The Mentalist

Season 2 Episode 2

The Scarlet Letter

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Oct 01, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
266 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The CBI are called in to investigate the death of Kristin Marley, a prominent state senator's aide, who was rumoured to have had an affair with the senator's husband. Meanwhile, Jane attempts to figure out what new information Sam Bosco and his team have discovered on the Red John case.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Not as good as last season. Last season they were sort of getting janes chemistry right. he was more likeable then hateable. They were not doing that irritating thing where they act like all the suspects are stupid and jane alone is smart.moreless

    Now they are doing it again! I keep wondering why no one goes after him at all. if he asked me about my sex life Id ask him about his. Id ask if when he sees a woman that is attractive he thinks of his wife and loses his erection. And he would deserve it. He does things for no reason other then to be cruel. Its tiring. He is tiring me out with his cruelty. Why are they making him so hateable again. I thought they got over it. Im especially getting tired of that whole doctor thing. It makes no sense at all. Medicos are usually about the nicest people anyone ever meets. People hate cops, not doctors. And people aren't wrong. Why act like the world is upside down?moreless
  • CBI is tasked to investigate the murder of a prominent state senator's aid.

    This episode was very entertaining and could be used as an interesting template for future story lines. While Jane and Lisbon are at the forefront, the other cast members also got some screen time of their own. The Cho and Rigsby exchange about the bathroom vs. the closet was worth watching more than once and Van Pelt's stalling tactic with the stepbrother gave her a chance to act outside of her portrayed character. Even Minelli seemed to be more engaged. The Red John theme couldn't be more evident. The mounting tension between between Jane and Bosco is almost palpable. Bosco is "circling the drain" and Jane knows it. It is only a matter of time before Bosco's arrogance and ignorance land him on the autopsy table. Hopefully, the writers will stay on task to develop the characters and not reach the climax too soon in the season.moreless
  • Average.

    The Mentalist is the kind of show that is good if you look at the body of work as a whole, all 25 episodes that have been made so far. But if you meticulously analyze each installment, like this one for example, things won't look that great as a lot of Patrick's behavior seemed forced, we had the same usual tease between Rigsby and Van Pelt that we all know is eventually going to happen, but nothing outstanding happened here. The show is still a must-watch for me, but this is not episodic TV and it is not like Lost or Dexter where you need to watch every single episode.moreless
  • When there is a murder and thousands of suspects, you can count on Patrick Jane to narrow the odds.

    He even puts a time frame to when he would catch the culprit.

    Things only get tricky when you're trying to solve a crime and politicians abuse their power to seal their footprints from the sand.

    Jane always carries a self absorbed ego with him and this episode was not without his grim certainty and extraordinary detective skills to discover that the cleaner wasn't so much the mopping floors, cleaning the bathroom type and was more the type to cover up a bloody murder.

    I found myself torn between deciphering 'who did it?'.

    The Politician and her husband were the obvious villains, but just because they didn't have the occasional heat in their marriage it didn't mean they were guilty.

    The stepbrother was the decoy thrown into distract us, so he was too obvious to be the one to kill his own step sister.

    The old lover unmasked by Jane was another suspect, but he was also the politicians father and this webbed episode turned into an entire chase that would have your head spinning.

    When the cleaner put the knife on Jane it was rather foolish of Patrick to believe he was actually going to sit down, maybe Patrick believed he could outsmart him somehow.

    The revelation of the many affairs that went on; father sleeps with daughter's lover, isn't really something you hear everyday and wasn't the favorite case of the hour, but how about holding a dead guy in an interrogation room to get everyone to fess up. Guilt reveals all and the truth can't remain hidden forever.

    Now that Jane is off the Red John case, he is going all out of his way to get on Bosco's good side or his bad side as the case might be. His determination to catch the person that ripped his family from him, is like a venom that is seeping through his veins. It is the only crime he can't solve, the one thing he can't get his hands on and Bosco is just another splat in his way. At least that's why he planted a bug in Bosco's office, to get one step closer. It's almost depressing seeing a calm Patrick Jane carry so much pain.

    We could depend on Rigsby and Van Pelt to add some romance and innocent flirtation to brighten this crime drama. Lisbon is often a tease when it comes to taming Jane, but it's just about time before he gets face to face with Red John, then all gloves are off.

    Lexa Reviews


    Four out of Five Stars

    Grade B+

  • It was a good episode, showing the writers' intention of being more inclusive in their actors' screen time. Let's hope the changes last and lead to the show evolving further.

    Second episode of the new season, and I'm still not sure which direction the writers are going to take with the show. It's too early to tell. However, there were obvious signs of improvement in this episode. First of all, the Bosco-Jane confrontation continues, and Jane is definitely going to make things worse by tapping Bosco's office. How long before Bosco finds out? Or before someone handling the case file will look for the missing bug? Then all hell will break loose and the department will turn into a battlefield for these two. On the other hand, they are both smart, devoted and personally invested in the RJ case, and Bosco has obviously made some kind of breakthrough. Seeing which one of them is right will be very exciting to watch!

