The Mentalist: Season 1 Episode 3: "Red Tide"

This episode showcased surfers, sandcastles, chess, and, of course, Patrick Jane, California's premier crime consultant. In the third episode of season one, the entertainment value of Simon Baker starring in 'The Mentalist' was cemented.

The victim was again a teen girl, the drowned Christine, and the team encountered a growing list of suspects. First, Cho, Rigsby, and Jane interviewed her peers on the beach, gathering information. At the same time, Lisbon and Van Pelt interviewed the family and we learned the family of the victim was riddled with problems—a mother who died in a car accident, an alcoholic father, younger siblings that Christine was taking care of, and druggie ex-friends. Then, Jane stayed on the beach building sand castles with his shoe until a generous little girl shared her bucket. Lisbon discovered Christine was seeing an older man who resembled Flipper, an old beach dude. The team headed out again to the beach to discover that Jane had already discovered Flipper and was soundly whipping him in a game of chess. The mystery evolved from there, as Jane demonstrated his deductions through misdirection and confrontation. He even discovered another dead body.

By the end of the episode, the viewer has an increased trust in Patrick Jane and his unique courage and smarts. Yet another subplot was revealed. We learned Lisbon's boss is often on the verge of firing Jane, and Lisbon emerged as his champion. Additionally, we glimpsed the first view of Cho's deadpan humorous timing in suspect interviews. I have to admit that Cho's character is one I tune in for, and I'm thrilled with the actor's embodiment of a tough but very honest and hilarious cop.


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