The Mentalist season two opener, “Redemption”, begins with Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) arriving at a crime scene in a department store. The police officer briefing them thanks them for helping the homicide department out on their case load, and then proceeds to mock Jane for “that ESP crap”.
Of course Jane always takes any criticism as a challenge. The officer shows them the body of a 34 year old man, and tells him that store security was able to gather up all of the people in the area at the time of the murder. Jane kneels down by the body, literally sniffing around the crime scene. Asked tauntingly by the officer if the victim told him whodunit, Jane replies with a list of facts about the victim–including that he was a ladies man, went after moneyed cougars with moderate success, and played the guitar–not well. Jane decides his “non-creative job in a creative field” was not worth killing over, that the crime was probably romantic, and he asks to see the suspects.
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On their way down the escalator to the furniture department, Lisbon warns Jane to take it down a notch–or three. Jane agrees, but we know he won’t. It’s clear he’s confident and in a hurry to get this over with. Jane announces to the witnesses that the murderer could be among them, and that he’ll find out who it is. He dismisses two witnesses as being innocent, though Lisbon quickly tells them they need to stick around for a statement. Jane goes around the room asking questions, including a store employee named Neil. When asked what his biggest mistake was, he answers, “My first marriage.”
After a few more typical Jane questions from nowhere and bizarre banter with the suspects, Jane invites the ire of a woman in business clothing, Mandy, who has a “very important husband”. In his usual confrontational way, Jane calls her “Mrs. Grumpy and Entitled”, tells her that her diet pills are messing with her head, and that her husband’s Modesto clout means nothing in the big city of Sacramento. When the police officer starts to intervene, Lisbon stops him, and Jane announces that Mandy will lead them to the murder weapon.
Happy that Jane will end up looking like an idiot, Mandy humors Jane and allows him to take hold of her wrists and start leading her around the room. Viewers should remember that Jane pulled a similar trick on agent Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) in the previous season of The Mentalist. This time, however, Jane’s not only watching Mandy’s reactions, he’s watching those of the other suspects. Everyone follows Jane and Mandy around the room, and are startled when Jane finds a box of heavy crystal glassware–one piece which is covered in blood.
A horrified and stunned Mandy protests her innocence, and to everyone’s surprise, Jane agrees that she is. He explains to the skeptical officer that he used Mandy as a decoy, to lure the real killer into giving directional cues. He reveals Neil, the man with the bad marriage, as the murderer. Neil protests, but Jane launches into his guess about the scenario–that his second wife cheated with the victim, but he forgave her. Then the victim came in and taunted Neil and made him feel small–at this point Neil takes off running, and the police attempt to catch him.
Lisbon chastises Jane as displays fall and glass scatters and Neil eludes the police. Jane shrugs and says the case is closed, but he looks mildly surprised and makes a quick getaway when they hear shots fired and screams erupting from the chase.
So Jane starts The Mentalist “Redemption” off with a bang. Or several bangs. But in the next scene, Jane’s confidence takes a hit in the CBI boss Minnelli’s office. It’s clear they’re being chastised for Jane’s usual lack of decorum in their latest case. Jane defends himself by saying they were in a hurry to get back to the Red John case. This opens the door for Minnelli to tell Jane and Lisbon that they’ve been running “too hot” on the Red John case and that Jane is headed for a “terminal screw-up”. He also accuses Lisbon of being grateful to Jane for saving her life, and therefore cutting him too much slack.
Enter Agent Sam Bosco, who Minnelli announces is taking over the Red John case. Lisbon and Jane protest, and Lisbon asks that her team be allowed to finish what they started. Bosco, who Lisbon has worked with previously, tells her bluntly that they’re not even close to solving it and a fresh pair of eyes is needed. He tells Jane that the pain of losing his wife and child is clouding his judgment. Jane is for once at a loss for words, and he quietly leaves the office. Lisbon soon follows.