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The Mentalist Review: A Family Reunion with Firepower

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"Where in the World is Carmine O'Brien" gave us the murder of a police chief, which quickly turned into a Lisbon family reunion. Of course, this get-together took place while all parties either had weapons drawn or their hands in the air but hey, family's family.

Poor Teresa. She was so terrified that her brother was going to screw up and get himself hurt or killed that she couldn't even admit to the possibility that he might be good at his new profession.

The best scene of the night was watching Jane give Annie pick pocket lessons. It was both sweet and funny. Jane's always so much fun to watch interact with kids.

Lisbon and Brother

Then Jane almost blatantly called Teresa on her judgmental attitude toward her brother but she was too worked up to even notice.

I was a little disappointed that Jane and Lisbon interacted so little in this episode. I thought her issues with her brother would have been the perfect excuse for Jane to weasel his way into her personal life. Or at least for him to push their friendship and point out that her concern about Tommy's new profession had to do with being hurt that he hadn't told her about it or fear of him being injured. But we barely got any of Jane's insights. Instead he ran around without Lisbon as he tried to expose the killer.

Even at the end, when brother and sister made up and Teresa was left close to tears, I expected Jane to walk in and at least offer her a spot of tea. Instead we got a fade to black and it felt like a real missed opportunity between these two characters.

On the up side, I loved when Jane quipped "Nicely done Lisbon, family" as brother, sister, and niece all worked together to take down our murderer.

Moving on to the rest of our CBI crew... it was nice to see Grace looking more stable - and with better hair. Jane was the only one to pick up on her need to feel in control by taking the sleazy Russian down. It turned out to be a little bit of Jane-approved therapy for Grace. 

Loved Van Pelt and Rigsby's conversation about love. Rigsby was hesitant to even use the word when it came to his new girlfriend, Sarah, and Grace admitted that given her recent history, she'd be the last person to ask for advice. For once these old lovers acted like real friends.

Oh, poor Cho! I couldn't believe it when he got hit by that car. Tommy certainly didn't come off like the brightest guy in the world when he called over to ask if Cho was okay. The man was lying on the pavement, moaning after getting smacked by a moving vehicle. I'm pretty sure the answer to that question was no.

Due to his accident we barely got any screen time with Cho, which is always a let down. As for the Cho deadpan line of the night, we were only given one option as he hobbled over to his desk:

Rigsby: Doctor say what the problem is?
Cho: Yeah. Getting hit by a car. | permalink

Even with minimal scenes, Cho manages to be delightful.

On a side note I have to give a special mention to the actress who played Jori Kasser. Her brief moment as the mother of a missing drug addict was heartbreaking. Her concern for her son coupled with the fear that he may have had something to do with the murder was more moving than I expected.

The murderer's "I had to kill them because Daddy didn't pay me enough" defense was pretty lame but I liked how Patrick figured out he was a coke addict. But Patrick's assurances to Lisbon about her brother being safe flew out the window when the killer held the gone to his head. Oops. I don't think Jane saw that one coming.

Overall, this was an entertaining episode that fell a little short for me. Were my hopes too high for this family reunion? Let me know what you think.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (57 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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This show was especially interesting because we are finally getting to meet Lisbon's famlly. I expect this to be a warmup for later dramatic events. There is no way they are going to introduce a character like Annie and not continue with her. She and Jane should be great foils for each other. Loved that Jane was teaching her to pickpocket! Great to see a teenager being played as smart and sassy instead of petulant and unreasonable and clueless. The scene where Jane set things up in that cabin was so darned cute! He walks in carrying so much stuff he carries a half-eaten sandwich in his mouth! Hilarious! Simon Baker is great at subtle humor. Watching these early-season shows I see a lot of plot-setup going on that should make this season memorable.

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I thought the show was typical for this time of the season. They saved their best for ratings time. And I like learning about the main characters' back story or non-professional issues. My problem is that I usually find Lisbon's character more convincing than I did in this episode. Of course that could be the writing. How many times can she stand there silent and dumbfounded? I liked learning about hte brother but I feel like we are just skimming the surface on everything--the case, Lisbon's brother and that backstory, Cho being hit by car. The only thing that got plenty of attention was the Rigsby/VP relationship. Maybe too much is going on for the writers to deal with it sufficiently?
My other problem is THERE ISN'T ENOUGH CHO on screen. Let's see, he was hit by a car then he walks into the CBI offices with a cane. That is it??? No funny banter with Jane? No peeved-looking Cho in the hospital? And the accident seemed to contrived--Cho, with all his experience, calls the "perp" by name from across a busy street? unbelievable. Great acting though. The pain of standing was so visible on his face at the end.
Someone suggested that a great arch is coming for Cho, and I hope so, but from what I have seen, it will be a spike . . . not an arch since he has only been on screen to give punch lines (he does get the best ones).
I miss the Cho-Jane banter. BRING BACK THE BROMANCE!!

