The season finale of The Mentalist left us with the abduction of psychic Kristina Frye and Jane himself reeling after his latest encounter with Red John.
In the season premiere ("Red Sky at Night"), meanwhile, little has changed. Months have gone by. Kristina has not been found and it is taking a toll on our favorite fake psychic.
Of course, there is a new case to solve. Peter Russo, a chauffeur, is found shot to death outside of the car he drove for State House lobbyist and lawyer Harvey Dublin. Dublin is famous and well connected. “The evil twins,” as Jane describes it. Dublin is missing. CBI’s new director (Gale Bertram) is already in front of the cameras, proclaiming Dublin a pillar of the community.Director Bertram wants his best people on this case and that includes Jane... but Jane bows out. This case bores him and he needs a break. “I’ll catch the next one," he says.
The Director needs Lisbon to get Jane on board. She finds him alone, “upstairs” at CBI headquarters. Why does CBI have an attic that looks like something out of a horror movie? What type of office building is this?
But back to our story. Lisbon tricks Jane into meeting Peter Russo’s daughter. Jane’s daughter would have been the same age and he calls Lisbon on the tactic: “I just have to say, I didn’t think you would stoop to such crude manipulation.” Now Jane is on board for solving the case, but Lisbon spends the rest of the episode in fear of his revenge.
Jane believes Dublin is dead, although he has no proof and now there is a one million dollar ransom demand. The money is dropped at the specified location but Jane insists no one will show and that the kidnapping is a sham. When no one shows, partially thanks to Jane’s antics, the Director wants to know why Jane thinks Dublin is dead. Jane tells a story about Dublin having a special diamond. That he hid it on his person so that he would never risk going back to the poverty he came from. This story is then leaked to the press.
For most of the episode Rigsby and VanPelt are interviewing hookers on the street, looking for a witness to the murder. They finally track down Sugar. Sugar maces Rigsby in an attempt get away. This gives us a small scene with VanPelt helping Rigsby wash out his eyes. The two are still apart but their feelings for one another obviously haven’t changed. Sugar eventually comes clean that she saw who shot Peter. The same person also shot Dublin in the head and drove away with the body.
Jane revisits the Russo’s daughter to say the murder might not be solved. The daughter asks about the diamond she and her stepfather heard about on the news. Jane says it’s just a rumor that Dublin had one hidden in a false tooth, but it may have nothing to do with the case.
The team stakes out the daughter’s home and follows their suspect. The stepfather is caught digging up Dublin’s body to find the hidden diamond. I love how Jane peeks his head up over the hill, looking like a prairie dog as the others stand with guns drawn.
The stepfather says Russo beat the hell out of him in his own home after hearing that he slapped the daughter during a fight. Humiliated, he plotted his revenge. Killing Dublin and hiding his body was just a way to make Russo’s murder look like a tragic accident.
The case is closed and Lisbon calls Jane on pulling away from her and the team. He tries to deny it, then admits that anyone who gets close to him gets hurt. Lisbon says they’re family and he’s letting Red John win. Jane backs down and offers her a hug. She won’t accept it as he doesn’t really mean it.
I was hoping for more on Red John, but what did you think of the premiere? Is Kristina dead or alive? Visit our section of The Mentalist quotes and sound off now.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.