The Mentalist

Season 3 Episode 5

The Red Ponies

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Oct 21, 2010 on CBS

Episode Recap

Cho tolerates Rigsby entertaining himself by throwing cards on the night shift. Jane teaches Rigsby a card trick. They get a call.

Contra Mesa, Cali.

There's a man in an alley who's been beaten to death. They found a napkin with "forgive me" written on it -- and a diamond ring. Jane declares he's a jockey.

Rigbsy and Cho go to the restaurant from the napkin. The bartender remembers him and says he was there last night looking for his ex-girlfriend Delinda. He tried to leave the ring, but the bartender wouldn't take it.

The victim is William Sutton, a jockey who rides for Cob Holwell.

Lisbon and Jane go to the track. They meet a girl named Sam Starks, an apprentice for Holwell. She thinks the horse Bill was going to ride, Castor's Folly, is upset over his death.

They go talk to Holwell, who says Bill would have won his race. He'd worked for Holwell three weeks but known him for years.

Jane wanders around the track and runs into an ex-jockey named Ellis Barnes trying to give a guy tips on an upcoming race. He calls Bill a "lowdown cheat." Jane bets Barnes he can pick first, second and third place in the next race.

Cho and Rigsby go to Delinda's apartment. A woman bringing her laundry back sees them and runs. After they're gone, Delinda opens her door.

At the track, Jane watches video screens of races, studying.

As they're taking the woman into the SUV, Delinda comes down to ask what's going on. They realize they've got the wrong woman.

After the race, Jane meets with Barnes to collect his $500 bet. He tells Lisbon to insist they leave.

Back at the office, Delinda tells Cho and Rigsby that Bill didn't trust banks and kept all his money in a safe. He was suspended from horse racing two years ago. There was a horse pile-up in a race and they blamed him. She says it was hard for him and he had problems with his temper.

The day Bill got the job with Holwell they went out to celebrate, but got in a fender bender. The other driver came after him and Bill ended up hurting the guy badly and breaking bones. She bailed after that. Bill tried to talk to her after, but she wouldn't.

Cho shows her the note and ring. She says she should have stayed.

Rigsby starts looking into ER visits around the time of the accident to find the driver. Van Pelt reports that Bill's apartment safe is empty - $20,000 missing.

Jane notices Bill's horse is racing in a big race Saturday and wants to go talk to the apprentice.

Back at the stables, Lisbon and Jane come up on a suit named Frank Lockhart getting run out of the stables by Holwell. Lockhart recognizes Jane as "that cop who knows about horses."

Lockhart says Bill wasn't a good jockey and Sam the girl isn't either. Holwell says his horse will win Sunday. They hear a horse rearing up and find Sam struggling to control a horse named Pollock's Dream -- Capser's rowdy twin.

Holwell controls her and tells Jane again he's sure they'll win. He keeps Pollock even though he won't let anyone ride him. Jane does a little horse whispering.

Grace calls to tells Jane that one of the jockeys injured in the pile-up blamed on Bill was Barnes, the guy Jane won money off.

Lisbon talks to Sam Starks. She says Bill was the closest thing to a family she had. Jane joins and asks what she's afraid of. She claims she's fine.

Sam leaves and Jane says he has a guess what Sam's afraid of, but isn't telling.

Cho and Rigsby visit Phil, the other driver from the car accident. He's a big dude with new rims on his car -- and his jaw is still wired shut. He says Bill visited him at the hospital and made amends and gave him $18,000, saying he wanted to start living his life better. They believe him.

At night at the stable, Barnes grabs Sam and warns her off riding for Holwell. Jane comes out and tells him to back off, then Lisbon arrests him.

At the office, Lisbon talks to Barnes, who claims he was just giving friendly advice. Cho comes in, saying he's with the California Racing Board, saying Barnes giving racing tips is a violation of ethics but he'll look away if Barnes helps with the investigation.

Barnes says he only threatened Bill, on Frank Lockhart's orders.

Jane grabs Van Pelt, telling her she needs to change. At the stables, Jane asks Sam to let Van Pelt ride Castor.

At the office, Cho talks to Lockhart. He needs Holwell's stable for a big development he has planned. He admits he had Barnes tell jockeys if they race for Holwell they won't race for Lockhart. Cho tells him about Bill causing Barnes' accident and Barnes still being mad about it. "You sent a very angry man to threaten the man he was angry with -- how'd you think that would turn out?" Lockhart asks for his lawyer.

At the track, Van Pelt gets off Castor's Folly and Jane tries to get her to get on Pollock. She resists, but he assures her he'll be fine, he knows horses. Sam rides up and tells Van Pelt to get off and that Holwell is going to be mad.

When Lisbon calls and says Barnes and Lockhart aren't talking, he's not surprised, but says he has a solution.

On race day, the whole team is in place but no one knows where Jane is. He's in line at the betting window, where people recognize him as the guy who knows betting. Jane places a $10,000 bet on Castor's Folly at 100 to 1. The guy Barnes was helping follows Jane's lead.

Jane tells Holwell and Lockhart about his huge bet. Holwell isn't happy -- a bet that big will lower the odds and he bet every penny he had. Jane says he's sure Castor will win because he switched him with Pollock. Holwell is freaked out. The race starts.

Holwell says he already switched the horses and Jane only switched them back Jane says that's why Bill is dead, because he wouldn't go along. Holwell takes off and Lisbon and the team follow as the race continues.

Castor's Folly wins and Van Pelt tackles Holwell. Jane comes up and tells Holwell he didn't really switch the horses. "Congratulations, your ringer won," Jane tells him.

Back at the office, they have the lug wrench from Holwell's trunk that killed Bill. Holwell confessed to Sam.

Lisbon finds Delinda at the elevators and gives her the ring Bill was going to give her. Back in the office, Rigsby suggests the big winner buy lunch, but the race results were thrown out. And he didn't win the Trifecta either -- he bet every combination to cover, which cost about $5,000, wanting people to think he knew horses.

He admits he doesn't really know anything about horses. He thought Holwell was putting a burr under Pollock's saddle to rile him up, which is why he had Van Pelt get on bare back. He says the odds were in his favor that he was right. The team doesn't approve of his gambling approach. He offers to buy lunch.