CBS’ People’s Choice Award-winning series, “The Mentalist” has entered into its second season. Now airing on Thursdays at 10pm, “The Mentalist” continues to explore the unorthodox relationship between fictional California Bureau of Investigations squad members and Patrick Jane, an independent contractor whose razor sharp powers of observation help him solve cases.
In the climactic Season 1 finale, Patrick Jane saved Agent Lisbon’s life. Season 2 picks up with Agent Lisbon’s boss, Minelli, telling her that she and her team are too close to the Red John case. Agent Lisbon argues that they have been following Red John for months and it’s their case, but Minelli insists on reassigning the Red John case to straight-shooter Sam Bosco.
Unhappy that Agent Lisbon’s team has been taken off the Red John case, Patrick Jane tries to offer his assistance to Sam Bosco in return for being kept in the loop of the Red John investigation. Sam Bosco likens Patrick Jane’s skills to parlor tricks, tells him he has no use for him and will tell him nothing about the case.
Patrick Jane threatens to quit, but is then drawn into a murder/embezzlement case with Agent Lisbon’s team. Agent Lisbon tries to uphold procedure and protocol, telling her team that they’ve become sloppy and careless, but they don’t take her admonition to heart. They believe they still need Patrick Jane’s help and try to convince Agent Lisbon of this fact. In the end, Patrick Jane’s assistance nets them a solved case despite his less-than-stellar adherence to the rules. Agent Lisbon is forced to admit that she needs him on her team.
In episode 2, the tension between Sam Bosco and Patrick Jane increases as Jane is caught trying to change Bosco’s computer access code and raid his office for information. Sam Bosco now likens Patrick Jane to a crack addict missing his next fix -on the Red John case- and tells him to get out of his sight. Patrick Jane has no intention of dropping the Red John case.
Patrick Jane spends time helping Agent Lisbon’s team find the killer of a senator’s aide, but keeps coming back to his desire to solve the Red John case. The ending of episode 2 sets the scene for more sparks between Sam Bosco and Patrick Jane, and the possibility of Jane getting himself into deep trouble. It also sews the seeds of tension between Sam Bosco and Agent Lisbon.
Simon Baker continues to portray Patrick Jane as a charming, somewhat manipulative rogue. His relationship with Agent Lisbon (Robin Tunney) still has its ups and downs as Agent Lisbon is alternately grateful for and infuriated by Jane’s antics. Supporting cast members, Tim Kang (Kimball Cho), Amanda Righetti (Grace Van Pelt) and Owain Yeoman (Wayne Rigsby) do a nice job of supporting and questioning Patrick Jane throughout the shows. Rigsby and Cho are particularly entertaining when they chafe each other about their prowess with women, or lack their of. After Cho asks Rigsby when he’s going to “man up” and ask Van Pelt out on a date, and Rigsby fails miserably, Cho walks away muttering, “You’re going to die alone.”
The show continues to be entertaining, and Patrick Jane’s clever method of solving crimes is intriguing if sometimes a bit farfetched. The chemistry between the characters is solid and there are conflicts looming which should create plenty of fireworks. Simon Baker is the core of the series and the popularity of the show is due, in great part, to his success in portraying Patrick Jane as annoying yet loveable. It will be interesting to see how this season unfolds. Will relationships between the squad’s members change? Will Patrick Jane be able to keep it together if he is denied access to the Red John case? Will Sam Bosco make Patrick Jane’s life miserable? Will Agent Lisbon be able to keep Patrick Jane and her team out of trouble? Do Agent Lisbon and Sam Bosco have a history? Stay tuned for more engaging episodes to find the answers to these questions and more.