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Black Cherry is the ninth episode of fifth season of The Mentalist.


The CBI team investigates the murder of a real estate agent with former gang ties, while Jane searches for leads on his new connection on Red John.


On their way to the crime scene, Jane is working on his list of people whom he had shaken hands with. Jane tells Lisbon that she is not on that list because she is his friend.

A man walks towards Jane and asks if he is in charge, wanting to leave. Jane assumes the position and the man is the one who found the body, Chip McGavin. Rigsby informs them that the victim was Lemuel McVie, who died between 10 and 12 hours ago. Lemuel was hit multiple times with a blunt object elsewhere before being dump at the crime scene. Jane comments that the victim had just begun a new life, having established his driver's license and credit card only two years ago. However, his hands are scarred, and Jane notices that the victim is missing a cufflink. Lisbon wonders why the body was dumped on a golf course, to which Jane replies that the area is big, there are multiple points of entry and there is no surveillance, which makes it a perfect place. Rigsby finds out that the victim was associated with a street gang, 10th Street Ghouls, and was busted for marijuana possession four years ago.

Jane and Lisbon go to the Lemuel's apartment. Lemuel's sister, Juliana, confirms that Lemuel quit his gang when they tried to recruit his brother, Noah. Juliana is adamant that she do not know the killer. Meanwhile, Jane and Noah are in the kitchen. The cufflinks are made by Noah at school, and Jane finds a lead, Lemuel's car.

Back in the office, the team is figuring out where the missing car is. Cho is at the CBI gang division, trying to find out more about Lemuel and the Ghouls from Agent Wade. Lemuel's father had helped started the Ghouls and got stabbed while he was serving a life sentence. Lemuel had sold drugs from a 10 block radius at one point of time. Cho spots a corner shot assault rifle, and finds out that a new rapid response team is being put together.

Lisbon and Jane go to Wintergrove Realty, the real estate firm where Lemuel used to work. They meet Tiffany, who offers to show them the model homes, should they be interested in a purchase. Jane expresses interest in a tour. Lisbon and Jane then meet with the owner of the company, Nathan Dilmer who says Lemuel was family and that he runs a united office. He explains that the team recently went on a retreat to Carrington. While they are in Dilmer’s office, Victor Phipps enters. He is a salesman, who is introduced as Lemuel’s supervisor. Jane makes a sarcastic remark about the glass of champagne Phipps is holding and the latter explains that it is merely a sales prop and that the show must go on. Jane correctly identified Phipps as a disbarred lawyer, who has now turned to real estate.

Dilmer and Phipps were aware of Lemuel’s gang ties, since he joined them through a programmed for reformed ex-gang members. Dilmer says he believes in giving people second chances. Jane again correctly points out that Dilmer himself is a reformed sinner – formerly involved in Ponzi schemes. Phipps then mentions that Lemuel came to work pretty banged-up, namely with a black eye, about a month ago, but refused to talk about it or to accept any help.

Back at the office, Van Pelt has the preliminary autopsy report which shows Lemuel was hit with several different objects, but also shows old fractures, including fairly recent rib fractures. Van Pelt also found out that Lemuel visited the emergency room three times in the past year with several injuries listed as accidents. Turns out Lemuel was signed out by his sister Julianna each time, who previously failed to mention this fact to Lisbon and Jane.

Jane and Lisbon go back to question her and are met at the door by Noah who says that Julianna is not home. It is obvious to Jane that the kid knows something more but is trying to cover for his sister.

Julianna meanwhile is in a shady part of town. She comes face to face with a group of gang members and demands to know where Shade is. The men make fun of her, but she draws a gun and threatens to shoot them. Just as she starts to fire, the police, including Lisbon, arrive at the scene. Lisbon persuades her to drop the gun and she’s taken in for questioning.

