"So Long and Thanks for all the Red Snapper" is Ashley Gable's final episode as a writer for The Mentalist, and she does go out on a high. This episode was good on first viewing, and even better on second!
We have Jane being his playful self, especially noticable as he's hunting crabs in the cold opening; Lisbon having to do some thinking in seeing her old fiance and what's become of him compared to her; Rigsby in a delightful surprise actually enjoying being a father and becoming less inept as a result of that; Van Pelt trying to give relationship advice (hmm...); and Cho stealing the episode.
The Cho/Summer parts were no doubt the high point of the episode, and the greatest source of drama whereas the rest of the case was light-hearted. This episode puts Summer's active, fun side in a new perspective, which while different makes a lot of sense. Her impulsive behavior has been a central point in every episode she's been in and that includes last weeks dog adventure and now it becomes clear what is really going on. It's sad to see her go and I hope we'll see her again somewhere down the line, but for now I think this was a great resolution to her and Cho's arc.
Jane hunting for treasure was another delight, albeit as said more funny than dramatic. His listening to the old man in the bar and wanting to ride with the truck was all in good heart before what inevitably is coming in the penultimate episode next week. Not to mention we got to see some nice outdoor scenery.
The police officer (Brett Rice) innocently acting out on his minority complex was another nice touch. The subtelty of his bursts of "revenge" made me smile everytime.
Oh, and I didn't guess the killer. Always a delight!
Ashley Gable, you will be missed. You gave us one of the best episodes ever in "His Red Right Hand" and THE greatest Lisbon episodes in "Red Badge" and "Red Hot". "So Long and Thanks for all the Red Snapper" is no decline in quality, but a solid stand-alone mirroring that of your first. So long and thanks for all the episodes! :)