Teresa Lisbon

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Teresa Lisbon
The Mentalist character
Theresa Lisbon.jpg
Robin Tunney as Teresa Lisbon
First appearancePilot
Created byBruno Heller
Portrayed byRobin Tunney
Information
Nickname(s)Lisbon, Boss, Reese (Tommy), Woman (Jane), Saint Teresa, Mother Teresa.
GenderFemale
OccupationSenior Agent for the California Bureau of Investigation
TitleSenior Special Agent
FamilyUn-named Mother (deceased)
Un-named Father (deceased)
Thomas "Tommy" Lisbon (Brother #1)
James Lisbon (Brother #2)
Unnamed Brother (Brother #3)
Annabeth Lisbon (niece)
Significant other(s)Greg Tayback (former fiancé)
Agent Sam Bosco (unrequited love; deceased)
Walter Mashburn (one night stand lover)
Patrick Jane (Admitted love towards her)
Gabe Mancini (Shows Interest)
Childrennone stated
ReligionCatholic
Nationality USA Irish/Portuguese Descent.
 
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Teresa Lisbon
The Mentalist character
Theresa Lisbon.jpg
Robin Tunney as Teresa Lisbon
First appearancePilot
Created byBruno Heller
Portrayed byRobin Tunney
Information
Nickname(s)Lisbon, Boss, Reese (Tommy), Woman (Jane), Saint Teresa, Mother Teresa.
GenderFemale
OccupationSenior Agent for the California Bureau of Investigation
TitleSenior Special Agent
FamilyUn-named Mother (deceased)
Un-named Father (deceased)
Thomas "Tommy" Lisbon (Brother #1)
James Lisbon (Brother #2)
Unnamed Brother (Brother #3)
Annabeth Lisbon (niece)
Significant other(s)Greg Tayback (former fiancé)
Agent Sam Bosco (unrequited love; deceased)
Walter Mashburn (one night stand lover)
Patrick Jane (Admitted love towards her)
Gabe Mancini (Shows Interest)
Childrennone stated
ReligionCatholic
Nationality USA Irish/Portuguese Descent.

Teresa Lisbon is a fictional character on the CBS crime drama The Mentalist, portrayed by Robin Tunney. Lisbon is a senior agent and leader of the "Serious Crimes Unit" for the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Contents

Character background

In the episode "Red Badge", it is revealed, whilst talking with her psychiatrist, that Lisbon's mother was killed by a drunk driver when she was 12 and in the episode "Red Tide"[1] it was implied that the young Teresa then had to take over her mother’s role and care for the family. Later, in the Red Badge episode, it's mentioned that Lisbon was formerly an Inspector (detective) for the San Francisco PD (SFPD), and at the time worked for then-SFPD Lieutenant Sam Bosco.

In the episode "Red Badge", Lisbon accidentally admits that after her mother’s death her father was sometimes abusive towards her and her three younger brothers, and that he would suffer blackouts from his alcoholism. Her father eventually committed suicide.

In the episode "Code Red", it is revealed one of Lisbon's brothers is named Tommy, and in the episode "Red Hot", it is revealed that another brother is named James. In the same episode, her mother is said to have been a nurse and her father a fireman. In the episode "Ring Around The Rosie", she states she was raised in Chicago.

In the episode "Where in the World Is Carmine O'Brien" her brother Tommy, who apparently has gone through a succession of unsuccessful jobs and has become a bounty hunter with a daughter named Annie (Annabeth). The sibling relationship seems loving but strained, with Lisbon acting as almost a surrogate mother figure.

In the episode "So Long, and Thanks for All the Red Snapper" Lisbon is briefly reacquainted with a former fiancé.

Relationships

Lisbon and the CBI's consultant Patrick Jane have a very intense working relationship which has, over the course of the show's seasons, developed into a personal relationship as well, though it has never crossed the boundaries of romance. Lisbon also had a close and potentially romantic relationship with the late Samuel Bosco, who it was eventually revealed was in love with her. In season 2, the millionaire Walter Mashburn persistently makes passes at Lisbon, though he is rebuffed. Later in Season 3, Mashburn reappears, and at the end of the episode it is revealed that Lisbon slept with Mashburn. Mashburn, who then leaves for Europe, has not reappeared as of Season 5.

