Friday, March 12, 2010

The Mentalist: Season 2 Episode 15 ' Red Herring' and Season 2 Episode 16 ' Code Red' Review

It seems as tough this weeks' review of 'The Mentalist' would also incorporate last weeks missed review. This double dose explored murder on two different levels. "Red Herring" dealt with a poisoning and "Code Red" dealt with the exposure to a lethal virus (a slow, painful death). 'The Mentalist' finds new ways to solve murders and creative ways for Jane to discover the villain behind it.

Let's first deal with 'Red Herring'. The cooking side to a story that has been rarely told. It's funny, because more cooking sitcoms have been developed, which could have probably influenced the onset of this episode. Didn't ever really picture Jane in a kitchen, but more of the restaurant type-tasting all the food.

Short Plot Insight - Chefs in a heated competition go against each other in a cooking battle, but one chef met his demise during his presentation platter. This is where Jane comes in with the CBI to investigate the culprit behind the murder. Sooner or later, another chef is murdered by what is believed to be, poison.

Usually the obvious culprit, becomes the most innocent, because it's either not too challenging enough for the writers, or they use the 'most obvious' villain to throw us of the scent of the real villain. Which was probably why the woman with the black hair and the tattoos didn't raise any flags, especially since she was pointed out too early in the plot. She admitted to encouraging the chef's alcoholic habits, but not to the poison. That's another thing, when half the truth is explained logically, that usually throws out the possibly obvious suspect. I actually figured the woman fingered in the end was the guiltiest, solely because she was too nice at times and the least likely one would expect to be it.

This is why I am certain most writers struggle with the creative aspect within a crime drama and creating the villain along with suspects. The audience figures out the formula and are able to point out the culprit before hand. The challenge becomes evident when the loop holes are created to distract the audience from focusing on who did it and turn their attention to the flow of the story. Not many can pull it off with such consistency, which is why 'The Mentalist' has lasted with debt. The real villain in Jane's lifestyle is the one audiences look forward to and the writers have taken their time to develop with interesting consistency of suspense. Which possibly sends this crime-drama into an adventurous theme.

Turning our attention to this week's episode of "Code Red", this lot embodied the fear of a lethal virus outbreak, placing the villain role on this weapon-of sort. It was funny that this woman thought of Jane as her 'go-too-guy', did she really Google him? Who knew Jane was so popular online?

Short Plot Insight - Jane and Lisbon are brought into a lab site, to investigate the murder of a woman exposed to a lethal virus. Her death unravels a consequential amount of questions which reveal that the lab was not as secure as it was believed to be.

Now these characters were well placed and the chemistry for such a short time was crafted with debt. The woman exposed to the virus and her connection to her daughter was well accomplished. It was interesting how they utilized the measure of technology, which emphasized that this family spent most times communicating via these technological computerized fields. It created the life of a scientist.

Jane has grown very naughty the longer Lisbon extends his leash and keeps granting him a pat on the back. How far would Jane take his 'experiments' for the sake of finding the villain? By making everyone believe that they would meet their last breath in a matter of hours, Jane surely showed no compassion. Lisbon figured him out dead on, but changed her mind the moment Jane denied the whole ordeal. Why didn't he just come clean with her? Because he wanted to give her that sense of relief so for a few moments move on from Bosco's murder? I don't buy it, if Jane truly believed he was going to guy, some how the topic of 'Red John' would emerge. Maybe Lisbon was too fearful of her last breath, before she could analyze the situation.

I really admired Cho here. Even though he hardly shows any emotion, we could tell that he would have missed Lisbon had her words been true and her message to her brother was carried out.

What is happening between Van Pelt and Rigsby, by the way? For the past few episodes, their relationship has been almost non existent, since their fight and the matter has not even been discussed. The writers are surely taking their time with that one. Although it would hurt to omit them for a while, any new detail would be appreciated; an eye glance, a hand gesture, something to fill in the blanks.

Again 'The Mentalist' did not disappoint. The heart rendering story-lines, heartbreaking plots and performances would send anyone into a cherished zone for the favorite series of all time.


Both are Graded:


Four Stars

Grade B+

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