The Nov. 11 episode of “The Mentalist” was a pretty interesting one, exploring a lot of the work that Patrick Jane has done in the past. Episode 3.8 was titled “Ball of Fire”, and dealt with the kidnapping of Jane. That development forced investigation into all of his older cases in order to find a suspect, but what ended up happening were too many suspects started to develop. Jane had quite a few people from his past cases that would want to do him harm, and it left the team a bit perplexed on which direction they should turn for answers.
From an audience perspective, it seemed that the kidnapping wasn’t related to Jane’s past, as a shooting took place at a fruit stand, and Jane just happened to be in the middle of it. The shooter then went after Jane, at first also seeming like he was just an innocent bystander in the whole event. They were right to look into his past though, as he was definitely targeted in this kidnapping. There was an interesting twist though, that brought back character of Dr. Linus Wagner (played by Zeljko Ivanek from “The Event” and “Heroes”). Wagner had killed people and tried to make it look like Red John in a previous episode. Jane was the one who put him in jail.
It turned out that Wagner had been in contact with the person that had Jane, and he wanted Agent Lisbon to testify at his trial to help him avoid the death penalty. She tried to fight it, but reluctantly agreed to his terms when she realized she had very few options of where to turn. The kidnapper had contacted Wagner after she read a book that Wagner had written, and Lisbon was able to learn her name through that letter. It finally put the team on the right track to figuring out what might have happened to Jane.
While the investigation was getting close, Jane was going through some intense torture that included a cattle prod. The reason that Jane was kidnapped turned out to be that the father of the kidnapper was an insurance company executive that was writing fake policies. When the county auditor figured it out, the man killed the auditor, and Jane was on the case. Jane wrote a fake letter from the daughter in order to draw him out, and thus the rage from the daughter started to make sense to everyone. Her father had died in prison, leading to her wanting to strike back at Jane.
Agent Lisbon was also kidnapped near the end of the episode, and it fell on the team to save them both. They did, and now Jane is safe to put more bad guys behind bars next week.
The next new episode of “The Mentalist” will air on Thursday, Nov. 19, and has Jane working with a local astrologer to try and solve a triple homicide that involves the death of two police officers.