Mentalist Red Hot Review


Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) meets Patrick Jane (Baker) at Bajoran Helicopters. She tells him that they were specifically requested to be there, but doesn’t know why. Head of Bajoran securities Garth Drucker (Nestor Serrano) informs them that a death threat had been made to company owner Yuri Bajoran (Alon Aboutboul). Annoyed, Jane figures someone must have pulled some strings for their premature presence. Turns out it was the man about to purchase Bajoran’s company, Walter Mashburn (Currie Graham). A suspect in a previous case, Mashburn is happy to see Jane and Lisbon again, saying that he wants them to protect Bajoran until he signs the contract. Also, “Teresa, hey, while you’re here maybe you and I can get together sometime soon-” but before he can finish the proposing a date, a bomb explodes, killing both Bajoran and Drucker. To his dismay, Mashburn is once again placed under suspicion. Been there, done that, he’d rather play detective this time. Later, Jane realizes that Mashburn may have been the intended target all along.

Concise Verdict

I must stress that Ashley Gable has written some of my favorite episodes: ‘Red Tide’, ‘Flame Red’ (season one), ‘Red Badge’ and co-wrote “Blood Money” (season 2). This episode has also joined the ranks of my favorites. It is fun, has great lines, lots of chemistry. But the episode’s timeline was too much like a roller coaster, started abruptly, and was over way too fast, without giving audience a chance to register some the events. It also also leaves viewers with an endless list of questions and loose ends. It was, nevertheless delicious so I give it an 8.5.

Detailed (aka humongous) Review (spoilers galore)

Red Hot continues with the same sense of urgency prevalent in the beginning of this season. As much as I loved every single episode so far, I now wish the writers would tone it down just a bit. I know, November sweeps and all that, and I’m not exactly worried that the storylines will run out of steam. However, I do miss the quiet introspection that existed in some of the earlier episodes.

For example, at the end of this episode, we find out that Lisbon spent the night at Mashburn’s. This seems very out of character for her; Lisbon has been as celibate as Jane since the start of the show. Now, I can find many justifications for the decision, but I’d rather be shown why. And in a show where the main character’s stich is calling out peoples’ intentions, it seems like a cop-out for Jane to hold his peace (as much as Jane can anyway) on the matter. It is also out of character. Jane’s ambivalence here just seems like a far cry from his position in Redline in which he said Lisbon should have accepted Mashburn’s invite. Notwithstanding whether he was being serious or not (and really, with Jane, can you ever be sure?) but outwardly, he at least gave an opinion on the matter.

There isn’t much of that here.  Jane states “Oh my God you’re just so obsessed with Mashburn, what is it with you and him?” but then lets the matter go. And even his (fake?) bemusement here seems a bit out-of-place, especially since until that point there was nothing to indicate that Lisbon reciprocated Mashburn’s interest in any way (not even in their first meeting in season two’s episode Redline). Maybe he was just trying to irritate her into giving something away? If so, it didn’t work.

I can’t help but wonder if Jane’s question would have worked better, and been more telling, if it had come after the ‘pupil dilation’ scene.  At least then the audience could infer that despite Lisbon seeming indifferent, Jane might have observed her pupils giving her away and was calling her out on it. As it is, viewers are only teased as to what Jane’s double take on both Lisbon and Mashburn’s pupils were showing.

My guess? When Mashburn said “Pupil dilation, huh?” looking at Lisbon Jane thought maybe Lisbon’s pupils were dilated. But she looked away and he couldn’t tell whether they were or weren’t, so he checked Mashburn’s. Of course we don’t need to see his pupils to know that he wants Lisbon.

Later, Jane announces Lisbon as Mashburn’s new girlfriend. While some might argue this is his own way of telling Lisbon to go for it, how much weight can it hold when the announcement was done to serve as a distraction to break up Mashburn’s fight with a suspect? Speaking of which, was there really a need for the announcement to break up the fight? Lisbon and Cho had it covered. Was Jane just being obnoxious and wanted to embarrass Lisbon?