Back at the CBI headquarters, Julianna explains that the gun belonged to Lemuel, who kept it for protection. He was in trouble with the Ghouls, especially Shade, who was no longer able to sell as many drugs as he did when Lemuel was around and as a result, felt that Lemuel owed him. Shade was responsible for all the injuries sustained by Lemuel. Julianna expresses her distrust of the police and says this is why she never went to the police before. She is however under arrest for use of an unregistered gun and is worried that Noah may go to Child Services. Lisbon says there is no other option in the absence of other family members.

Cho meanwhile has found Shade’s file. His real name is Jeron Slaughter, and he is known for beating down on gang members that step out of line. Lisbon asks Cho to bring Shade in, and Cho suggests working in collaboration with the new rapid response team set up by the CBI’s Gang Unit. Lisbon asks Cho to coordinate, while Lisbon goes to contact Child Services.

Noah has been brought to the CBI office and Jane goes to see him to find out how he is holding up. Noah is upset because he does not know where his sister is. At the same time, Lisbon comes in to talk to the young boy, probably to explain about Child Services, but Jane interrupts her claiming he just had a brilliant idea. Lisbon follows him out of the room and he confesses that there is no brilliant idea, he just does not want her to send Noah to a foster home. While Lisbon says she has no choice, Jane insists there are always choices. Jane asks her to let Noah go home, and not to charge his sister just yet. Lisbon says she has already called the DA and Child Services and walks away to speak to Rigsby.

Rigsby has Lemuel’s phone records and says the latter received calls from a disposable phone. One of the calls is within the murder window and could be from the killer. Jane asks Rigsby if Lemuel’s missing cufflink was ever found, then announces he has an appointment to visit a model home. He says that he trusts Lisbon will do the right thing. In spite of herself, she caves and asks Rigsby to release Julianna and leaves to call off the DA and Child Services.

At the real estate agency, Jane is about to be taken on a tour of the model homes by Tiffany. He sees photos of the retreat at Carrington on the office wall, where Lemuel can be seen with Phipps. He learns that Lemuel was always running after the top salesmen, Dilmer, Phipps and Bosch. At that moment, a man arrives and seeing Tiffany about to start the tour insists he will take care of it himself. He introduces himself at Quentin Bosch, one of the top salesmen. Bosch asks Jane what kind of home he is looking for. Jane points at the Catalina, a home in the opposite direction, thus distracting Bosch who briefly turns his back and gives Jane time to grab a set of model home keys hanging on the wall.

Cho meanwhile, is with Agent Wade and the rest of the rapid response team, getting ready to go into Shade’s hideout. Shade manages to run, but is soon caught by Cho, who also comes across the missing car belonging to Lemuel.

Jane is touring the model homes with Bosch and pretends to be dissatisfied with the first home, saying that he does not feel the place. They move on to the Catalina 2, where Jane asks if he can be left alone for 10 minutes to feel the aura of the house. Bosch is dubious, but agrees to leave him alone. In reality, Jane is looking for evidence and finds it under a couch in the living room – Lemuel’s missing cufflink. The Catalina 2 is obviously the crime scene.

Shade is being questioned by Cho and admits that he went over to Lemuel’s office and stole his car, which he estimated was worth the loss he incurred after Lemuel left the Ghouls. While Cho points out that Lemuel was killed in one of the model homes at the same time, Shade insists that the car was payment in full, which meant he had no reason to kill Lemuel.

Lisbon tells Jane that she does not think Shade killed Lemuel. Jane says that anyone could have got into the model homes and Lisbon wonders about the motive for murder. She says she will arrange to have a CSI team sent to the Catalina 2.

Meanwhile Van Pelt has gone through Lemuel’s computer and found out that he had set up news alerts for the Carrington Gazette. He recently read articles about a robbery, a missing hunter, and a house fire. Jane is intrigued and seems to have a plan. He asks to borrow Lemuel’s car and asks Lisbon to hold off on the CSI team for now.

Jane drives Lemuel’s car at night and parks it in front of the real estate office with a note on the windshield. The car is found the next morning by Tiffany, Phipps and Bosch. The note reads: “Bring $50,000 to the place where you killed Lemuel McVie at 10.30 or I’ll go to the police at 11.” Tiffany goes to call the police, while Bosch calls Dilmer.

