The Mentalist

Season 2 Episode 17

The Red Box

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 01, 2010 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
246 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jane and the team investigate the murder of a tutor and find a mysterious little red box near the body. Meanwhile, Lisbon is worried when Madeleine Hightower takes charge of the CBI.

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  • A plodding plot is enlivened by the introduction of a new ass-kicking character.

    The main plot was written in a very boring way. Even the scenes with the the 12-year old little girl weren't very compelling. All of the supporting cast were annoying, including the security guard, Bandino. And except for Van Pelt and Rigsby who had a couple really funny scenes, it seemed like the regular cast were sleepwalking through their scenes.

    There were some interesting things that came out of the episode though: - The Scotland Yard inspector allows the issue around Jane's vendetta against Red John to be revived. Will Jane be convinced that it will be the wrong move for him to kill Red John when he gets the chance? - Hightower should be an interesting character to watch. Someone whose personality is just as strong as Jane's but in a different way. For those who were confused (spoilers ahead): - Jane lied to Anglet about him having bought a fake ring. Under threat of death, the tutor had given up the real ring to the security guard. Jane uses this lie to catch the security guard and Anglet. Anglet then cuts a deal to avoid jail time by returning the real ring. Anyone think we might see Anglet again in a future episode? There wasn't enough time to really make him all that interesting except for the fact he always gets away. - Hightower's threat to Jane to can Lisbon should Jane fall out of line is real. Jane knows that the best chance he has of catching Red John is to remain a part of the CBI. This has been demonstrated in past episodes.moreless
  • Where did the real ring come from?

    Did I miss something? In the end Jane gave the Scotland Yard guy the real ring ... but where did it come from? We didn't see Jane or any of the detectives actually find it.

    (Unless of course we are supposed to believe the improbable scenario that Jane tricked a seasoned professional thief and dealer of valuable stolen goods like Anglet by lying to him about having bought a fake ring. -Something which wasn't made clear anyway. And we are supposed to believe that Anglet would just take Janes' word for it without testing the authenticity of the ring in his possession before confronting the real murder who sold it to him, that indeed Anglet would not have first tested the authenticity of the ring before he first bought it, before forking out numerous sums of money for it. Anglet did not come across as an amateur.)

    Maybe the snore-fest induced by the introduction of new boss Hightower, caused me to dose through some of the more important plotlines.

    Hightower only servers the purpose of introducing artificial, badly-written, tension into the office environment of the show. When she informed Jane that he was an important asset but Lisbon was dispensable, Jane simply needed to response with, "If Lisbon goes, I go" –and like magic, there disappears this forced, artificial office tension.

    The writers are trying –badly so- to make Hightower appear as a threat to the stability of the team, another obstacle they have to overcome each and every episode in doing their jobs. Yet it doesn't work, as she is simply a toothless tiger, because she is reliant on keeping Jane around. She basically told him that for anything short of murder, he has a free pass. She is therefore powerless, if Jane so wills it.

    She would have greater power, if she threatened to get rid of Jane, stating that regardless of how successful he has been, if he steps out of line in future he would be out, or would be jailed if he broke the law.

    As for Rigsby and Van Pelt ... oh come on. It constantly annoys me that in Television-land as soon as two people fall in love, they can't keep their hands off each other, especially in the workplace, to the point of risking their very careers (even the beautifully crafted "Dexter" had this idiotic cliche last season.) The lovers will 'fight' over who should leave and change their career paths, arguing over whose career is more important and who should sacrifice theirs for the sake of the relationship once it is in the open, and yet then risk getting fired by continuously smooching on the job.

    An side: Hightower has threatened to deal with this as well –Oh the tension, however can I cope? My God what is she going to do to poor Rigsby and Van Pelt?

    Nothing, if Jane won't allow it. More forced, artificial tension by lazy writers.

    Here is some advice for the writers. Please concentrate on constructing a series about a police unit solving extraordinary crimes with the assistance of an extraordinary and talented individual who is able to provide insights beyond the average person, and less on turning this show into a soap-opera. In this regard, the shows "Castle" and "Psych" have "The Mentalist" beat hands down.moreless
  • New character, Hightower, is a complete distraction to a successful series.

