The Mentalist: Red Brick and Ivy
by Debra McDuffee, posted Dec 17th 2008 2:07AM
(S01E10) Man, I just love The Mentalist. This episode was no exception. Yes, it's a formulaic show, but like House, I've grown to love every piece of the formula and feel robbed if something is missing.
The only negatives tonight? Once again, I knew who did it early on in the episode, but they really did a good job of creating many believable suspects this week. I also missed mention of Red John, although we did get to learn a little bit more about Jane in the aftermath of his tragedy through his relationship with Sophie.
Let's get into the nitty-gritty after the jump.
There wasn't a whole lot of team banter this week, but the connection that Jane and Lisbon made was important and very well done. When he finally confesses to her that Sophie was his doctor when he had a breakdown and was hospitalized, I think it may be the first time I actually liked Robin Tunney's acting. Her reaction was so honest, so sympathetic without making Jane feel pathetic.
Then, at the end when she offers to let Jane drive, it goes back to their banter in such a natural way. As soon as he calls her on actually being sweet, she changes her mind.
I also liked that we got to delve a little deeper into Jane's complex personality. We now know he was hospitalized, and even more significant, that he is ashamed of that fact. It was also obvious that he may have felt more than just gratitude for Sophie. I wonder if she'll be a recurring character?
As soon as the chancellor showed up at CBI Headquarters, I knew he was the culprit. If you didn't know at that point, I'm betting you guessed it when he assumed the case was closed when Kerry's body was found with the suicide note. But there were some legitimate red herrings this week, and I don't mean the crazy cat guy:
- Kerry the teaching assistant had that shifty twitch about her, the one the director usually tells the guilty person to have. Nice job mixing it up this week. Her suicide and affair with Alex put her in the running.
- The widow Nelson could have been a contender, but at least she led them to Kerry.
- Dr. Stutzer felt strongly enough about his research to keep a gun in his office, so he was certainly capable.
- Sophie herself. Though we wouldn't want to believe that someone could fool Jane, you must have thought about it for a minute, since Elisabeth Rohm wasn't going to get a small-change role.
- It was nice to see Elisabeth Rohm again, whom I fondly remember as Kate the cop in the first season of Angel (yeah, I know she was on Law and Order, too).
- The freaky cat man is just another example of how the writers have a suspect with character in each episode. It is so refreshing and fun to see who'll turn up next.
- Jane doing the slight of hand for the monkey was all charm. Gotta love that Jane.
- Interesting cinematography during the SWAT scene where they found the crazy cat guy. They seemed to speed up the shots in parts, perhaps to make it seem more tense?
- When Jane makes a personal connection with the victim's loved one, it is always a great moment, and this week, his tenderness with the widow was played to perfection.
- Jane's powers of observation caught the monkey switch; very cool twist.