Sarah Harrigan arrives at the CBI office. We learn that she is now an ADA. Lisbon asks her to wait about Julianna’s case. She claims that the matter is still developing and that she would like to have the leverage to use Julianna against bigger fish. Sarah tells her not to give Julianna a break out of sympathy, but agrees to wait and leaves.

Back at Wintergrove Realty, Rigsby is checking out the note left on Lemuel’s car, in the presence of Dilmer and other employees. Dilmer is upset about the car and note incident and says the police don’t even know where Lemuel was killed. Rigsby asks everyone to go back to their jobs and makes a call, presumably to Jane, to say that the hook has been baited.  

That night, Lisbon and Jane enter the Catalina 2. Lisbon complains that they are breaking in, but Jane says he has the key. He points out that the home does not have a rug at the center of the living room, unlike the first model home. Lisbon concludes that the rug was used to soak up the victim’s blood and carry the body. Jane believes Lemuel was killed by someone from Wintergrove Realty because something bad happened at the retreat. He and Lisbon hide behind the kitchen counter and proceed to wait for the killer to come back to the model home.

Lisbon falls asleep and Jane wakes her up because she was talking in her sleep. Just then, he hears someone entering. Bosch enters and Jane is puzzled because he says Bosch is lazy. He is soon followed by Phipps, which again surprises Jane, because the two men hate each other. Seconds later, Dilmer arrives and says he has the money. Bosch and Phipps start to argue and Dilmer reminds them that they are all in this together. The men are interrupted by Jane and Lisbon. Phipps quickly figures out that the note was a trap but claims that their presence at the model home is not proof of their guilt. Jane and Lisbon say that they know the motive, which has something to do with a missing hunter in Carrington, who is most probably dead. Jane and Lisbon then thank Bosch and tell him he is free to go, leading the other men to believe that he cut a deal and ratted them out. Bosch gets upset and tells them Jane is messing with them, but it’s too late, as they have already given themselves away and Lisbon can easily arrest them.

In the interrogation room at CBI, Cho tells Dilmer that the wheels of his SUV match the tracks at the golf course where Lemuel’s body was found. Dilmer says it was all an accident. Bosch, interrogated by Rigsby and Phipps, interrogated by Van Pelt, are also simultaneously telling the story. They were all in the woods at Carrington during the retreat, including Lemuel, drinking and hunting. Lemuel was not interested in hunting that day. Bosch saw a branch move and thought it was a deer. He, Dilmer and Phipps started to shoot. They went to see what they had got, and realized it was a man. They panicked and while Lemuel wanted to go to the police, the others disagreed and finally they hid the body together. But when they got back from the retreat, Lemuel insisted they should come clean. Dilmer got Lemuel to come to the Catalina 2, under the pretense of meeting late arriving customers. Instead, Dilmer, Phipps and Bosch met him there and beat him to death. They were planning to hide Lemuel’s car, but it was stolen before they had a chance to do so.

Later, Agent Wade comes by to see Cho and asks him to work part-time with the CBI’s rapid response team. Cho agrees.

Lisbon calls Sarah in to meet Julianna and Noah and plays upon the emotional aspect of their story to convince Sarah that they should drop the charges. Caught off guard, Sarah has no choice but to agree, but tells Lisbon that while that was well played, she owes her one. Julianna thanks Lisbon, and Noah gives her a hug.

The episode ends with Jane in his room at the CBI, going over the names in his little book of Red John suspects. The list is still very long.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Season 5 Episodes
The Crimson Ticket  · Devil's Cherry  · Not One Red Cent  · Blood Feud  · Red Dawn  · Cherry Picked  · If It Bleeds, It Leads · Red Sails In The Sunset · Black Cherry · Panama Red · Days of Wine and Roses · Little Red Corvette · The Red Barn · Red In Tooth And Claw · Red Lacquer Nail Polish · There Will Be Blood · Red, White and Blue · Behind The Red Curtain · Red Letter Day · Red Velvet Cupcakes · Red and Itchy · Red John's Rules