For what is essentially a police procedural The Mentalist sits just a tier above the rest when it comes to dealing with character and emotion. I don't know whether the writers are just better or the show has a stronger concept than something like CSI, but every time I sit down to watch it, I leave feeling a lot more satisfied than I would have had I been watching mindless test tube shaking and super close ups of hair. This week's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" had steep competition on the emotional front after last week the show dealt with the concept of impending death and ultimately suicide. Following the CBI as they investigate the murder of a professional matchmaker, the episode pits smooth talking yet twisted hero Patrick, against a woman that he is certain killed her husband. The episode focusses almost entirely upon the ins and outs of how a woman with a seemingly solid alibi managed to pull off the murder, but with manipulation on both sides of the fight, Patrick ultimately comes out on top. Tricking the killer into turning her accomplice against her wasn't exactly an unexpected turn for the episode, but more often than not the murder mystery isn't really what makes The Mentalist a show worth watching.
Simon Baker is a thoroughly interesting man to watch on TV as it is, but episodes like "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" really give him something to work with. As he tries to crack the case Patrick is forced to confront various feelings about his murdered wife and what it is that he loved about her. Whilst it wasn't overwhelmingly impactful relative to some of the material that The Mentalist has delivered throughout its run, comparative to the mindless forensics filled alternatives, it remains great television.