The Mentalist

Season 1 Episode 17

Carnelian Inc.

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Mar 24, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
311 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The CBI investigates a written threat when the personnel director of Carnelian Inc. plummets to his death at Jane's feet during a skydiving exercise.

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  • Fine show. Horrible episode.

    Let me state as clearly as I can that the series, itself, stands head and shoulders above most network fare. The Mentalist features a fine ensemble of actors whose characters arrived fully developed and realized with excellent chemistry and interaction. And the storylines have been consistently original and intelligent. Even the secondary storylines have exhibited careful attention to detail and fine craftsmanship. But this episode was gag-worthy. Was it the writers' week off? Because this episode was very unlike them. Rather than being well-crafted, it seems more like they just dipped into the file of "hackneyed murder mystery plots" and slapped it together.

    I think this is at least the third time just this month that a series has used the already overused device of a murderer killing a string of people in order to obscure the true target. It was original when Agatha Christie did it; it isn't anymore. Still, even with that, they could have had some fun with it, thrown in a few twists. But they didn't bother. Heck, they didn't even bother to build a compelling secondary storyline for this episode. No, instead, they played out the cliched plot line in the most cliched way possible. The killer includes himself in the list of targets, but, of course, no one can figure out that that whole sloppy scenario didn't fit with the killer's otherwise meticulous MO. Even the "reveal," where Jane draws the killer out by seeming to arm the killer's own undetonated weapon is about as overused a plot device as there is in television.

    The guest characters themselves were cardboard cliches, not the fully developed and interesting characters this show has done so well this season. Even here, the writers had a chance to surprise but chose to bore. Since, especially in these times, our sympathies would naturally be with the poor former employee and against the "rich and shameless," why not do the unexpected and actually have the unsympathetic rich idiot indeed be an innocent victim? In fact, the only thing surprising about this episode is how long it took everyone--even Jane--to figure it out. I saw it coming a mile away. The Mentalist is better than this. Here's hoping this was just one bad week in an otherwise continuous stream of gems.moreless
  • Very interesting episode.

    It's obvious from the first that only a limited number of people could have done this. They would have to know something about parachutes and more importantly, know exactly where the jumpers would jump in order to give the co-ordinates ahead of time.

    Lee is a very interesting character – he seems like the perfect suspect with all the necessary skills and access to do this. He has strong reasons not to do it – his wife is dying and his children would go into foster care if he goes to jail.

    Lisbon must love pulling that 'consultant' card on people, then she just stands back and lets Jane stir.

    It was a very nice thing to do to give Lee's family the money they were owed. They definitely needed it.

    Fav quote:

    "You want to trust me but something's holding you back." "Yes, you're untrustworthy."moreless
  • Pretty good but more so due to acting/characters and visual appeal than to the plot/writing this time.

    This episode, like some others, really highlights how much Patrick Jane hates murderers and also his sense of justice and desire to 'make things right' where he can. It was more about that aspect of his character than the trickier stuff we see him doing in some epsiodes. There were aspects of the plot that seemed pretty implausible though. And also some pretty predictable parts. But you know, Simon Baker is so enjoyable to watch in this role that even an somewhat implausible somewhat predictable plot is enjoyable to watch with him in it. There was a strong guest appearance as well by Rodney Eastman as Lee Skelling, which also added to the show. It's also visually appealing, like the scene where Jane and Lisbon are walking away from a fruit stand.moreless
  • A summarisation of all the series' best characteristics in a great script, which does justice to the show's reputation.

    Carnelian Inc. is a company comprised of a bunch of cutthroat, heartless executives who don't hesitate even for a second to exploit their employees or fire them. They are the epitomy of selfishness and careerism. While they are on a "company holiday" in a ranch somewhere in the middle of the Mojave desert, they receive a threatening e-mail. The next day one of them is killed in a parachuting accident, which turns out to not to be an accident after all. While the threats continue and none of them knows who is next, Jane and Lisbon focus their investigations on a disgruntled ex-amployee, who was duped by having his invention stolen, never rewarded for it and fired when he complained. He now has to deal with his wife dying of cancer and supporting his family.

    First of all, Jane/Lisbon chemistry takes off in this episode. The trust issues the two of them have are brought to the surface and Jane lifts off his carefree, happy facade for a moment, to show Lisbon he really cares about what she thinks of him. The moment where he looks her in the eye and tells her she can trust him is great, as well as the trust-building fall afterwards! Jane and Lisbon are really bonding and we can discern a little something far away in the horizon.

