The Mentalist

Season 1 Episode 20

Red Sauce

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 28, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
329 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jane and the CBI set out to determine who is responsible for the Mob-style execution of a man in the Witness Protection Program.

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  • Disappointing episode

    The point of this series is that Jane has such extraordinary abilities he could indeed be believed to be a psychic, something he had been doing in his past, to his own detriment. But at no point are we the audience supposed to believe that he is in fact psychic. Like Spencer in Psych (who actually pretends to be psychic), he is just a very gifted man. Yet, it seems that the writers are falling into the trap of showing Jane's extraordinary skills, by giving him actual psychic abilities. The trick of Jane accurately 'guessing' all Lisbon's gifts, for example, should have been just that – a trick – or due to Jane possessing observation and deduction skills like that of Sherlock Holmes.

    The writers should have shown us that this was not real psychic ability, but a trick, by showing us how Jane did it. (Why is it that none of the other characters ask Jane to explain how he was able to do it?) Instead the writers want us to believe it wasn't real paranormal ability on Jane's part, by having him lay back in his seat with a condescending smile on his face after he does his 'thing.'

    Which begs the question, how often could someone do something like this in an office environment before his colleagues get so sick of it, they stop indulging him by refusing to be his ready-made audience?

    Similarly, how was it that Jane was certain beyond all doubt that Gina was the murderer, that then all he required was an elaborate ploy to trick her into confessing? This certainty came across as paranormal psychic ability, as the writers again didn't show us how he came to this conclusion. How did Jane work it out?

    Then came the garnering of the confession itself. This actually sunk the episode to an all time low. Jane's ploy, far from making him look clever, as was the writers' intention, only served to highlight the reverse, that he has no business in a real murder investigation. Any self-respecting defense attorney, with only a modicum of intelligence, could very very easily put forward the premise, at Gin's trial, that she had no option but to confess to something she didn't do –thereby ensuring police protection- rather than allow herself to be killed by a mob hitman who was approaching her door. And get the confession thrown out of court

    Jane's stunt was akin to a police officer holding a gun to a perp's head and saying, "confess to this crime, or die." A confession under duress, under threat of life, is no confession at all.moreless
  • This is the first episode I hated. When the boy said "screw the cops" And Jane said "Thats like saying screw the public transport system". I kept thinking "When is the last time a bus driver tasered a 90lb girl?moreless

    They manage to wipe their butts on the constitution just a bit too much. Jane is smart about what he knows, but he really showed how little he knows about certain things. Like history or law. He acts like he simply doesn't understand why law enforcement can't terrorize citizens to their hearts content. When do cops interview minors without a legal guardian? thats just so very wrong. And the last straw were the bikers. They go to pick up Tiny when he is sitting with his fellow bikers. Supposedly 1% types. Ok, so they tackle Tiny and scare off his brothers by saying they will call a parole officer? It wouldn't go like that. Those people have a better code of loyalty then that. Every one of those guys would have helped Tiny whatever the cost. Its brotherhood first, fear second to those people. We all know it. This show was just callous and wrong in showing people of certain walks of life and I resent it. Stick to Red John and leave things you know nothing about like the mob, witness protection and the outlaw clubs out of the story or do some research.moreless
  • Patrick Jane's character is strong and solid, and manages to shine brightly through the scripts of each episode, reaching above the humoristic, light surface to reveal a tragic aspect of his personality.moreless

    The team investigates the murder of a local man, who turns out to be an ex-mobster currently on the witness protection program. After eliminating his ex-boss, the mobster Soni Battaglia, as a suspect, in what must be the most entertaining sequence in the whole episode (Jane impressing the mobster, winning his confidence and then completely pissing him off, two guns pointed at him practically the whole time), the victim's relationship with one of the US Marshals who protected him is revealed, and his wife turns out to be the killer.

