Lisbon are about to leave. In a very inconspicuous way. It’s not like they’re dating or anything. And speaking of which, how cute is that scene anyway? Lisbon asks Jane if he gives up on trying to guess what she got for him. After ruling out Kryptonite and a sweater, Jane writes his guess down on the piece of paper and puts it in her pocket – which from the angle they used looked like he was tucking it into her cleavage, by the way – making her promise she wouldn’t (won’t) read it until the next day.

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So, Lisbon is gone, but Jane sticks around to talk to Abbott, and we finally learn the BIG SECRET – during his mission in Rio Bravo, he killed the cartel leader instead of, you know, being a proper law enforcement guy and arresting him or something. He did a huge favor to, like, half of the country, but it was still a crime, and Peterson wouldn’t hesitate to use it against him and his wife if he has to. It’s okay though, because now Jane’s on it, and we all know that Jane will find a way to sort it out.

Okay, guess what? Korbell is a huge fan of Persian longhair cats! Or is he? It turns out that you can post encrypted messages on the open forums about desexed cats with health problems, and this is exactly how Korbell and his DEA buddy communicate. Sweet!

In the meantime, Vega returns back to Austin with the pictures Jane asked for. Now, does she have the guts to not only run errands for him, but actually be a part of his shenanigans? They share a deep father-daughter [sort of] moment, and yes, she’s totally cool with doing something that goes against everything she’s ever imagined work at the FBI would be like. Welcome to the club, Vega!

Peterson keeps bugging Abbott about the case. Blah, blah, blah. I bet Abbott would be happier if he shot Peterson as well. I know I would.

Following the Jane logic – don’t ask! – Jane selects 10 DEA employees he’d like to talk to, certain that the traitor/killer is one of them. They need to act fast too – Korbell stopped posting on the cat lovers message board… and that’s perhaps the craziest thing I’ve ever written.

When the 10 suspects arrive, as requested, Jane asks Lisbon and Cho to collect their weapons lest they start a mass shooting (smart move!), and then sorts out those of them who fail to meet some of his mysterious killer criteria. Apparently, being rich, divorced, or married to someone owning a beauty salon makes you innocent. Oh, well! The remaining three people hold their breaths – one of them is going to jail—

No, wait! Change of plans, because Vega just arrested Peterson! Upon Jane’s request, of course, but no one knows that. Then again, it’s Jane, so it’s obviously a trap, and we’re going to go along with it, even though Peterson is seriously pissed at Abbott and the FBI.

And speaking of traps – after Peterson is taken away, Cho, Lisbon, and Abbott follow the remaining three suspects and try to provoke them, which works. Peterson’s arrest was needed to make the real killer believe he could actually get away with the whole thing. Until he tried to shoot Cho. Ouch! Here’s to another brilliant part of Jane’s plan. When Cho and Lisbon collected everyone’s guns, they replaced the real bullets with blanks. Priceless!

Peterson is still really unhappy about how everything worked out because not only was he humiliated and dragged through his office in handcuffs, he also didn’t get the credit for the arrest he was hoping for. Bummer! He lashes out on Abbott, but Jane steps in and tell him to… well, go get lost. They do apparently have enough on him and his offshore account to do some serious damage should they choose not to be nice. Oopsie!

Wylie’s yet another attempt to ask Vega out hits a brick wall when she gets a message from someone else asking her out on a date. She confesses to Wylie that she’s not into dating at the moment. I’ve never felt worse for any other tv character in a very, very long time! Poor Wylie…

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Cut to Jane’s Airstream. Lisbon decorated it with lights and stuff, and got champagne, and she is so adorably nervous about the gift. I bet we all stopped breathing when Jane opened the box and…. It’s not just the cup similar to the one he used to have when they all worked at the CBI. Nope. Lisbon actually picked up the broken pieces and glued them together, and NO, YOU ARE CRYING, SHUT UP!! And then they kiss. Twice….

