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Crimson Casanova is the fourteenth episode of season one of The Mentalist. It aired on February 10th 2009 in the US and June 25th 2009 in the UK.


Calistoga Canyon Resort and Spa in Napa County is the scene of a murdered society wife, Claire Wolcott. Her husband is politically connected and has pulled some strings to get the CBI team out to investigate. Keith Wolcott has asked that the investigation be kept discreet. The team enters the room to find Claire naked in bed. There is a champagne bucket and two champagne flutes sitting on the table. Lisbon concludes that she was having an affair, which makes Mr. Wolcott a prime suspect along with the mystery lover. They find two spent shells on the floor and bag them for evidence. After thoroughly looking around the room, Patrick declares the mystery lover was not the killer. He explains that the shell casings were across the room; if the lover had committed the murder he would have been closer to the victim when he shot her. He also points out several drops of blood on the rug. He explains that there would be no reason for the perpetrator to be injured so the blood would have belonged to the mystery lover. He moves out the patio doors to see if there is a blood trail. He and Lisbon follow the path and find more blood evidence. There are a few drops of blood beside a car with a license, DOC LADY. They go to her room to find a woman in bed with a man with a bandaged arm.

The man with the injured arm is Paul Fricke. He is a sleazy womanizer who enjoys preying on rich, married women. He explains that he had spent the evening with Claire Wolcott. They had sex and went to sleep. A loud noise and the pain in his arm woke him up. He saw Claire dead next to him and he ran. His huge ego is more that Van Pelt and Lisbon can stomach. Lisbon asks for a copy of his little black book, which lists his pick-ups. As they leave the spa, Van Pelt jokingly suggests they arrest him for creepiness. Rigsby posits that perhaps the killer was trying to kill Fricke instead of Wolcott but Lisbon argues that the room was registered in Wolcott's name; no one knew Fricke was in the room.

Back at headquarters, Lisbon meets with Claire's husband. Lisbon gives her condolences and receives the requested articles. The first thing he does is to drop the name of his 'friend' the Attorney General. He demands the CBI team give their full attention to the investigation into the death of his wife. Although Lisbon is irritated by his attempt to intimidate her, she behaves in a politic manner. However, she does make it clear that all the cases they run receive their full attention, intimating that he's not as special as he thinks he is. She calls Cho to conduct an interview with Wolcott. Cho is also impervious to his arrogance. He asks a series of questions but receives no pertinent information. Wolcott does recall Claire firing an assistant over some stolen jewelry. He knew that Claire was meeting a lover but he didn't know she had a lover prior to her death. Wolcott demands the name of Claire's lover but Cho refuses to reveal the name even though Wolcott threatens his career. He refuses to answer any more questions and leaves the interview.

Patrick and Grace leave to speak to Natalie, the assistant Claire fired. She is hostile towards Claire and doesn't invite them into her apartment. Patrick tells Natalie that Claire was murdered. She appears shocked by the news and Patrick slips into her apartment. As Grace questions Natalie regarding her relationship with Claire, Patrick looks around her apartment. He notices she is uncomfortable when he goes to one side of the room. Using a somewhat theatrical flair, he grabs her hand, with his fingers on her pulse. He walks her around for a moment until he reaches the desk with her camera sitting on top. He picks it up and looks at the pictures. He sees a picture of Paul Fricke and Claire Wolcott time stamped to just before she was murdered.

Natalie is taken to headquarters where Cho takes charge of her interrogation. He confronts her with the photos of Claire and her lover, suggesting she had the opportunity and motive to murder Claire. Natalie argues that she wasn't worried about the theft charge because she didn't take the jewelry and it wouldn't have held up. She finally admits, however, that she was going to threaten to show the photos to Keith Wolcott in exchange for Claire dropping the theft charges. She never got the chance. She explains that the blackmail wouldn't necessarily have worked because Keith was so controlling that he probably already knew about Claire's affairs.

Cho meets the rest of the team in the office area. He tells them he doesn't think Natalie committed the murder. He suggests the husband may be the one but Rigsby tells him that Wolcott's alibi is solid. They all agree that he is the type to hire a killer if he was so inclined. Patrick listens to the discussion and groans periodically to indicate his disagreement with their theories. When asked what he thinks, Patrick jumps up and enthusiastically suggests they return to the crime scene because something is amiss. It's Rigsby's turn to indulge Patrick's whim, so he follows him out of the office.

At the hotel room, Patrick looks around for a moment then goes out the patio doors and closes them behind him. He attempts to reenter but the door locks automatically. When Rigsby lets him back into the room, he happily suggests that they go get lunch. Kevin Haightly, the manager of the hotel, greets them in the restaurant and asks when they will be able to reopen the villa. Patrick tells them that there is no news; they are just there for lunch. They see Paul Fricke sitting at a table giving his order to the pretty blonde waitress, Katie. Haightly notices her speaking to Fricke and interrupts to send her to another table. Fricke sees Patrick and Rigsby at their table and invites them to join him. Fricke continues to give them his theories on dating. Patrick is obviously disgusted with his ridiculous dating advice. When Katie returns to bring Fricke's bill, Patrick notices her react to something he says. He asks them what is going on between the two of them. They both deny any kind of relationship but it seems clear they are lying. Patrick suggests that Fricke had feelings for Katie. Fricke finally admits they had a relationship years ago. Before Patrick and Rigsby leave, Patrick asks whether or not the patio door was open. He finds out it was closed because it was cold out that night. Now that he had what he came for, Patrick and Rigsby leave the restaurant and head for a fast food outlet.

