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

Little girl and her mom frolic happily on the beach. That never leads to anything good. The girl picks up some seaweed on the sand, and is promptly traumatized for life when she finds the body of a blonde girl underneath it. Cut to the CBI headquarters, where Lisbon and her new sporty ponytail are debriefing the team about the dead girl. Her name was Christine Tanner, she was 15, and she was hit in the head with a surfboard and then drowned in a ditch. Not in the ocean, as we would expect. While she's doing this, Jane is…waltzing with Van Pelt? He calls it "finding where she hid the van keys," but whatever. Van Pelt seems to be mentally telling him to go in one direction, and Jane seems to buy it until he suddenly goes in the opposite direction and finds the keys. The team shares a giggle at this tomfoolery, and God help me, but I think I might ship it.

Back at the beach, a group of surfer kids are throwing leis into the ocean in Christine's memory. Jane, Rigsby, and Cho arrive on the scene and are approached by two of the kids. They claim to have been close friends of Christine's, and introduce themselves as Hope and Win. Yeah, his name is Win. I can't even joke about that. It's just too easy. Anyway, they tell the team that the last time they saw Christine was three days before, at an "epic Northeast swell." They were out at night, because Christine loved to swim "'til it was darkest dark." I'm going to kill myself. The kids also mention that Christine was frequently hooking up with their friend Danny. Before they leave, Jane and his fantastically windswept hair ask what color and animal Christine would be, and her friends say that she would be an orange rabbit. Apparently, this means that we are now looking for someone who doesn't like orange rabbits. Cho and Rigsby start to leave, but Jane decides to stay and lies down in the sand. It's a good thing.

Lisbon and Van Pelt go to Christine's home to speak with her father. He seems to be in a bad way, as there are several empty bottles of alcohol lying around. He also proves to be a shitty father, as it took him two days to notice that Christine was missing. Oh, and he only noticed that she was gone because she hadn't made dinner for her two younger siblings. Class. Act. He defends his actions by saying that he's always working construction and thus can't watch the kids all the time. He also explains that he's a single parent, because his wife was killed by a drunk driver five years before. We get a good long close up of Lisbon's face as he says this, so I'm guessing this is somehow significant to her. Although she just looks vaguely confused, so maybe she's never heard of cars or something. After the accident Christine took on most of the maternal responsibilities of the household. Lisbon mentions that Christine was arrested the year before because of marijuana possession, but her father asserts that that was her ex-friend Darlene's fault. Since joining the surfing clan, though, Christine and Darlene had stopped hanging out. He thought the surfers were a good influence on her, and remembered a few names like Danny, Hope, and Flipper. If Flipper is a dolphin I will actually have to cut some bitches. Christine's father interrupts the conversation by asking his daughter to fix lunch for her younger brother. Methinks he has found Christine's replacement.

At the beach


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