The Mentalist: The Intensity Of “The Whites Of His Eyes”

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As far as I’m aware, a person can survive without air for 3 minutes, which basically means I’m writing all this from the other side, seeing as how “The Whites Of His Eyes” got me holding my breath for 42 minutes straight. ‘Intense’ doesn’t even begin to cover it, quite frankly. Bruno Heller, you’re going to get my therapy bills….

“The Whites Of His Eyes” opens with a very quiet man meeting up with a realtor over a rental space with a killer view. And speaking of killers, the guy turns out to be a hit man on a mission. He promptly gets rid of the realtor (and I just crossed ‘realtor’ off my list of possible careers – too dangerous), cuts a hole in the window, and shoots someone below. Ouchie!

Cut to Jane and Lisbon playing foosball (during what I assume is their lunch break or something). Man, dat girl can kick his ass! And so she does, until the news report on the shooting comes on the TV and Abbott summons the two of them to the crime scene. I still think they could have waited 5 minutes for those chicken wings Lisbon wanted so much.

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And speaking of crime scenes, Agent Spackman, who we’ve already met in “Nothing But Blue Skies”, returns to work with the Abbott’s team because the case is actually a bit more complicated than your regular murder. One of the killed men, Edwin Hu, was a witness of a murder committed by Kelvin Bittaker, and since the Bittaker family has long been known for belonging to the crime world, Spackman suspects that they are behind  it all. For better or for worse, Hu wasn’t the only one who could put Kelvin, and half the Bittaker clan, behind the bars. The problem is, would Lily Stoppard, their only other hope, risk her life after things went south for Hu?

The Stoppards come over to the FBI to talk to Spackman and Jane – who is expected to help convince them to sign their own death sentences cooperate. Personally, I’d pack up my books and a collection of vinyl records, and take off for Tahiti, but Lily wants to do the right thing, if only for the sake of making the world a better place.  But not before the FBI guarantees her safety of course. Like they can ever do that…

Abbott goes to prison to talk to Kelvin about Hu’s murder, but Kelvin clearly haven’t heard anything about it. Also, he’s an ass about Hu’s death. Big time.

Anyway, there’s still three other family members – two brothers and a mother – who could have just as easily taken care of Hu. And it’s up to Cho and Jane to see what they can learn from them. Because they are going to be cooperative. Naturally.

As expected, the Bittakers are more than happy to tell both Cho and Jane to go to hell – some more politely than the others. Belinda Bittaker, the mother of the clan, is a bit more civilized about it than her middle son Ethan, who has health and attention-seeking issues – I agree with Jane here, being the middle kid is tough. They deny any involvement with the murders – no surprise here. On the bright side, Jane learns that the youngest Bitteker is really into WarLord-something videogame.  A clue?… Maybe.

Back at the office, he asks Wylie to track Caleb’s gaming log, figuring out that this is how the Bittakers do their ‘underground’ business, staying off the radar. Does anyone ever use phones for any criminal activity these days? Gotta be tough times for the telecommunication companies. Jane tells Wylie to check the players on Caleb’s log that suck the most – the sniper has got to be the most recent addition, and there’s a chance he’s not a WarLord pro.

In the meantime, Spackman manages to narrow down the list of suspects to the guy named Lydon – by the bullets he used to commit other murders, believe it or not. Spackman states the obvious – it’s impossible to track the connection between Lydon and the Bittakers. Remember the cat forum for a few eps ago? They could be using any kind of communication channels. Bummer! Except Wylie checked the suckiest players from Caleb Bittaker’s game log, and hooray! They might have a hit. A trip to Louisiana, anyone?

Lisbon, Spackman, and Jane go to Louisiana to check on Peg Bailey, the woman whose ex used to work for Bittakers. If this isn’t a connection, I don’t know what is. Also, she very conveniently lives in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by deep, deep woods.

They don’t find Peg though, not alive at least, but they do find Lydon, who poses as her cousin after coming over to cover his tracks by putting a bullet in her head. Jane manages to tackle Lisbon down when Lydon starts shooting, but Spackman is hit, and without waiting for any further introduction, Lydon takes off. I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY’RE NOT WEARING THEIR BULLETPROOF VESTS 24/7! ARE YOU NUTS, PEOPLE?!

