The Mentalist S01E01 (CBS)

I’ve finally gotten around to posting my recaps from The Mentalist. The Mentalist tells the story of Patrick Jane played by Simon Baker, a man specializing in micro-expression studies who became involved with a serial killer named Red John. Red John killed his wife and daughter. Since then, Jane has been working with the stupidly named CBI, California Bureau of Investigations, a kind of state police.

Robin Tunney plays Agent Lisbon, who is in charge of the unit. Van Pelt is the new agent on the squad. Rigsby has a crush on her. The Mentalist is kind of like the TNT show Psych, but it’s not a comedy, it’s a drama. I’ve enjoyed this series because it’s light and interesting. I’ve kind of come to despise Criminal Minds.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

* * * * *

A girl named Mercy Tolliver is missing. She was found dead by a neighbourhood kid. A few FBI agents show up at the scene. The mother named Juniper is acting strange. She doesn’t want to be near her husband. The mentalist spots a first response officer with a strange tattoo. He goes into the house to brew some tea and eat a sandwich. There are some strange snapshots with the father and the girl. Mrs. Tolliver walks in. His name is Patrick Jane. The tea was brewed for her. He’s gleaned a lot of information about her from the way that she acted. He says that he got this information from her, by watching her. There is no point in hiding anything from him. She suspects her husband of murdering her daughter. She says that during the last year, Mercy and her husband were acting so strange. Probably some form of abuse. Tolliver walks in. Patrick asks him if he killed his daughter. He denies it, but Juniper sees through his lies. She knows he killed her and flees away crying. Tolliver starts to get worked up.

Juniper gets a gun and shoots Tolliver. The FBI and the cops come in.

The story continues in Palm Springs. Two people are found dead in some guy’s mansion. Patrick was suspended. It turns out that Tolliver killed his daughter because she didn’t want to have sex with him anymore. The Special Agent in Charge doesn’t want him involved until his suspension is revoked. Her boss calls her and Patrick is back on the case. He had to go over her head.

California Bureau of Investigation? Dr. Wagner is here to make the formal id. He works with Greg. He was a close family friend. Greg and Allison were also very close, but he was gay. It’s something to do with a serial killer named Red John, who leaves a bloody smiley face at his victim’s places of residence.

They are back at the scene, getting a walkthrough of the crime by an annoying tech. Patrick goes into the bedroom to investigate.

5 years earlier, Patrick was pretending to be psychic, kind of like Psych. However Patrick takes it to an all new level. He was a psychic on TV. Patrick is also a form a paranormal detective. He was helping the police investigate Red John back then.

Back in the present, he says that the murderer isn’t Red John. He says that the Red John signature involves seeing the smiley face first, experiencing dread, and then seeing the victims. The MO is completely different for this crime, since the smiley face was drawn in the bedroom.

Later, at their command center, Agent Lisbon agrees with Jane and retasks her agents. She phones Jane and asks him to come back. Jane meets Van Pelt, the junior agent in the Serious Crime squad. The agents try to find the husband’s alibi. He says that he was with a massage therapist.

Half of the profits of Tannen’s practice go to Africa. They talk with Wagner. Allison was pretty healthy and had a lot of aesthetic work done by Tannen. Allison asked for a year’s supply of birth control pills off the books. Price Randalph had a vasectomy six years ago.

The team is eating lobster. Jane says that Randalph is a choker, he didn’t kill his wife. He never won PGA tournament. Van Pelt is convinced that her cousin is a psychic. She’s also a Christian. She spouts some religious nonsense. He gleans that Agent Rigsby wanted to bed Van Pelt. He tells her that she should accept his offer.

Rigsby doesn’t ask Van Pelt to screw. Jane receives an envelope under his door. It’s a message from Red John, taunting him. He’s about to kill his next victim, whom he calls his 13th wife. He gets away. He briefs the team. Jane is convinced that t isn’t the real Red John, just someone playing with them. The real Red John wouldn’t risk getting captured.

Jane spends the night writing in his diary. There is trace evidence of Allison in the envelope. There also was a hair from Tag. Jane says that Tag and Allison were lovers. Tag is Price’s brother. Lisbon makes an appointment for Jane with Dr. Wagner.

Back on TV, Jane was being interviewed by the TV hosts. He depicts Red John as being a sad little man. He comes home and finds a note from Red John. His wife and child were murdered by him.

Back in therapy, Jane says that his brother died when he was a kid doing his chores for him. This story is to get to Wagner. He says that the same thing happened to Johnny Cash. There is a small altercation between the Randalph brothers.

Wagner knows that everything that Jane told him was fiction. He gives him a prescription for sleeping pills. Jane tells Wagner that he thinks that Tannen was keeping a diary. He says that he’ll send over some forensic techs to search Tannen’s office again.

Wagner goes to search Tannen’s office for the diary. Jane walks in. Jane finds the diary. It’s the one that he was filling in all night. Wagner pulls a gun on Jane to get the diary. He looks at it and realizes that it was a trick. Wagner is the killer. Tannen was going to ruin Wagner over money and theft. Jane escapes. He managed to call the team beforehand. They arrest Wagner.

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