While the episode starts off a bit boring, it gets better in the long run. We get our case presented, a cop having been killed and as it turns out, not on the location. The team - and not just Jane - shows some actual police deductions to find a location connected to the murder and before we know it, a 15-year old girl is pointing a gun at Rigsby. Those who saw the promo already know what this is about.
I'll point out right away that this episode does not compare to previous Lisbon-centric episodes á la "Red Badge" and "Red Hot", but for an average episode it's quite alright. This season has yet to present me with an episode I won't be eager to rewatch when the DVD is released next year. It's nice to see some bright forest environment, not to mention the resort, and it's hard not to get at least a little bit engaged in the Lisbon family relationship.
Jane performing most of the investigation on his own could have been better handled, seeing as its not all that interesting watching him spin his web in silence. This is not complaining about the tricks in themselves, as they actually provide some guessing-games like in classical Season 1 episodes (Obligatory mention).
Oddly it's not Teresa who gets the sympathy card in her interactions with Tommy. While you can understand where she's coming from, it's just as easy to relate to his desire to live his own life as an adult. As for the niece, Annabeth (ANNIE!!), I hope we get to see more of her in the future, becase her interactions with pretty much anyone are the highpoints of this episode.
Van Pelt continues to deliver, this time in a subplot where's working undercover with Jane. Jane has been hanging around a bit too much with Lisbon lately, so it's great to see him sparring with some more of the cast for once. Hope to see more of this.
Another plus for team members other than Jane discussing something else than the case (VP and Rigsby this time).
I still don't get all the dislike for this season on sites like IMDB. In my mind, every episode is bringing it closer and closer to being the best one yet. Nothing below average yet. Season 2 lasted 8 straight episodes and Season 3 lasted 10, so we'll see post-mid season.
On another note, next weeks episode can't come soon enough. Direction by Simon Baker, a serial killer plot and what Bruno Heller called "the best episode so far". How can it go wrong? :)