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The Mentalist 5×13 The Red Barn Recap and Review

Written by Alexander Tucker   // 01/28/2013

The Mentalist 5x13 The Red BarnThe Mentalist 5×13 The Red Barn Recap and Review

The Mentalist 5×13, “The Red Barn” Summary: Red John and The Visualize group appear to be linked to a 25 year old case that is being investigated. Meanwhile, Lisbon looks to the future.


The Mentalist 5×13, “The Red Barn” Review: Let me state that I have been a fan of this show from the very beginning and would like nothing better than to see Red John brought to justice. There are many complaints that the story arc has gone on far too long. I expect you have gotten used to the instant gratification of a killer brought to justice in the 60 minutes it takes for other police procedural dramas.  With The Mentalist, we see justice in most episodes, but the long term serial killers, the Red John’s of the world, often go on killing for years before there is ever a lead in the case. This episode probably brought us no closer to closure than the 100+ episodes that have come before it. There are more questions at the end than answers. I was a bit disappointed at the absence of Brett Stiles, even though I knew Malcolm McDowell would not be appearing in this episode; he just makes the cases so much more fun. There were moments when I felt this particular episode missed the mark; especially with the return of Ray Hafner. His interaction with Lisbon and Jane seemed to have little to do with the story or with the arc, except to cast a light on him as a possible suspect in the Red John case; which he was as is every other man who has shaken the hand of Patrick Jane in the past fifteen years, some we have met and others we have not. L did not enjoy this episode as much as the others, except for the very last scene. I have to be honest here, they’ve done better. The Mentalist 5×13, The Red Barn, play-by-play Recap is below.


The Mentalist 5×13, The Red Barn opens with Teresa Lisbon trying the door to Patrick Jane’s loft and finds it locked, once again. She pounds on the door and makes no bones about the fact that she’s tired of being locked out; especially considering the fact that she knows he’s compiling a list of possible suspects in the Red John case. They walk as they are talking, to the pub and the latest crime scene. A body lies on the floor, and Lisbon fires off her usual set of questions about the case. She kneels to examine the man’s corpse; he suddenly grabs her and kisses her, then says “Happy Anniversary.” Rigsby appears with a microphone and smiles as he relates the fact that it’s been ten years since Teresa Lisbon left the police force to join the CBI. Patrick assures her that he had nothing to do with this. Cho says it was all Rigsby’s idea. The “corpse” begins to strip for her, much to Patrick Jane’s delight.

Ray Hafner makes a quick appearance, recalling that Jane almost got him fired and asking Teresa to have lunch with him sometime; then he leaves. The stripper gets a little too close to Lisbon and she heads to the bar for a drink.

As Teresa takes a seat at the bar, Cho tells Jane that they have a cold case; the two head out together rather than interrupt Lisbon and Rigsby.

Police Chief Rick Anaya relates the details; three bodies discovered under the floor of an old barn in a secret basement. The basement is a throwback to prohibition; the farm has been abandoned and the coroner estimates the bodies have been there for twenty-five years. The bones were discovered by some kids who were playing in the barn and discovered a secret trap door in the floor. Among the evidence at the scene, a High School class ring, bullets from a shotgun that probably fell out of the bodies as they decayed, and a 38 caliber pistol. Two of the victims have wire wrapped around their wrists, one does not, the chief points out. Jane suddenly feels depressed and has to go outside for some fresh air. As he allows the sun to warm his face, the side of the Red Barn comes into view, with the familiar signature of Red John painted on the side. Patrick turns as if to go inside, then the image catches his eye.


Back at the CBI offices, Cho and Grace discuss the Red John symbol which is supposed to be fifteen years old and probably painted after the murders. Rigsby enters hung over and asks how everyone else is feeling. Lisbon comes in and thanks him for the party, then says she’ll never forgive him for the stripper. After she leaves the room, Rigsby asks if she really meant never; Cho assures him that she meant it.


Meanwhile, Lisbon compares notes with Jane; a shotgun was never Red John’s weapon of choice and the murders happened ten years before he was active. Jane is not so sure.


Rigsby and Cho run down a lead; one of the bodies was identified as Lester Bradovich; his brother never reported him missing. The brother claims that Lester had always been in trouble, then he joined a group that changed his life. He came and told his father and his brother that he was supposed to cut all of his ties to his former life, including his family. They never heard from him again, but didn’t expect to. He recalls the group, “Vision… No Visualize.” The looks exchanged by Cho and Rigsby lead him to ask if they’ve ever heard of it.

At Visualize, Lisbon and Jane are met by Jason Cooper and told that Brett Stiles had to go out of town. He explains that Visualize used to own a half a dozen farms and Elliston was one of them. There were three men running the farm at the time. Martin Talbot, Allen Charney and Bradovich; all of the farms failed within a year or two. When Visualize didn’t hear anything from Elliston, they went out to check and found the farm abandoned. The church didn’t report the men missing because the police don’t generally investigate when people “leave the church.”


Jane takes Lisbon to Ella’s Diner for the chili, recommended earlier by the police chief. She asks if they are really there for the chili; Jane says they are there to catch a killer. Inside he tells her that the collective memory of the entire town for the past fifty years is in that diner. The waitress comes over and Teresa lets her know they are with The CBI. She immediately asks if it’s about the three dead bodies. Although she doesn’t want to get anyone in trouble, she has no problem indicating the man at the counter who told her about the case. Jane takes a seat next to “the town gossip” and makes the man feel really uncomfortable with his insights, such as the fact that he is the town gossip and an ex-school teacher. He lets them know that there was a farmer bitching about the Visualize group at Elliston Farm. When the Chief of Police enters and says to put the CBI check on his tab; Jane notices the ex-school teacher cringe. The man lets Jane know that the chief is the law.