It could be writer Ashley Gable is having Jane push Lisbon and Mashburn together to further establish Jane’s creating distance between himself and Lisbon (as stated in the season three opener ‘Red Sky in the Evening’). If this is the case, it makes his sleeping on the couch in this episode (both his, and the one in Lisbon’s office) all the more interesting. Especially since he’s all but abandoned his couch for the attic so far this season. Could it be that he can either distance himself emotionally or physically, but not both simultaneously?  Is this is all part of a plan writer Ashley Gable came up with to keep us viewers guessing?

Probably. After all, she certainly teased us with Jane and Mashburn’s hotel scene: was Lisbon there or wasn’t she? Mashburn’s body language certainly hints as much, and Jane obviously thinks so. But did Jane go there to find out, or did he go to explain the case to Mashburn and suspect Lisbon’s presence afterwards? And now that he does suspect Lisbon’s presence there, after  (obnoxiously/jokingly) pushing her towards the man all episode, how does he feel about it? And if Lisbon really is there, then why did Mashburn ask Jane if he thought Lisbon really believed him to be the killer. To throw off Jane, pulling a double bluff? Was Jane just playing along, letting Mashburn think he succeeded in tricking Jane when he replied “I wouldn’t think anything of it?”

I do hope these issues will be cleared in future episodes. It certainly is possible and not unusual for Jane to revisit the topic. In the past, Jane had been highly interested in Lisbon’s affairs (i.e. digging to the point of dissecting her relationship with Bosco). And while it seems that Lisbon sees no future with Mashburn, he is obviously enamored with her. Who knows, maybe he’ll try to woo her once more when he returns from Europe. I’d be happy to see that. Mashburn is a very intriguing character and Currie Graham did a fantastic job with character, infusing him with such vigorous intensity. He was also able to make the audience sympathize with him despite his wealth and ego. Of course, the credit primarily goes to Ashley Gable for giving him excellent material to work with. Mashburn’s scenes with Lisbon ranged from being funny and hot to deep and effective.

But I must stress that as much as I enjoyed Graham I almost overdosed on Mashburn in this episode. But I highly suspect this is only because he seemed to take center stage, and that’s Jane’s spot. I actually missed Jane here. So if Mashburn does come back, it might be worthwhile to make the episode a two part-er. That way the Mashburn scenes can be spread over a bit more without detracting from Jane-time. Maybe next time we’ll even get to see Jane express his….whatever it is he is feeling towards the would-be couple. But I must beg the writers: please don’t bring him back just to kill him off.

Honorable Mentions

Currie Graham, Simon Baker, Robin Tunney.

Currie Graham as Walter Mashburn is as sinfully charming as is Simon Baker’s Patrick Jane. The above trio gave equally magnetic performances in this episode.  The Jane/Mashburn friendship (set up by Jordan Harper in his episode ‘Redline’ (season 2) is in full affect here as well and is one of the best parts of the episode. Tunney and Currie also conveyed the respective attraction between their characters perfectly (Mashburn blatantly, Lisbon subtly). But the best scenes were when all three are together. They just played off each other so well and the chemistry between all three was off the charts.

Amanda Rightetti also deserves a mention here. She doesn’t have a lot of scenes, but she does extremely well with what she is given. It was cute how embarrassed  Grace was at admitting she follows the tabloids. I was especially charmed by Righetti’s description of  ‘glamping’, her miffed denial that she made up the word, and her disgust when Lisbon threw the toupee on her desk.

Best scenes

The winner: Lisbon and Jane questioning the German supermodel: this was beautiful. Elsa accusing Lisbon of chasing Walter, Lisbon adorably denying she kissed him, Cho’s “none of my business”,  the model’s verbal attacks on Lisbon, Jane’s amusement at it all. Then when Esla mocks Lisbon as a “totally wrong” for Walter, that she’s “so little and bony”. Jane defending her, saying that she has an attractive damaged intensity (referring to what Walter told Lisbon in ‘Redline’, and reminding her of her own charm). And finally Jane’s : “you where at valters to vatch over him, to keep him safe from women like Lisbon” – beautiful, beautiful scene. Tunney was perfect here too, depicting how Lisbon’s was out of her element being verbally abused out of jealousy-I’m sure it’s a first for her character. Then we got to see Jane in action, calming the crazy Elsa down, getting pertinent information out of her (this is when I realized how much I missed him in this episode). Perfect Scene.