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Spackman is alive and the ambulance takes him to the hospital. The bad news is that Lisbon and Jane find Lily’s picture on Bailey’s computer, which means they now know for sure Lydon is after her. Abbott wants them to come back ASAP and give Lydon’s description to the forensic sketch artist. EXCUSE ME WHILE I ASDFGHJKL WHEN JANE SEES A HOLE IS LISBON’S JACKET WHERE THE BULLET GRAZED IT! Jesus H. Christ, that was close!

They head back to Austin, and while they do that, Lydon shows up the at the hotel where the FBI keeps Lily.

The sketch artist does a killer job with Lydon’s image, but the problem with hit men is that they are not into keeping the same disguise at all times. Jane asks Wylie to generate as many variations of Lydon’s possible appearance as he can.

In the meantime, Abbott is concerned about people involved in the case, seeing as how they are doing a great job dying before the FBI can do anything about it. What they can do is try and stop the whole thing by taking Ethan Bittaker back to prison for the rest of his parole time. Him and his kidney dialysis, for that matter. Unless, of course, Belinda calls off the hit on Lily. Belinda thinks Abbott is bluffing – he’s a law man after all, he’s not going to let her son die like that. Well, lady, you’re talking to a guy who killed the mafia cartel leader in the dead of the night because it felt like the right thing to do. Good luck calling him on his bluff!

Jane and Lisbon tell Wylie to print out Lydon’s possible disguises and send them to the hotel as well.

Cuteness alert! It turns out that Vega is into video games, and Wylie challenges her to a one on one. Oh yeah! ‘Any day, any time’. I mean come on, how can they be so cute when this episode is so damn intense? UGH!

In other news, Lydon somehow manages to stay a step ahead of them, and it really bothers Abbott. He’s concerned that even keeping Ethan arrested is not going to do much good, to which Jane suggests that they need a smart plan. We all know he already has one.

The team goes to the hotel and plays out Lydon’s possible attacks on Lily between her room and the car, and they soon learn that Lily, played by Lisbon during this strategic game, could be killed at least 7 times. Okay, Jane, work your magic now!

Later that night, Lisbon is crashing with him at the Airstream, and be it the exercise or the case in general that unnerves Jane so, but he can’t sleep. He can, however, wear the grandpa PJs and stare pensively out the window thinking his dark and emo thoughts. Until Lisbon wakes up, that is. She tries to reassure him – which doesn’t work, and then lure him back into bed – which does. I’m pretty sure I lost whatever sanity I had left when she started signing Bon Jovi’s ‘Living On A Prayer’ as a lullaby. Maaaaaaan!

We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got
It doesn’t make a difference
If we make it or not
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot
For love – we’ll give it a shot

Let’s make it official Jisbon song from now on.

And then it’s THE day.

Lydon shaves his head and injects his cheeks with something that makes his face look fuller. Also, moustache. I almost root for him at this point, to be honest. All this preparation just can’t be for nothing! If I wasn’t on Team FBI—

Never mind.

The FBI guys run the timeline with the Stoppards, a everyone’s steps and all that. But then, when Jane decides to have another look around the hotel, there’s a smoke bomb – clearly Lydon’s doing. It’s time for action!

Jane joins Wylie in the van to help monitor the operation from the outside. Everyone is ready to go, and he warns them to watch out for anyone in uniform – that’d be the easiest way for Lydon to come in. And the fun begins…

Frankly, if I were Lydon, I’d probably know the feds would expect me looking like a fireman or a paramedic, and try to sneak in dressed a civilian. Just saying! Anyway, the team moves out, escorting Lily to the car while around them everyone runs in panic.

Jane spots a suspiciously looking EMT and sends Lisbon to check him out. Oopsie, not Lydon. In the meantime, the light goes out, taking the operation to a whole new level. Lydon knows he has to act fast – so he pretends to be shot and takes one of the agents down when the latter comes to check on him, which means that there’s only Abbott and Cho to protect Lily. Lydon goes after them, but when he’s about to shoot Lily, she turns and [DRUMROLL] – it’s actually Vega dressed as Lily. Confused, Lydon hesitates, allowing Cho to take him down. HIGH FIVE!

(Come on, Jane! You could’ve high-fived Wylie!)

At the FBI, Belinda Bittaker is brought in for interrogation. With Lily’s testimony, they are all going down, down, down. Can’t blame Abbott for a little gloating! I mean, really can’t. They had it coming.

