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The Mentalist- Blinking Red Light -Recap

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Written by : published Saturday 5th November 2011

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Lisbon investigates the address of a known suspect Richard Haibach who refuses to answer questions or ask her in without a search warrant. The man (William Mapother) knows the law and threatens a harassment suit.

Jane sees an old reporter friend who notes him watching her broadcast. A man with a website (named Jim Panzer) seems to take an intereet in the killer. She investigates a San Joaquin killer website owner paired with a special agent to catch a renowned killer.

Jane notes the man  has no  intimate relationship with the victims but has started a website for them. He wants to catch the killer. Jane makes an appointment to meet the man in the park. The  man Panzer says congratulations because he killed Red John But Jane says that it was not what he had hoped.

Jane asks why panzer cares so much about the SJK because there is no link to the victims to Panzer. He had no relationship to the SJK victims and blogs, but Red John killed Jane’s family. He says killing him was not as satisfying as he would have thought. Jane asks the man if he would like to help the investigation and the man enthusiastically agrees.

Meanwhile Lisbon finds the unresponsive man was six blocks from the crime scene the night before. She gets a search warrant and returns to the house. While her detective searches the back, she sees something burning in the fireplace.

He starts crying as she asks him to move aside. As Lisbon stirs through the fire to see what it burning, the detective finds a dark room with disturbing photographs. The women’s bodies are in strange positions. They arrest him.

Patrick Jane calls the website man Panzer and asks his opinion. Panzer knows the suspect well. The unruly man doesn’t have the intelligence to do it. Jane says the motivation lies with the first killing. Panzer agrees.

They go back to the first killing. Panzer brings Jane to the house of the victim’s family.

Molly Mayre would have turned sixteen when she was killed. She never made it home from the girlfriend’s house. He says the killer will be brought to justice, he promises. Jane notes the empathy and approval the victim get from the man. The room is like a time capsule. The father watches Jane sift through the stuff.

Jane finds a CD from recital practice. The music is “What a Wonderful World”by Satchmo, a classic tune.  The father said she loved to dance, it was her thing. This was her last video. While he watches Jane backs off.

Jane goes with the website man to his apartment. James Panzer is the reporter Jan thinks is guilty. It is a office stuffed with case files of the San Joaquin killer. Jane sees an Ipod and picks from the playlist the song “It’s a wonderful world” by Satchmo. A eerie coincidence. Jane watches the man and says his evaluation is wrong and Jane thinks the San Joaquin Killer he kills for attention.

Panzer emotionally tells the story his way. Panzer heaps praise on the SJK.  He’s a genius who has run circles around the police. This is a man to be feared not pitied. Jane watches him but gets a call.

Another victim si announced. Lisbon says Panzer knows everything about the case. Jane says they catch him by taking away what he wants most. Karen the reporter wants a morsel of news when she sees Jane at the crime scene. He says they have a suspect and they will be making an arrest.

Lisbon realizes she has to arrest someone to make Jane’s gambit work. He says the San Joaquin killer will kill again out of hubris.

Lisbon arrests the San Joaquin killer. Panzer can’t believe it. Richard Maibach. Jane can’t comment on specifics along with the case because of proximity and the photos will be enough of a conviction. Jane says he wanted him to know first.  He leaves, saying they were both wrong. That the San Joaquin killer was just a sick sexually deranged pervert.

That night Lisbon and Jane stake out the house. Panzer leaves in the dark with a black bag. They come to the address and they see Panzr and close in. But then they see also Karen and the reporters. Lisbon demands they turn the camera off. The killer texted Karen about the killing and brought Panzer to the warehouse to show ff how clever the killer was using Panzer's analysis.

Jane realizes he can explain knowing about the warehouse now because the reporter tipped him off. Lisbon and Jane are stunned the reporter has sprung the sting.

Jane looks in the black bag. Nothing is there. Panzer coyly says with a straight face he is hurt by Jane’s suspicions. He says he doesn’t know how Jane leads such a duplicitous double life. Jane is silenced. Next day the FBI case manager gets the case files and jane knows Panzer will hide and then kill again. Jane says to Lisbon he will use her.

Karen interviews Panzer in the TV studio, Panzer, who is the center of attention, holds forth. But suddenly Jane appears as a surprise guest and steals his thunder. Panzer is disquieted. Jane steals the limelight and calls the San Joaquin Killer nothing next to Red John. Panzer grows defensive and upset.  

Panzer says Red John was weaker because he allowed himself to get caught and killed. Panzer compares the San Joaquin killer to the Zodiac killer. Panzer goes too far defending the San Joaquin killer’s deeds while Jane is mesmerized by the red blinking light of the camera. Panzer explicitly sides with the SJK.

Jane says that he does this for a living and that the San Joaquin Killer just wants attention. At the green room, Panzer is worried he gave too much away. Jane stops by to let Panzer know he was really great in the interview. Panzer is touched and repeats this praise to himself when alone.

Jane gets another call and Lisbon and the other detectives meet him at the crime scene. The victim this time is Panzer himself. Jane smiles expectantly going to view the body.

Panzer lies there eviscerated and the Red John unhappy face is painted on the wall. Jane smiles, knowing Panzer killed himself to be better than Red John as a message to Jane. Framing himself as the victim makes the San Joaquin Killer a legend, because now the murderer can never be caught. Unlike Red John, Jane now can never catch or prosecute Panzer.

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About the author tvqueen


I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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