Off camera, the seemingly poker-face actor is relaxed, funny and loves to laugh about himself, the show and life in general. In a recent interview, we got just the facts from Kang as we chatted about his primetime success.
How does it feel to be on a hit show like 'The Mentalist'?
It feels pretty good. We're in a very enviable position and we've been very lucky to get the kind of response that we've gotten for the show. You know, we come into work everyday and do the best job that we can with the material that's given to us.
Thankfully, the audience has been and hopefully will continue to be receptive to it. It's a unique position to be in just knowing the reality of the landscape. So it feels really good to go to work everyday.
The prediction I made in my 'The Red Box' review came true: the "clowns" went to court and we saw the aftermath of Jane's investigation methods.
(S02E17) "You, you're golden." - Hightower to Jane
After weeks without a boss in the picture, the team meets up with the new boss: Special Agent Madeleine Hightower. Even if she was only introduced in the second part of the episode, her upcoming arrival made Lisbon uneasy right from the opening scene. As we discovered in the episode, Lisbon had very good reason not to look forward to the arrival of her new boss.
Hightower clearly has the needed experience to be in such a position, as she wasted no time to get things done and shape things her way. Jane may be golden in Hightower's book, but the other team members -- except Cho at this point in time -- should all be walking on eggshells and fear to lose their job at CBI.
(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.
(S02E15) "Tell Mr. Jane he is a mean, irresponsible sadist." - Abigail to Lisbon
Dina Meyer is everywhere on TV lately, isn't she? If you are like me, as soon as you see her appear in one of your favorite TV shows, you know there's an extremely good chance that she ends up being the culprit or that she'll at least have a meaty role.
Her 'The Mentalist' guest appearance was no different, and she ended up being either the culprit or with a meaty role. Was she the killer of the week or a red herring? The answer after the jump. One thing is certain, her role had character, as she had to say that Jane was mean, irresponsible and a sadist!
(S02E14) "You are one strange freak, man." - gang member to Jane.
Detective Cho is like the Sgt. Friday of 'The Mentalist.' He's serious, determined, no nonsense, by the book. Only I think Jack Webb used to smile a lot more than Cho does. It's great to see Cho (Tim Kang - a good actor), my favorite character on the show after Patrick Jane, get an A plot in an episode.
Wow, Cho is a bit of a hard-ass, eh? You can see how hard he has worked to get away from his past, joining the Army and all that, and he really doesn't have any patience or sympathy for the people he left behind. At least we think that at first.
As I've said before, I'd watch a spinoff with Cho as the lead.
The episode will dive more into Cho's life outside of CBI, including his past life as a gang member and -- wait for it -- his current girlfriend, Elise.
AOL TV recently chatted with Kang to get the full scoop on the episode, the upcoming new head of CBI (Aunjanue Ellis) and when that pesky Red John will return.
(S02E13) "I so love that new car smell." - Jane
And we so love that new episode smell, don't we? Jane definitely loved more than that new car smell in this new installment of 'The Mentalist', he loved the politics of a popular and pricy dealership and had loads of fun analyzing and toying with the staff.
But what Jane probably loved most this week, which coincidentally is what I enjoyed most in the episode, is that he was able to make a friend!
(S02E11) "They're a little old to be necking, aren't they?" - Van Pelt
"There's an age limit on that?" - Jane
I love Jane's humor! Don't you? This week, our favorite mentalist was a fish out of water when the case of the week lead the team to a high school reunion, an event Jane never attended before since he was too "busy" to go to school. Based on the previous episode, he was probably too busy conning people for/with his father.
As Jane told Lisbon, everyone at such a reunion lies, making it difficult for them to find out the killer. So to help get the truth out, Jane resorted to blackmailing a friend!
(S02E10) So this was the inevitable flashback episode of The Mentalist. We've had flashbacks before, of course, but we knew we were going to get one where we learn how Patrick Jane became who he is. An episode where we see a teen Jane scamming people by making them think he could read their minds (though he's more talented than that and really can figure things out, just not in a mystical way). The kid playing young Jane was pretty much spot on doing a young Simon Baker.
Too bad the present-day mystery wasn't that interesting.
(S02E09) "This is a murder investigation, I can be as hard ass as I want to be." - Jane
Jane has played with fire before and crossed the line a few times. This week was no different and he was very upfront about it, repeating at least two times that he could be hard ass as he wanted to be during an investigation.
When you are cocky and push the envelope a bit too much, karma will more than likely ensure that you pay your dues. It wouldn't surprise me that one of the bad guys introduced in this episode comes back to seek revenge on Jane for being a hard ass.
(S02E08) "God, you're a cold bastard." - Lisbon, to Jane
Wow. Just... wow. I have to hand it to The Mentalist. The previews showed several agents dying and lots of tension and upheaval at CBI. But really, I thought there would be some trick to it. Agents we've never met would be killed or something similar. But they actually killed off regulars! Another agent quits! Two people professed love for one another!
This was like a season finale, really, which makes me really excited to see how this season is going to end.
(S02E07) "This man ... I don't even know what he is. He is an accident waiting to happen." - Bosco about Jane
Don't adjust your computer screen. The picture above was not tempered with: Jane and Bocso are in the same area and are not at each others' throat! As Bob hinted at the end of his review of last week's The Mentalist episode, the "Jane and Bosco having to work closely together on a case" episode we've been expecting since Bosco joined the show has finally arrived!
(S02E06) "No takebacks!" - Jane, to the killer, about her confession
So this episode had two things that scare the hell out of me: prison and mice. I think we all view prison as a place that would freak us out if we ever found ourselves in one. I hate the very thought of being in that situation. I think I'd try to escape like Jane did tonight. What's the worst that could happen, they'd send you to prison?
As for mice, I have a few every winter in my apartment. They come in through the wall behind the fridge looking for warmth and food. Really irritating and gross.
And this episode had both of those things. Gah.
(S02E05) "Spooky!" - Patrick Jane
As soon as the introduction sequence played out, I was excited at the thought of seeing how Patrick Jane and more down-to-earth Lisbon would deal with a spooky case.
I knew Lisbon would not believe in ghosts but what about Jane? Would he believe in them for real or would he fake believing in them for the case or would he not believe in them at all?
This spooky episode, perfect for Halloween time, also finally (!) gave us some relationship advancement between Rigsby and Van Pelt.