The Mentalist Review: The Cancer Lottery

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Despite its serious storyline, tonight's The Mentalist was a lot of fun. "Ruddy Cheeks" had the CBI team investigating the murder of a terminally ill man. The question quickly became: why any one would bother to kill an individual who only had about a month to live?

One of the things I liked the most about this episode was Jane's interaction with Liesl. Where Jane can come off cold and manipulative toward adults, he's much more open with kids and teens. Granted, the girl was a good source of information but Jane obviously had a bond with Liesl from the beginning. Just when Jane's conman ways can become too much, I'm reminded that he lost a child.

Ruddy Cheeks Scene

Speaking of children, Wayne looked wildly uncomfortable in the elevator with the crying baby. It worried me that that was an omen of things to come but then his brush with death had him taking a different point of view. His conversation with Grace while looking at the sonogram of his soon to be born child was very touching.

One small issue, though: has this been the quickest pregnancy in TV history? It felt like Sarah only announced her pregnancy a few weeks ago. Oh, wait. She did - and now she's going to have a baby any day. Where has the time gone?

Of course, Wayne's close call only came about because of Cho. I was thrilled to see him and Summer together, but I had hoped she'd step up and get him some help. Since she's siphoning off his pills for her own personal use, that doesn't look like it's going to happen.

Cho came close to asking for help twice. The first time took place when he tried to apologize to Rigsby but Wayne was so happy to be alive that he didn't see it. Then when Cho walked into Lisbon's office, I have to believe his plan was to tell her the truth but he chickened out. 

Kimball Cho believes he can handle this type of thing on his own. The problem is that he's most likely wrong. Addiction is a powerful thing and I'm worried about where he'll end up by the end of the season.

Back to the murder investigation: it was scary to see how many people were looking to take advantage of a man with cancer. Most under the guise of helping him live. The nurse was taking gifts to get people into the drug trial. The kooky medicine man was claiming to harness the power of the sun by using stinky tea. Worst of all, Braddock's new wife pretended to have cancer to get close to him and win the cancer lottery when he died. That's damn cold. Talk about a long-term con.

One of my favorite scenes was when Brother Joseph went to hug Lisbon and Jane. I don't think he could have found two more devout non-huggers if he tried.

I loved how gleeful Lisbon was to charge the wife with fraud. That girl's got a vindictive streak and I believe Patrick Jane appreciates it.

As a matter of fact, Jane and Lisbon had quite the partner vibe throughout the episode. There's a trust and camaraderie between these two that has really grown this season and it's fun to watch, even when the underlying subject matter is as dark as cancer.

My only complaint was that I really wanted more tigers. They're such beautiful animals that I was hoping they'd have more of a role in the story. But who didn't laugh when Jane ran ahead of Lisbon and told her he didn't need to be able to outrun a tiger, he simply had to outrun her. 

What do you think of the Lisbon/Jane vibe? And will Cho's pill popping lead to seriously trouble? Thanks to college basketball we'll have a few weeks until the next new episode, so there's plenty of time to talk about The Mentalist.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (76 Votes)

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


I think about if the tension between Jane or Lisbon has the potential to get sexual or not, everybody has their own opinion... at this moment, both might be too occupied to think about something like that- Lisbon sacrifices her personal life for the job (and yes, I'm 100% sure that she has no ongoing contact with Mashburn), Jane is still traumatized from his loss. The kiss with Flynn was merely some kind of experiment, I'm certain there was no way he would have let that go further than it did.
At the moment, Lisbon and Jane draw comfort from each other in a strictly non-romantic way, but I definitely see a chemistry that could easily go both ways. There's no way to predict what the writer's gonna do, no need to act on anything at the moment, but the potential is a point of strong tension that is fascinating- why not play with it on occasion. This season, they are just great buddies, but that can easily change in the future - we'll see.


@Uncle Jackass
Who is your favorite dynamic duo? Two months ago, did a new show come out or what?


Cho/Summer is going to blow up something bad.
Watching Jane with kids/teens is always a delight. The first conversation between Jane and Liesl when Jane asks if she knows who killed her dad and she says if she knew they wouldn't be breathing and Jane says you don't want to go down that path-that was good.


The Jane-Lisbon interaction is fascinating. Clearly there is no sexual attraction going on here, strange as that is, given their maxed out good looks. Lisbon is more like a big sister looking out for her frustrating but lovable little brother. She probably played that role with her 3 "near feral" brothers after their mom died and dad became an abusive drunk. Lisbon was shown having an obviously enjoyable one night stand with Walter Mashburn quite a few episodes back, so I'd guess that is an ongoing relationship not mentioned in the episodes. No need for sex with Jane, and as for him, he is still too traumatized by his wife's death (8-9 years ago!) to move on, however close he came with Erica. I don't see a Jane-Lisbon ride into the sunset here, at least not at this point.


Jane, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting and entertaining TV detectives ever. What an adorable fiend! He (Jane/ Simon Baker) carries the weight of the series and he carries it well. But I feel that the CBI team should step their game and actually detect "something" every once in a while(they're helpless without him). Also, although I think Jane and Lisbon have great chemistry (bet they'll eventually become an item at the end of the series) I'd like to see him interact a bit more with other team members, specially van pelt.


I'm worried about Cho and Summer. Just when you think the perfect match is made, the drug dynamic gets in there. She likes him enough to stay, maybe, but they appear to be in a co-dependent as well as romantic relationship. The foreshadowing for this is unreal.


Jane can be adorable. The chemistry between Baker and Tunney is incredible, but would wish to see Jane with Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt. It's boring to see Lisbon with his team, makes you want to change channels.


I love the Jane/Lisbon-interaction, I could watch them banter for hours and hours. I love how she is often worried about him, too. They are really close this season. I loved the episode, and I always enjoy the breaks from the RJ-storyline as much as I enjoy the big arc itself.
Jane was in top-form here, and I liked how he dealt with Liesl, too: in moments like this, we see that he is basically a good guy...and that always gives me solace.

Uncle jackass

So close from becoming my newest favourite dynamic duo. It was only two months too late.

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The Mentalist Season 4 Episode 18 Quotes

Who wears hemp other than rich men and medieval peasants?


Don't fret. Rich dead men don't go unclaimed for very long.