The Mentalist

Season 1 Episode 17

Carnelian Inc.

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Mar 24, 2009 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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314 votes
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.

    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.
  • A brilliantly crafted episode, that surmises why the characters of this series work so beautifully together. "Lets take a picnic".

    This episode is a shining example of why the Mentalist is a great series to watch. The rest of the team follow the evidence, forensics and clue's and Jane quitely sits backs and pieces it all together nudging the team along in the right direction. All the team have to go on is a tip off that a murder is going to happen and a grid reference in the desert. "I hear the desert is Beautiful this time of year." and "Lets take a picnic". "Trust issues" are explored, and more witty sparing between Jane and Agent Lisbon further develops their characters. Jane finally pieces the puzzle together, and packages it up with a nice bow, to leave the audience content. A well written episode! Thanks
  • Simply fantastic!

    The Mentalist continues to show everyone why it is this season's only breakout hit. I just want to clarify one thing here, this episode was amazingly awesome! One of the most well written episodes of this aging season. Carnelian, Inc. would probably lie within my top five favorite episodes.

    The writer did a very nice job revealing the killer's identity, which came as a shock to me, as I first suspected the ranch-hand who's bullets were used to kill the second victim (the true target of the Killer). So, as I stated previously this fantasticly well written episode, and one of my favorites.
  • A parachuting accident leads to a 50 billion dollar company being investigated.

    Patrick Jane had some really funny "Janeisms" this week such as going boom when the man was getting up from the bed with a bomb under it, but this really felt like a filler episode to me. You could easily tell who the bad guy was, as CBS is known for targeting the rich and powerful as the villains on their cop shows.

    The ending with the true bomb creator being forced to disable the device was also just done on a Season 3 episode of Psych, a show that has its "similarities", to put it mildly, to The Mentalist.