I’m sorry, “The Silver Briefcase”, you’re still awesome and I love you dearly, but “Little Yellow House” just won all the awards and is now officially THE BEST episode of The Mentalist. Yes, I totally challenge the writers to give us anything as awesome and magnificent and every kind of cute as “Little Yellow House”. I CHALLENGE YOU!
The BEST EPISODE EVER opens with Lisbon coming to the office in the morning and finding Vega doing some circus tricks under Jane’s supervision, because the FBI is fun that way. Think of s’mores, Jane says. Now we all think of s’mores… Anyway, can someone please take Cho camping? S’mores are NOT better in the microwave!
Sadly, the fun is over when Julia Sandaval, the US Attorney we’ve never met before, approaches Lisbon and tells her that there’s been an arrest warrant issued for her brother Jimmy because he might be a material witness for the federal investigation – a very uncooperative one. Apparently, it’s a bad idea to sneak out on the police when they come to ask you some questions.
Distressed Lisbon calls her other brother, Stan, but he doesn’t seem to know much about Jimmy.
Excuse me, OMG JANE IS DIRNKING TEA FROM HIS BLUE CUP!!!!
Ahem… Abbott comes in and shares a bonding moment with Lisbon over wanting to strangle their siblings as they are both the eldest children coming from big families. He then tells her to go deal with her family business – leave granted. I wonder if it automatically extends on Jane because he offers to come with instantly, and after a moment of awkward hesitation – because she’s not used to relying on anyone, even her boyfriend – Lisbon tells him she’d very much like that.
3 minutes into the episode, and I’m already dead. Because CUTENESS!
Jane and Lisbon head to Chicago and stop by the house she grew up in, thinking that Jimmy might be there. He’s not, although he did visit, if pizza boxes and beer cans are any indication. We get to have a glimpse of a teenage Lisbon on the picture Jane finds in one of the boxes, and also her doodles on the closet wall in her room. As if I wasn’t dead already…
The trip down the memory lane is interrupted when some stranger attacks Jane, and then jumps out the window when he hears Lisbon coming. Now what the hell was that?!
Thinking that Jimmy is in even bigger trouble than they initially thought, Jane and Lisbon visit her other brother, Stan, and we get to hear an embarrassing high school story, which, I’m sure, Jane enjoys immensely. I’m surprised Stan would joke this much around someone who is armed and clearly can shoot without warning. And no, he doesn’t know where Jimmy is although he’s definitely in Chicago.
Eventually, after visiting a local bar and running into an old friend of Lisbon’s (and hearing yet another cool story about her wild youth), they find Jimmy fishing in a public park. Because it’s a smart thing to do when the police and the feds are after you. Hiding in plain sight, I guess. The family reunion is not of the warmest kind, but here’s the thing – Jane has already figured out what Jimmy’s deal is, and he offers him to come with them to Austin. They’ll catch the killer and he’ll be off the hook. What else could he possibly ask for, right? Plus, it’s not like Jimmy has a choice or anything.
Wait, was hitting on Vega a part of the deal? Poor Wylie!
Anyway! Lisbon finally manages to put all the pieces of the story together – a few days ago Jimmy was at the poker game where he gave his business card to Nathan Barnes who was beaten to death later that night. Ouch! Now, the logical conclusion would be to figure out who of the other players had a motive to kill him.
To do so, they need to get them all together again. Say, for the poker game. You don’t, however, just invite yourself to something like that, so Cho and Jane head to the bar and try to befriend George Holiday, the guy who runs the game. But, as cute as the two of them are, it’s not enough.
Next is Lisbon’s turn. And she has some serious advantage – namely, a leather mini skirt. I will try not to turn this into an ode to Robin Tunney, but damn, she sure can be hot! I’m surprised the bar didn’t spontaneously combust. No, scratch that – I’m surprised Jane didn’t spontaneously combust. The plan worked though – making Jane look like a crazy gambler who is more into adrenaline and risk than common sense, they manage to set up a game date. And once that was done, Jimmy makes sure that all of the other players are in as well.
