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October 9, 2015

The Mentalist: Red-Handed

by Debra McDuffee, posted Nov 11th 2008 10:30PM
view through the 100,000 dollar chip

The title of this episode is hilarious. We've got the "red" that has been in every episode title of The Mentalist so far, but the "red-handed" refers to the murderer stealing from the casino. Add in the layer that the show opens with the victim's dismembered hand in the middle of the road in Vegas, and tongue-in-cheek doesn't quite do it justice. Very clever, writer guys.

But again, not so clever with concealing the guilty party from the viewers. Um, so why wouldn't we suspect the (really, like I'd spoil this tid-bit before the jump?) ...

shifty, gambling-addicted son-in-law? But also again, it doesn't matter that we can figure out whodunnit; that's not really what The Mentalist is about. The fun is in watching Jane catch the baddies in his own unique way.

Although this wasn't my favorite episode -- Jane just wasn't over-the-top enough for me -- it still had its moments:
  • In the opening scene, Jane uses his ridiculous powers of observation to peg that the hand belonged to upper management of a hotel or casino, and bet Cho 35 cents.
  • Jane notices the footprints leading into Etienne's garage and finds the dead body.
  • Using the money he won from the casino, Jane buys the team jewelry and watches. I love how the ladies return the items and the men keep theirs, and I love even more than Jane gave the jewelry to good will. And the winnings in the end to the dealer with the sick mother.
  • It was cool enough that Jane clearly was memorizing the cards, but the scene where he told the team how he did it was entertaining and really showed more about all of their personalities. A nice way for us to get to know the team and also tie into the storyline.
  • Could Daniel, the son-in-law have been dumber? Or is gambling addiction that bad? He had to know that if he used that chip, he'd be caught.
There was enough stuff going on, what with the cheating dealer and the wife's affair with Matt Etienne, the casino manager, to keep the storyline interesting. It is human nature that no one is really innocent, and The Mentalist does a good job of showing this.

I also felt like we really got to know the supporting team members more in this episode. They loosened up, so to speak. Rigsby's facial expressions and Cho's (no pun intended) poker face are nice foils of each other.

Based on the previews, it looks like next week I'll finally be getting my wish ... more Red John stuff! As much as I enjoy watching the week-to-week episodes, I crave the story arc. It gives more depth to Jane's character and adds suspense to the show.

How are you all feeling about The Mentalist these days?

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KenMo: funny you should mention Jack Webb, who played Joe Friday on the old Dragnet TV show. I heard that they tease the actor, Tim Kang, on the set, calling him Cho Friday. Funny, huh?

November 14 2008 at 7:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is a great show that gets better every episode. I'm looking forward to learning more about the characters' personal relationships, and of course I'd like to see some sparks between Jane and Lisbon. One small thing I really appreciate: that the characters respect each other, despite Jane's eccentricities, and the viewers don't have to listen to Lisbon or another superior officer constantly insulting him, belitttling him, threatening him etc. as you see in so many shows. The guy's great at what he does, and a nice guy too. Using that old plot device would be even more annoying in this show than others.

November 13 2008 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Saw it for the first time last night. Very enjoyable show. Kind of strikes me as a more serious Psych.

November 12 2008 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't like that the full episode is not on the CBS website. Why not write about this.

November 12 2008 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Leesa's comment

I agree! I like this new show, but sometimes have to work on Tuesday evenings. I was bummed, and I'm too cheap to join one of those sites where I can download it. I did enjoy catching some of the other episodes on the CBS website. Peace.

November 17 2008 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bring on Red John!!!

November 12 2008 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

The victim wasn't stealing from the casino he uncovered it.
It was the son in law who was caught red handed.

November 12 2008 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dan Chichian's comment
Debra McDuffee

Of course you are right -- all fixed! :-)

November 12 2008 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I find I'm really enjoying when Cho interrogates people. He's got a great Jack Webb way of doing it that I just love.

There's a lot for them to work with on this show, so if the ratings cooperate, I think we will be able to get a lot of good shows from this crew.

November 12 2008 at 7:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I for one love the show. I don't mind too much that it can be simple to pinpoint who the killer is likely to be early into the episode. It's a nice change of pace from all of the shows that always try to give you a surprising murderer every episode to keep you guessing. I believe the show is more about how he goes about solving the case than knowing who did it.

As a side note I absolutely loved the scene in the bar when the girls gave their jewelry back and the guys kept their watches. Probably my top new show of this season but I haven't really tried out very many others because the time slots are taken by some of the shows I've been watching before now.

November 11 2008 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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