This weeks episode of The Mentalist, Not One Red Cent, served as a well crafted and very enjoyable stand-alone after last weeks very different, very emotional Devils Cherry. Due to unforeseen circumstances I was not able to review that episode. Needless to say, it was a 5 star 40+ minutes of television. The opening and set up for the case-of-the-week involved Jane (Simon Baker) visiting a store to get his shoes repaired. For those of you who may not have noticed, Janes shoes are really, REALLY old. I loved his awkward relationship with the old cobbler, who feels faint and has to be laid to the ground in Janes arms after the bank robbers across the street fire bullets in their direction. This also means Janes shoes are unavailable to him for the entire episode, allowing him to wear a pair of loaners, in this case a pair of trainers/sneakers the likes of which youd find in a lost property bin at school. Needless to say Jane did not look right in these at all, and it allowed for some humorous moments throughout the episode. The case was fun. The bank robbery line isnt anything new, but the case itself was a strong one, most likely profiting from not playing second fiddle to a more important plot (the previous two episodes had Red John and Janes daughter). I didnt guess the victim (Mark Provencher) being a part of the plan, I guess thats why Jane is a top investigator and Im not. That being said, if I took it upon myself to snoop around peoples private property as much as he does, Im sure Id do a lot better. That whole scene with Jane at the victims house, poking and prodding his friends, relatives and colleagues in various different ways was my favourite scene of the episode. It was just pure, unadulterated Jane in his element, doing what he does best as a consultant/detective. His discovery of the victims part in the bank plot lead to my favourite quote of the night, as he states in front of EVERYONE during the wake for victim, Ernie Wright: You will never believe who was working with the bank robbersErnie Wright! Probably shouldnt discuss it here. Lisbon (Robin Tunney) is left to deliver an apologetic were very sorry for your loss as of course, Jane has dropped the bomb and fled. Once we learnt that Ernie Wright, who worked in the bank, had a hand in the robbery all along, the fiancé (Katie Walder) seemed the most likely killer which turned out to be the case. Shed killed Ernie because he was planning to leave her, and had it planned out well in advance. After last weeks utterly psychotic killer, this is the second in as many episodes that left me a tad creeped out. Bravo, I say. The only thing about the case that confused me is that Wright seemed genuinely surprised/shocked as the robbers put a gun to his head whilst taking the money. Why? He was part of the whole thing and the cameras had been taken care of. Am I missing something? Was his worry in this scene genuine and for a reason that Im forgetting? The FBI rivalry plot continued, as Lisbon and Mancini (Ivan Sergei) butted heads over who took the case. The CBI won that battle, before Mancini asked Lisbon to join him at a poker game. She reluctantly agrees. Theres a real possibility this was used simply to suggest a liking between the two law enforcement agents Bruno Heller has teased as much recently. However, once Lisbon arrived at the game amidst some BIG players (district attorney, FBI director, state senator) including our own CBI director Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston), my ultra-sensitive conspiracy meter went into overdrive. A private poker game including a number of very powerful people, one of which is a suspect in the hunt for the FBI mole, this all said one thing to me RED JOHN. We know Red John has powerful friends all over the state, Jane has said as much, so could this be Lisbon entering the dragons den so to speak? If so, is she aware of the fact or going in blind? Or am I just being completely paranoid? Please do not shy away from telling me.
The highlight of this episode for me was the ever brilliant and underused dynamic of Jane and Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti). Their back and forth throughout the episode regarding the bet over a suspects name (which, as it turned out, Jane cheated on) was brilliant to watch. More of this please. It also gave Jane the chance to show off his nifty pen-reading trick. Overall, this was a good episode. Not as well crafted as the season premiere or as utterly perfect as last weeks outing, but solid and very enjoyable nonetheless. Mostly filler, but of the good kind - It was certainly one of the stronger standalones, which isnt always the case (see 3.11 Bloodsport), thanks in no small part to a heavy dose of Jane and Grace interaction. Check back next week for my review of 5.04 Blood Feud, which includes a couple of welcome returns. Watch the promos HERE and HERE.