The Mentalist

Season 2 Episode 10

Throwing Fire

2
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Dec 17, 2009 on CBS

Episode Recap

Barney Sloop, the founder of an academy for up-and-coming baseball players, is found dead in his Zen garden, and the team goes to investigate. Jane is struck in the head with a baseball and is knocked unconscious, where he flashes back to his own past, with his father.

Young Patrick and his father Alex are in a circus, with Patrick already displaying his 'psychic' abilities by guessing at objects with his blindfold on. He identifies a woman's cigarette case and manages to guess that the case belonged to the person's grandmother, who had only recently passed away. Patrick's father (Alex) gives him grief for not following the set script they had for their act.

Patrick wakes up, and though the team is concerned for his health, he waves off going to the hospital. Lisbon finds out that Sloop turned to Zen Buddhism after his three year old son died accidentally. Meanwhile, Rigsby and van Pelt track down Sloop's ex-wife. They find her at her son's grave, drunk and ready to kill herself with a pistol so that she'll finally join her son. Van Pelt manages to talk her out of the suicide, giving details about her sister who selfishly took her own life without any thought of the family and friends she'd leave behind. Later Rigsby asks her about her sister, but Van Pelt replies that she doesn't have one.

Patrick meets with Barney's business partner Freddie, and accuses him of killing Barney. Freddie adamantly denies it, but he's very clearly agitated by the accusation, which suggests that he's fully capable of murder. The team talks to the players, who all say that Barney was a great mentor. They have no reason to kill him. A specific player, Snake, and his father talk about how professional teams want to get players who are younger and younger. So it makes sense to ready the kids before they get too old.

Patrick flashes back to another memory of him and his father. This time they're at a hospital, but young Patrick balks at having to take advantage of a girl who has cancer and her grandmother. Alex manages to con the woman into paying $10,000 for a crystal which would supposedly cleanse the girl's body of tumors. Patrick doesn't take part in the scheme, but Alex gives him $100 for helping anyway with his crying.

Barney's wife admits that she was drunk when she went to talk to her husband for the final time, but she thought he was sleeping and ignoring her. Barney was already dead by the time his wife arrived. One of the yard workers identifies Scotty (another player) as the last person he saw Barney talking with. Freddie successfully stops the questioning before it goes too far. Patrick points out that if Snake and Scotty were still practicing during the time of Barney's death, they'd be on security camera footage.

Patrick watches the young players show off their talents in front of a group of professional scouts. Patrick tells Scotty and Snake that he knows they didn't kill Barney. He also gives them advice about not having to sell their souls, even if it's only to make their own fathers proud of them. After the players ask about Patrick's special talent, he says he can read minds. Naturally, they're skeptical, but Patrick guesses Scotty's birthday correctly when he writes it on a baseball. In actuality, Patrick writes the correct date after Scotty says what it is. However, when Patrick asks Snake to do the same thing, Snake refuses to help with the trick.

Patrick's insistent that Snake do the trick. Snake's father interrupts them. Snake was born in 1992, but Patrick says that he knows that Snake has to be at least five years older. Angered, the father tries to attack Patrick but Cho manages to get in between them. Snake's father killed Barney after Barney figured out Snake's true age, which meant that he was too old to be a part of the academy. Freddie agrees to still allow Snake to try out, but at twice the normal fee. Snake's father is arrested as his surprised son looks on.

Scotty does well in the try-outs, managing to get a player out. His father chides him for not playing better, and says that he's going to talk to the scouts. However, Scotty tells his father that he got an agent to help with his baseball career, so that his father can remain just his father.

Lisbon worries that there might be some lasting harm from the ball that hit Patrick in the head, and he starts to become a little disoriented at the top of a flight of stairs. Lisbon rushes to help him, but he's only been pretending he was seriously injured.
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