    Secondly, Jane is the protector of the underdog and the defender of justice once again, refusing to condemn the ex-employee while everyone else doesn't want to look any further. He initiates a personal campaign to reveal the executives' faults, grudges and personal relationships, and doesn't give a damn about their status or their influences. By one of his clever ruses he gets to the bottom of the case, the rich man is convicted and the poor family gets the money and health care they deserve. So once more we get to see the Robin Hood aspect of Jane. Finally the issue of the guilt he feels about his wife's death emerges in the interrogation scene he does with the ex-employee. If he had kept his mouth shut his family would've been fine too, and whatever happens he isn't able to let that go.

    So this episode has everything, cleverness, surprises, humour, drama, adventure, Jane/Lisbon developments and of course, Jane's uncompromising character showing through his behaviour. Justice will be served equally to everyone, because he simply doesn't give a damn to do otherwise!moreless
  • This episode started with a note telling of a greedy executive's death at a planned hour. It is believed to be a hoax but with a man falling out of the sky right on time, they must navigate office politics and effects of corporate greed.moreless

    Perhaps I'm naïve but I didn't see the end coming. The plot was enjoyable because it was really on target with current events. Corporations holding lavish retreats while the common people they short-changed struggle through the day to day. I really enjoyed the trust discussions between Lisbon and Jane too, I think that was the highlight of the episode. Jane understandably has trust issues but he puts up a good face. He suffered through the brutal murder of his family and becomes the cynical jokester that we see to cope. Lisbon as the boss has to take the fall for all of Jane's antics. As frustrating as he is she can't help but laugh. Rigsby and Van Pelt are the main romantic plot line and a lot more straightforward. However I most enjoy Lisbon and Jane's relationship. Whether it ever turns for "romance" or not doesn't really matter because their relationship is simply witty and fascinating.moreless
Myndy Crist

Myndy Crist

Jessie Skelling

Guest Star

Rodney Eastman

Rodney Eastman

Lee Skelling

Guest Star

Patrick Fabian

Patrick Fabian

Randall Faulk

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Carnelian, the name of the company in this episode, is a a pale to deep red or reddish-brown semi-precious gemstone used in jewelry.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Jane: You're very confident of his innocence. How can you be so sure?

      Jessie Skelling: Because I asked him if he did it and he said no, he didn't do it.

      Jane: You suspected he might indeed have done it. But he denied it. You believe him.

      Jessie Skelling: Lee don't lie to me. He'll cause me trouble a hundred which ways, but he don't lie to me.

      Jane: Wives often say that about their husbands. Easy to fool yourself that the people you love are honest.

    • Lisbon: I know. I can read your mind.

      Jane: Oh, you can?

      Lisbon: You're thinking Mr. Skelling is innocent and we should release him. (Calls out to Cho) Cho.

      Jane: That's amazing. That's exactly what I was thinking. How do you do that? Let me try. You're thinking, Jane is right, the man is innocent, we should let him go.

      Lisbon: No. I think you want him to be innocent because his guilt would be too simple. He has a motive, opportunity and no alibi.

      Jane: Yeah.

    • Lisbon: Any word on Skelling?

      Rigsby: Couple potential sightings in the Mount Whitney area. Locals and park services are all over it. We'll get him

      Jane: I doubt it. Skelling's in his element up there. His survivalist fantasy come true. He's gone aground like a grizzly bear.

    • Lisbon: There is an explosive device of some kind under your bed.

      Mr. Faulk: Oh my god.(He starts to get up from his bed.)

      Lisbon: Wait.

      Mr. Faulk: Wait?

      Lisbon: Just let me get a better look. (Looks under the bed) No, I don't think there's a pressure trigger. You can get up now.

      Mr. Faulk: You don't think?

      Lisbon: I'm sure it doesn't. Timer's set to go off in 10 minutes, so we have plenty of time. If you'll just get out of the bed slowly. We don't wanna jar the device in anyway.

      Jane: Boom! (Both Lisbon and Faulk look at him startled.)

      Lisbon: For God's sakes!

      Jane: Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    • Mr. Faulk: You have no legal proof whatsoever.

      Jane: Meh. Legal proof will be found, no doubt, but personally I don't need it. I just like to know that I'm right.

    • (It's dark outside, Jane is driving and Lisbon is sitting next to him with her eyes closed)

      Jane: Talk to me.

      Lisbon: Do I have to?

      Jane: No, I can just fall asleep and we can drift into oncoming traffic. Your call.

      Lisbon: (She opens her eyes and sighs.) Have you seen any good movies lately?

      Jane: No. You?

      Lisbon: No.

      Jane: Interesting.

    • Lisbon: You threw a cat, all right. What valuable insight did you glean as a result?

      Jane: Nothing. It's a little disappointing.

      Lisbon: Well, maybe, just maybe, this case is exactly what it looks like. Bitter unsubs with a grudge against the fat cats.

