After what seems to have been months of waiting, The Mentalist has finally returned. I’m pretty sure that CBS just wants to have the longest calendar season for a television show ever. We are welcomed back to the world of the CBI with a murder involving drag queens, abusive fathers, addict lovers, and bullies. What a smorgasbord of terror for Republicans!
Hot Hot Heat
Jane and Lisbon are at a crime scene talking to witnesses of a car fire. It turns out that there was a body found handcuffed inside of the car. Jane goes snooping around and finds a broken heel to a ruby stiletto while Cho finds the gas cans used to light the car. Jane digs a little further and finds a doorway that leads to the alley. Inside is the dressing room for a cabaret club that is home of Sacramento’s finest drag queens. They meet the head Queen Bee Glenda who says that she didn’t see anything. All the while I can feel middle America squirming uneasily.
Back in the office, Van Pelt finds out that the victim was 19-year-old Archie Bloom. Van pelt and Jane talk to Archie’s father, Archie Bloom Sr., about his son. Jane throws out that Archie was gay, but Bloom Sr. claims he knew nothing about that. He mentions Archie always being bullied and not being anything like himself. Either Bloom Sr. is hiding something, or he was very much in denial.
Lisbon has Glenda come into the office to get her fingerprints to compare to ones found on the crime scene. The prints come up clean, so Lisbon lets her go. Van Pelt, who took Archie’s computer, finds video files and plays them for the office. They show Archie being abused by his dad and being handcuffed to his chair to finish his homework. Things aren’t looking good for Archie the elder.
Meanwhile, Cho and Rigsby track down the gas cans to a discount store where Archie happened to work. They talk to one of his coworkers and learn that Archie was bullied at work by someone named Rick, who comes off as a guy who doesn’t even know what GED stands for. Cho questions Rick about bullying Archie, but Rick says that he never touched him and that he was only goofing when he made fun of him. Rigsby goes into Archie’s locker and finds a disposable camera. this is suspicious, because no one uses disposable cameras anymore.
Bloom Sr. is brought into the office and is questioned about the videos of him handcuffing his son. He claims that it was only motivation to finish his school work, but Lisbon tells him that his prints were found on the cuffs in the car. Bloom claims that they were stolen, so Jane gets to the bottom of it with his very scientific human lie detector test. Blooms says he is innocent, but Jane thinks he is guilty of something.
Cho and Rigsby go to the address Archie was last listed at and find a man named Gabriel. The apartment was above a bookstore that Gabriel owned, and he tells them that Archie has been gone for a week and didn’t pay his last rent check. After some leg work, Cho finds Archie’s journal at a halfway house that details Archie and Gabriel’s abusive relationship, as well as Gabriel’s meth addiction. It looks like suspect number two has been found.
While Cho is handling Gabriel, Rigsby gets the pictures from the disposable camera back and finds that Archie had pictures of Rick stealing goods from the store. It seems as though Rick found out and now has motive to kill Archie. That makes three suspects spending time in interrogation rooms, with three angry lawyers yelling at Lisbon. Just another day of work at the CBI.
Jane goes to visit Glenda in her day job, where she lives life as Glen, the mortuary cosmetician. Glen says that he saw someone pouring gas on the car, but it was too dark to see any faces. He goes on to say that he doesn’t want to be the next victim so he won’t testify. The next day, Jane visits Glenda in the club and convinces her to come in to see a line up of the suspects.
At the office, Glenda says that it couldn’t be any of the men because they person who started the fire was smaller. Jane then concludes that Archie doused the car himself, handcuffed himself inside, and killed himself. He goes on to blame all three men of playing a part in his suicide. It is decided that Bloom Sr. will be charged with child abuse, Gabriel will be charged with possession after meth was found on him during his arrest, and Rick will be charged with theft from the store. Sweet justice all around.
Jane notices that Lisbon is feeling down about the outcome of the case, so he offers to take her to the cabaret show to take her mind off of it. Before the show, they go backstage with flowers and talk to Glenda. Glenda thinks the flowers are for her, but instead they are for the new girl, Fifi Nicks. It turns out that Fifi is actually Archie, who wanted to start a new life for himself as a woman.
Glen was able to take an unclaimed body from his mortuary job while Archie’s dentist, a fellow drag queen, made dental molds to match Archie’s in the body. Good thing there is terrible paperwork at both of those places to allow that to happen.
All in all, it was a pretty good episode. I always like when the writers tweak the formula a little bit to show something new instead of the normal case flow that usually happens. Time to go to the drag show for me, because you can’t tease a whole musical bonanza of men in dresses without following through.
(Image courtesy of CBS)