    A good, solid Mentalist episode, with Jane ahead of schedule as always, setting up one of his fearful tete-a-tetes with the killer, playing with her emotions and her mind, and finally putting her in such a state of distress and confusion that she has to confess. As with the previous episode, Jane's tactics may seem cruel, but I believe they are an indication of his complete intolerance for murder. However sympathetic the murderer may be, Jane employs every means possible to catch them, not sparing their feelings at all, because he believes they forfeited that right when they committed the murder. On the other hand, a subtle self-destructive streak is revealed in his own personality, in the scene in the golf course. He very nearly got himself killed by the mobster's bodyguards, yet he continued to ask questions. Jane is on a lonely, relentless mission, sparing not even his own feelings or personal security in the process. He will stop at nothing to catch a murderer, and that says a lot about the guilt he still feels for his family's death. Putting himself in danger and solving the cases is his way to atone for that. Subtly but surely we understand with each case that there is more to Jane than meets the eye, and not all of it is pleasant.moreless
  • jane gets the better of 2 US marhalls and a gangster

    This episode had quite a few different players that Jane had to decode and manipulate. The US marshals appeared to be hiding something. The gangster needed to be questioned in a very unconventional manner. And a confession needed to be elicited in the absence of any real physical evidence. Jane, in top form this week, did some impressive machinations that led to the confession. In the process we got to see him as the great illusionist setting up a very effective trick, but making it appear all the while as though he is just playing. he thinks so many steps ahead of everyone. This show is about him. it is him. He is the show. And he does it well!moreless
  • Good episode.

    CBS is really irritating me with their scheduling. They constantly have blocks of repeats, one new episode and then more repeats. It's hard to believe The Mentalist has already reached its 21st episode. The show that many wrote off from the beginning has become the best-performing new series this year, and one of the most entertaining shows on television period.

    This was another great installment of the show and really proved why The Mentalist is successful. It's light-hearted nature appeals to a wide audience, but they can have some really serious and intense moments, like the stand-off between Grace, Cho and Lisbon with the woman and Jane tricking her into a confession.

    Good episode and let's hope we get something regarding Red John during the season finale.moreless
Dan Lauria

Dan Lauria

Santino "Sonny" Battaglia

Guest Star

Jack Kehler

Jack Kehler

Playland Owner

Guest Star

Chris J. Nelson

Chris J. Nelson


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When Lisbon, Van Pelt and Cho arrive at Jenny Didrikson's house and get out of the car, you can see that only Lisbon's badge is clipped on her belt. However, in the next scene when they decide to go into the house she's wearing her gun and holster on her right hip.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Jane: I'm not saying you knew about the affair, I'm just saying that if you did, you'd be our prime suspect. Funny when your best defense is your apparent lack of the most basic detective skills.

      Marshal Exley: You little son of a bitch.

      Cho: Easy.

      Jane: I'm sorry. I'm just thinking aloud. No offense.

      Marshal Exley: Yeah, right. No offense.

      Jane: None taken.

    • (Talking about the whereabouts of a mafioso Sonny Battaglia)

      Jane: Palm Desert right here in California?

      Lisbon: No.

      Jane: Palm Desert's not in California?

      Lisbon: No, you can't sneak off and talk to Sonny Battaglia.

      Jane: Oh, I thought you meant Palm Desert wasn't in California. It is in California, right?

    • Jane: Thanks for your time, Mr. Battaglia. See you later.

      Sonny Battaglia: Hey, wait a minute. I'm not finished talking with you yet.

      Jane: I'm finished talking with you.

      Sonny Battaglia: What are you, Al Pacino all of a sudden? People don't act that way with me.

      Jane: I do when there's witnesses around.

      Sonny Battaglia: What are we gonna do with this guy? He's got a screw loose.

      Jane: You think you have a certain charm about you, and you do, but you live by oppression. In reality you're just a greedy, twisted little sadist.