Now all the need to do is put the cameras into the hotel room booked for the game.
No biggie, as it turns out! Wylie and Vega, under the pretense of being an engaged couple looking for a honeymoon suite, go to the hotel and demand to see the Presidential suite. Man, was that scene amazing or what? Vega shouting Spanish profanities at Wylie to make the hotel clerk uncomfortable enough to leave them alone, and Wylie telling her not to drag his mother into this – brilliant! And they manage to do the job, of course. They also break the toilet to make sure that whoever needs to have a bathroom break will have to use the one in the hallway. Gosh, I love the heist-ish kind of action!
And just when we thought we had it all figured out, Stan gets beaten up. Wait, what? Naturally, he refuses to tell the truth, making Lisbon believe it’s all Jimmy fault. A brother/sister heart-to-heart is a must, and we learn that it was actually Stan’s business trouble and a huge debt that Jimmy wanted to help out with by playing cards. Wow…
I am totally not crying over how sad this moment is, gawd!
Later that night in the Airstream, Jane and Lisbon get ready for the game, by which I mean – have a deep and emotional conversation about how Lisbon was the best parent her brothers could ask for aftertheir mother died. I wanted to be snippy about it, but the scene was too beautiful. I mean we all know that Jane is good with words, but this time he didn’t just say what she wanted to hear. What he said was true.
Where is my tissue box?
The players gather at the hotel room and the game begins, with Vega, Cho, and Wylie watching their every move from the room next door, waiting for Jane to do his Jane thing and figure out who the killer is before they go and arrest them. The game is intense, and Jane is cheating to make sure that the suspect gets to win. Fun times!
But not as fun as when Lisbon – who is there as a spectator and Jane’s girlfriend and not because she’s worried sick for her little brother – plays the medium card again, telling everyone creepy and accurate details about the death of one of the players she’s not supposed to know anything about. And this is when Jane gets to see who’s nervous enough to be the killer. Ta-da!
They’re not done with the scheme yet, and so the game continues, the psychic moment being brushed off and blamed on alcohol or whatever. That is, until, thanks to Jane, Charlie McInnis – the suspect – wins everything there is to win, and goes to the bathroom. This is when Jane calls the game off, ‘accidentally’ finding the camera and claiming that McInnis must’ve been cheating all along. Holiday is furious.
In the meantime, Cho has a chat with McInnis in the bathroom, giving him two options: going back to the room and facing Holiday, or being arrested for the murder of Nathan Barnes. Not really a choice, to be honest.
During the interrogation, McInnis admits killing Barnes because he thought Barnes was sleeping with his fiancé. The proof? During the last game he was wearing the shirt that belonged to McInnis, which he had to have gotten from his fiancé. Well, it turned out that Barnes did nothing wrong except winning McInnis’s money – his fiancé wasn’t cheating on him. She gave him the shirt earlier that day because he spilled coffee on his own. BUMMER!
Cut to Chicago and the after-Christening picnic Lisbon decided to attend after all, with Jane in tow. Frankly, I pretty much blacked out during this entire scene because JANE IS SO NATURAL AROUND KIDS, AND LISBON’S SMILE, AND HER FAMILY LIKING HIM. AND – WAIT FOR IT – SHE FINALLY TOLD HIM SHE LOVED HIM!!! ~le sigh
If this wasn’t perfect, I don’t know what is….
~ Better late than never, as they say. It took us 7 seasons to finally learn more about Lisbon’s family, and it was so worth the wait! The case itself was interesting enough, but making it personal for one of the main characters made it extra special. Yes, we did get small bits of personal information about her now and then, but with Jane being THE main character of the show, I didn’t think we’d ever get deeper into Lisbon’s personality and her past and family matters. AND I’M SO HAPPY WE HAVE! The timing was perfect as well – when else should you dive into the family stuff if not in the beginning of your new and big relationship?
