Season 2 - Episode 3: Red Badge

Episode 3: Red Badge

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When a convicted child molester turns up dead near CBI HQ, Lisbon finds herself at the centre of a murder investigation. Though initially insistent that she is not the killer, the agent begins to doubt her own innocence when she realises that she can remember nothing of the night in question.

An anonymous tip-off alerts the agents to a dead body dumped in an alleyway near CBI HQ in Sacramento. The man has been shot three times in the chest at point-blank range. Upon seeing the victim, Lisbon immediately identifies him as William McTeer – a serial child rapist jailed in San Francisco. “And you know this how?” asks Jane. “I’m the one who sent him there,” replies Lisbon. It emerges that Lisbon captured and convicted McTeer while working in San Francisco, where Bosco was her supervisor. The case made her career.

Upon learning that the dead man had a fiancée, Jane and Van Pelt go to question her. She insists that William was innocent of the charges that sent him to prison. “Bill wasn’t who you think,” she says. Just then, the woman’s young daughter, Emily, returns home from school. “I don’t think McTeer touched Emily,” says Patrick. “Because he was still grooming her,” adds Van Pelt. After a little further questioning, it becomes clear that McTeer had not changed his ways since his release from prison.

Back at HQ, Bosco offers his assistance in the case, and points the agents in the direction of Dreyer Whelan, the father of McTeer’s last victim. “Let me know if you need any help – for old time’s sake,” he says. However, Rigsby arrives with some startling news. “We have a problem,” he says. “The AFIS got a print off the gun that killed McTeer.” “And that’s a problem?” asks Cho. “Yeah,” replies Rigsby, turning to face Lisbon. “Boss, the print is yours.” With Lisbon’s involvement in the investigation compromised, Minelli places Bosco in charge.

Lisbon insists that the print on the gun must be a lab error, but fails to provide a convincing alibi for the night of the murder. Bosco then suggests that the agent take a polygraph test – but she refuses. “I didn’t kill McTeer!” she says. “Nobody said you did, yet,” replies Bosco, ominously.

An anxious Lisbon is further distressed when Dreyer Whelan comes in for questioning. After denying any involvement in McTeer’s death, he suddenly turns on Lisbon and accuses her of not arresting the paedophile sooner when she was working his case in San Francisco. “You let him hurt her!” he says of his daughter. “If I’d have arrested him on a hunch, he would have walked,” replies Lisbon. “But Katie wouldn’t have been raped – and that is your fault!” shouts Whelan.

Things look even worse for the troubled agent when she finally agrees to take a polygraph test – and fails. A furious Minelli takes her gun and badge and suspends her from the CBI. Desperate for help, Lisbon finally opens up to her long-suffering therapist, Dr Carmen (Christian Clemenson, ‘Boston Legal’, ‘CSI: Miami’). Confessing that she can remember nothing of the night McTeer died, she begins to doubt her own sanity. “I need to know – is it possible I killed McTeer and blotted it out?” she asks. “How do I unblock my memory?” With nowhere else to turn, a tearful Lisbon goes to the only person she knows who might be able to help her remember. But will Jane be willing to delve into the darker recesses of Lisbon’s mind, and if he is, will he like what he finds?

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