Episode 20: Red All Over
Jane crosses swords with the leader of a sinister cult while investigating the murder of the heir to a media corporation. Lisbon’s life is put in danger when a member of the cult plants a bomb in the victim’s family home.
Xander Harrington is about to become CEO of his family business, Harrington Media, when he is stabbed in the neck and dies. Jane arrives on the scene and begins probing Xander’s father, Alex, for clues. Alex Harrington reveals that his son staged a coup to replace him as CEO, but insists he held no grudges. “Xander proved he could lead. I’ve never been prouder of him,” he says.
The agents talk to the other members of the Harrington family, including Alex’s new wife, Tara, and her young daughter Ashley. Rigsby and Van Pelt question Xander’s brother, Ed, who denies killing his sibling, despite being overlooked in the family business.
The case then spins in a new direction when Xander’s widow tells Jane that her husband’s newspaper had been investigating a sinister organisation called Visualize. “It’s more like a cult. It’s brainwashing with a sideline in tax fraud,” she explains. Xander had received threats from Visualize, whose members wanted to stop him printing stories about them. Jane and Cho visit the headquarters of Visualize, but are denied access to its leader, Bret Stiles (Malcolm McDowell).
Back at the Harrington mansion, Alex receives an anonymous text message warning him that he has three minutes until a bomb detonates in the house. While the family evacuates, Lisbon calls Jane in the hope that he can deduce the whereabouts of the bomb over the phone. “I need your help finding a bomb!” Lisbon cries. She successfully locates the device, only to discover little Ashley hiding under the sofa. Unable to prise the girl free and rush her to safety, Lisbon pulls the wires out of the bomb and defuses it at the last moment.
Van Pelt discovers that the text message was sent from the phone of Elizabeth Stanfeld, PA to Xander Harington’s wife. A search of Stanfeld’s apartment yields evidence that she is a member of the Visualize cult. Armed with this information, Jane and Libson call on Bret Stiles and demand answers. The cult leader opts instead to needle Jane about his history with Red John. “Losing a wife and a child like that makes a man reckless, untethered – fills him with anger and shame he cannot express,” Stiles says. “We can help you.” “Let’s be honest, we both know what you are – you’re a con man,” Jane replies.
Stiles eventually supplies Elizabeth Stanfeld’s whereabouts. Rigsby and Van Pelt catch her in a compromising position with Ed Harrington at his apartment. The hapless Ed realises he was being used by Stanfeld, who has been thoroughly brainwashed by the Visualize cult. “Just because you’ve stopped my work doesn’t mean others won’t follow in my path!” she says. “Oh, Lizzie, you are bat-nuts crazy,” Jane tells her.
Unable to prove Bret Stiles’s complicity in the bombing attempt, Jane returns to the Harrington mansion in a bid to unmask Xander’s killer. Taking a leaf out of Bret Stiles’s book of manipulation, he hatches an outrageous scheme to lure the culprit into the open – by revealing that Ashley witnessed the murder. Will this ploy succeed, or has Jane simply put a young girl in harm’s way?