'The Mentalist' Recap: Back to School
'The Mentalist' Recap: Back to School
When a beloved English teacher turns up dead at a high school, Jane and the CBI team are called upon to solve the case. They face the normal high school issues of drugs, bullying, prostitution and statutory rape. It sounds like I'm reliving my high school career all over again.

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Extracurricular Activities

Jane meets up the rest of the team at Redmund High School to inspect the body of Jack McTierney, a young, bright English teacher. He was found bludgeoned to death outside, and was also sporting an old black eye. Jane starts to question the stereotypically uptight principal, Mr. Snyder, who says that he doesn't know how he got the black eye. Jane uses his super brain powers and deduces that Snyder is lying. Cho finds a hate note in Jack's briefcase, so Jane goes to find out more.

The best place to rub salt on open wounds is ambushing a student grief session, which is exactly what Jane does. He starts to ask who wrote the not to Jack, and singles out a grieving female student named Rachel. At the office, Rachel says she wrote the note because she saw Jack arguing with a hooker, and it went against everything that he taught. She shows Cho a picture of the hooker and the search begins. Back at the school, Jane meets Ms. Austin, a drama teacher, who says that Rachel was a good student, and that she didn't kill Jack. Hmmm, wonder how she could be so sure of that.

The "Bad" Kids

After talking to Ms. Austin, Jane meets a student named Jeremiah who is practicing his sword work for the upcoming play of Hamlet. Cho had found a hefty load of ecstasy pills in Jack's car, so Jane asks Jeremiah who he should talk to about finding drugs. Jeremiah, being a square, has no idea. The next place Jane looks is the bathroom, where he meets the janitor, but still has no idea where the bad kids hang out. He wanders around and sees a kids run away after smoking. On the scent, Jane goes into the cafeteria and soon finds the kid who ran away and follows him outside where he meets the kids he was looking for. You can tell that they're up to no good because they are all wearing black. He meets a girl who says that she should talk to Mr. Loveland about the murder.

Meanwhile, Cho and Rigsby go to talk to Lindy, the hooker Jack was talking to, and find out that she was a former student who he was trying to help. It turns out that Jack wasn't a client, but a kind hearted individual. At the office, Lindy tells Van Pelt that she heard Jack get in an argument with another kid he was trying to help named Martin.

Advanced Chemistry

Cho and Rigsby track down Martin at his house. He says that he was supposed to meet Jack the night of the murder, but was sick so he didn't go. Cho and Rigsby smell something burning and find that Martin was making ecstasy inside. It turns out that Martin was another student who Jack was trying to help. He was being bullied and turned to drug manufacturing to fit in with the cool kids. Jack found out and took his drugs, which explains why he had the pills in his car.

Jane goes to visit Mr. Loveland, the career counselor, and finds out that he is the one who punch Jack. Loveland is an alcoholic, and Jack reported him to Snyder. Loveland showed Jack that snitches get stitches and punched him in retaliation after fighting in the bathroom. Somehow, Snyder found out about it, but Loveland says he isn't the one who killed Jack. After their talk, Jane helps out Ms. Austin with the drama kids, including the lead actor Billy, and notices that she has leaves on her jacket. He then goes into the bathroom with some paint and writes "SNYDER SUCKS" on the wall. I'm sure Alice Cooper's "School's Out For Summer" was going through his mind at that moment.

Detention

Jane gets called into Snyder's office, where Lisbon meets him. Snyder tells Jane that he needs to leave the case for his vandalism, when Jane finds out that Snyder has illegal cameras in the bathrooms. That's not skeevy at all. Lisbon takes all of the video as evidence, and leaves the fun job of going through it all to Van Pelt and Jane. Jane sees Billy cleaning his shirt in the video and takes Lisbon with him to go back to the school.

They get there just before Hamlet starts, and Jane forces Jeremiah to hyperventilate. He then takes Jeremiah's place in the play, because I'm sure Jeremiah's parents weren't hoping to see their son from the audience. Jane starts his scene with Billy, but changes the lines to talk about Jack's murder. He then forces Billy to say that Ms. Austin was the killer.

Young Love

It turns out that Ms. Austin and Billy were involved in a romantic relationship and Jack found out. Ms. Austin chased him down and killed him with the baseball bat. She tells Van Pelt that her relationship with Billy is okay, because they are truly in love. Van Pelt replies that it's gross, but look at Mary Kay LaTourneau. She's now happily married to the kid that got her pregnant when he was thirteen. Give love a chance Van Pelt!

With another case successfully closed, the CBI can once again sit back and relax. Except for Rigsby who is the new proud father of a son. Maybe Jane can teach him how to be a mentalist when he grows up.

Chase Gamradt
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)

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