Cut to Wylie organizing a sort of game date (not DATE date, but kinda hanging out date) with Vega, AND I WANT TO KNOW WHO WON AND HOW IT ENDED! Come on, it’s just cruel to leave us hanging like that! Gosh, they’re so adorable when they’re having fun!

And speaking of fun – or lack of thereof – Jane finds Lisbon at her desk [to probably most definitely take her home], and one doesn’t need to be a genius to see that something is off. Jane, baby, she’s many things but she’s not stupid. Lisbon figured out that he knew the suspect wasn’t the guys he told her to have a closer looks at, and that he sent her off on purpose to take her away from the real danger. She is so not happy about it.

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FOOTNOTES

~ The case was pretty cool, and I especially loved the fact that it was the mother who essentially ran the business with the sons being her sidekicks more than anything. She reminded me a lot about Mom fromFuturama. I do love me some sweet old ladies being super mean and badass on the inside. We don’t see enough of them, and it’s a damn shame. Doesn’t mean I don’t like watching them go down and taking everyone else with them though, but you get the idea.

~ O.M.G!! Some of the Jisbon scenes were so priceless I don’t even know where to begin! The bar date in the beginning was so much fun, and it’s always nice to see Lisbon being all silly and relaxed and just having boyfriend/girlfriend time with Jane and, you know, laughing. Admittedly, we could have been equally happy without the ‘woman who grew up with three brothers’ comment because a girl could be good at foosball without that, thank you very much! But otherwise it was lovely.

~ The Airstream scene was … I honestly have no words for it except I CAN’T EVEN! Don’t get me started on Jane wearing the cute PJs and being all broody and worried and scared and God knows what else. It’s interesting how after all those years in law enforcement, he is still not used to the danger factor and doesn’t take it lightly. Lisbon, on the other hand, was the reassuring one, as opposed to her usual serious-worried-self, which was fresh, and slightly un-Lisbon-ish, but which was also in tune with the scene at the beginning of the episode. SHE SANG HIM A BON JOVI LULLABY, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!

~ NOW, Wylie and Vega and video games – can I please squee here? It’s kind of ridiculous just how much I ship these two. Not sure about the romantic stuff, but the fun times? Gawd, I hope we’ll get more of them in the coming episodes.

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~ Gotta admit, it’s nice seeing Abbott and Cho working together. They make a cool team, and it’s generally good for the show to have all of the characters being actively involved in working the cases even though Abbott, technically, doesn’t always have to be on the front lines.

~ Now, the Jane stunt with puling Lisbon out of the operation. I’m having some serious trouble siding with either of them on this one. On the one hand, I see why Lisbon got mad at him because it’s her job, and not being there for her team could have ended badly. What if someone got hurt? What if someone got killed? She’d never forgive herself, and she’d never forgive Jane. She clearly felt embarrassed when she rejoined Abbott and the others after Lydon was dead because she wasn’t there with them when it happened. Not only Jane interfered with something that wasn’t his call, he also demonstrated that he didn’t trust her to know how to take care of herself, and I don’t know what’s worse.

On the other hand, Jane already lost everything once when Red Joh killed his family. Moreover, he watched Lisbon risk her life for over ten years, and we can only guess what it felt like for him to be half a step away from losing her a million times in the past. I can’t blame him for trying to protect her the only way he can, given his position. Not after seeing Lydon shoot Spackman. Quite frankly, if I were Jane, I’d most definitely do the exact same thing. And what would you do?

So, at this point I hope they’ll just work it out one way or another.

~ Excuse me, I’m gonna  go watch “Little Yellow House” on repeat until “Copper Bullet” comes out because I need happy Jisbon vibes in my life. ALL of them.

MEMORABLE QUOTES

Lisbon: You are going down, yo! Okay, one more.
Jane: You do realize this is just a game.
Lisbon: I’m not competitive. I just like to win.

Belinda Bittaker: You can sneer at me all you like.
Jane: I will. Thank you.

Wylie: Listen, Vega, I think a little one-v-one might clear this whole thing up.Pistols only.
Vega: Any day, any time.

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!

1 Comment

  • jdbraunerad@gmail.com'
    April 12, 2016

    AL MARKS

    Upon watching this show again I realized that HU wasn’t even needed as a witness. The case was open and shut when Kelvin put his bloody hands on Lily’s car since the only way they could be their would be if she was where she said she was and saw what she saw. I know there’s no story if it goes down that way, but facts are facts.