1st runner up: When Lisbon confronts Walter; her fear that he may have been playing her all along is the first indication we got that she actually cares about him a bit. And Walter’s hurt at her mistrust was quite touching. Graham and Tunney did an excellent job here, conveying their characters’ frustration and pain due to the misunderstanding.

2nd runner up: The ending. I’m actually surprised I chose this one because I firmly believe that Teresa’s decision to spend the night with Walter was out of character, especially since there was nothing to lead up to it. But I then realized that their heated interaction (see 1st runner up) could be enough to set the ground for it. Lisbon wouldn’t have been hurt if she didn’t like him. Relief that Walter was innocent (and guilt for suspecting him) could have been enough impetus to send Lisbon into his arms. But the reason I love the scene is because how happy she looked with him: “It was nice seeing you Walter”. She meant it too.

Icing on the cake

When Jane and Lisbon were questioning Marie, Jane was setting Marie up by making her think he suspected Mashburn. Lisbon also bought into the act despite Jane telling her earlier that he didn’t think Walter was the killer. Afterwards when Lisbon takes off saying “I’m going to talk to him first” Jane looks so surprised; like he’s not sure why Lisbon took matters into her own hands. I’m convinced that at this point Jane had no idea Lisbon seriously suspected Mashburn. Any scene in which Jane misreads or misses something is instantly a favorite of mine simply because its impossible for the man to know everything.

Best Lines

“I take this nap for freedom Lisbon, for every little guy who has a dream.”-Jane

“Bad taste.”- Jane explaining what Bajoran’s toupee (which Jane stole from his house) is evidence of.

“Let me explain something. You do not mess with super-rich people they’re like kids with machine guns.”-Lisbon to Jane.

“Yeah, see where he parks his boat or his plane or whatever.”-Lisbon to Rigsby; about a ‘super rich’ suspect.

“I have lots of enemies Teresa. You’d be surprised to hear this, but some people find me annoying.”-Mashburn.

“Usually I can buy my way out of trouble. Ask my ex-wives.” Mashburn.

“If I were to kill him I’d do the civilized thing and hire a professional.”-Markham Shankar about Mashburn.

“Can’t believe I’m a one night stand for Dirty Harry.”-Walter to Lisbon.

Pet Peeves (yes, other than the ones I mentioned):

1-       Not only are Jane’s revealing musings infrequent here, but so is his physical presence. After questioning Shankar at Mashburn’s party, he took off “for the oyster bar”. But we don’t see him next until the next day when Mashburn’s ex is being questioned. Where was he all this time? I get that indirect (off screen) action is a natural part of this show so that an element of surprise is maintained when Jane reveals all, but his absence here was oddly unaccounted for.

2-      The German model’s name is Elsa. The victim’s wife in season 2 episode 22 was named Ilsa. They are both memorable foreign characters with blond hair. Couldn’t a more unique name have been given to the model here?

3-      Why wasn’t Lisbon shown chewing Jane out after he announced her as Mashburn’s girlfriend, preferably with Walter present smiling happily at her embarrassment and at Jane’s compulsory comments on their attraction? What I wouldn’t give to have seen that.

4-      Why did Mashburn punch Jane? Sure Jane gets punched all the time, but never willingly. He doesn’t enjoy it. In fact, Jane is downright fearful of violence. This is why I find it hard to believe that it was his idea to have Mashburn punch him as stated in the episode. Now, if Jane had told Mashburn to make a scene, and Mashburn became overzealous in following Jane’s directions because he was upset with Jane for framing him (and making Lisbon suspect him), that would’ve made more sense. It would also have accounted for Jane’s honest surprise at the punch. All that was needed was to replace: Mashburn’s “Sorry, it was your idea”, with “Sorry, I was upset and you did say to make a scene,” Then Jane says something like: “I understand, it was partly my fault.”, then we not only get a more detailed explanation, we also get male bonding.

