The Mentalist Review: The Ghoul at Sea

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"Red Lacquer Nail Polish" wasn't as much fun as I had hoped it would be. Perhaps my expectations were what left me disappointed.

Investigating an Heiress

The creepy, overgrown mansion had so much potential. Even the security guard seemed freaked out just being there. When Jane slyly told Lisbon, "Ladies first" as they entered the house worthy of a horror movie, I found myself hoping the CBI team would be forced to spend a lot more time there. Unfortunately that didn't happen.  

With the entire body burned to ash, the coroner began explaining how a human being can be turned into a fatty wax candle. When he proclaimed, "Isn't that awful" he had a strange but gleeful smile on his face. Jane was right. The guy was a ghoul. 

The investigation quickly turned to Elise's nephew. Although he wasn't actually guilty of anything, I disliked Curtis the moment he referred to the men and women at the Soldier's Home as mentally unstable war veterans. He didn't seem to care much for the place which made his turn around at the end hard to swallow.

Lissie Calhoun was the obvious red herring all along as we never got to see her. That almost never happens. If they kept talking about her, I knew she had to have some significance, although I didn't guess that she was the actual burned body until the end.

Jane was lucky he didn't set the whole darn boat on fire when he threw that lit flare into the cabin. Then out popped Elise Vogelson, who turned out to be even odder than anticipated. How could someone who dedicated her life and her family's fortune to helping veterans kill a woman who was a nurse in Vietnam as though she was doing her a favor?

From there, Elise out and out mocked Casey at how easy it was to gain her trust and manipulate her. No wonder this strange woman ended up alone for so much of her life. 

With all of its twists and turns, this story never really hooked me. It felt like a bunch of aberrant pieces that never quite fit together. 

Cho's attempts to push Rigsby into moving on from Grace were amusing. He certainly knows his partner as he asked Wayne in this The Mentalist quote

 So have you actually made any dates or are you just hesitating and second guessing yourself like you usually do? | permalink

No, Rigsby made the dates. He just didn't show up for any of them. How funny was it that they all looked like Grace?

I'm assuming it won't be long until we see him make another play for VanPelt, but won't that leave them with the same obstacle? CBI rules state that coworkers can't date one another. Unless they're willing to hide the relationship or have one of them transfer, they'll end up right back where they started.

Another favorite revelation was Jane's love of the sea and Lisbon's inability to see the appeal. Lisbon saw nothing romantic about sailing as she told Jane…

 Stuck on that thing in the middle of the ocean. It's like being in a prison cell with a chance of drowning. | permalink

Perhaps these two should stick to the beach.

With a Red John case looming ahead, what did you think of this serial killer-free episode?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (92 Votes)

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


thanks a lot for the link!!!
I agree with you Absolute.. If it really is the last season then there's sthg quite going wrong here.. because it means 7 epi left, they cant afford to write empty episodes like this one if it is.
sulking as well but ok the next epi looks very interesting and hopefully will make up for this one. (sorry).


@Kate: yes indeed, I'm curious to see what counts more to him: working with the team or his revenge...let's see...:-)


By the way Mimi, I totally agree with you on the fact that it was empty. I remember thinking at a certain point "well, there's really nothing exciting going on in that episode, it looks more like a routine police work documentary"! I have the feeling they're beeing too superficial in the way the tell the stories...even between Jane and Lisbon, it's just little crumbs of nothing they throw at us (and we get all excited about stupid crumbs...)..I want mooore, deep interaction, more real dialogues, not just those little shallow jokes they make at each other like at the end of 5x15 "no, You follow the evidence" hahaha with that little grin on his face...ok ok, yeah, indeed, go, go catch Red John...(making my sulking face lol).


Re: that promo - looks like Lorelei making the moves again and Jane does reiterate to Lisbon that he'll 'do anything' to get Red John so I doubt the kiss means much. It's her way of asserting what she thinks is her hold over Jane to my mind. That said, will Jane tell Lisbon he's seen her and what will he do with the ultimatum? Wriggle out of it no doubt as we know he's with the team in upcoming episodes. Interesting though - which or who means more to him? Or will he do the usual and try to have both?


I loved the episode. I never guessed that the old woman was alive and the bad guy. I hope Van Pelt and Rigsby do get back together. Rigsby is clueless around women. Well acted and writen.Everyone should watch The Mentalist.


Absolute, where did you see the promo???


well I was a bit disappointed with this episode, didn't like it that much, watched the time several times. It was empty, not enough Jane-Lisbon interactions. I really hope the next one will be better.


Aaaaaah I just saw the 5x16 promo and my stomach is upside down: I can't stand that Lorelei Kissing Jane AGAIN!!! She's got to stop that (or at least he should stop her from doing that)! Grrrrr!!! I'm so upset, I think I'd like Lisbon to punish Jane and really decide to not work with him anymore...hoping he'd realise what he's missing...I don't know if I'll be able to watch that episode :-S


I have to disagree, I liked the storyline. At first i thought it was the nephew to, but then it just was too obvious so went with a plot from the nice girl from the boat&nice guy from the home. What I didn't see coming is that she was still alive. From all the cliché's out there this one was well played. I think they will figure something out about the whole dating thing.Don't know what yet but something.

Sue ann

I knew the woman would be alive, not a burned pile of ash, the minute I saw Mariette Hartley listed as a guest star. They do not hire someone of her caliber and renown, and then have her be in one instant of a video. She had to be alive. So it was kind of blown for me, there. It was predictable that the dates would look like Grace. Sad. Rigsby needs to move on. He can do better. Grace is very strange; her acceptance of the manipulations of Brett Stiles and her series of relationships with men who nearly kill her or others makes me doubt her judgment. Really, Rigsby can do better.

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The Mentalist Season 5 Episode 15 Quotes

If you hadn't mentioned the congealed human fat in the lightbulbs I may have had the stomach to stick around and find out. You're a ghoul.


Normally I'd be tempted to mock your superstitions but in this case I'm inclined to agree.