Teresa heads out for a real lunch with Ray Hafner who offers her a job at a much better pay grade. He paints a dull picture for Teresa once the Red John case is closed and Patrick Jane has no more use for the CBI. Then all she has left are the regular cases, low pay, and Rigsby to look forward too.


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Meanwhile, Cho and Rigsby head out to question Tom Crayhew about his problems with the men who ran Elliston Farm. He comes out with a shotgun, fully believing they are the IRS. He’s lucky that he didn’t get himself shot; these days the police don’t tell you more than once to put the gun down, as Cho and Rigsby did in the episode. Word to the wise, do not try this at home!


Crayhew remembers the “clowns from visualize” and ID’s the one who had the revolver, although he doesn’t know the caliber of the gun. He claims that the farm diverted his water supply and tortured the livestock; he says the old vet is retired, but she was concerned over the abuse. He claims the torture was satanic in nature.

Lisbon and Jane head to the home of Dr. Ellen Preston and meet with her daughter Holly, now a dog walker. Her mother contracted Alzheimer’s about 8 years ago and can’t answer any questions. Holly claims she was too young to be interested in the farm and the trips her mother made there; she was a teenager and interested in boys. Patrick points out the awards she won at the time and says she couldn’t have been too interested in boys, but lets that drop as a line of questioning. She claims that her mother’s concern was that the farm was failing; farmers often take that out on the livestock.


Father Peter D’Bono shows up at the CBI offices to give Grace a statement; he was a member of Visualize and ran the farm before Bradovich took over. He claims that he was a stupid kid when he bought into the Visualize mumbo jumbo; Grace is uncharacteristically offended. She thinks that Brett Stiles has a lot to offer with his teachings. I was a bit surprised; I would expect Grace to know better by now after spending all this time with Patrick Jane. Anyway, the Father tells Grace that Bradovich was giving the workers drugs to keep them working round the clock; probably speed.


Patrick catches the priest as he is leaving and shows him the photograph of Red John’s signature symbol. He remembers the symbol being there the last time he visited the farm; Talbot said it was painted by some kid who worked on the farm. Jane learns that Talbot was in his fifties, which makes anyone in their thirties or younger a “kid.” He also learns that the priest never went back; he claims the place had an evil feel to it.


Teresa and Jane question the Chief of Police and eventually determine that he was the one dealing drugs to the farm. He says that Bradovich immediately needed more than he could supply so he turned the guy on to some heavy hitters from Stockton.

When Teresa follows up on the names, she learns that two are dead and one is on death row in Texas. She asks for Jane’s advice; should she buy a plane ticket? Jane says she could but he believes that if everyone they have questioned will show up at Ella’s Diner in the morning, he can unmask the killer. Teresa asks why they are going to the diner; Jane says “For the coffee, of course.”


Ray Hafner enters Lisbon’s office and notices the case board, then asks her how the case is going. He mention’s Cooper, a name that isn’t on the board and she picks up on it right away. She suddenly pegs him as a Visualize member, which he can’t deny. He says that he doesn’t believe Brett Stiles is a God or anything, but that he’s learned a lot. Then she asks if they are financing his new business and learns that they aren’t his only supporter. That doesn’t sit too well with her, especially in light of the current case and the possibility that Red John has ties to Visualize.


Meanwhile, Jane goes to the break room and cuts a lemon, then squeezes the juice into a coffee cup. He grabs a piece of paper and uses the lemon juice to trace an invisible Red John smiley face in the center.


Teresa enters Ella’s Diner and asks Jane for some of the coffee. A long table is seated with all of the people who have given their statements in the cold case. Jane says the coffee is only for the suspects and sets the pot down on the paper in the middle of the table. When he lifts the pot, Dr. Preston immediately recoils and starts to cry. Jane insists she’s the prime suspect until Holly confesses that it was her. She is taken to the station for her full confession. The problem is that she only confesses to killing Bradovich. She was defending her mother as Bradovich looked as if he would kill her. Dr. Preston and her daughter took the body into the basement where the other two bodies were already dead. Holly says that she felt as if someone was watching them.


Ray Hafner approaches Lisbon at her desk, thoroughly upset that she has gotten Holly Preston’s sentence reduced. She asks if he was ever sent to work on Elliston Farm. Hafner gives a non-committal answer.


Teresa heads to Jane’s door and asks if he’s ever going to let her in again: “Are we partners or what?” Jane responds with “Come in, partner.” The walls are covered with clippings and every scrap of evidence from the Red John case files. Lisbon tells Jane that Visualize refuses to give up a list of names either of those who were members or of those who worked at the Visualize farms. Patrick tells her that he was able to recall the names of every person he shook hands with for the past fifteen years. After eliminating women, and the men who were merely brief encounters, he has 408 names. Elliston Farm will exclude a bunch of names. Teresa asks him to tell her some of the names.


The Mentalist Amanda Righetti

For those of you who have not yet heard, Amanda Righetti gave birth to a baby boy, Knox Addison Alan on Thursday, January 10th, 2013; pictured at right, courtesy of Amanda Righetti and Husband Jordan Alan.




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