5- There was a distinct time gap in the timeline at the party. Jane and Lisbon are supposed to question Shankar and Mashburn respectively. Mashburn and Shankar fight, Jane distracts them by his “Mashburn’s new girlfriend, Teresa Lisbon” announcement. Then he takes off to question Shankar-all of this happened in daylight. But it’s nighttime when Lisbon finally gets around to talking to Mashburn. So what was she doing all this time? Are we to assume that she had been politely fending off Mashburn’s friends? Wouldn’t it have been more likely that while Cho and Jane were questioning Shankar, she was excusing herself from the guests’ company and asking for a word with her ‘boyfriend’?   I suppose the decision to delay Lisbon’s questioning of Mashburn till evening was done for the sake of the lovely candle-lit ambiance. It certainly was romantic (until Elsa came in of course), but couldn’t the earlier scenes have taken place in the late afternoon or around sunset for the sake of a more believable timeline?

6- Is it really possible for a bullet hole to have gone through Lisbon’s collar?

Thoughts anyone? Feel free to leave a comment either on the episode or the review itself. I’d love to get your input. Also:


About reviewbrain

Screenwriter, independent producer, compulsive critic, editor, artist, language lover, student of life, pacifist, parent. View all posts by reviewbrain

12 responses to “Mentalist Red Hot Review

  • movie bollywood streaming francais

    I really like people young and old who blog, it’s definitely really hard to put together this type of insight just about any means. Splendid work.

  • Lea

    Well I certainly hope Mr.Mashburn returns. This one is my favorite episode of the whole season so far. A perfect 10/10.
    I love Lisbon and Mashburn together so I really hope we’ll see Currie Graham in the upcoming seasons again.

  • reviewbrain

    Mine too 🙂 I adore Currie Graham and he just has such an easy chemistry with both Baker and Tunney. Plus by his own right, he has such an electrifying presence, you can’t help but stare at him when he’s on screen and hang on to every word he speaks. I really wish the
    writers would develop his relationship with both Jane and Lisbon. Janes never developed a rapport as easily as he had with Mashburn, even as he suspected him Redline. As to Lisbon, the man is more than deserving of her friendship, as well as her love.

  • Lea

    It’s a shame that this man doesn’t have his own show. I watched him in a few other things and he was just fabulous (It’s not that he can only do comedy, he’s also good at drama). And I agree the chemistry between the three (Robin, Currie, Simon) is amazing and something you hadly see on TV. Also the writers managed to make him likeable despite him being an arrogant playboy and there are even people routing for him and Lisbon (like me for example) even if it seems impossible. I think that if they bring in a love interest at some point for Lisbon they should make him exactly like this. Usually the writers make “the other guy” unlikeable like they did with Craig
    O’Loughlin cause he’s just supposed to be an obstacle between the supposed to be couple.
    With Jane and Lisbon I hope this will be different since they are just friends at the moment and there is no reason why Lisbon can’t have a relationship (for Jane I don’t see him beeing able to move on until
    Red John is caught and he redeemed himself. Also he’s still mourning his dead wife and is faithful to her).

    So I just wished we’d get ANYthing about if Mashburn is back in Europe. I would have loved it if he would have just appeared in Lisbon’s office one day XD. But that’s probably too much to ask for.
    Something the lacks if continuity makes me mad like hell (tho if you want you can read between the lines, like Jane making a comment about someone should stay up all night to research her private life, about everyone having secrets and that look he gave her etc.).
    I think it would be interesting at how both Jane and Lisbon would react to Mashburn now after the events of Red Hot.