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FOOTNOTES

~Although the case in “Green Light” wasn’t as interesting, and the episode in general wasn’t as dynamic and as fun as “The Silver Briefcase” (for obvious reasons), it was still a solid one. For one thing, it was interesting to see Jane interact with people he is normally not in close contact with, namely Abbott and Vega. His role of a good friend and a mentor is not unusual, but moments like these are not particularly frequent either, which makes them special. Another interesting thing about his behavior is that he never forces his opinion or help on anyone. He never tries to pry anything out of Abbott, giving him a chance to open up on his own terms. And he finds the right words for Vega to help her make her own decision instead of making her uncomfortable by making her be a part of the case. Personally, I know a couple hundred people who need to learn from Patrick Jane how to be decent members of society.

~ Ha, Lisbon spending the night in Aistream and looking all neat and cute and all that afterwards is the most adorable thing ever!

~ It was interesting to learn more about Abbott, and I’ve got to admit that I was really curious about his bad deeds and what got him in so much trouble that feigning the separation from his wife is the best way for her to get the job she’s after. However, I’d also be happy if that particular storyline was resolved for good and we’d have seen the last of Peterson. It wasn’t.

~ Conflicted feelings about Wylie and Vega!! He’s cute, and I think they could totally be adorable together, but I also don’t want him to get hurt, and he might because [SPOILER ALERT!!!] Josie Loren tweeted her goodbyes almost 2 months before they finished shooting Season 7. Doesn’t sound like good news, does it?

~ Working with Jane causes nausea – both Lisbon and Vega reporting feeling like throwing up. Not sure if I’m making any point here, but it’s a fun observation.

~ Someone needs to tell Vega to stop calling Jane ‘Sir’. It’s weird. Jane and ‘Sir’ just don’t mesh well together.

~ Christine Adams playing Lena Abbott is GORGEOUS!

~ I’m happy Cho is around, but I’d really like him to have some kind of storyline not related to the cases they work on. It was annoying to see Vega run around him like a lost puppy in the beginning of the season, but at least it gave him some screen time and some purpose.

~ On the other hand, I totally love how Abbott’s team does everything that Jane says, no questions asked. One of my favorite scenes in “Green Light” was when Jane barged into the interrogation room, said Hi to Cho, and let Korbell go, and Cho just rolled with it.

~ Before I go deep into the symbolism of Lisbon’s present for Jane, let me go a little SQUEEEEEE!!!! ASDFGHJKL!!!! Because OMG wasn’t it the best and the most amazing and the most romantic and the most thoughtful gift EVER?! She didn’t just find the identical cup – no, she picked up the pieces and kept them and glued them back together, even though Jane was gone for 2 years and she knew he might never come back. Even though she was planning on moving to DC with Pike. I honestly can’t even begin to say how absolutely incredible it is. She kept the pieces of the cup and put them together the same way she kept Jane around and put the broken pieces of him together, and if this isn’t true love, I don’t know what is. All the kudos in the world to Simon Baker and his brilliant acting – I thought Jane was going to cry, he was so touched by Lisbon’s gesture. I may or may not have watched the last scene 20 times.

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~ THEY PLAYED ‘RAIN’ BY BLAKE NEELY DURING THE FINAL SCENE – THE SAME TUNE THE PLAYED DURING THE FIRST JISBON KISS IN 6X22!

*dead*

MEMORABLE QUOTES

Lisbon: I already told everybody at work — no songs, no cake, no gifts.
Jane: Good. Thank you.
Lisbon: Except me.

Wylie: Agent Bordick, you were the analyst working with him?
Bordick: What are you implying?
Wylie: I’m implying you were the analyst working with him.

Jane: Is it made of Kryptonite?

Vega: ¿No hablas español?
Wylie: Me hablo at a ninth-grade level. I can say “grandmother” and “hall pass.”

A coffee junkie and a passionate traveler, Nadin is in love with all things writing – because who wants to live in the real world, anyway? TV or films – everything needs to be fast paced and dramatic. Scary? Even better! A vampire at heart, she can always be found in her cave, glued to her laptop. As a dedicated yogi and someone who can easily hike all the way to Alaska, Nadin thinks she’s the unhealthiest healthy person ever – because pizza, duh? She strongly believes that live needs to be lived, so… walk away from whatever makes you sad and make things happen!

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