      Jane: Nice drive though.

      Lisbon: Nice three hour drive.

    • Jane: We should talk to the Carnelian executives again. Throw a cat among the pigeons.

      Lisbon: You think? Why?

      Jane: What if this is not what it looks like it's about. What if it's something else entirely.

      Lisbon: Like?

      Jane: I don't know.

      Lisbon: So you're suggesting we throw a blind cat among the pigeons?

      Jane: Yeah.

      Lisbon: No. (Jane laughs and leaves her office)

    • Jessie Skelling: I can't even look at you people, you make me so mad. Lee's done nothing. Nothing.

      Jane: Jessie, if your husband is innocent then we're your best friends. We'll prove he's innocent. Will you help us?

    • Lisbon: Jessie Skelling?

      Jessie Skelling: No, I'm Cindy Crawford. Jessie's on vacation in Mexico.

    • Mr. Faulk: David would want us to continue.

      Mr. Breamer: Yes, he would. Yes, he would. David would never back down.

      Jane: David wouldn't want you to respectfully acknowledge his tragic and untimely death? Oh, well, okay. He wouldn't want it to interfere with your kayaking schedule.

    • Jane: Wait. I think we should wait.

      Lisbon: What for? What could possibly happen?

      Jane: I have no idea, but it's a pleasant spot, and I have sandwiches.

    • Jane: Where is it?

      Lisbon: Mojave Desert. Middle of nowhere. Quarter of a mile from the highway.

      Jane: Interesting.

      Lisbon: Boring. Three hours away.

      Jane: Desert's beautiful this time of year. Let's all go. We can bring a picnic lunch.

      Lisbon: Someone has to stay and answer the phones. (Van Pelt sits down at her desk, disappointed as everyone else leaves the room.)

    • (A guy is walking around the CBI office with a paper in his hand)

      Cho: He's from the A.G's office. We're catching a hot one.

      Jane: Hooray. I was about to go mad with boredom.

      Van Pelt: Don't say hooray. Someone's died.

      Jane: Well, if they have, my happiness makes no difference to them.

      Van Pelt: Nor does catching their killer for that matter.

      Jane: True, but it makes a difference to the killer.

    • (In the Mojave Desert)

      Jane: Look what I found.

      Lisbon: What is it?

      Jane: It's a worm, fossilized worm.

      Lisbon: I'm happy for you.

      Cho: Alright, this is it. This is the spot.

      Rigsby: 11:04 and change. Right on time.

      Lisbon: For what?

      Cho: There's still 15 seconds to go.

      Jane: You know, when this worm was alive, this whole desert was the floor of a great sea. There were dinosaurs swimming above us.

      Rigsby: That is kind of awesome.

      Jane: Yeah. (Jane throws the worm to Cho)

      Jane: Sharks the size of buses, brilliantly colored sea monsters. Those mountains, they would have been volcanoes. (Cho examines the worm)

      Cho: This is a goat turd about six months old.

    • Jane: Really, you don't trust me?

      Lisbon: Of course not. How many times have you lied to me, misled me, tricked me? Is that trust? No.

      Jane: Well, we have to remedy this. Let's do a trust fall.

      Lisbon: A trust fall?

      Jane: Yeah. I'm sure you did one on your CBI retreat. It's when you turn around and fall backward, and I catch you.

      Lisbon: Oh, yes, we did do that.

      Jane: Mm-hmmm.

      Lisbon: No.

      Jane: You won't?

      Lisbon: We have a long drive still.

      Jane: Ah. Here we have two co-workers recognizing the boundaries of their professional relationship. See, you want to trust me, but there's something holding you back.

      Lisbon: Yes. You're untrustworthy. It's my job not to trust you.

      Jane: Lisbon, I want you to know that you can trust me. No matter what happens, I will be there for you. I will. I need you to know that.

    • Lisbon: What's in the bag?

      Jane: Oh. A picnic lunch.

      Lisbon: What's in the bag?

      Jane: A bomb.

      Lisbon: Ha ha ha. What's in the bag? Seriously.

      Jane: Seriously. A bomb.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode had 17.62 million viewers when it originally aired.

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Carnelian s.r.o. (Carnelian Ltd)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia: April 22, 2009 on Nine
      Belgium: May 20, 2009 on VT4
      Denmark: May 25, 2009 on TV3
      Germany: June 21, 2009 on Sat1
      Croatia: June 24, 2009 on RTL
      United Kingdom: July 16, 2009 on Five
      Sweden: September 8, 2009 on TV3
      Czech Republic: March 22, 2010 on
      TV Nova Slovakia: July 13, 2010 on
      Markiza Poland: March 21, 2011 on TVN