Lisbon is well-liked by the rest of her team: Grace Van Pelt, Wayne Rigsby and Kimball Cho, portrayed by Amanda Righetti, Owain Yeoman and Tim Kang respectively. Her old boss Virgil Minelli also had an amiable relationship with her, and appeared to tolerate her occasional inability to rein in Jane's unorthodox behavior. In the season 2 episode "The Red Box", Madeleine Hightower joins the CBI, replacing Minelli as Chief of the CBI. Lisbon's relationship with Hightower is much more adversarial than with Minelli. Hightower makes Lisbon responsible for Jane's behavior, threatening to sanction Lisbon for Jane's missteps. The threat that Hightower made becomes reality for Lisbon in the episode "Blood Money" when Hightower suspends Lisbon for five days for not controlling Jane and his behavior.

Also, The multi-millionare, Thomas Volker takes an interest in Lisbon after she tries to arrest him for killing an entire tribe. Lisbon makes it her personal mission to nail Volker for his crimes, but anytime Lisbon got close Volker always escaped arrest. Volker remained a step ahead due to a mole he had infiltrate the CBI. Lisbon gets a league of assistance when Volker's secretary Amanda Shaw decides to turn state's evidence against Volker. Volker having a spy in his employ, has Shaw killed causing Lisbon to lose all the leverage she had against him. In a seemingly unrelated murder case, Jane and Lisbon discover a toy car Corvette suggesting a child was present in the boiler room where the victim's remains were found. The child is later identified as Marvin Pettigrew and indeed he had witnessed Volker personally commission the murder. With a plant inside the CBI, Volker seeks out Pettigrew to silence once and for all. Volker tracks Pettigrew to a San Fransisco zoo where he abducts Pettigrew. Jane and Lisbon follow in pursuit and Lisbon reaches Pettigrew and Volker in time before Volker tries to kill Pettigrew by shooting Volker in the chest, incapacitating him not killing him though. Lisbon upon handcuffing Volker is sickened by him going so low as to kill a child she punches him in the face.

Patrick Jane

Lisbon tolerates Jane's misbehavior, although she is often antagonized by his actions and has to serve as his apologist to both her CBI superiors and others Jane is allowed to interact with in his capacity as consultant. In the pilot,[2] she tells Jane, "Don't even start, I'm still angry." In episode 17, "Carnelian, Inc."[3] Lisbon reveals that she does not trust Jane because of the number of times he has lied to and disobeyed her, but then allows him to catch her in a trust fall. In one comment by Lisbon to a supervisor when he doubts one of Jane's hunches as seemingly ridiculous, she says "It's a Jane hunch, sir, it's the reason we keep him around"; showing that the members of the team and even his superiors are aware of the accuracy of his insights.

The extent of Jane's affection toward Lisbon is revealed at the end of the first season, when, only minutes after emphatically stating that he would not mind getting killed if it meant catching Red John, Jane shoots and kills the only person who could lead him to Red John in order to save Lisbon's life.

Lisbon's own affection for Jane is revealed in episode 6 of the second season,"Black Gold and Red Blood" where she is willing to sacrifice her own career to get Jane out of prison. She blackmails Bosco to save Jane, and Bosco suggests she does this because of her love for Jane; she stalks out without denying it. In turn, later in the season, Jane states that he is "always going to save you, [Lisbon], whether you like it or not."In the season 4 finale, after Jane tells he "love you [Lisbon]" she asks him afterwards what that meant. He pretends not to remember and she let it go.[4]

Bruno Heller, creator of The Mentalist, has stated: "Some people see that as a very sort of intense but cryptic romantic relationship. Other people see it purely as brother and sister. And I think we leave it to time and the audience to play that out and the chemistry of the actors." [5]

Personality

Lisbon is smart, witty, sarcastic, no-nonsense, sometimes impatient, and occasionally playful and mischievous, particularly if Jane is involved. She is also courageous, willing to put herself in danger, and is willing to keep an open mind but can often be abrasive. She finds herself bending rules, often for the sake of Jane, and, although their relationship is mostly professional, Jane and Lisbon connect in a strange way. She is shown to be a devout Catholic in the first part of "Strawberries and Cream", reciting the Hail Mary whilst wearing a bomb vest. Also, during the episode "The Crimson Hat", she goes to a catholic Church to pray (probably for Jane, as he was six months away from CBI and refusing to talk to everybody, even Lisbon).

Heller has said of Lisbon's character: "(She) is often underestimated (but) essential to balance the series. She enbodies the normality, she is down-to-earth. She is nice, while having her flaws. She is torn between her role of boss, who has to straighten out Jane's behaviour, and her admiration, her affection, even her love for him." [6]

References