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The Mentalist 5×12 Little Red Corvette, Recap and Review

Written by Alexander Tucker   // 01/14/2013

The MentalistThe Mentalist 5×12 Little Red Corvette, Recap and Review


The Mentalist 5×12, Little Red Corvette is probably one of the most satisfying episodes of the season for me. I have watched as Tommy Volker twisted Teresa Lisbon inside out and I wanted to see her face off against him again. I love the way Lisbon is learning from Patrick Jane, and how protective he is of her. Teresa has now had a taste of what Jane has been feeling, in his pursuit of Red John, all of these years. I think this is a turning point in their relationship. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the episode because there was also a child involved.


Two Months Ago:

A little boy races a radio controlled car around the floor of a warehouse. When he hears voices, the boy grabs the car and hides. He watches as two men drag in a third. The man begs for his life. Tommy Volker says “What’re you waiting for?” then watches as one man wraps a cord around his neck and strangles him. Volker’s name is heard, even though he is out of the boy’s view. Volker leaves the two killers to get rid of the body, and they hide it in a container with round double doors. As the men start to leave, the remote controlled car makes a noise. They discover the boy. One man is left with the cord in his hand, and instructions to take care of the witness.


The CBI team investigates the homicide in an abandoned warehouse that has been boarded up for about two months. The victim is a male in his thirties. Patrick Jane asks if anyone else has been in the warehouse as he spots a dusty little red corvette. The victim is identified as Horatio Jones, a name that both Lisbon and Jane recognize. For Lisbon it is the clue she needs to go after Tommy Volker; Jones disappeared two months ago, when he was supposed to testify against his boss.


Rigsby informs Teresa that there is tissue under the victim’s fingernails. The DNA won’t turn up Volker, however. He never gets his hands dirty. She suspects that one of the killers was Charles Milk, he was found dead a week ago. In the meantime, Patrick is sure there was a nine or ten year old boy in the warehouse at the time of the murder. The car is new, and no self-respecting child would have left it behind. Lisbon says she wishes she had Volker’s DNA; Patrick says to ask him for it. He thinks he has nothing to hide, so he’ll probably say yes. She heads over to see Volker and tells Jane to follow up on the fictitious boy.


When Teresa confronts Volker, he says he never met Horatio Jones. He has thousands of employees and couldn’t meet all of them. When Teresa says that he was supposed to testify against Volker before a grand jury, Tommy says he’s heard of the man but never met him. She brings up the others who have been murdered but Volker maintains that he doesn’t know about them either. He willingly gives up a DNA sample.


Jane puts Van Pelt on a search for missing children and turns up twelve children. He has her narrow her search to boys aged 9-10, and gets five. Then he asks for those with a single parent in low income neighborhoods and ends up with two. Patrick asks for the one who lives closest to the warehouse turns up Marvin Pettigrew. I love how quickly Patrick Jane narrows things down.


Teresa confers with Jane about Tommy Volker. The case files were sealed when the charges were dropped. She is sure there is enough evidence to convict him. Patrick tells her to get some dirt on the assistant district attorney. He means for her to blackmail Ardiles. That leads Lisbon to talk to Brenda Shettrick, media relations for the bureau. They have butted heads in the past, but Teresa promises that she’ll owe Brenda a favor. Brenda warns Lisbon that she is swimming in murky water. Once armed, Teresa speaks with Oscar Ardiles, and all she has to do is say three little words to have him promising her the sealed files in an hour.


In the meantime, Patrick meets with Marvin’s mother. She says her son went missing 61 days ago and starts to cry when Patrick shows her the little red corvette. It was a birthday present. Marvin passed the warehouse every day on his way home from school, she told him never to go in there. She asks if her son is dead. Jane says he doesn’t know.


The team learns that Jones had a college friend who visited him in Brazil. After Cho questions her and she is released, Annabelle heads straight to Tommy Volker. In his office she is clearly terrified. He says he hates liabilities, and Annabelle is a liability, but he likes her. She swears that she erased a voicemail from Jones and if Tommy lets her go, he’ll never see or hear from her again.


Teresa Lisbon is burning the midnight oil when Patrick comes into her office. She says that Amanda Shaw was her witness; she promised to protect her and the Volker had her killed. Patrick looks at the files and starts reading one she has finished with.


Cho informs Lisbon that Annabelle Sugalski left the country. Rigsby has the results of the DNA from the ME; it was Charles Milk, but there was a hair that doesn’t match Milk, or Volker. The hair probably belongs to the other killer, but there’s no match in the database.


Cho and Lisbon head over to VNX Energy to search for some evidence against Tommy Volker. In the meantime, Jane finds Volker reading to some young children. He introduces himself and says he wanted to meet Volker before his arrest. Volker says there is no chance he will be arrested and turns to leave. Patrick grabs his arm and assures him that he will be. He notices that one man stands out and call in a description to Rigsby who is in the SUV outside. Rigsby photographs the suspect.


Lisbon heads over to see Judge Davis and insists on a warrant to search VNX Energy, but the judge says there isn’t enough evidence. When Lisbon calls Jane, he says she is just calling to ask him what he would do; she knows what he would do. Teresa turns and heads back through the door. She makes the judge believe that she has a transcript from a co-worker of Jones that she can have to Davis in the morning. That is enough to get the judge to sign. Unfortunately, when the CBI team enters the VNX offices again, they are completely empty.


