Isn’t February sweeps time? Isn’t this the time of year that we get juicy Red John episodes to tide us over to the next sweeps period? Was the revelation at the end of last week’s episode supposed to tide us over until May? I mean, that was a pretty big ender last week – everyone in CBI plus the FBI knows that Red John is alive, Darcy suspects that Jane knew this fact and I’m sure the rest of Lisbon’s team suspect that as well. So, what do we get this episode? Not one mention of it. I can understand Darcy not being there. Catherine Dent is a recurring character, and won’t be in every show. But, the rest of the team just goes on like nothing has happened? So do Lisbon and Jane? What surprises me about At First Blush (★★) isn’t that no one references the bombshell from the episode before – that is par for the course after all – but that such a dull episode with no relation to the overall story happened during sweeps.
Three things of import happened in this episode, two to do with Cho. Funny, since last week I mentioned that Cho was criminally underused. One, Rigsby finally noticed and mentioned Cho’s dependence on painkillers. Two, Summer finally pushed Cho to admit he liked her and they made out in the elevator. What is it with CBS shows and elevators? I’m happy for Cho and, by the standards of The Mentalist, this romance was practically whirlwind.
The third is less an event than the planting of a couple of seeds by the lawyer, Porchetto, who failed to convict Jane of Food Court Red John’s murder. Porchetto has zero patience for Jane and who can blame him? When Jane declares that the woman Porchetto is trying for murder is innocent because she loves her parents, it’s too much. After Rigsby and Van Pelt visit the original investigating officer, asking questions about his investigation, Porchetto goes to Lisbon and, after he complains about Jane and Lisbon does her standard defense, Porchetto declares that Jane isn’t the problem, Lisbon is. This after the investigating officer laughs at Rigsby and Van Pelt, calling them stooges in a comedy troupe. Give props to The Mentalist for addressing through the show what I have thought for over a season. How will these two little nuggets of discontent play out in the team? Probably not at all. Lisbon was going along with Jane’s ruse and joking around with him in the very next scene. But, at least they acknowledged that her biggest weakness is Patrick Jane. Baby steps. Next up on my list of “Ways to Jolt The Mentalist Out of Its CBS Procedural Rut,” make Jane wrong for once.
- The episode was directed by Roxann Dawson who I remember fondly from Star Trek: Voyager as B’Elanna Torres. She has become quite a prolific director.
- Next week’s episode features the return of Morena Baccarin as Erica Flynn, a woman who unnerved Jane like no other. Yea!
What did everyone else think? Glad about Summer and Cho? Irritated or not about the lack of mention, even in passing, of the Red John bombshell? Do you think The Mentalist needs to jolt itself out of its procedural doldrums? If so, how would you do it?
- TV Review: The Mentalist 4.13 “Red is the New Black” (swampofboredom.com)
- TV Reveiw: The Mentalist 4.08 “Pink Tops” – “I want to use you.” (swampofboredom.com)
- TV Review: The Mentalist 4.07 “Blinking Red Light” – “Red John is dead!” (swampofboredom.com)
- TV Review: The Mentalist 4.09 “The Redshirt” – “I like that boom boom pow.” (swampofboredom.com)
- TV Review: The Mentalist 4.10 “Fugue in Red” – “Are you putting me on?” (swampofboredom.com)