'The Mentalist': The thin red line

Simonbaker_mentalist_240 This week, The Mentalist let's us get to the crime scene before the intrepid team. We join a cop at a motor lodge as he finds a couple dead in one of them rooms. Patrick and the gang don't join them until the next morning.

The team is told the dead man is Purcell, a lead witness in the Karras case (a big meth operator). Purcell is a street captain for him. Simon finds a baby in the dead woman's car in the parking lot. Really, police? Really? You didn't see a baby in a car? Patrick holds the baby and it's pretty freakin' cute.

A woman from social services takes Kaley, the baby, as the team is introduced to the Davis PD detectives Presciato and Blakely (whose son was the first officer on the scene) and told to play nice. They're convinced Purcell was the target and that Karras is behind it. Our team thinks perhaps the woman was the target since she was obviously just stopping by the motel (hence leaving the baby in the car).

Our team gets an address for Patrice Madigan (the female victim) from a magazine in her car. They tell her friend Lacey Wells that Patrice has been murdered. Lacey says that last night Purcell called Patrice, asking for food and company, and she went out to meet him. Turns out Patrice was always just randomly able to come up with rent money or bail money or whathaveyou and that she was always with some skinny, dark-haired guy in a blue car.

The team gets a lead on Karras and the local cops jump the gun on the bust, with Rigsby, Cho and Lisbon in hot pursuit. The police, of course, screw it up and Karras comes running towards Patrick down an alley. Patricknudges some concrete in front of the gate and Karras knocks himself flat. The skinny, dark-haired police man, Presciato, seems to take it personally. Hmmm.

Karras's interrogation. They play a message he left on Purcell's answering machine, threatening to kill him. Karras tells them his messages is true; if he had found Purcell first, he would've cut him up like he threatened. But he was at a bar with a cocktail waitress named Sasha instead. He lawyers up.

Over their delivered food, Patrick and Van Pelt have a conversation about women balancing the niceness and the bitch in their line of work. Kind of random. The rest of the team joins them and confirms Karras's alibi with Sasha. Patrick still thinks Patrice was the target. She didn't have a job, had money, made a drug charge disappear and had a boyfriend that looks a lot like the Davis PD detective. He also carries a .38, which is what Purcell and Patrice were shot with Lisbon agrees to see if Lacey can identify Presciato as the man Patrice was dating.

Lisbon and Rigsby question Presciato and he freaks out. Blakely tries to jump in, but Presciato agrees to be questioned. Lisbon and Patrick tell Presciato they know he was sleeping with Patrice because she wasn't on file as an informant. Presciato says he paid her for sex and Lisbon wonders why a good-looking man would pay for sex. Lisbon tells him that Purcell was the father of Patrice's baby and then Patrick offers Presciato his unfinished sandwich. Presciato balks at the sandwich and says his alibi is that he was at his partner's house watching "the game," got too drunk to drive and stayed there. Lisbon asks for his weapon for ballistic testing and he hands it over.

In the hallway, Patrick tells Lisbon that Presciato is a terrible liar and they decide to double-team the Blakely's, with Lisbon keeping the detective busy while Patrick talks to the wife. The son answers the door instead and is very cagey and nervous, but Mrs. Blakely can't stop bragging about her two officers. Hey, is that Mrs. Casablancas? I think it is! Patrick asks for a moment alone with her and Junior balks, but eventually leaves.

Mrs. Blakely (Catherine) rambles a little about Blakely's first crime scene when they were newlyweds. Eventually Patrick gets to Presciato's alibi and she confirms it. She also doesn't believe Presciato was sleeping with Patrice and Patrick gets her to admit that Presciato has a problem "down there." She says that Presciato was probably lying about the affair to protect someone and she stops, figuring it out. The son comes back and she confronts him about knowing that his dad was sleeping with Patrice. The son says that isn't what was happening, as Blakely pulls up. The missus accuses him of betraying her "again." He punches Patrick and takes his family inside.

Lisbon hauls Blakely into the station. Blakely says he was giving Patrice close to $1000 a month but won't say why. Is she his daughter? From his first affair? Blakely Jr. comes down to the station and the team shows him the security film from the store across the street. It shows one of Karras's men arrive, but Karras says his man (Q-Tip) got there too late and can instead identify the real killer, in exchange for letting Karras out. The team can see through this clever ruse (or so they tell Blakely Jr.) and say they're going to play along, let Q-Tip come to them.

They're asking Blakely Jr. to have a word with the chief to smooth it over with the Davis PD. Blakely swallows his mission hook, line and sinker. That night, the team plus Blakely set up a meeting with Karras and Q-Tip. The team sets up what looks to Blakely like the meeting with Q-Tip that none of them can get to in time except him. When he arrives, he shoots up a mannequin that he thinks is Q-Tip. Well, I guess we found our shooter.

Station. Blakely Sr. arrives and wants to know what is going on. Junior spits "the truth" back in his dad's face and says that his mom suspected his dad was having an affair. He found out his dad was keeping this girl on the side and his father denied it. So Jr. followed her to the hotel where Purcell went for his gun, thinking Blakely was a hitman. Blakely shot them both in his panic at being drawn on.

Patrick tells them both he knows Patrice wasn't his mistress. She was Blakely's Sr's daughter, Blakely Jr's sister. My daughter! My sister! My daughter! My sister! Anyway. Blakely says he found out about 4 years ago and started taking care of her, but couldn't tell his wife. Catherine knows now, though.

Blakely house. Patrick stops by with Kaitlin, saying they are all she has. They take the baby and look a little happier.

Good episode! Seriously, one of the best ones yet. The mystery wasn't terribly hard to figure out, but the acting really sold it.