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October 4, 2015

The Mentalist enlists a new boss

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 30th 2009 10:34AM
aunjanue_ellis_head_shouldersThere's a new Jane joining The Mentalist, a Jane of the female variety. Aunjanue Ellis will be the new CBI head on CBS's The Mentalist, attempting to reign in the unconventional -- yet highly productive -- antics of Patrick Jane.

Ellis will be a new character -- still unnamed -- who is assuming the leadership position left vacant when Virgil Minelli resigned. Minelli was played by Gregory Itzin, who is returning to 24 to resume the role of disgraced former president Charles Logan.

Minelli's exit has already been set up on the show; he announced his resignation following the Red John instigated bloodbath in the CBI offices that resulted in Bosco's death and two other agents. In the last episode, Minelli assumed responsibility for the deaths and the breach in security.

That said, Ellis's character should be coming in loaded for bear. Does the term "by the book" sound accurate for the situation? That could create major conflict with Jane, who believes in throwing the book out the window and winging it.

The new sheriff -- disciplinarian -- won't be appearing till April.

The actress has a lot of stage experience and on TV has appeared in Numb3rs, The Good Wife and True Blood. Most recently she was on screen in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.

One thing that has not been mentioned but I think could be a point of conflict is Ellis' age. She's only 40 and unless they age her dramatically for this role on The Mentalist, she is going to be about the same age or younger than Lisbon. Will Lisbon appreciate being supervised by a woman who is essentially her peer? Sounds like a reason to balk to me.

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It would be nice is they gave this character some cajones -- so to speak. The biggest problem I see with the Mentalist as it continues for several seasons is Jane always coming out on top in terms of matching wills with superiors. The Minelli character was no match for Jane and while the Bosco character started out as someone who could take on Jane that petered out rather quickly. Without a strong character within CBI to match wits with Jane his character will get real boring real fast.

November 30 2009 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Robin Tunney is only 37 so that makes Ellis 3 years older, if anything I think that Tunney's character might be able to relate to Ellis's character much like Holly Hunter's character related to her captain on Saving Grace because of their closeness in age

November 30 2009 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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