Compared to the emotional rollercoaster we had to go through last week, ‘Byzantium’ felt more like a filler than anything else, something like a setup for the finale, which was weird. I mean, after the way they ended ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’, I sort of expected ‘Byzantium’ to match it in the whole ‘heart-wrenching and tear-jerking’ department. It did not.
And don’t get me wrong – it was good! I actually loved it quite a lot because it had the old-school Mentalist vibe, but it also kind of felt flat compared to the other episodes of this season. A little bit.
‘Byzantium’ starts with a couple of teenagers, Donnie and Megan, sitting in the car at the local make-out spot (because apparently they never saw a single horror movie in their lives). They are interrupted by some strange noise – again, horror-movie style, you know the drill. And then they’re shot and their car rolls down the hill. Naturally.
Cut to the FBI canvassing the crime scene a few hours later. The park ranger found the bodies, but there’s nothing she can tell about who or why. Jane’s help would’ve been really appreciated, especially now that Abbott is halfway to DC and they’re short-handed, but hey, he took off after the funeral without so much as a goodbye. Shocker. ~le sigh
Cut to Jane emerging out of the Airstream somewhere in Arizona with a cup of his morning coffee. Man, I’d kill to see the Grand Canyon for breakfast! In other news, who else wanted to reach through their screens and slap him silly for ignoring Lisbon’s calls? Raise your hands! What the hell, man?!
Back at the FBI, Cho, Lisbon, and Abbott discuss the case. Both victims were nice college kids, nothing special about them. Both killed with the same gun. Abbott suggests that maybe they were at the wrong place at the wrong time – sometimes the national parks are used by drug cultivators. The only thing that makes the case look super weird is that both of the victims are missing a fingernail, seemingly pulled out by the killer. Curiouser and curiouser! Also, gross.
Once Cho is gone, Abbott asks Lisbon about Jane, but all she can tell is that he’s
a selfish bastard who doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his own pain not returning her calls. A round of applause to Dennis Abbott for being the most epic boss ever – he makes it clear he knows all about them, but doesn’t make a big deal out of it. The thing is, they really need Jane for this case, so…
Jane gets pulled over by the Arizona police… and escorted back to Austin
to propose to his girl and have a happily ever after because the police of the United States ships them as much as we all do where there is an order for his arrest. I love you, Lisbon! The guy doesn’t want to come back on his own, just make a state trooper bring him over!
In the meantime, Cho has a chat with the park ranger who found the bodies. He asks her if there’s a chance that Donnie and Megan saw something they shouldn’t have, something drug-related perhaps. Nope, doesn’t seem to be the case. There is, however, a chance that the poachers – two brothers living just outside the park – could be involved, and the two of them pay the suspects a visit. Cho, still on edge after Vega’s death, overreacts slightly at the sight of the gun in one of the men’s hands. Ouch!
While this happens, Wylie gets his daily dose of strange when Rhea and Gabriel Osbourne visit the FBI headquarters, claiming that Gabriel has information about the murder because he saw it. In his head. Psychic-style. For a moment, Wylie is not convinced, and who would be? Until Gabriel tells him that he is crying very loudly on the inside. (And this is when I started crying loudly on the outside again because Vega’s death will forever feel like a sucker punch).
The poachers are off the hook – their alibi checks out, and the rest of the possible leads are dead ends as well, which makes Abbott rightfully unhappy. And then Wylie summons him and Lisbon to talk to Gabriel (THE PSYCHIC!)
Both Lisbon and Abbott agree that it’s all very strange, and that the most logical explanations would be that Gabriel is either the killer, or he is friends with a crime tech or something. Working with a fake psychic for over a decade left its mark on Lisbon. There’s no such thing, remember?
Aw, look! Jane! Being escorted into the building by one of the agents.
[insert collective eyeroll]
Jane and Lisbon have a moment where she is slightly but not subtly pissed off because he really could have been dead in a ditch and she’d never know, and I am so envious of this woman’s self-control and composure because personally I’d be shoving Jane’s favourite cup up his ass for being such a jerk by now. None of them is taking what happened to Vega easy, but really, there’s only so many times you can run away before someone you love tells you not to come back. I know, I know, this is not the case, but still!
They agree that Lisbon will give him as much time or whatever he needs to figure out his issues as long as he doesn’t ignore her phone calls. Fair’s fair.
Jane is not really into work as much as he is into staring into space and being all broody, but Abbott asks him to talk to Gabriel nonetheless. Jane’s verdict – Gabriel is a fake. I guess after years and years and years of pretending to be one, he wouldn’t believe in a psychic, whatever the proof.
However, Gabriel makes a prediction far Jane – something that has something to do with the number ‘3’ will change his life and his perception of everything and blah-blah-blah. We’ll see! Naturally, Jane doesn’t believe a word Gabriel says, telling Abbott afterwards to keep an eye on the young man because he might very well be a psycho killer. Sweet!