    Secondly, the team got some initiative and some extra screen time this week. I hope it keeps up, because a strong police show needs a team with solid characters, likeable and capable of solving cases on their own. Portraying them like a bunch of rookies who wait for Patrick to solve the case for them will quickly bore the viewers. The scene with Cho and Rigsby betting on where to find the suspect, as well as the interrogation scene with Van Pelt were examples to be imitated in future episodes. You got a group of good actors, why not use them. And the Chief got some extra screen time as well, which was good because so far he doesn't stand out much as a director of a whole department. This is a very good actor who held a key part in a whole 24 season, so again, use him.

    I also liked the case, the Senate was a first for The Mentalist. Of course I guessed the father had a relationship with the dead girl, but the lesbian Senator and the corpse in the interrogating room were nice touches.moreless
George Wyner

George Wyner

Coroner Steiner

Guest Star

Fay Masterson

Fay Masterson

Senator Melinda Batson

Guest Star

Paul Fitzgerald

Paul Fitzgerald

Elliot Batson

Guest Star

Gregory Itzin

Gregory Itzin

Virgil Minelli

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (12)

    • (After Minelli has reprimanded the team.)

      Jane: Well, I thought that went pretty well.

      Lisbon: Great, yeah.

      Jane: Highlight for me was definitely your speech. Passionate, articulate, strong.

      Lisbon: Whatever.

    • Lisbon: Sir, Crew and Batson manipulated us into arresting the wrong person. They bugged our offices and subverted our case. I don't think we did anything wrong. I think we should be commended.

      Minelli: (nods to Jane) Congratulations. You finally got her to drink the kool-aid.

    • (Lisbon is in therapy.)

      Dr. Carmen: Do you know why counselling is mandatory for CBI agents who've been involved in a shooting?

      Lisbon: Because nobody would come if it was voluntary?

    • (Jane and the others have used a corpse to get a confession)

      Jane: We got a confession.

      Minelli: Suppose you didn't. Suppose you'd been wrong. Have you any idea of the vastness of the the crap storm that would follow? It would blot out the sun.

    • Jane: It's lovely to meet you, doc. You're a horse's ass, but you mean well.

    • Jane: (Points to Dr. Steiner with a stick.) And I can see what you're thinking right now.

      Dr. Steiner: Uh, I was thinking that you, sir, are a bumptious fool, and I was wondering exactly what training in forensic pathology you have.

      Jane: Ah, but right before that, you were wondering whether you would choose Lisbon or Van Pelt as your concubine in that little fantasy kingdom you like to go to sometimes.

      Dr. Steiner: I...I do not.

    • Lisbon: Shall I recap the case, sleepyhead?

      Jane: Kristin Marley, Lady Senator's aide, rumored romance with the senator's husband.

      Lisbon: Very good.

      Jane: Oh, I trained myself to hear and take in information while asleep.

      Lisbon: The others told you?

      Jane: Yes, they did.

    • Jane: (Lying on the couch) Wow. There's a stain on the ceiling that looks like Elvis, but today it looks more like a basset hound.

      Cho: (Dry) Someone call the media, it's a miracle.

    • Lisbon: You are taking over the McAdoo interview.

      Van Pelt: I'm totally ready for that. I can get him to confess to this.

      Lisbon: Yeah. Maybe. Main thing is you keep him there long enough for us to search his car. Be friendly. He thinks he is a player. He'll live it up.

      Van Pelt: What do you mean, "be friendly"?

      Lisbon: Need a map?

    • Minelli: How did the Batson interview go?

      Jane: Oh, that was very exciting.

      Minelli: (To Lisbon) What did he do?

      Lisbon: Nothing that can't be repaired.

    • Rigsby: You have any plans for tonight?

      Van Pelt: Home. TV.

      Rigsby: Well...have fun.

      Van Pelt: You too. (Leaves the room)

      Cho: (to Rigsby) You're gonna die alone.

    • Minelli: You abused a corpse to get a confession.

      Jane: Used. Used a corpse. There's no "ab".

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode had 15.75 million viewers when it originally aired.

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: �arlatové písmeno (The Scarlet Letter)
      Germany: Der problemlöser (The problem solver)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia: October 05, 2009 on Nine
      Belgium: November 4, 2009 on VT4
      United Kingdom: February 26, 2010 on Five
      Germany: March 7, 2010 on SAT 1
      Sweden: March 9, 2010 on TV3
      Czech Republic: May 17, 2010 on TV Nova
      Poland: May 23, 2011 on TVN
      Slovakia: June 22, 2011 on Markiza

    • As of this episode, the show has a new intro.


    • Minelli: (To Jane about Lisbon) Congratulations, you finally got her to drink the Kool Aid.

      The phrase Drinking the Kool Aid means that a person (in this case Lisbon) follows an argument or philosophy (here: Jane's plan to catch the murderer) blindly.
      The term originated in the Jonestown Massacre.

    • Title: "The Scarlet Letter"

      The title of this episode is an allusion to a novel of the same name written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. First published in 1850, the story takes place in 17th century Boston and centers around an adulterous wife who was forced to wear a scarlet cloth bearing an upper case letter "A". This identified her as having committed adultery and made her subject to public humiliation.