~ I can’t even begin to comprehend the awesomeness of Robin Tunney’s and Simon Baker’s performance in this episode. Risking to sound like a 13-year old, I CAN’T EVEN–!
~ A round of applause for Dennis Abbott for being the coolest boss ever! It wasn’t their case, and technically, I believe, Lisbon shouldn’t have been involved because she couldn’t be fully impartial, yet Abbott did his best to make sure Jimmy got out of this mess with only minor inconveniences.
~ Also on that note – I dare you to tell me no one knows about Jisbon! I mean, COME ON! Jane going with her to Chicago to help her with a family situation – if this isn’t screaming ‘relationship’, I don’t know what is. Not only that, but he sticks around for the family event – Christening, of all things. I remember Tim Kang saying that Cho sees Jane and Lisbon as brother and sister, and let’s pretend we believe that. But Abbott, Wylie, and Vega? Nope, not buying it.
~ It’s interesting that Stan’s money issue wasn’t resolved, but it also felt more realistic than any kind of happy-ending. Also I’m glad that Jane helped as much as he could, but he respected the boundaries and let Lisbon deal with the family stuff.
~ Wylie learning Spanish for Vega is one of the cutest things that happened on this show, period. I’m still cautious about seeing the two of them as an item – GODDAMN YOU, SPOILERS!! – but they sure make a good team, and, to be honest, I always like seeing them being actively involved in cases instead of just helping from the distance. Wherever they end up eventually, they’re becoming good friends. It’s nice.
~ I AM SO, SO HAPPY ABOUT THE FINAL SCENE I LITERARY CAN’T EVEN–!! AGAIN! A lot of stuff onThe Mentalist happens off-screen, especially deep and emotional things, what with it being a crime drama and not a soap opera. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out that Lisbon said the magical words off-screen. I’d be pissed, yes, but not surprised. So her admitting her love for Jane for all of us to hear was HUGE. I’ve got to admit, I didn’t see it coming, and it was better than perfect – whatever better than perfect is. The scene was lovely and sweet, and not at all the usual kind of cheesy.
~ There’s also this one thing I was thinking about. With Red John and all the cases and crimes, I think we forget sometimes that Jane used to be a father. That he liked being a father. That after his weird childhood, he liked having a family. It’s interesting how differently Jane and Lisbon cope with troubled childhoods, too. Lisbon tries to distance herself from all things family while Jane longs for it. It’s swoonable to see him being all cute with kids, but I wonder if Lisbon realized how much he probably misses being a dad. And I wonder if it’s something that’s going to be addressed.
~ Wouldn’t it be cool if the third brother, Tommy, showed up as well? He’s met Jane already, and I wonder what he’d think of him as Lisbon’s boyfriend.
Lisbon: I love s’mores.
Cho: S’mores are better in microwave. It’s true.
Jane: I don’t even know what to say to that.
Jane: I never lived in a house when I was a kid, Lisbon. Little envy here.
Jane: I love your, uh — your wall graffiti there.
Stan: It’s fun to meet one of Teresa’s boyfriends. She ever tell you about Woody Squire?
Lisbon: Have you heard from our brother? The one who’s in trouble with the federal government? Do you remember him?
Stan: Yeah, she doesn’t want to talk about Woody Squire.
Jane: Look, I don’t like keeping secrets from Teresa. I care about her. And I care about the people that she cares about.
Jimmy: It must’ve been my other big sister who taught me how to play cards.
Stan: Hey, we got burgers, brats, veggie-patty crap if you want veggie-patty crap.
Stan: I kind of thought you wouldn’t mind seeing me get punched in the face.
Lisbon: I’m the only one who gets to punch you.
[re Jane] Jimmy: We like him.
Stan: He’s a good guy. Don’t mess this one up, okay?
Lisbon: I’ll try not to.
Lisbon: Would you be surprised if I said I love you?
Jane: I’d be… I’d be lying if I didn’t say I would be moved by that.