The Mentalist: Season 1 Episode 18: "Russet Potatoes"

I haven't written about The Mentalist since October, but don't think that means I haven't been watching.

I've seen every episode, and while I may not have the names of all the characters memorized yet, I am definitely in love with the show. The way the creators have taken a dry police procedural and injected the fun-loving character of Patrick Jane has left us with a fresh new look at an old genre. On top of that, tonight's episode was a great example of just how good the writing is, and why The Mentalist has the potential to be a part of our Tuesday nights for years to come.

As you may or may not know, I got my nickname from my wife because I was constantly predicting the outcome of shows like CSI, then making a big fuss (albeit a joking one) when I ended up being right about the endings. Well despite my best efforts, tonight I was fooled no less than three times.

When the man brought the body to police in the opening sequence, I immediately ruled him out as a possible suspect. Then, when Jane and the gang went to the hypnotherapy school and we were introduced to Dr. Daniel, I ruled him out because it was just too obvious. However, when he left class and had his assistant take over, I recognized to things–One, the oldest plot in the book, where the pupil seeks to prove mastery over the teacher; and Two, I recognized the young actor playing the assistant, and young character actors are usually a shoe-in to be an eccentric killer on these shows. Once it was revealed that the assistant had also been hypnotized and awoke at the murder scene, I was proved wrong. Then when Detective Rigsby was also hypnotized I was sure I had it solved. Carl, our opening sequence body deliveryman, was obviously the killer after all and he had put Rigsby under when they were left alone. As it turns out, I was only half right. Eventually we discover that the dead girl's sister planned it all. She killed her sister, hypnotized the assistant, who in turn hypnotized Carl to deliver the body, then she took advantage of Rigsby's kind nature when he was interviewing her and put him under as well. Lucky for us Patrick Jane is the true master and foiled her in the end.

Best moment of the episode


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