    (warning, spoilers below)

    Anyway, apparently there’s a new handsome and dapper D.A in town so the little Lisbon/OC shipper in me hopes there will be “sparks” XD

  • Tonight in HD: September 5 | ScreenScribe

    […] Sparks fly between Lisbon and billionaire Walter Mashburn, while Jane and the CBI team narrowly escape a fiery explosion while investigating a death threat. Reviews: The TV Obsessed, Reviewbrain. […]

  • Mon

    Just came across your blog and found it an interesting analysis of the show. Just wondering if you remember the ‘Charlie KIng’ incident from way back in season two? I bring it up because you mention that it seemed out of character for Lisbon to have had a one-night stand with Mashburn (and I agree that it seemed out of the blue), but it has been hinted at before that she’d maybe had a fling with someone else in the job. The episode was Red All Over (ep 20 season 2). At one point Lisbon has to radio to somebody called Charlie King; as she calls his name out, Jane is watching her intently, and a while later, asks her “Who the hell is Charlie KIng?”. A lot of people saw it as a jealousy moment for Jane and it’s even up on youtube.
    On the last Christmas ep in season 3, which came right after Red Hot, I think, Jane throws Lisbon a meaningful look and says “We all have our secrets don’t we?”. That seemed to me to confirm Jane’s knowledge of the Mashburn affair..and possibly another!

  • reviewbrain

    Welcome to the blog 🙂
    About Charlie king; I always thought it was just a fake code name Lisbon made up to use during the case. Jane asking her about it and the look seemed like he was teasing her over the weird name she came up with; notice her embarrassed reaction when he asks her about it 🙂
    I do agree Jane’s “secrets” comment in Jolly Red Elf could be him indirectly telling her he knows about her one night stand with Mashburn 😉

  • Mon

    Aah rite, a code name..that actually makes more sense. Perhaps it’s the name of an old flame?! I’d actually like if reference was made to at least some sort of previous relationships for Lisbon, it would be more realistic somehow. I guess more might be revealed this season; they have promised more character background, esp when Lisbon’s brother pops up in ep 6 or so.

  • Arco

    I thought that the beginning was amusing with Mashburn apparently struggling to remember Lisbon’s name when Lisbon & Jane knew that they had been requested, by name–until Mashburn showed up, they just didn’t know who had asked them to be there.

    Then there was Jane’s line to Mashburn’s model ex-girlfriend–something like, “You’re very well groomed for a crazy person.”

    I really like Currie Graham. It’s too bad we haven’t seen more of him. I thought that he & Lisbon made a good couple. Maybe because he was so rich & powerful, he seemed secure enough to just take Lisbon “Dirty Harry” as she was. Even Jane is not that accepting.

    Thanks for your review.

  • suzjazz

    I just wrote a lengthy commentary and erased it by mistake with one keystroke! Damn! It’s almost 4 am and I have to go to bed or I would write it over again. I am so happy to have discovered an intelligent analysis of The Mentalist written by someone who gets it, insofar as it can be understood with its many ambiguities and lack of enough backstory on some main characters (e.g. Lisbon) Speaking of Lisbon: I agree that the writers have been holding back on her for a reason and I expect to see more of her psyche emerge. I also agree that her sleeping with Mashburn was out of character, even though he was intriguing (I found him annoying but that’s because I used to see guys like him every night when I was the pianist at the Four Seasons Hotel lounge in Boston for many years.) It’s obvious to me that Lisbon and Jane love each other (and not in a sibling sort of way, although their professional relationship makes it seem that way to some) Just because they both have sex with other partners does not mean they don’t love each other. Jane has cold and cynical reasons for sex with Lorelei: it’s all about getting closer to RJ. And Lisbon was probably just bored and horny when she slept with Mashburn–he even refers to it as a one night stand, and she obviously has no intention of seeing him again. For many good reasons (chief among them the danger of RJ killing Lisbon) Jane and Lisbon have to restrict their interplay to flirtation and the kind of bickering that old married couples engage in.
    What I’d like to see happen in the end is Lisbon shooting and killing RJ to save Jane’s life. Then they would be free to start dating (surreptitiously, of course, because the CBI rules forbid fraternization.) I could see Lisbon quitting the CBI, not so she could be with Jane, but because she was so traumatized by her RJ experience. I could never be a script writer, because you have to resolve all kinds of issues and have it all make sense on some level.
    Anyway, I look forward to reading more of what you have to say about the show! Thank you!

