The Mentalist – Recap & Review – The Red Box

Photo: CBS

The Mentalist
The Red Box

Original Air Date: Apr 1, 2010.

Liz – Associate Staff Writer

CBI is called to a murder scene at the behest of the home’s moneyed owner, Hopper Banks. They’re greeted by Victor Bandino, an old cop buddy of Rigsby’s who now works in a private security. James Smithson, a tutor for school kids, was found dead in the Banks’ pool house where he lived. After noting some other crime scene details, Jane gets down and examines the body, but spots something else that is of much more interest: a small wooden box under the bed a few feet away. Then Smithson gives a start, eyes open, scaring the daylights out of everyone in the room. It’s an Easter miracle!

Nope, April Fool’s. According to Rigsby he got what’s called Lazarus Syndrome, when he catches a jolt of electricity that restarts the heart. He’s as good as dead, though, he was without oxygen too long. While the paramedics take Smithson out, Jane is poking around on the terrace — there was dirt under Smithson’s fingernails and his hands smelled of rosemary. In a pot of said herb, he finds a hole that would fit the box he found.

Lisbon and Jane speak with the family; at first just Hopper and his wife Jolene, and then to Hopper’s daughter Lainie. Lainie discovered the body when she went for homework help. In the home studio, Rigsby and Bandino are joined by Jane looking at the security tape footage. The only thing they caught was the light changing as a door opened. Jane points out that this killer was someone who knew the cameras and how to avoid them.

Grace had been working on digging up something about Smithson, but there is nothing; Smithson is not his real name. Rigsby protests that Bandino was always careful about his background checks, so Lisbon sends them to talk to him. Then she sends Jane with Cho to talk to some parents of students that Smithson taught because Jane is annoying her. The visit with Bandino wasn’t a total loss, as he tells them that Banks had asked them for an old fashioned handgun for a photo shoot.

Lisbon and Jane go to see Hopper at his gallery, where Lisbon questions him about the gun, and Jane further ingratiates himself with Lainie. When they leave, Jane asks Lisbon to make a turn onto a side street to confirm his suspicions — they’ve been followed. The man who gets out of the car speaks in a southern accent, although Jane is quick to note that it is disguised British. They have been tailed by Inspector Francis Slocombe of Scotland Yard. Honestly, this plot gets better and better.

At CBI, Slocombe begins to shed some light on the case. Smithson’s real name is Oliver Stans, and he stole a ring from the British Museum; a very old ring that was said to be Cleopatra’s wedding ring from Marc Antony. Slocombe has been tracking not only him, but a man named Louis Anglet, who now has the ring. When he is being transferred to an interrogation room, though, he escapes, taking his guard’s gun and leaving him behind.

A phone call from Lisbon confirmed that while Slocombe is from Scotland Yard, he is not working on this case there. He’s gone “off the reservation” and is working within his own means. She sends Grace and Rigsby to check out Slocombe’s hotel room, when Madeline Hightower, the new HBIC arrives. Lisbon is a bit harried, but Madeline seems to take it all in stride. This is going to be fun. I can tell.

At the hotel, Grace finds some very important looking papers in the air vent, while Rigsby takes off his tie trying to convince her to give the bed a spin. Rigsby, I like you, but the case is not going to be closed in your pants. They’re interrupted by the maid before they can get too far. Meanwhile, Madeline gives Lisbon a nice talk, laying down the law: it is her goal to make the CBI the best law enforcement in the state, Patrick Jane is part of that equation, and if he screws up, Lisbon’s head is on the chopping block. To top off her awesomeness, Madeline gets them the search warrant they need to go through Hopper’s house to look for the gun. Is there anything this woman can’t do? While they don’t find a gun, they do find a picture of a colt detective special — the same gun that killed Stans.

At the hospital where Stans is on life support, Jane is waiting for Slocombe — who is Stans’s estranged father. He insists that his son was not a thief, even when Jane points out that it was a deliberate heist. He lets Slocombe go, as he is unarmed and has no reason to keep him there. After, Madeline tells Jane the same thing she told Lisbon.

They interrogate Hopper but don’t hold him. He claims the gun was a prop and even though files on his computer show he knew about the stolen ring and had made calls to Anglet, he denies it all. When CBI finds out Slocombe is tracking Anglet through his cell phone GPS and credit card usage, they stake out the probable meeting place and take both of them into custody. Slocombe is released on the condition that he is on an 8 AM plane back to London, but Anglet does not get away so easily. Jane reveals the ruse of Stans selling him a fake ring and thus provokes him. They let Anglet go, and, as Madeline points out, put Hopper and his family in danger. Of course, this is all part of the plan.

Bandino is trying to make like a tree and leave the Banks estate, when he is stopped by Anglet, who is then in turn stopped by CBI. Bandino had found out that Smithson was not who he said he was, and approached him about getting in on fencing the ring. At the last minute, however, Stans backed out and wanted to return the ring to the museum. So he planted phone and internet evidence on Hopper, and killed Stans.

At the hospital, Slocombe allows his son to be taken off life support and have his organs donated. Jane gives him the real ring to return to the museum, just like his son wanted to. Back at CBI, Madeline pops in on Jane and Lisbon to say that she noticed Rigsby and Grace and their romantic relationship, and is going to Take Action. Lisbon can only be flummoxed, but Jane has to admit: “She’s good.”

I liked this episode a lot. I also like that they’re seeding returning to the Red John story. Jane is always friendly towards children, as I pointed out in my last recap, and seems to give them more sympathy than he gives most adults. So not only did we glimpse this between him and Lainie, but Slocombe full out brought what happened with his family up in the first hospital scene. Again, vengeance was brought to the forefront. They’re getting me all excited for the finale! What about you guys?


About Liz

MFA Candidate in Dramaturgy. Theatre, movie, music geek.
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2 Responses to The Mentalist – Recap & Review – The Red Box

  1. sandra kearns says:

    where is the hopper banks estate? i know most of citrus heights.

  2. Patrick says:

    What a great episode of my favorite show, The Mentalist! Agent Hightower was very interesting addition and might be introducing the idea of the end of Lisbon. Another great article on The Mentalist – The Red Box.

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