The Mentalist 6×12 ‘Golden Hammer’: or It’s a Mentalist family reunion

Source: CBS

Tim Kang’s character Cho I believe says it best. At one point he comments that Jane is acting like his old self. Like when they first started working together, you know crazy. Part of that’s true. The show has reinvented itself into… itself. Change of venue, change of characters, but for the most part it feels like an episode from early on in the show’s run. Jane is lighthearted, joking around, having fun, and seems to care even less about the law. Lisbon is easier going as well. Not so much worry or responsibility, just happy to be doing something meaningful again. The Rigsbys even make a guest appearance, settling into their new careers and parenthood. In fact the only person who hasn’t lightened up is Cho, and I for one would be very disappointed if he had. The dark cloud of Red John has passed and they really want to make sure you know it. You can even see it in the marketing.

Source: CBS Dark and brooding

Source: CBS
Dark and brooding

Source: CBS Bright and lighthearted

Source: CBS
Bright and lighthearted

The start of the season up top, and the Post Red John season below.

In most ways this is a good thing. Jane gets to laugh more, we get to laugh more. The comedy returns. As well as the witty banter and ensemble chemistry that made this show in the first place. Yet one of the fantastic things about The Mentalist is missing. The overarching B plot, that thread that connects the episodes, that ties it all together. Red John was that tread. Even when the show was more lighthearted there was still that looming threat, that mystery. Without it it’s no more than NCIS, or CSI, or some other acronym show, albeit a much more intelligent one. It’s that mix of serial and episodic, drama and comedy that Bruno Heller and the gang do so well that makes The Mentalist stand apart. They handled it spectacularly for so many seasons; the trick is just to not let it go on for too long. Well we have that B plot back. The Rigsbys are investigating a phone tap on Oscar Ardiles, the former Assistant District Attorney and reoccurring character. What Grace finds is that in fact all the main characters and some of the secondary characters are all being watched. But by whom? Oh, and Rigsby finds a dead body.

My feeling is the Blake Association. We never got an on screen conclusion to that storyline. Abbott just said that they caught them all, off screen. That would be a satisfactory direction to take this. The trick here would be to not let it drag on. We’re talking a couple seasons’ tops. Then end it and move to another B Plot.

Source: CBS I never take a good ID photo

Source: CBS
I never take a good ID photo

All in all it was a good episode. Much improved over last week’s. A bizarre maybe murder with Jane back to his devil-may-care attitude. He even suggests arresting an innocent man for no reason and just holding him without any charges. When Abbott and Fischer tell him no, that’s illegal, he just taunts the man into slapping him, and then calls it assault. The best thing for me was to see that they haven’t entirely divorced themselves from California. Three characters from the past show up, and play a big part in this episode and that’s good to see. Let’s move on with this ‘New Beginning’ but let’s not forget the past five seasons. If my suspicions are correct then the past is going to come back, in a big way.

Paul Choate

was born with a remote control in his hand. He’s a Trekkie and an avid fan of comics as well as equally nerdy fare. When he’s not watching television on the couch he’s working on his new webcomic. Follow him on Tumblr and check out his website:


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