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October 25, 2014

Review: The Mentalist - Bleeding Heart

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 22nd 2010 10:28AM
The Mentalist
(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.

More thoughts:

- 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.

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Frank

"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."

Or that being a TV nerds ruins things...
99% of people have no idea who Sean Maher is.
Same thing for looking up IMDB info on the show while watching...

January 25 2010 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jan Crump

My only comment is that when you are reviewing one show, I personally don't want to hear you bitch about what you are missing by watching the show to be paid to review it. Next time don't take the job! Watch your other more important shows and be silent.

January 24 2010 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alicia

FYI, his name is Rigsby, not Riggins.

January 24 2010 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beergas

Why was Lisbon the only person who didn't know about Riggins and Van Pelt? Some detective.

My guess is that was an attempt to show how "the boss" was separate from "the gang". Cost of leadership.
The way they dangled her reaction-timing made me think just for a moment that she would chime in with a comment that indicated she would play along with the idea of not knowing just to avoid department policy. Didn't ask; didn't tell. If no one 'knows' then no event. Game on.
But the way they quick cut to ending made it look like this was an unresolved situation to be dealt with soon.
Just hope writers don't go for obvious of the couple being in danger. Or killing off one or other. Still remember how CBS has killed some feature characters in 8-11pm drama slots.
Don't rem a couple tho. Ah ha, a First??
Beats giving them a baby....or possibility a la Closer.

January 22 2010 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to beergas's comment
litehousebeacon

Burn Notice and Archer both repeat so there's not point in complaining that you missed the first run in favor of something that doesn't repeat.

January 23 2010 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

Dude, no offense but you're butchering the English language here.

"OK, so The Mentalist is starting to hit some of the formula plots that all shows eventually get to." - "Formula" is not an adjective - "formulaic" might be the word you're looking for.

"I good have done without it."

"Or maybe the reason they had this documentary being filmed was because without it the mystery wouldn't have been as interesting." Try "The reason they had a documentary filmed during the episode was because without it, the mystery wouldn't have been as interesting."

"But unlike that show, there's really on way for viewers to collect clues and actually solve the crime along with Jane and the CBI gang." "on way"

Feel free to delete this comment after the mistakes are corrected...

January 22 2010 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
miles

"I good have done without it." Didn't you mean "I could have done without it."?

January 22 2010 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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