Review: The Mentalist (S7 E9/13), Thursday 9th April, Channel 5

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The-Mentalist-Copper-Bullet-Season-7-Episode-9-05One notable attribute of the new, loved-up Patrick Jane is that he’s become extraordinarily concerned with the happiness of others; it’s not enough that he has overcome his own grief, he wants to share what he has found. And if anyone threatens the happiness of Jane’s friends, he’s an implacable enemy.

In this case, the friend is Agent Abbott, whose wife Lena is up for an important Washington post; and the enemy is Peterson, a creepy DEA agent who knows that Abbott executed a Mexican cartel boss.

Peterson’s so incensed that his career has been ruined by Abbot’s interference, that he goes to Rio Bravo and disinters the body. The bullet alone will be enough will sink Abbot, and his wife.

Jane’s having his owns problems with Lisbon, who is angry that he directed her out of danger in last week’s hunt for an assassin; but she doesn’t seem to be that angry, as she’s happily going to the movies and eating ice-cream with him.

Wiley is keeping tabs on Peterson, and detects fishy movements and calls to a congressman; the odd thing is that everyone from Abbot to Wiley to Cho to Vega seems to be quite happy to enter into Jane’s criminal conspiracy to bring down Peterson. Cho even explains that they’re breaking at least seven laws, which must be a record even for Jane.

Jane decides from Peterson’s holiday habits that he must have a stash of corruptly obtained loot, and sets out to locate it, as well as the magic bullet. He reaches out to his carny friend Pete, who’s glad to see him, but suggests it’s time he takes off his wedding ring, an idea that Jane gives short shrift.

Jane confronts Peterson in order to steal his phone, and gets details of his household security system; meanwhile Peterson gets a call from the congressman’s representative and sets up a meet. Cho plans the raid on Peterson’s house, though he admits he’s more worried about the cat than the alarm system (should we be surprised that Cho doesn’t like cats? Apparently they always jump on him – isn’t that a sign that they trust him?)

Vega eyeballs Peterson’s meeting with the congressman’s aide, so plans to raid the house are brought forward; Jane cracks the security code – okay, he admits to a disbelieving Cho that he got it from Peterson’s phone – and while Lisbon tackles the cat, the guys search the house, and find a safe, but can’t open it. Time for Plan B, which involves Wiley, some cash from the FBI evidence store, and Peterson’s cat.

In the final confrontation with Peterson, a photo of the cat sitting on the cash is enough to trick him into a confession; and the magic bullet turns out to be in the hands of Jane’s carny friends, who have run an elaborate con to convince Peterson that he was handing over his evidence to the congressman.   

This is one of the more complex and cleverly plotted episodes this season; that it’s more reminiscent of a Mission: Impossible than a Mentalist doesn’t do it much harm. It’s odd that Lisbon has so little to do in it, as you would have thought that Jane would be wanting to make amends for his recent gaffe; but otherwise the ensemble work is pleasing, and everyone enjoys a hoe-down in the end.

But if Abbot’s going off to Washington DC with his wife, who takes over the unit? Cho’s the obvious candidate; he seems surprised by the offer, but accepts in good humour, and even cracks a smile.

But Jane still can’t come to terms with Lisbon’s devotion to her job; he’s afraid of what losing her might do to him. Very soon, he might find out.

Chris Jenkins

For all our Mentalist reviews, go here

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