Mentalist Review: Episode 5×09 Black Cherry

Review of Episode 5×09: Black Cherry (AKA The One Where Cho Actually Gets Something to Do – Woo Hoo!)
by castiello

Overall: Cho was actually on my screen for more than fifty seconds. That right there is a miracle. I still wouldn’t exactly call this a “Cho episode,” at least not in the way that 5×04 was a Rigsby ep, but I’m grateful Cho finally got some screen time, plus a story arc for this season. The case was also pretty good (one of the more interesting ones they’ve had this year), there were several cute Jane/Lisbon scenes, Jane got to interact with a kid (which is always gold), Van Pelt was stunning (or should I say glowing?), and we got to see Sarah. So, overall, a very enjoyable ep.

Cho: Man, when he was handling that shoot-around-the-corner gun…**swoon**. Apparently, Lisbon’s second-in-command has a new love interest – and a new job. I’m glad it turned out to be something he could do without leaving Lisbon’s team, because for a little while there, I really thought they were setting him up for a longer arc where he would leave the team (and, by extension, the series). I think I might boycott the show if this happened. But so far it looks like they’re just giving him something extra/interesting to do. Plus a new girl to flirt with. She’s very pretty and I like that she is a Marine – it’s cool that they both have military backgrounds. The only complaint I have is that her name is Tamsen (at least according to the closed captioning) and they had a character named Tamzin back in season one (the witch, if I’m recalling correctly). I don’t feel like Tamzin/sen is that common of a name, and I’m not sure why the writers would use this more than once (name of someone related to the show, maybe?).

Anyway, we got to see Cho do an awesome suspect take-down, have fun playing with nifty gadgets, and meet a kick-@$$ girl. I am a happy person right now.

Jane: Loved him making a list of everyone in his life that he’s ever shaken hands with – and Lisbon was helping him. His reasoning why she is not on the list (their friendship) echoes the logic tromana used last week on the Paint It Red forums to rule out the team as suspects. I definitely hope Jane sees all of them as his friends. If a member of the team is ever revealed as Red John, I might have another reason to boycott.

Jane with kids is always wonderful – I loved them talking about the car, and how it actually ended up being important to the solution of the case. And, although I can understand Jane not wanting the boy to go to foster care, I do resent Jane a little for guilt-tripping Lisbon like that. It reminded me of the case back in season three (???) when a young girl remembered she had killed her own father in self-defense. Lisbon wanted to take her into custody, Jane wanted Lisbon to let the girl go. In the end, Lisbon let the girl go, but in that case, Jane’s reasoning was a little more sound – the girl really did act in self-defense, so why put her through the trauma of a juvenile detention facility and a trial (which she might lose, resulting in a prison sentence).

Here, though, a young woman who was supposed to be watching over her little brother chose instead to grab a loaded gun and go seek revenge. If the police had not intervened, she might have found “Shade” and possibly even killed him. This would have landed her little brother in foster care for the remainder of his childhood. I don’t really feel like she grasped the consequences of her actions and how they could have impacted her brother – and she needs to understand these things in order to be a proper guardian. The little boy did not deserve to go to foster care, but a few days wouldn’t have killed him (at least, I hope) and I think his sister did need to spend a few days in jail to realize the cost of her actions. I would have had an easier time with this storyline if Jane had simply urged Lisbon to plead for a lighter sentence (community service, maybe?) rather than have the charges dropped and everybody gets to go home without consequences. You go around firing an illegal gun on the streets, you need to have consequences.

Plus, Jane doesn’t always need to get his way. Most of the time, but not always. 🙂

He was wonderfully funny taking in the “aura” of the house, hiding with Lisbon, and pretending to be the boss at the crime scene (poor Rigsby’s confused face, LOL). This episode had a lot of playful, energetic Jane scenes and those always make the show sparkle.

Lisbon: Loved her emotion and her humor (“Put me on the list. I want to be on there!”). I thought she did a great (Jane-like) job guilt-tripping Sarah into dropping the charges, I just wish Lisbon hadn’t given in to Jane’s sad puppy face to begin with. She shouldn’t let him manipulate her like that. Jane’s got the easy job – he gets to say “Don’t let the kid go to foster care” and then he just leaves it up to Lisbon to figure out how to accomplish that. I wish she would say to him, “Okay, then you take care of all the legalities. If you want these kids to go home, you figure out a way to get that done.” Also, she shouldn’t let him boss her – at the end, he tells her to arrest the suspects. Jane’s said that to her (and other team members) in the past, too – arrest that guy, or let that guy go. That’s not Jane’s call! He’s not even a police officer. I love his friendship with Lisbon – it’s the main reason I watch – but she does need to stand up to him sometimes, and not give in to blatant manipulation. He’s not always right, and she doesn’t always have to do what he says.

Rigs/Van Pelt: I don’t feel like we saw that much of Rigsby. I kinda wanted to see more of his reaction to Cho’s new job. Rigsby was right there when Tamsen made the offer – Was he intrigued? Did he feel a little left out? I did like that Cho introduced Rigs as his partner. That was sweet. As for Van Pelt, obviously she needs to be doing a lot of computer work right now, but she does look lovely doing it. She had a lot of case-related lines, plus even got to do one of the interrogation/interview thingies, which was nice. I hope the show continues to use her as much as they can!

Sarah: Nice to see her, and to hear about Ben. I like that she fell victim to Lisbon’s manipulation just as easily as Lisbon fell victim to Jane’s. I didn’t get any vibes about Sarah’s current feelings for Rigsby (any hope for reconciliation?), but she seemed very warm with Lisbon, and Lisbon was a contributor to the breakup (via helping Rigsby fake his own death), so maybe there’s hope. I do think Rigs and Van Pelt kind of have to be together in the end (how can they not?) but I’d hate to see Rigsby and Sarah permanently separate due to one of Jane’s schemes.

Kirkland: Mysteriously absent. Hmmmmm.

Final Thoughts: Cho, please continue having a storyline (especially one where you get to handle cool guns). Jane, lay off the guilt trips – but do keep figuring out the names of everyone you ever shook hands with – let’s see that Memory Palace in action (Btw, did anyone catch the full list of names on the page he had open at the end? I only saw “Walter Mashburn,” and my mom thought she saw “Cooper.”) Rigsby, don’t get left behind by your partner. Van Pelt, keep shining. Lisbon – stand up for yourself, woman! Sarah, stick around, I need closure. Kirkland – don’t stay gone too long, I still need to figure out if you’re Red John.

Looking ahead: Can’t wait to see how Jane begins to investigate all the names in his little book. 🙂



2 thoughts on “Mentalist Review: Episode 5×09 Black Cherry

  1. you’re the first reviewer to talk about being annoyed about julianna getting to go home. i agree. i think she seemed like a thuggish young woman with an extraordinary little brother. i found it a little shocking that after firing an illegal gun, she got to stroll out of there. on the other hand, in service of the arc of the series, i like that lisbon almost always gives in to jane . it’s a glimpse of how much power he has over her. she has lots of pluck and guts and edge and integrity in every respect but she’s a sucker for patrick jane — she’s in love with him.
    great review. thanks.

    • Thanks for the comment, Huisclothes! When Jane first said he had an idea for keeping the boy out of foster care, I thought Jane was going to actually offer to take the kid home – or suggest that Lisbon do so. I would have liked that storyline better than the one we saw. Anyway, glad I’m not the only one who thought Julianna was out of control, and not a good guardian for her little brother. I also agree that Lisbon is a sucker for Jane. Can’t really blame her, though – I would be, too! 🙂

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