The Mentalist's Aunjanue Ellis: The New Boss Is Fascinated with Patrick Jane

The latest person to fall under Patrick Jane's spell on The Mentalist is Jane's new boss, Special Agent Madeline Hightower.

"She's really fascinated by him," Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Hightower, tells us. "She respects him, and I think there's an element of her she sees in him. She's a strategist and she's able to, with a lot of fluidity, handle a wild card like Patrick [Simon Baker] and at the same time deal with the incredible bureaucracy that comes with having a job like that."

But make no mistake: Hightower, who makes her debut Thursday, is no pushover. She means business, says executive producer Bruno Heller.

"Hightower is brought in from the Fresno office to fix all the damage that's been done because Minelli [Gregory Itzin] left," Heller says. "Since that point they haven't had anyone in charge of the overall CBI and they need someone to work politically with the powers that be and someone to bring a bit more discipline to the unit. Agent Hightower is ex-Secret Service; she's very sharp, very smart, very political and cunning in a bureaucratic way. But the main thing is, she's got a wit about her that is a great match for Jane - not as an adversary but as a boss."

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