Let Patrick Jane read between the lines, and concentrate on the bigger picture: the new season of The Mentalist returns on Friday 22 February, 9pm on Channel 5.
A young intern at California’s state capitol is found dead at the bottom of a ravine. Evidence places the woman’s stepbrother in the frame for murder, but Jane suspects that the crime was politically motivated. Elsewhere, Jane offers Bosco some words of warning about Red John.
Lisbon and the team are called to Sacramento when the body of Kristen Marley, a young aide to state senator Melinda Batson, is found at the bottom of a ravine. The agents quickly rule out suicide owing to the absence of one of the girl’s shoes. “Why would she walk to the middle of a bridge with one shoe on?” asks Lisbon. “She must have been carried,” adds Van Pelt. “She didn’t kill herself – she was murdered.”
With rumours abounding that Kristen was having an affair with the senator’s husband, Elliot, Lisbon and Jane head to the state capitol to do some digging. The senator points the agents in the direction of Kristen’s stepmother, who called the office on several occasions in the days before she went missing. She and Elliot also deny the affair, insisting they are very much in love. “That’s hard to believe,” says Jane. “There’s nothing going on between you right now – sexually.” As the pair head back to HQ, they are approached by Minelli and Walter Crew – father of Senator Batson and once an influential legislator. “If you have any problems, just let me know,” says Crew. “I can still knock heads!” The agents make a breakthrough when they discover that Kristen’s stepbrother, Harlan McAdoo (Josh Stewart, ‘Dirt’, ‘Criminal Minds’), was recently arrested on a carjacking charge.
Harlan told the police he was with Kristen at the time of the crime, but she refused to support his alibi. While Harlan is brought to the station for questioning, Rigsby and Cho check the boot of his car for evidence. Sure enough, they find Kristen’s missing shoe and Harlan is arrested for murder. However, Jane is not convinced that Harlan is guilty and starts his own investigation. Without Lisbon’s knowledge, he visits Walter Crew at home. “How long were you sleeping with Kristen Marley before she was killed?” he asks. Jane goes on to explain that he thinks political blackmail could have been the motive for her murder, but Crew remains calm and denies the accusation.
Back at HQ, Minelli is confused as to why Harlan has not yet been arraigned. “I want this off my desk. Get McAdoo to the DA tonight!” he spits. “I’ll have the real killer here in 12 hours or so,” insists Jane. Does the maverick consultant have real reason to doubt Harlan’s guilt, or is he allowing himself to be swept up in a political conspiracy theory? Elsewhere this week, Jane spots Agent Bosco with a file and is convinced he has new evidence on the Red John case. “You need to understand something,” he says. “Red John does not make mistakes – he doesn’t leave clues. If you have new evidence it’s because he wants you to have it.” “Have you ever seen a crack addict when they’re begging for a hit?” asks Bosco, sarcastically. “You’ve got that same look in your eye...”