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Cackle-bladder Blood is the second episode of Season 3 of The Mentalist


Jane's brother-in-law, Danny Ruskin, returns to town and gets mixed up in a murder investigation, and Jane must come to his aid despite personal reservations.


Jane receives a mysterious call from someone needing a favor. When Sac PD gets an anonymous call about a murder they go the crime scene and find Jane already there with the murder weapon in his hand. Jane comes up with a story for Hightower. He was just in the neighborhood with a friend, when he heard the shots, but Lisbon isn't buying it.

The victim is Landon Wale, a businessman who fell victim to an elaborate game run by a man named Daniel Ruskin. Jane professes to Lisbon that he doesn't know Landon and is forced to tell Lisbon what he knows about Daniel Ruskin. When they discover he's the one who called Jane in the first place, Jane tells her that Daniel is his brother-in-law.

While the rest of the team is working other angles to find who killed Landon, Jane is on his own, searching for Danny. It takes him back to people from his past - the carnival/county fair world. He's back in touch with those various characters and finally meets up with Danny, who is adamant that he didn't kill Landon. Old wounds are reopened for Jane as these two men distrust each other and Danny blames Jane for his sister's death.

Meanwhile, Lisbon tracks down Jane to bring both him and Danny in for questioning. During this, Rigsby and Cho are questioning Landon's wife and secretary and discover that Landon was having an affair. Through an elaborate plan where Danny seems to shoot Jane in front of Landon's wife, they get a confession out of her where she was convinced Landon was giving a valuable statue of theirs to his mistress when, in reality, he was using it as collateral in the con. She followed Landon to his office to take back the statue and killed him. The team takes her into custody. Jane and Danny come to a tentative truce.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • The episode's title is derived from the practice employed by con artists of using a cackle-bladder, a rubber bladder filled with fake blood, to fake someone's death.


This episode reveals the names of Jane's wife and daughter to be Angela and Charlotte Anne, respectively. Danny Ruskin mentions Angela's name in dialogue; also, in one scene Danny and Jane visit the cemetery where Angela and Charlotte are buried, and their names are seen on their tombstones.

Season 3 Episodes
Red Sky At Night  · Cackle-bladder Blood  · The Blood On His Hands  · Red Carpet Treatment  · The Red Ponies  · Pink Chanel Suit · Red Hot · Ball of Fire · Red Moon · Jolly Red Elf · Bloodsport · Bloodhounds · Red Alert · Blood for Blood · Red Gold · Red Queen · Bloodstream · The Red Mile · Every Rose Has Its Thorn · Redacted · Like a Redheaded Stepchild · Rhapsody in Red · Strawberries and Cream