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Rigsby’s photographs turn up the name Donald Clyde. He has no family except a brother in prison, John Clyde.


The team receives a surprise visit from Tommy Volker as they discuss the case. He says he is looking for Agent Lisbon. He tells Teresa that he has come to tell her to drop the investigation. Teresa tells Cho to show Volker out.


Tommy Volker says that he just doesn’t want her team to look foolish, but Patrick refutes his claim. “You want us to think you’re gloating, but you’re not; you’re afraid. We were close, searching your offices, you want us to think that you’ve won, but you’re afraid of us; and you should be.” Lisbon seems to admire Patrick for making the speech.


Teresa contends that while she is sure Don Clyde helped to kill Horatio Jones; she doesn’t have anything to bring him in on. Patrick says to bring him in and fake the leverage, so she sends Cho and Rigsby to get the man. Under questioning from Teresa, he doesn’t crack. Then Patrick takes his shot and talks about Marvin Pettigrew. Clyde says that he would never kill a child. Patrick surmises that Clyde gave the boy to someone he trusts to take care of him, someone who wouldn’t believe him if he talked. He asks Clyde where the boy is. Donald Clyde says “If I talk, I’m a dead man.” He says he’s not saying another word. Teresa and Patrick discuss letting him go; they have nothing to hold him on. If they let him go, he will lead them straight to the boy.


Teresa issues orders: Rigsby is to drop Clyde off a half hour from his apartment; Cho is to tail the man and see where he goes. No one is to know Clyde was brought in; they have to make sure Volker doesn’t find out before they find the boy.


Things don’t go according to plan. As Cho and Rigsby watch, Clyde calls a cab with his cell phone. Moments later, Clyde’s phone rings and it is Tommy Volker. He asks how Teresa is and Clyde lies to him. Volker hates liars. “You’re a dead man.” Clyde drops his phone and walks out into the road, right in front of a bus. His death is instantaneous, and unexpected.


In Tommy Volker’s office, he hangs up the phone and asks if there’s anything else. Brenda Shettrick is holding an envelope. “Please don’t make me do this…” she begs. Tommy snatches the envelope from her and sees the missing poster for Marvin Pettigrew. Once he knows who it is, he asks where he is. Brenda swears she doesn’t know.


I have to say that I knew all along that Brenda was dirty; I hated her character from the first time I saw her, but I never expected this, even from her. It would serve her right if Tommy Volker had her killed; she deserves it for playing both sides. If she had told him about the boy first, Don Clyde would have lived longer at least.


Rigsby tells Lisbon that the last call on Don Clyde’s phone came from Tommy Volker’s office. Teresa tells her team that someone is feeding Volker information. They have come up with a list of contacts for Don Clyde and she splits it among the team members. The clock is ticking. Jane narrows it down to a single woman with no children; one who may want kids but hasn’t had a chance. Don Clyde’s sister-in-law is the most likely candidate. There’s only one problem; Lisbon says that if they’ve found her, Volker has too.


Tommy Volker pulls up in front of a home with another man in his car. He gives the guy a gun and the missing poster. The man asks what he’s supposed to do with that. “Sorry, no kids; I never killed a kid, I’m not starting now.” He gets out of the car even though Volker threatens to bury him. Tommy Volker has no choice; he picks up the gun and goes in himself.


No one is home; Volker spots a picture of Marvin holding a skateboard and starts wrecking the house in his rage. Then he spots a flyer for the Redlands Zoo and heads there. Minutes later Rigsby and Cho find the apartment in disarray. Cho calls Lisbon and tells her there are signs of a struggle. Before she gives up, however, Rigsby spots the flyer. He shows it to Cho and tell Lisbon that Marvin is at the Zoo on a school field trip.


Volker heads through the zoo with the missing poster; he stops children and turns them around to see if one is Marvin. He even starts calling Marvin’s name. He finally finds the boy alone and says he will take him to his mother. Marvin says that Anita said his mother was dead. Volker grabs the boy and starts to drag him away. Marvin keeps screaming and slips out of Volker’s grasp when a woman shouts to let him go. Marvin runs as Volker raises his gun, but Teresa shoots him in the shoulder before he can pull the trigger. She takes Volker down as Jane runs ahead to find Marvin. Local policemen arrive to provide back-up as Lisbon makes her arrest of Tommy Volker.


Mrs. Pettigrew is doing dishes in her kitchen when Patrick Jane pulls up in front of her home. She hears a knock on the door and when she opens it, Marvin runs into her arms. I hope there is a witness protection program in their future; because I don’t think Tommy Volker’s reach will be shortened by a jail sentence.


The Mentalist airs on CBS, Sunday nights at 10:/9: Central. You can catch up on past episodes of The Mentalist at


For those of you who are wondering, Amanda Righetti (Grace Van Pelt) is reportedly due in January of 2013. I haven’t seen any reports yet, but I am watching for the news of her first child, due any time now.


Follow Faye Constantino on her blog or e-mail her at


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