At headquarters, Cho is interviewing the women from Fricke's 'little black book'. The office is filled with young women waiting to speak to the detective. They receive no information pertinent to the murder. None of the women seem to harbor any ill will towards Fricke. Grace has discovered that three days before Claire was murdered she withdrew $200 thousand in the form of cashiers cheque made out to Paul Fricke. However, Keith Wolcott asked the bank to inform him whenever a large transaction took place, so he clearly knew about the withdrawal.

Patrick and Rigsby go to speak to Keith Wolcott again. He is attending a function with a group of men. Rigsby approaches him politely. He explains that they need to ask him some follow up questions regarding his statement. Wolcott brushes off the request, telling Rigsby he will speak to them the next morning. When Rigsby persists, Wolcott firmly dismisses him as if he were an errant child. Patrick refuses to be dismissed and calls from the doorway to Wolcott and his cronies. When Wolcott angrily approaches him, Jane flicks him on the nose.

Patrick walks away in anger leaving Wolcott astounded.

Lisbon has heard about Patrick's assault on Wolcott and storms into the office interrupting his peaceful nap. She tells him that Wolcott is coming down with his lawyer in tow and to avoid a lawsuit, she wants Patrick to give him a formal apology. Patrick refuses. He tells Lisbon that Wolcott is going to drop the issue anyway, because he is a narcissist and won't want the bad publicity that goes along with a lawsuit. Lisbon angrily flicks Patrick's nose and leaves. A little later, Lisbon is speaking to Wolcott and his lawyer. She apologizes because Patrick refuses to apologize. She tells them that he will be happy to see them in court. She explains that because Wolcott has refused to speak to them regarding his wife, he will have to remain a suspect creating a bit of a public relations mess. He finally admits to knowing about the affair and the money she withdrew. He tells Lisbon that he was actually pleased with Claire's infidelity because he was planning to divorce her and the affair was going to make it much cheaper for him to get rid of her.

Cho is re-interviewing Paul Fricke. He asks him about the money he was going to borrow. Fricke explains that he was going to invest the money in a club. He didn't seem to care that the money fell through. He was confident he would find another rich, married woman to help him out. Patrick rushes into the room and asks Fricke about the waitress Katie. Cho is a little annoyed with the interruption. Patrick gives him a perfunctory apology and carries on with his question. Fricke explains that when he didn't have anyone better he would call Katie. Patrick suggests that this arrangement must have been difficult for Katie. She must love him to allow herself to be used in such a fashion. Patrick implies that Katie had motive to kill Claire. Fricke replies with surprising tenderness when rejecting this suggestion. Without thinking, Patrick tells Fricke he can go. Cho protests and tells him to stay. Patrick recants his dismissal and rushes from the room. Cho follows.

That evening, we see a very dapper Kimball Cho strutting through the club at the resort. He seats himself at the bar. Patrick and the rest of the team watch and listen to him from a remote location. Patrick tells him to look for a likely target. Cho orders a drink and takes it to the table of two beautiful women. In his typical, stiff, business-like manner, he introduces himself. The women, Darby and Sarah Beth, are a little surprised by his approach but allow him to join them. Fricke and two women enter the club; Haightly follows shortly after. He sees Katie working and approaches her. He tells her that because she has worked a double shift, she can clock out. He offers her a drink on the house. She thanks him and leaves.

With Katie is sitting at the bar, Cho begins to implement the second part of their plan. Cho whispers something to the ladies to get them to leave, then joins Katie at the bar. He mopes about blowing it with the women, telling her that he has always been unlucky with women. She looks longingly over at Fricke and tells Cho that she knows how he feels. When Cho criticizes Fricke, Katie defends him. She explains that when they dated Fricke was sweet and caring. She blames herself for their break up and explains that this is Fricke's way of punishing her. Cho suggests they let him see the two of them having a great time and make him jealous. Cho's matter-of-fact approach is working well and she happily accepts his invitation. They walk past Fricke's table arm in arm, laughing. Fricke notices them leave and seems unhappy, perhaps even jealous. Cho takes them into a room and begins speaking to the team. Katie is confused so Cho introduces himself to Katie and explains what is happening. She is hurt by the revelation. The team is watching the hallway expecting the murderer to make his move. Haightly enters their room with a gun in hand. In a split second, Haightly has two guns trained on him. Rigsby cuffs him. He asks them how they knew he was the murderer. Patrick explains that the patio door was closed so the only person who could enter had to have had a key. He suspected Paul Fricke was the target and the only person to want to kill Paul Fricke was perhaps someone who loved Katie. Haightly is unrepentant.

A while later, Patrick is sitting at the bar having a drink. When Fricke joins him, he encourages him to re-establish his relationship with Katie who still loves him. When a beautiful lady invites Patrick to join her for a drink, he declines, telling her that he's married.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • This episode had the highest rating of the whole series, with 19.70 million viewers.
  • Up until this episode, every episode title contains the word "Red" to symbolize Red John, the only uncaught murderer in the television show. However the word "Crimson" is a shade of red, so it still plays to the theme of having the word "Red" in episode names.
  • Gina Marie May (Sara-Beth) is Tim Kang's wife in real life.
Season 1 Episodes
Pilot  · Red Hair and Silver Tape  · Red Tide  · Ladies in Red  · Redwood  · Red Handed  · Seeing Red  · The Thin Red Line  · Flame Red  · Red Brick and Ivy  · Red John's Friends  · Red Rum  · Paint It Red  · Crimson Casanova  · Scarlett Fever  · Bloodshot  · Carnelian, Inc.  · Russet Potatoes  · A Dozen Red Roses  · Red Sauce  · Miss Red  · Blood Brothers  · Red John's Footsteps