Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Mentalist Insider's Blog: My Blue Heaven

This week's Insider's Blog, about last Sunday's episode "My Blue Heaven" is written by Matt Gossen, Assistant to Simon Baker:
What does one do when a goal that has consumed them for so long is finally accomplished? We have followed a character on a journey for five and a half years. What are we left with when the destination is finally reached? 
The Mentalist is a story about a man who loses everything, and as a result, needs to find a new purpose in life. That purpose becomes revenge. When revenge is obtained, does this man again find himself without purpose? My favorite moment in the previous episode is a subtle one: Immediately after Red John’s death, Jane stares down at the pistol in his hand. He raises it. There is a short moment of contemplation. What now? What’s left? 
What’s fascinating about “My Blue Heaven” is its exploration of that very question. What is left for Jane? It’s rare that a show has the opportunity to drastically redefine itself in a single episode. Simon Baker directed this episode, and he served as a perfect fit due to his proven ability to push our show past its boundaries in exciting and creative ways. As his assistant, I was delighted to be able to carefully observe every step of this episode’s creation. There was no question that the audience would be at a loss for what to expect after the previous episode. Simon and Tom Szentgyorgyi (writer/executive producer) spent a lot of time making sure this episode would properly address this. 
In the end, a man without purpose must fall back on what is truly important to him. It becomes clear in this episode that Jane and Lisbon share a deep connection. Whether that connection is strictly friendship or something more, it’s enough to motivate Jane to abandon his paradise. In this episode, Lisbon finds comfort in a small town where the most stress she encounters is dealing with her bumbling assistant (portrayed by some amateur) and the occasional stolen bike. Things, as she says, “are good”. 
Jane has his routines. 
Yet, there is clearly an emptiness in both characters and an obvious desire to reconnect; a desire for more. 
This becomes cemented in a scene beautifully directed and performed by Baker when Jane locks eyes with Roger. A once comical character now serves as a chilling representation of Jane’s future on the island. In this moment, Jane realizes how one's heaven can easily become one's hell. With that, he decides it's time to go home. …
But on his terms. Although we see a napkin covered with Jane’s many terms, we only hear the most important one: Lisbon must be there for him. 
"My Blue Heaven" is, in many ways, a necessary departure from the standard structure of our show. It's a recalibration of its central characters. Jane and Lisbon's absence from one another has undoubtedly change them both. Although the more surface level elements of their relationship may still look familiar, it's clear that their relationship has deepened substantially. Ultimately it's an episode about longing and recognizing the need to be around those you love. 
Written by 
Matt Gossen, Assistant to Simon Baker

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