Review: The Mentalist - Bleeding Heart
by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 22nd 2010 10:28AM
(S02E12) "It's a good rule of thumb to avoid doing things that require wearing a mask. And you're such a handsome fellow too." - Jane
"How'd you know I'm handsome?" - Jasper
OK, so The Mentalist is starting to hit some of the formula plots that all shows eventually get to. This one was the "someone is making a documentary about CBI and each person is interviewed and we learn more about them" episode. I could have done without it. I'd rather they concentrate on the main mystery rather than mix in this subplot. Or maybe the reason they had this documentary being filmed was because without it the mystery wouldn't have been as interesting.
The good news? It was better than The Office clip show we had tonight. The bad news? It didn't quite work.
Maybe I'm just being cranky. While watching this episode I not only had to think about (and review) the 30 Rock I had just watched, but I had to contend with the fact that I was missing both Burn Notice and Archer. Thursday nights is not Must-See TV now, it's Can't-Possibly-See-Everything TV, and it's frustrating.
One aspect of the documentary plot I did like was that it brought out the anger in Jane, and we don't see that enough. And I'm glad that the people making the documentary weren't just faceless voices behind the camera, they actually became part of the story, interacting with Jane and the rest of the team. When did I realize that the filmmaker was the killer? At 10:49pm. There was something about the way they had a one second shot of Jane walking out of the room and looking back at the filmmaker. A very quick thing but something this show does a lot, and right then and there it clicked.
The first half of this episode was rather boring to me. Too much documentary, and not much interesting things going on (except for the well-staged fire in the office that took me by surprise). The second half was better, because it had some clever lines uttered by Jane as he was kidnapped and handcuffed to the chair and let it slip that he knew who the guy with the mask was. " 'In actuality'...who talks like that?" I love dialogue like that.
I thought Sharon Lawrence was criminally underused though. She had some feisty scenes with Jane and Lisbon in the first half of the episode but then pretty much vanished in the second half and we got an entire half hour of Jane and Jasper talking in the cabin. They should have given her more to do. But Simon Baker livens up even a so-so plot. Really, think about this show without a lead like him and I think a lot of the episodes would just lie there like moldy ham.
- I still want this show to be more like Murder, She Wrote. Sure, like that show, we don't know the identity of the killer. But unlike that show, there's really no way for viewers to collect clues and actually solve the crime along with Jane and the CBI gang. I want more Jessica Fletcher and Lt. Columbo. I guess you could say the film of Martha's body being discovered was a clue, when the filmmaker turned away just before the body appeared, but I'd like to see more than that.
- If you went to the IMDB to look at the episode listing for this episode, you would have found out that Wilson was Jasper. It even says "Wilson/Jasper" as Sean Maher's character name. I guess this proves that theory of mystery shows that if there's a fairly well-known person in the cast than that person is probably the guilty party. Maher was a regular on Firefly and Party of Five is in an episode of Human Target, so he was a good candidate.
- Why was Lisbon the only person who didn't know about Riggins and Van Pelt? Some detective.