      Sonny Battaglia: Hey, screw you blondie. You're lucky you helped me beat Arnold Palmer here or I'd plug you right now. To hell with the witnesses. (Jane just waves at him)

    • Lisbon: What did you learn?

      Jane: She's scared. She's of Italian descent. She bites her nails. She doesn't like pets or pineapple.

      Lisbon: Useful stuff.

    • Kid: Yeah, screw the cops.

      Jane: Even for a midget villain like yourself, that's an untenable position. Every modern society has some kind of police force. It's like saying, screw the public transport system.

    • Rigsby: Teenagers. I hate questioning teenagers. It's like talking to mud.

      Jane: You need some love in your heart.

      Rigsby: Oh, is that my problem.

      Jane: Yeah, it is.

    • Lisbon: Any money go missing lately?

      Playland owner: Nope. And I keep tabs, trust me.

      Jane: And why should we trust you?

      Playland owner: It's just a phrase, like "you know".

      Jane: What do I know?

      Playland owner: No. You don't know anything I'm saying it's just a thing to say.

      Jane: Oh, it's a figure of speech.

      Playland owner: Right.

      Jane: So we shouldn't trust you, really.

      Playland owner: Yeah. No, you should.

    • (Jane has guessed what Rigsby and Van Pelt got Lisbon for her birthday)

      Cho: Okay, two for two. How about mine?

      Jane: Cho. (Cho hands Lisbon a present and Jane covers his eyes.)

      Lisbon That's sweet, thank you.

      Jane: I got it.

      Lisbon: Okay. (Opens the present) Okay, what is it?

      Jane: It's a mid- to high- end bottle of... wine-- aah, no, no, no. Champagne.

      Lisbon: Yes.

      Jane: Yup, there I go. (whispering to Cho.) Re-gift?

      Cho: It's a really good bottle. I don't drink it.

    • Jane: Do I detect a slight residue of grumpiness in you demeanor?

      Lisbon: No.

      Jane: I swear to you, Lisbon, your gift is on its way.

      Lisbon: I am not grumpy and I don't give a damn about your supposed gift.

      Jane: (To Rigsby.) She's still grumpy with me, isn't she?

      Rigsby: Not touching that.

    • (It's Lisbon's birthday and everyone else has given her a gift except Jane.)

      Van Pelt: Where's your gift?

      Jane: Oh, it's on its way. (Rigsby laughs.)

      Lisbon: Typical.

      Jane: You really think that I would forget your birthday present? (Lisbon nods) It's on its way.

      Lisbon: Yeah, right.

      Jane: Little grumpy because daddy didn't buy you a pony?

    • Jane: Look at it this way. We've closed yet another case.

      Lisbon: Toying with mafia bosses is no way to close cases, it's stupid.

      Jane: Meh. You just trying to find fault. And I know why.

      Lisbon: Oh, really?

      Jane: You're still a little grumpy about the birthday present thing.

      Lisbon: Will you leave that alone?

      Jane: Unbelievable. You've got no reason to be grumpy anymore. (He puts a red bow on Lisbon's office door. She opens the door and finds a pony standing in her office. Lisbon smiles and is lost for words.)

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode had 17.11 million viewers when it originally aired.

    • Lisbon's birthday takes place during this episode.

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Nitky ke zločinu (Threads to the Crime)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia: May 13, 2009 on Nine
      Germany: July 12, 2009 on SAT 1
      United Kingdom: August 6, 2009 on Five
      Belgium: September 23, 2009 on VT4
      Sweden: September 29, 2009 on TV3
      Czech Republic: April 12, 2010 on TV Nova
      Slovakia: August 3, 2010 on Markiza
      Poland: April 11, 2011 on TVN


    • In the golf course scene, Sonny Battaglia asks Jane if he knows what consistency is. Jane replies, "The hobgoblin of little minds."

      This is an allusion to Ralph Waldo Emerson's The Essay on Self-Reliance. The entire quote is, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."