Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Mentalist - Recap & Review - Scarlett Fever

The Mentalist
"Scarlett Fever"

Original Air Date: Feb 17, 2009

Liz - Associate Staff Writer

Tonight's episode dealt with a motive that we have seen time and again: revenge. It seems like more and more like this show is less of a crime procedural than it is Patrick Jane's tour of the nine circles of Hell. Where's Virgil when you need him?

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[photo: CBS]

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  1. The Mentalist
    "Scarlett Fever"

    Original Air Date: Feb 17, 2009.

    Liz - Associate Staff Writer

    Tonight's episode dealt with a motive that we have seen time and again: revenge. It seems like more and more like this show is less of a crime procedural than it is Patrick Jane's tour of the nine circles of Hell. Where's Virgil when you need him?

    At a house that can only be described as palatial, Scarlett Castillo has been poisoned and in her panic, she takes a swan dive over the second story railing and lands on the table of entrees. No, not the food! The party comes to a standstill at that point, and the police are called. At CBI, Patrick Jane is hypnotizing a gangster as a favor for the organized crime unit. Lisbon is less than amused. I think Jane redeems himself as he finds a Very Important Clue in CBI's first ten minutes in the house -- a napkin, with the cryptic message, "Now we're even," written on it in lipstick. "Motive!" he announces cheerily.

    There are few people who embrace a mystery like Patrick Jane. Although for the general sanity, I think that's a good thing.

    In one visit to the house, Jane and Lisbon pick up a few clues -- Asra is not having an affair with Victor Castillo (he asks!), but is his accounts manager. Scarlett made and sold jewelry, which Victor describes as trinkets. The party was her idea, to show off how well the family was doing -- appearances had to be kept, after all! She was head of the women's committee at the club, and her keys are missing. Curiouser and curiouser.

    Next, Jane and Rigsby investigate shark-infested waters: they go to the country club. (Anybody else hear that tritone?) They end up meeting with the very, very desperate housewives, Scarlett's "friends" Jackie, Patience, Mandy, and Heather. And they all have something interesting and different to say. Mandy, the gossip queen, says she heard Scarlett and Asra fighting at the party, and flat out laughs at the idea of Victor and Asra having an affair. Patience -- who is, by the way, not that patient nor particularly nice -- begs to differ, and says that Asra is having an affair with Victor. She also disliked Scarlett intensely. Jackie doesn't have much of interest to say, but she was the deputy chair for the women's committee, and mentions that Scarlett was the only one who had the key to the safe.

    They return to CBI, and Grace has discovered that Asra has cleared out her bank accounts and abandoned her house. Cue Jane's hand thrusting into the air, "Oh! Oh! Oh! I know where she is!" It's like he's just waiting for everyone else to catch up to him. They wind up at the Cliffside Hotel, and lo and behold, there is Asra in bed. With Mandy.

    Grace takes lead on Asra's interview, but sadly it turns out she didn't have anything to do with Scarlett's murder. She had been skimming money off various financial reserves within the company, and things went south too fast for her to get the money back before anyone noticed. Yawn. Mandy is being held by Rigsby, when Cho walks through and blabs about getting a search warrant for the safe in Scarlett's office. Mandy leaves with that hot little tidbit aching to be spread around, and the boys criticize one another's acting ability. I love it when they set people up this way.

    At Marysville, Cho and Lisbon are keeping Scarlett's weekly appointment and looking for her contact. When they find him, Cho arrests his butt for selling drugs, and they discover not only was this man -- "Digger" -- supplying all kinds of drugs to Scarlett, but to another country club lady as well. The same night, Rigsby and Jane are staking out the office, waiting for the person who had stolen her keys to the safe to show up. They catch Patience in the act, and also in the middle of a phone call from Digger. Patience says everyone knew Scarlett was selling dugs, and she gets sent home, but Rigsby and Cho are put on surveillance detail.

    Also, at this point, they are working on tracing the killer by tracing the lipstick the note was written in -- a color called "Tongue in Cheek," sold by only a few high end boutiques. Rigsby notices it on Jackie when they are at the country club, and she says that she saw it on Patience at Scarlett's party and she had to have it. In mid conversation, there is a scream, and the boys rush in -- where Patience was killed in the middle of her massage. (Nobody is allowed to buy me a gift certificate to a spa where there are no security cameras in the rooms. Other spas, however, feel free to bestow on me.) Jane goes to the bar with Heather and Jackie to work them -- I mean, calm them down, when he plants the information that CBI is preparing to go after Victor -- which they do, later that night.

    The spectacle is amazing, and as they plan, it drives Heather -- yes, Heather! -- to confess to the murder of Scarlett Castillo. In the interrogation room, Heather connects the dots. She killed Scarlett, because her daughter had died in a car wreck, high and drunk off pills that she and a friend had taken from her friend's mom, which had been sold to her by Scarlett. A very simple motivation -- revenge for the death of a daughter. Sound familiar, Jane? Apparently it does. He asks Heather, "Now that it's stopped, does it feel better?"

    "It doesn't change a thing," she cries. Jane appears to be thinking that over -- has this set the wheels in his head turning concerning revenge? Is he starting to think that may not be the best course of action? I somehow doubt one case is going to change his mind. But maybe, just maybe, now that he's thinking about it, the personal, introspective part of this journey can get on the road. What do you guys think? Is Patrick starting to rethink his hunger for revenge against Red John or is he going to become more set in his ways?


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