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My usual enjoyment of this series was greatly lesssened by the very dark and glooming filming, as if all the action took place at nighttime with no lamplight available. Was this a problem with my TV reception, or were you also bothered by the barely recognizable images? I always look forward to The Mentalist - it's one of the most entertaining.

Sue-ann

@ Lee If that is directed at me, I watch because I like the stories, usually. I find most of the characters to be flawed in ways which annoy me personally, as I am an old woman, and have run into people like some of these characters. They are nowhere near as much fun to know as you find them to watch. Cho, I like, because he says the funniest things, and the actor is very good indeed. The character is the most honest cop, but he does not preach the way Lisbon does. I get very, very tired of that. She treats Jane like he is another of her "feral little brothers she essentially raised", and she never validates what are his honest, clearly-expressed feelings of rage and his desire for revenge against Red John. Rigsby is very, very handsome, and he is good at arson investigations, and he has every right to be in love with a woman who is not good enough for him. But he is not all that smart. I feel sorry for him, but he makes me tired. He needs a keeper. Grace has had disastrous relationship after disastrous relationship. She lights up like a Christmas tree whenever anyone pays any attention to her, and she gives her heart away too easily. She apparently lacks the ability to discriminate between handsome criminals, and men worth having. She runs around like she is in heat. She also makes me tired. I had a cousin like that. It gets embarrassing. Jane treats people with no respect whatsoever, and he runs around and amuses himself like a child. That in itself does not bother me, but he sometimes treats his co-workers and his supposed friends like toys, and I do not relate to that. His character is portrayed (I believe) exactly as I described him -- a person a few removes from joining the human race. Why should I feel any more for him than for any alien? Generally, the murders are very interesting on this program, the on-going Red John controversy gives me something to think about, and there is far less of the romance the other two principal romance/detection programs feature. Castle is very, very well-done, and reminds me of the best of the movies of the Thirties and Forties. Bones has jumped the shark as far as I am concerned. I cannot watch Castle seven nights a week, so I watch The Mentalist. OK, Lee?

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I thought this was one of the best episodes so far. The rating is a little weird here. Almost all of your episode get 4,5 or 5 stars- just this great one does not? I like all characters but it's good that some episodes focus on one of the characters other than Jane from tiem to time (also Baker was due to direct the next episode and that was why he probably hadn't much screentime as he had to prepare himself).
I can't believe I read stuff like "Cho is the only reason I like".
Why do you watch if you hate everything but a character who almost gets no screentime anyway?

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@Nixenkind, I agree there wasn't enough of Jane!
@student of trivia, Wasn't looking at it that way... totaly true... I didn't like this episode much. Cho getting hurt. Rigsby's way of talking about his girlfriend and Grace asks about his girlfriend! God! No!... Lisbon's family issues! boring!lame!

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I liked Lisbon's brother and niece but why wasn't Jane involved more. Even as just her friend it would have been better to have him poke and prod her more to try and see her brother's point of view. Romantic or not, Jane and Lisbon care about one another and I wish we'd see more of that on the show.

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I really liked the Lisbon family interactions, it was interesting and it's always fun to get more background to a character. Though, most of the episode was fairly bland compared to what it usually is which was something of a letdown. Always enjoy Jane's scheming and Annie was fun, also liked Grace getting to show more of her need for control after everything with her fiancé. She needs to deal with those issues and Jane sees that even if his methods -as usual- are quite unorthodox. My heart died a little in horror when Cho was struck by that car and I was very disappointed at the lack of him throughout the episode, would have liked some Jane/Cho interaction since those two are hilarious together. Still, he shone like always in every second he was on screen and it hurt to see his usually stony facade cracking from pain and emotions. Well done, Tim Kang! I can't wait to see where this will lead, it seems like a great setup for future issues for Kimball so maybe we'll finally get some more Cho-centric eps. *fingers crossed* All in all, a fairly okay episode but nothing overly amazing. Except for Cho, of course. ;)

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Are all policeman and women families that messed up? It seems that each time a member of our protagonists' family shows up, they're a bunch of misfits or cons. There was Rigsby's father, Jane's brother-in-law, Cho's parents who he accused of not letting him free which led to his being in a gang, and apparently there is some dirt in Grace's past which will eventually be revealed. Enough already, suffice it to know they had family.This episode was pretty lame, uninteresting, banal even. Lets get back to some murders shall we, after all this is what this show is about, a mentalist solving crime in his own disfunctional but amusing way. More jane, less morass, or is Mr. Baker getting tired.

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I enjoyed meeting some of Lisbon's family. I loved how Jane taught Annie how to pick pockets. Jane was really clever to plant evidence and to figure out who did the crimes. I'm glad Grace seemed to be more in control this episode. Riggsby and her should at least be friends. I thought it was an excellent episode.

The Mentalist Season 4 Episode 6 Quotes

Rigsby's a nice easy mark if you want to keep practicing.

Jane

Lisbon: Taking your 13 year old daughter along as backup is professional?
Tommy: She's 14.

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