He was a Better Shot on the Unit

Posted at 6:51 PM, Oct 24, 2012
The Mentalist Episode 4

Patrick Jane watches his plan unfold perfectly in the battle between two gangs.

I always love how Patrick Jane can set up the bad guys on “The Mentalist” and they never see it coming. This week it took a three part plan to reveal the killer, but please tell me you knew who it was already.

Dad: I did. When they were talking with him at the gym about the younger gang kids.

Me: Or when he mentioned he used to be in a gang that got pushed out of town. I’m sure he’s totally cool with that.

The episode actually starts three weeks later with Rigsby getting arrested at his apartment. The story unfolds as LaRoche interviews Rigsby. That’s right, he’s back.

Dad: I don’t like that guy.

Me: I do. I mean, we don’t know if he’s good or bad. Plus, what did Jane find in that safe?

Dad: They never would tell us that.

Me: So you know he has to keep coming back until we find out.

The team is invited in on a murder that appears to be the start of a gang war. Jane quickly realizes someone else was hurt. As they follow the blood trail, they find Rigsby’s father shot and hiding out in a barn. When Rigsby tries to get information out of him, the father won’t talk. The doctor warns the father has a lot of shotgun pellets in him, including one near his heart that could kill him. Well, there’s your foreshadowing for the week. When Jane and Lisbon go back to interview Rigsby’s father, he’s gone.

Dad: I loved when Jane picked up the IV needle and said, “There was a man attached to this needle,” and asked where he went.

Rigsby goes off in search of his father while the rest of the team gets back to the case. Van Pelt is sent to a gym that is considered neutral ground between the gangs to see if anyone will talk.

Seriously?! When is it ever a good idea to send someone alone to do the interviewing, especially at a place like that? It just seems like a recipe for disaster. She’s fine, and this is where we meet the killer. He seemed pretty squirrelly from the start. And because there were more questions to be asked, they send her back there alone again!

Dad: They need to send her to her aunt’s or something.

Me: Why?

Dad: They’re not hiding the baby very well anymore. You can see it in her face and the things they keep putting her behind aren’t blocking it.

Me: Be nice! But I do wonder what plot they’ll use to give her a break once she has the baby.

Jane and Lisbon speak with the heads of both gangs to see where things stand. Jane naturally antagonizes them just to see where things stand. 

Dad and I agreed that there is no way they’d walk straight into these gang headquarters, but I digress. The murder victim is the son of the former head of one of the gangs. He was never a part of the gangs, but the team thinks that he may have been killed to start a war. This is where you see Jane’s wheels starts to turn and he sets up the heads of both gangs to meet at the neutral ground, the gym. They both think they’re meeting an informant. As Jane talks about why they think the other person was behind the murder, they both answer questions from Jane by giving glances to the head of the gym. Once he realizes he’s caught, he takes off.

While some of this is happening Rigsby is at a bar talking with his father. The father says he’s not going back to the hospital and wants to know more about the grandson. They bond for a bit and seem to at least bury the hatchet, if not cover it up. During the conversation, Rigsby reveals he split up with the girlfriend.

Dad: When did that happen? I don’t remember that.

Me: Me neither. And I kept waiting for it before all the baby nonsense to end because I wanted him with Van Pelt.

Dad: The last thing I remember is him being at the hospital with her and then the baby has aged a couple years.

Me: He’s like six months old.

Rigsby’s dad says he wants to go see the baby. As they’re leaving the bar, he collapses and dies. Right there, you can see the look in Rigsby’s eyes of revenge, and why he ended up in LaRoche’s office. Back at the gym, Rigsby is lurking in the shadows as the gym owner/killer takes off. Jane said to him earlier that they would take care of everything. The killer is chased around until he fires some shots and Rigsby kills him. The man couldn’t move from his wounds at one point, but Rigsby went for the kill shot anyway.

Dad: The killer waving his gun around and firing in the air was a little crazy to me.

Me: How so?

Dad: I remember him being a much better shot on “The Unit.”

Me: Totally different show, Dad.

Dad: I know. (laughter) I miss that one though.

In the end, LaRoche clears Rigsby of any wrongdoing. But before he leaves, he points out that Rigsby getting to shoot his father’s killer was a set up by Jane. I didn’t think of it that way but I agree. No one understands more the desire to get revenge on those who have killed your loved ones. He wouldn’t deny that chance to anyone. On that note, there were zero Red John mentions this week.