After several solid character specific episodes, The Mentalist writing staff obviously concluded that they've found a formula that works. This week's "Rhapsody in Red" sees Cho become the focus as the team investigates the murder of a concert violinist. Whilst at the scene of the crime, Cho comes across a young pickpocket who steals his car as part of a gang initiation, a boy not so dissimilar to himself at the same age. This short lived relationship between the two provides us with most of his screen time. As for the murder itself, Patrick does the lion's share of the investigation in his usual way, doing everything from bribing witnesses to spreading false rumors amongst suspects. When the team learns that their victim had recently broken off a relationship with a gang member, they turn to him as suspect number one. After he remains initially elusive they catch up to him before eliminating him as a suspect when Patrick feels that the orchestra is the place to find a killer. The suspects and motives amongst the musicians are numerous; everyone from the conductor to rival violinists fall into CBI's crosshairs, but after the creation of the aforementioned rumor mill, Patrick figures out the truth. A seemingly harmless oboe player who was in love with a rival of the victim used the murder as a chance to help the focus of his obsession. By killing the lead violinist and framing the second in line for the seat for the murder, he had hoped to win affection, but instead finds himself caught. Much like last week's episode, the character driven plot of Cho exists largely outside of the murder investigation, with him being forced to take custody of the young thief when juvenile services cannot get to his case until several days later. Whilst the relationship begins as adversarial, the two form a bond when Cho discovers the reason that the boy was trying to get into a gang; his father is going to jail for a crime that he did not commit and the gang knows the location of his alibi. He then proceeds to find the witness against the wishes of the district attorney and save the man, bringing out his first smile in almost three years of screen time. Like all of the output by The Mentalist of recent weeks, "Rhapsody in Red" was pretty great TV. The murder investigation isn't particularly complicated, but it's never entirely obvious who the killer is going to be. The character pieces take us from one place to another without feeling too cliched or unrealistic. All of it adds up to viewing that never lets up. You won't be stuck to the edge of your seat with excitement, but it'd be difficult not to be entertained to some extent by what is going on.
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