The Mentalist episode this week had two cases running simultaneously: an old case which is Lisbon chasing Volker for old deaths (previous episode, dead journalist and personal assistant) and a new case of a dead model, Charlie, who snuck out of a rehab program. The case for Charlie is Jane doing what he does best, relatively unfettered…running around, tweaking people’s noses to get them to react, etc. He quickly figures out the case is really about a missing necklace, and it doesn’t take a genus to figure out who she might have told her secret to, since she didn’t open up to her roommate, or her lover. That pretty much leaves only one character — her counsellor at the rehab clinic — and I hate the “hold-back” that Jane does on that one. Usually when Jane holds something back from the viewer, i.e. not revealing a clue, it is still fair game as the viewer can see what Jane saw. However, Jane smells cigarette smoke on the counsellor and figures out she’s hiding something, even asks her about it, but it is quite a leap to get to the conclusion that it is a casino (based on fact that she smells REALLY STRONGLY like cigarettes, which as a simple viewer, you wouldn’t know).
The ongoing Volker case is far more interesting, although a judge that Lisbon normally trusts proves unreliable after Volker gets to her, which I find disappointing as that judge had been a strong character previously. At any rate, Lisbon eventually gets a warrant for an associate of Volker’s, only for him to wind up dead. At the end, it was really interesting to see Lisbon say to Jane very clearly, “I need your help.” She wants Volker so bad, she’s willing to openly tell Jane she needs him. Shippers won’t be happy though because earlier in the episode, Jane suggested he would like to see her find romance because she deserves to be happy, and there is no hesitation that perhaps he means him or would mind her finding it. A far cry from their first case where he asked her to go for a romantic lunch and was amused that she was flattered by it when he meant it as a location for a sting. Not bad, but not one of the best episodes overall, more like a prelude / holding episode for Lisbon to go after Volker. Her own white whale, or Red John, so to speak. And don’t get me started on the fact that Van Pelt is still doing nothing more than sitting behind a desk to hide her real-life pregnancy. It’s getting monotonous seeing her do research on the phone.