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December 21, 2014

'The Mentalist' - 'Code Red' Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 12th 2010 9:44AM
The Mentalist
(S02E16) "Like clothes. And killing people." - Jane, after the victim's husband said they had a marriage that didn't go by social standards

I like mystery stories where the murder victim not only knows they have just been murdered but they actually have time to call the police and help solve the crime. We saw it in the 1950 classic 'D.O.A.' and the lesser remake in 1988 with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan.

Tonight's episode of 'The Mentalist' was like that, only the victim wasn't around long enough to see the killer come to justice.

I don't know about you, but the day that as a police detective I have to investigate a case involving some deadly airborne toxin is the day I get a full-time job selling shoes at the mall. How can Jane and Lisbon just hang around this lab, not really knowing what's safe and what's not safe and act so calm and try to figure things out? Jane asked at one point if they should be wearing masks but I'd go a few steps further and ask for a hazmat suit, a diving helmet, and a suit of armor.

I'm not sure I buy that the woman would call Jane out of nowhere so he can investigate the case. Yeah, it was funny that she found out on the internet that he's a great investigator, but it just seemed to be a contrived way to get him and the team into the case. There must have been a more believable way to get them to the lab.

But once there I like how Jane interacted with everyone: talking to the murder victim from the other side of the glass, talking to her daughter via computer, observing the other workers as they pecked away at their desktops. Jane is funny when he's in a place where he really sticks out, a place he clearly doesn't belong but a world where he can quickly learn to fit in because he can figure things out at his own pace (like Columbo). I'm sure all of the people at the CBI are competent and hardworking, but Jane better make a shitload of money. They wouldn't solve any cases without him.

So when did you realize that Jane had started his deception? I realized it the moment that second vial was on the table and they told everyone they were going to die. Not just because, well, Jane and Lisbon aren't going to be killed off but also because it was right around the time that these games begin in every episode, and you could see things starting to click into place.

I thought the identity of the killer and his reasons for doing it were rather mundane though, anti-climatic. This episode was really about Jane and Lisbon bouncing off of each other in a strange place, and in that way it was a lot of fun.

More thoughts:

-- Why would several people just walk into the office that had the second vial opened, especially after the guard said they had a code red? Why wouldn't everyone just run out as quick as they could, even if it was too late? It didn't even look like they knew what the hell was going on until they walked into the office and were two feet from the open vial and the "I'm Sorry" note.

-- I like how Simon Baker plays Jane. Here's a guy who can actually laugh and joke a short time after a woman dies in front of him and her daughter. He's sort of like James Bond, who can make quick wisecracks after his latest conquest is killed by the bad guys. But would he really look right at Lisbon and not swear on his child's grave that he wasn't up to something? And what a cruel bastard to trick everyone at the company that they were going to die in four hours? He lies better than the criminals.

-- We learned a bit more about Lisbon tonight. She has a brother Tommy who works for an electric company and she forgives him for ... whatever. Have we heard about him before? Maybe we'll learn more him and that "whatever" in future episodes.

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kat

It didn't matter if they walked into the office where the code red was because the guy said anyone within a 1/4 mile radius would be infected. The CBCA guy probably knew that, Jane knew it was a hoax, and Lisbon probably didn't know what a code red was.

Cute when Lisbon punched him in the face, and 2 seconds later, they came running, lol!

March 17 2010 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
litehousebeacon

Lisbon has more than one brother, according to the dialog.

March 13 2010 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jffm

Interesting episode.

Jane talking the victim's daughter through her initial shock and grief was a nice little scene. Cho remaining ever stoic during Lisbon's goodbye call was great as well.

Lisbon is developing a ruthless bordering on cruel streak of her own. Asking Jane to swear on the grave of his child, knowing full well the wound will remain as wide open as the Grand Canyon till Red John is brought to justice, was just about as cruel as she could get. Granted is was in response to what she correctly suspected was grievously cruel hoax by Jane, that doesn't make her act any less cruel in itself. In this case however, Jane's deft deflection of Lisbon's thrust shows that he's still the more adept of the two at wrestling with his demons.

Lisbon seems to finding her own inner wellspring of Janelike ruthlessness in trying to cope the anger and sadness she's feeling over the death of her colleagues. Her grief perhaps even being exacerbated by some degree of survivor's guilt over the fact that she has not only survived an attack by one of Red John's minions, but survived thanks to Jane, the man who "made" Red John kill her friends, saving her life.

March 13 2010 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
miles

Jane got a punch in the nose by Lisbon! Long over due! Maybe after a few more he'll act like a decent human being.

March 12 2010 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mdisloki

Yihang, GET A LIFE! I hope they send you a bill for that slimy advertisement.

Edit: Good! Before I could even get my post up, they pulled yours.

Pretty decent episode. I had a feeling the setup was coming when Jane was looking in the supply cabinet and saw the empty vials. His interaction with the daughter was strangely heart breaking. Despite the 'up' attitude he had, whenever he talks to an innocent NOK I sense the pain he still feels about his own tragedy.

March 12 2010 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Fuck you, spammer (two posts above). Boycott usayahooo dot com (whatever the hell it is... damn comment spammer). Make spammers know their graffiti and vandalism is not profitable and actually costs them money.

Anyway as for the Mentalist, good episode. I thought the daughter on the laptop intentionally looked nothing like the mother and that Jane would realize the murder victim was not the biological mom of the daughter and somehow that would be a big clue to solving the case (someone else there was the father, perhaps). Guess I was wrong.

March 12 2010 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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