    There was nothing special about the crime or the guest cast in this episode. More importantly, I'm not sure what the creative team is trying to accomplish with the addition of the new boss--my guess is that polling showed they needed to add more diversity in the casting. Worst case is that they make the character permanent AND make the role substantial. Best case is that they dump her. Hopefully her role will be very minimal, if they keep her. I think the drama should unfold in the field, not cluttering up the storyline with office politics. When Hightower told Jane that he was important to the case work and Lisbon was dispensable, I thought he's tell her he wouldn't stay on the job under the conditions she, Hightower, had outlined. Unfortunately, the writers didn't give him the needed lines. One of the great features of TiVo is that I'll be able to skip past the Hightower scenes and stay with the plot.moreless
  • madeline hightower joins the cbi team and lets just say shes not easygoing

    this episode was intersing and really good. madeline hightower joins th cbi team as there new boss and let me just say shes not easy going and shes tough, she seems to notice alot its almost like she had eyes in the back of her head. lisbon to me she seems intimidated by hightower but thats my point of view and another thing i noticed is that hightower she seems to have more respect for jane than anyone else on the team just about and im probally wrong when i say this and im most likely not even close but what if red john was a women and what if red john turns out to be madeline hightower i know that sounds crazy probally but that is my opinion even though im most likely wrong. but it just seems she has more respect for jane than the other members of the cbi team but in again i could have a 1% of being rightmoreless
  • The Red Box

    A very slow moving episode of The Mentalist tonight; very slow moving. If this episode was in a race against a snail, the snail would win.

    I watched tonight's episode with my mom who was watching The Mentalist for the first time, and it is safe to say that she probably won't be tuning in next week (she fell asleep during the show.)

    Patrick Jane had a few funny moments, but the story just felt like it could have been told in 3 minutes and the writers were really reaching to make this last for an hour.

    I am still a huge fan of this show and am glad that it's impostor Lie to Me is done, but this was not a great installment.moreless
Kevin Alejandro

Kevin Alejandro

Victor Bandino

Guest Star

Erich Anderson

Erich Anderson

Hopper Banks

Guest Star

Colleen Porch

Colleen Porch

Jolene Banks

Guest Star

Aunjanue Ellis

Aunjanue Ellis

Madeleine Hightower

Recurring Role

John Troy Donovan

John Troy Donovan


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • (Talking about the dead body)

      Victor Bandino: Real fancy résumé, this guy. Graduated from Eton and Oxford. Last employer was some hotshot prep school back East.

      Jane: Meh, I wouldn't be so sure.

      Victor Bandino: Excuse me?

      Jane: The facial scar. Eton boy gets a cut on his head and he needs a plastic surgeon, he gets a plastic surgeon. My guess... the whole résumé is a fairy tale.

      Victor Bandino: Excuse me?

      Jane: You're excused.

      Victor Bandino: I checked him out myself.

      Jane: Well, I'm wrong then.

    • Jane: Whatever was inside this box killed our man.

      Lisbon: Well, the case is practically closed.

      Jane: There's no reason to be snarky.

    • Hightower: Your butt is on the line agent Lisbon.

      Lisbon: (to Jane) What did you do?

      Jane: Paid way too much for overnight delivery.

    • Lisbon: I know, I know. You were making stuff up to get the guy angry so you could get a read on him. Blah, blah, blah. The truth is, you just didn't like the guy.

      Jane: Well, that would be very unprofessional.

    • Lisbon: Jane has unusual methods, but--

      Madeleine Hightower: He closes cases, yes, he does. He's a valuable asset. We cannot afford to lose him. The way I see's you that's in a tricky spot.

      Lisbon: Ma'am?.

      Madeleine Hightower: This bureau has seen some tough times lately. My mission is to turn that around and make the CBI the premier law enforcement agency in this state. Patrick Jane is a huge part of that goal. If you can't keep him in line, we'll find someone who can.

    • Madeleine Hightower: I spoke to Lisbon yesterday.

      Jane: Mm-hmm.

      Madeleine Hightower: Told her how deeply I value your contribution to the bureau.

      Jane: Nice to hear.

      Madeleine Hightower: I told her you're too good to lose to some smart-ass move you might make that turns bad. I told her that if and when it happens, it's her neck.'re golden. You're safe for anything short of murder. You mess up, she's out of here.

    • Jane: Just stop worrying. It's gonna be fine with the new boss. I mean, sure, there'll be a settling in period when she probes your psyche for weakness, but once that's out of the way...

      Lisbon: Would you stop? You're being so childish. I think you're the one who's nervous.

      Jane: Ooh. That sounds perceptive. Let me think about that. (After few seconds) No. I find that I'm not. It's definitely you.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode had 14.11 million viewers when it originally aired.

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: ervená krabika (Red Box)
      Germany: Kleopatras ring (Cleopatra's ring)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: April 1, 2010 on CTV
      Australia: April 26, 2010 on Nine
      United Kingdom: June 11, 2010 on Five
      Sweden: June 22, 2010 on TV3
      Germany: September 12, 2010 on SAT 1
      Czech Republic: November 15, 2010 on TV Nova
      Slovakia: September 6, 2011 on Markiza
      Poland: November 21, 2011 on TVN