  • estatica

    I just finished (re)watching this old episode – one of my favourites, and had to come here and read what you guys wrote at the time it was aired. Mashburn is perhaps my favourite recurring character on The Mentalist. When he is on screen, to me it doesn’t feel like he’s a guest star and I keep hoping he comes back and continues to mess with Lisbon and Jane, as awful as that sounds.

    The first time I saw this episode I wasn’t really sure what to think when I saw Jane at Mashburn’s hotel room, but now I’m fairly convinced that regardless of his motives, he wasn’t happy with what he discovered.

    Video Clip:

    I found the last exchange wonderfully written and acted:

    Jane talks about toupés:”…only one person would find such a need for such ah.. (looks around the room and spots the champagne) personal object.” He half grins, but doesn’t look amused.

    Mashburn tries to block Jane visual field: “So he took it?”

    Jane: “Yeah! I guess you find a good rug.. you get very connected to it.”

    Mashburn smiles (rather uncomfortably, in my opinion. Jane doesn’t seem to be his usual charming self, either. His smile also looks forced.).

    Jane: “Thank you for your help in catching him.”

    They shake hands. Mashburn adds: “Not at all, it was fun! It was your idea.”

    Jane clears his throat immediately. (I interpreted this as his most genuine reaction when it hits him that Lisbon / Mashburn was indeed his idea, but of course I may be reading too much into this.)

    Mashburn: “I still can’t believe Yuri wanted me dead.”

    Jane: “You have a knack for picking them.” And then adds politely. “Almost forgot, here’s your credit card. Thank you.” He hastily starts to leave the room, but is stopped by Mashburn.

    Mashburn: “Patrick, hang on! One question?” Jane isn’t smiling.

    Mashburn: “Do you think Teresa believed it? That I was the killer?” He looks expectantly at Jane.

    Jane considers it and we can see his eyes shift before he says, his voice cracking a bit: “Yeah, she did, for a minute there. But I wouldn’t think any thing of it.” (I can’t help wondering if Jane was sending another double message: she may have considered you (as a lover) for a minute, but I wouldn’t think any thing of it (as in, it won’t last).

    — SPOILERS AHEAD (do not read if you haven’t watched the upcoming episodes)—

    I think I now interpret this last exchange between Jane / Mashburn this way because the upcoming seasons do show us that Jane doesn’t just love Teresa in a platonic way. He genuinely seems to want her to be wooed and loved as she deserves too, even knowing he probably isn’t the best person to do so. The interesting thing to me is, when confronted with reality (that she may really find love in another man), Jane acts like a gentleman (he hastily leaves the room), but at the same time, he can’t help feeling a bit upset. I’m now certain that he never asked her details about that night. One thing is to have fun teasing her about things he believed would never happen (“Lisbon and that rich guy? nah…”) and another is to voice out loud that those things actually happened.

    I was really happy to see Mashburn’s name pop up in season 5 in Jane’s list and see that Jane considers him a Red John suspect. So he is definitely not considered as his friend, even if they got along great. Also, in the list he is mentioned as “Playboy. Unlimited $$. Intrigued by murder.”

    I would enjoy seeing this character return, him being Red John or not. If he is Red John, I imagine the dialogues would be off the charts, not to mention all the actors’ performances.


  • Valentinasweet

    Oh i like your description about this episode estaticai have didn’t understood why jane was so nicely with mashburn, you should feel uncomfortable to see the woman who, in theory, “love” with another … or not? Episode draws nice, but I wonder if one day we will see jane jealous…..jane seemd little be “amused” but not jealous :/

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