Ha! Gabriel doesn’t have an alibi for the night of the murder! I don’t believe it’s him, but ha nonetheless. On the other hand, there’s this moment between Abbott and Cho, and I’m choking on my tears again, goddammit! There’s nothing wrong with being sad, Cho. We’re all right there with ya.
Wylie asks Cho if it’s okay to join him in the field – because he’s out of his mind and needs to get out of the office where everything reminds him of Vega, duh! Poor kid 🙁
While this happens, Jane gets drunk in some no-name-middle-of-nowhere bar. Seriously, man?! You JUST promised Lisbon not to ignore her calls, and you’re not picking up your phone AGAIN?! This is, like, every kind of not cool. But it’s not what’s important – not really. The important thing is that the number ‘3’ keeps following him everywhere. Like, 3 free pinball games. Or the bartender with 3 kids. It starts getting a bit freaky, if you ask me. Anyway, the bartender takes Jane’s Airstream keys away, offering him to sleep it off on the couch in the back. Nope, he chooses to sleep in the field. It’s kind of cute, actually.
Cho and Wylie, however, don’t get much rest, sitting outside Gabriel’s house all night. This is the real field work for you! We also learn that Cho is a fan of Dostoyevsky. Sweet! He’s also cool with training Wylie for the field work, as long as the latter wants to do it for himself, and not just because he misses Vega. Ugh, tough call!
Cut to Jane waking up somewhere in the field and… spotting a three-legged dog.
PUPPY! The man’s seriously freaking out by the point, I bet. He follows the dog and finds a lake with a house that’s falling apart and a ‘For sale’ sign near it. Wait, does this mean what I think it means?!
Well, whatever Gabriel is, Wylie believes there’s something to it, and he convinces Lisbon to check out the area known for its red clay deposits less than a mile away from the crime scene BECAUSE GABRIEL SAID SO. Wouldn’t hurt, would it? They take the trained dog and go check the red clay field. And come on, if Wylie wants to believe that Vega is fine, wherever she is, BECAUSE GABRIEL SAID SO – let him. We all need that sometimes. Also, the dog found something, huh?
After Abbott – successfully!! – tracks Jane down, the latter shows up at the scene Lisbon and Wylie discovered, and excuse while I sob here when Jane tells her he’s back. And the way Lisbon tries to be stern, but can’t help smiling… On the other hand, they have 5 bodies and a potential serial killer on the loose. Oh, joy.
Okay, so – all five vics were killed with the same gun as Donnie and Megan, and all five have a fingernail removed. It’s only natural to assume that Gabriel bringing them to the five bodies means that he’s either the one who did it, or he know who it was. No good deed–
Jane is still not convinced, number ‘3’ be damned – he doesn’t believe Gabriel is the real thing. Naturally. The problem is they have nothing on him, and technically, they can’t charge him with anything because, as far the FBI is concerned, knowing things is not a crime, duh?
Gabriel leaves, but not before he makes a statement for press about the serial killer who is about to kill again tonight. Come on, man! Remember how something like that ended for Jane?! If the guy is not the killer, he just signed his own death sentence.
Cho and Wylie are watching Gabriel’s house again. Results of the night: Cho catches a scared neighbor, Wylie gets a blow in the head, and the FBI team finds Rhea Osbourne killed and Gabriel gone. Eventful time all over! (PS DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH WYLIE!!!)
So, Wylie didn’t see who attacked him, but Jane does his Jane thing, and he remembers smelling stale beer a moment before the attack. There’s a brewery not far from both crime scenes, so this is probably not a coincidence.
…. Wait, is that dead Gabriel?!
~First of all, I’m really happy the way they handled Jane and Lisbon, and their issues in this episode. To be honest, I was worried it was gonna be full of drama and angst. And yes, I kind of spent the last week reading fanfiction about the possible post ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ events, and every single one of them involved either anger, or a lot of crying. And don’t get me wrong – the writers did a great job, but it’s not where they are in their relationship right now. Yes, Lisbon was angry at Jane a million of times in the past, but think about it – it was always about the case, about him saying or doing stupid stuff, but never ever about his internal struggle. It was actually quite clever to make her pissed off instead and issue a warrant for his arrest instead of trying to reason with him. I bet he needed that slight push to understand that worry goes both way – just because he’s not the one on the line of fire every day doesn’t mean she’s not worried about him.
And most importantly, I’m happy they didn’t make Lisbon give him hard time about it. it’s not a soap opera, and God knows they had enough drama already. I’m not happy about how easily they made Lisbon forgive him because Jane’s behaviour was inexcusable. What’s with 7 years of character development? Where did it go? I just don’t get Jane’s logic – he’s not okay with seeing Lisbon getting hurt, but he’s cool with hurting her? Oh, well, if they went there, it’d probably take another season to get through their issues. All in all, I’m glad they didn’t. So – good job!
~Kudos and a round of applause to the writers who didn’t swipe Vega’s death under the rug. Hard as it was, it was good to see the way it affected each and every team member. My heart kept breaking for Wylie every second of his screen time. And yes, I still hate the idea of her being the plot tool, but