Just because Detective Kate Beckett on ABC’s “Castle” finally hooked up this season with her handsome consultant, don’t expect lip locks any time soon for Detective Teresa Lisbon and consultant Patrick Jane on CBS’ “The Mentalist.”
“It’s difficult sometimes, but I like how Lisbon and Jane maintain a distance,” says Robin Tunney, who plays Lisbon. “It keeps things more interesting, I think.”
It’s not that there’s no attraction between Lisbon and Jane, played by Simon Baker. Their interest in each other has been an unspoken subtext of the show since the beginning — a start that will be revisited in detail Sunday at 10 p.m., when the 100th episode of “The Mentalist” spends its whole hour flashing back to the day Teresa met Patrick.
For the record, Jane is the same in episode 100 as he has been in the first 99: annoying, smug, calculating and manipulative, yet oddly charming. He’s also sad, because he blames his arrogance for the death of his wife and daughter at the hands of a mysterious killer called Red John.
He comes to the police station a year after the murders to see if there has been any progress in catching Red John. He quickly realizes there has not.
Lisbon, who has just taken over the case, falls prey to several manipulations through which Jane hopes to start working on it himself. These eventually involve him in a separate murder case, which of course he solves.
She invites him to become a consultant, for reasons that occasionally strain logic, but do reflect her obvious attraction to him even when he drives her nuts. “I like playing the relationship” with that ambivalence, says Tunney. “It’s a good way to explore who they are, how they think, how they feel about things.
“It’s fun to play it subtly and let the viewers figure out what’s going on.” It helps that unlike Kate Beckett and her squeeze, Richard Castle, Lisbon and Jane have not been thrust into intimate personal situations. Also, while both are unattached, Jane’s neurotic obsession with the death of his wife makes him a poor prospect for a new romance at the moment.
That said, Tunney agrees they have a spark that adds intrigue to the show and could, at some point down the road, flicker into something more. “Maybe in the end,” she says, “we’ll let the audience decide.”
Source: NY Daily News.