Season 2 - Episode 17: The Red Box

The Mentalist

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Episode 17: The Red Box

The murder of an English tutor unearths a plot to steal a priceless artefact from the British Museum. Meanwhile, new CBI boss Madeleine Hightower arrives at HQ and immediately lays down the law.

Lisbon and the team are called to the home of photographer Hopper Banks when the body of English tutor James Smithson is discovered. Jane examines the body and quickly concludes that the victim was not who he claimed to be. He also spots an empty jewellery box under a sofa. “Whatever was inside this box killed our man,” he announces.

Back at HQ, Van Pelt does some research and learns that Smithson’s papers are indeed false. Jane visits Hopper and his wife at their gallery and sets about ruffling a few feathers. “You’re very attractive but unhappy,” he tells Jolene. “Did you use your sexuality as a weapon against Smithson?” The wily consultant then suggests that Hopper killed the tutor upon discovering that he and Jolene were lovers. “What does it take to get you mad, Hopper?” he asks. “Did Smithson rub your nose in it?”

As Jane and Lisbon head back to base, they notice they are being followed. After a confrontation, the man tailing them reveals himself as Francis Slocombe, a British police inspector from Scotland Yard. Slocombe claims that Smithson –real name Oliver Stans –is wanted for stealing a priceless ring once owned by Cleopatra from the British Museum.

The cop has come to the US in pursuit of Stans and a shady antiques dealer called Louis Anglet, who he suspects bought the item from Stans. “Whoever killed Stans killed him for the ring,” says Jane, holding the jewellery box from the crime scene.

While his story is investigated, Slocombe is placed into custody –but manages to give his guard the slip and escape with a gun. It emerges that the stranger is from Scotland Yard, but is not involved with the museum robbery investigation. Could the errant officer have been in on the crime, only to be double-crossed by Stans? And if so, what is his next move going to be?

It is into this state of confusion that hard-nosed new CBI boss Madeleine Hightower arrives. Having heard about Jane’s conduct at the gallery, she is doubly angry. However, it seems she holds Lisbon responsible for Jane’s behaviour, and intends to make the consultant the centre of a revitalised bureau. “The way I see it, it’s you that’s in the tricky spot,” she tells Lisbon. “If you can’t keep [Jane] in line, we’ll find someone who can!”

The agents make a breakthrough when they learn that Hopper Banks had been in regular contact with Louis Anglet, suggesting they were both involved with the robbery and murder. Both men are arrested, but the slippery Anglet has managed to avoid a number of jail terms in the past, thanks in part to his expensive legal team. Before Anglet is allowed access to his lawyer, Jane confronts him and deliberately feeds him some information.

“I know you didn’t kill Stans, but what you did do is buy Cleopatra’s ring from his killer,” he says. In the absence of any solid evidence, the agents are forced to release Anglet, but not before Jane tells him that the ring he bought was fake –much to Hightower’s chagrin. “You just put Hopper in a great deal of danger,” she barks. “This is exactly the kind of scenario we talked about. Your butt is on the line, Lisbon!” Is this all part of an elaborate ruse by the master manipulator, or has Jane finally made a dreadful mistake?


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