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The Mentalist - (S02E03)

Crime . Drama . Mystery

Jane, Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt decide to conduct their own investigation when Lisbon is accused of murdering a child molester she arrested who was recently paroled.

Episode Title: Red Badge
Airs: 2009-10-8 at 08:00 pm
  • Barry Garron

    This role is tailor-made for Baker, who has a flair for playing irreverent characters who are crucial to the success of the system even as they tweak its authority figures.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    In its solidly crafted premiere, the CBS drama demonstrates admirable restraint while still telling a reasonably interesting story.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Aaron Barnhart

    The Mentalist is safe, predictable, manufactured crime drama … and it works.

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    Psychological sleight of hand can't fill an hour every week. For that you need complicated, interesting crimes and complicated, interesting characters solving them. The Mentalist seems prepared to deliver just that.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Hal Boedeker

    Stunning opening suggests the potential. It's Baker's show, and he excels. But guest stars impress, too.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Gillian Flynn

    The tricks he performs are overshadowed by the glee with which Baker performs them. Like any good grifter, he gets a genuine thrill out of entertaining, manipulating, or confusing people.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    The formula--must find murderer of beautiful woman before last commercial break--predates the dinosaurs, but also incorporates some satisfying twists.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    The Mentalist may be a copy, but it's a well-done copy sparked by an actor who has come into his own as a TV star.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Robert Abele

    Because as much as Baker's suavely sly version of a gotcha artist is a welcome addition, thanks to a few not-so-hidden laws of character-actor placement, you'll guess the pilot scenario's killer before anybody else.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    The CBS show has very little dramatic heft or distinction, but it's wily and brisk enough to engage you for an hour.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    The Mentalist is anything but irksome, proving once again that watchable television isn't so much about originality--if something hasn't been done before, there might be a reason--as it is about execution.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    It's not groundbreaking TV, but the pilot does a good job of introducing the characters, their relationships, their potential relationships.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Tom Shales

    Baker and his wily line readings and intimidatingly sly stares can snap the show out of occasional stupors.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    Its semi-psychic hero is intriguing enough and confident enough--not everybody can sneak a hypnosis-inducing trance into an exchange with a reluctant witness as deftly as he can--to bring viewers under his spell.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Troy Patterson

    Its detective plots are cozily formulaic, its defining twist cheerfully preposterous. As cop-show comfort food, it's a kind of California fusion cooked up to appeal to people fed up with techno-beat lab scenes.

    Slate Full Review
  • Heather Havrilesky

    The results are satisfying, and suspenseful, yes, but also a little bit stupid and predictable, too.

    Salon Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    Baker has an unforced masculinity that allows him to play likable bastards like this, and with the other regular characters (played by Robin Tunney, Owain Yeoman, Tim Kang and Amanda Righetti) so far ciphers at best, he's able to carry the show by his lonesome.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    There's an old-school feel to the storytelling (shades of "Columbo") that makes it feel comfortable--perhaps too comfortable, or at least too easy.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Baker does possess a certain roguish charm, and writer Bruno Heller ("Rome") and pilot-directing guru David Nutter mine that--as well as the central character's slightly menacing backstory--to try and invest the series with a bit of depth, mostly to little avail.

    Variety Full Review
  • Adam Buckman

    Too many serial killers threaten to overwhelm The Mentalist, whose charismatic lead character can stand on his own, if the show's producers would only realize that murders committed singly can be just as interesting as serial murders, and just as difficult to solve, too

    New York Post Full Review
  • Jonathan Storm

    Smart guys from the outskirts of society have been solving tough cases entertainingly at least as long as Sherlock Holmes. The Mentalist simply presents another, along with no compelling reason either to tune in or turn off.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Cynthia Fuchs

    Patrick dramatizes his sense of superiority, intimidating and irritating just about anyone who comes in contact with him....The Mentalist does offer its own charms, chief among them Baker’s low-key, apparently complicated sarcasm.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • David Zurawik

    As the lead, Simon Baker is too one-note smirky for me.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • John Leonard

    And so far, so-so.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    The smirky cynicism, savage mockery of New Age verities and prickly atheism of its lead character could have made The Mentalist fascinating (if not altogether pleasant) viewing. Instead, it turns down the same formulaic path as CBS' other police procedurals, a sort of CSI-with-a-fake-crystal-ball.

    Miami Herald Full Review

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