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October 7, 2015

The Mentalist: Scarlett Fever

by Debra McDuffee, posted Feb 18th 2009 1:50AM
Margerite MacIntyre and Simon Baker on The Mentalist

The Mentalist never fails to entertain, even when the case is obvious. There was something about the writing or directing of this show early in the season; I could peg every killer nearly the moment he or she was onscreen, because of the weird shifty thing they did.

Well, that didn't happen in this episode; instead, they dropped the biggest, most obvious clue in the history of procedurals. I kept hoping that it was a red herring, but no. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy this episode; I loved the twists and turns the case took, but I hated knowing, absolutely knowing, who the killer was, in that different way than just the shifty stuff.

OK, Nicole Trager ... um, I mean Heather did it. It was so obvious! The second she told Jane about her daughter that died in a car crash because she was high, we knew the neighbor drug dealer bought it as revenge. The twist with Patience as the new drug dealer was a good one (got her killed, but whatever), but still did not throw me off the trail. Was anyone else whacked over the head with the knowledge of the killer this week?

The setup at the end was good; I love it when they are ahead of the game and know how to outwit the killer. But the shining Mentalist moment was when Jane asked Heather, "Now that it's done, does it feel better?" You know that he asked this because he really wanted to know the answer. We know his lust for vengeance with Red John. Do you think that Heather's answer, "It doesn't change a thing," will have an affect on Jane's actions in the future?

Other things worth mentioning:
  • Jane and Lisbon arguing while the suspect was in a trance was quirky and charming.
  • Van Pelt kicked some ass when she took the lead on the interview with Asra ... way to go Grace!
  • Jane, always connecting with someone from the victim's family, was so charming with the kid Oscar and his make-believe talk.
  • Rigsby and the older women was a riot; what was that look on Pelt's face when he had a date with Jackie at the end? Jealousy perhaps....

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Morjana Coffman

I love The Mentalist, but Cho and Rigsby have to improve their "stakeout" skills. In last week's episode, they were on a stakeout at night, but sat so close to a street light, Cho could read a book. In last night's show, they parked directly in front of the home they were watching.

February 19 2009 at 12:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone else notice what I think was the silver bullet Jane used to hypnotise in the opening scene and the reference to Jane as the Lone Ranger at the end?

February 18 2009 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I usually don't guess whodunit too quickly (I don't watch enough procedurals maybe?) but I guessed it within the first half on this one. Doesn't bother me one bit. I am glad they are pouring their work into concreting the characterization and chemistry of the characters rather than on trying to trick/tease the viewers. Well done TM.

February 18 2009 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was just telling someone that I can always guess the killer on this show, usually right away. Still I enjoy watching.

February 18 2009 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whenever I watch The Mentalist I try to think of the most unlikely guy as the killer. This makes no sense, but I was thinking maybe the kid killed his mom, by accident, some kind of game gone wrong.

February 18 2009 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to LoganT's comment

That was my first guess too, since I didn't know the actress who played the killer. But I switched to her as my "prime suspect", since she was the only one who was kind, not at all suspicious, and had lost a kid. Too good to be true. :)

February 18 2009 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One More Other Thing Worth Mentioning.

Lisbon saying that Jane doesn't like to be around when the family came in because he wants to be the Lone Ranger. "Who was that masked man, I never got the chance to thank him."

February 18 2009 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah I knew instantly that Kyle's mom was the murderer. But does that matter? Look at the rest of the episode!

The exchange between Cho and Rigsby about the "Bogart moment"? I could hug the writers for that alone. And Rigsby picking up that MILF err Cougar at the end and how van Pelt reacted? I could have hugged them again. And the lesbian lovers? Or the way they made Kyle's mom confess?

How good and how different is that compared to all the other precedurals? On "The Closer" I always get a little bit annoyed about their antics when the Deputy Chief acts extra annoying but here - it all fits! This show has chemistry, all pieces combined form a brilliant puzzle and on top of that we also have a main story arch that we will re-visit at the end of the season for sure. I love this show. It's high-brow and I for once the viewers reward a good show with the ratings it deserves.

How the people behind "Lie to me" can even dare to compare their show with "The Mentalist" is beyond me.

This show is right on the heels of Lost for me this season.

February 18 2009 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to StillBash's comment
Debra McDuffee

I know, it's such a step above its just plain silly. So well done!

February 18 2009 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was kinda bummed out when I figured out *whodunnit* half way through the show. The great thing about this show, is that you just never know who the killer is.....it's fantastic that way. I liked the episode, but not as much as the others. I hope this isn't a foreshadowing of the episodes to come.

February 18 2009 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was the husband; glad I'm not quick to pick up on such things.

And, regarding if Jane's being tempered by those who tell him that revenge does or doesn't help, this isn't the first time he's asked and we've seen the wheels turning in his head. Yes, I do think that each such encounter is causing him to ponder and will have an effect in the end. If we ever see him encounter Red John, we're not going to see him blow the guy's head off -- that'll end the series. We'll see much development, both leading to their meeting and then the follow up as Jane watches RJ's legal battle for several weeks. Maybe Jane'll be allowed to throw the switch, having applied for and gotten the prison job to do just that, and we'll watch that grin come to his face, the final scene of the series.

February 18 2009 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Do you think that Heather's answer, 'It doesn't change a thing,' will have an affect on Jane's actions in the future?"

I doesn't change a thing.

February 18 2009 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mdisloki's comment


Obviously I'm not awake yet.

February 18 2009 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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