TheMentalist – Season 3, Episode 8 – “Ball of Fire”aired Thursday, November 11th. Patrick Jane found himself in a precarious position. He was buying the CBI team fruit at a fruit stand to alleviate the boredom that had set into the office due to lack of cases. A gunman entered the fruit stand, killed the employee and kidnapped Jane. Jane did manage to get a phone call off to the CBI team prior to his kidnapping. The CBI team jumps into immediate action to find Jane by figuring out who would want to harm him.
It was interesting as a viewer to show the deep concern Lisbon had for Jane along with the rest of the CBI team. Lisbon does not want Jane’s kidnapping publicized in fear the kidnapper would kill Jane immediately but is over-ruled by their boss. While Lisbon is dealing with trying to keep Jane’s abduction out of the news, Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt sift through the many cases that Jane has been involved and discover a plethora of individuals who may want to harm him.
Lisbon is given a tip by a prisoner concerning Jane’s abductor and discovers she talked to the woman at the fruit stand. The CBI team tracks down the abductor’s home but Jane is not there. Lisbon takes off by herself, which was totally out of character considering the grave situation, to go back to the office to look at more leads. While driving back she is contacted by the abductor, who is using Jane’s phone, and told to follow her instructions or Jane would die in fifteen minutes. As a viewer, Lisbon should never have followed the instructions without somehow getting a message to her team. A second abduction was inevitable. Lisbon ends up getting abducted by the same crazy woman and is taken to the house where Jane is being held.
Throughout the program, Jane is tortured by the abductor with a cattle prod. Jane presents himself to be scared, timid and yet very conniving. He buys time throughout his torture by complaining about the kidnappers dead partner who she had shot and left dead at the bottom of the stairs.
The CBI team figures out where Jane is and ends up saving the day just as the kidnapper is going to shoot both Jane and Lisbon.
The program placed a new twist on Jane’s ability to deal with people. His normal funny crazy antics where not seen until the very end of the program when he fakes killing Lisbon to buy more time with the kidnapper. The story line was different than normal and a good addition to The Mentalist’s line-up of shows.