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Every Rose Has Its Thorn is the nineteenth episode of third season of The Mentalist. This episode guest stars Morena Baccarin as Erica Flynn.


When Lisbon questions Jane's attitude towards a charismatic young widow, he explains it's because he thinks she killed her husband - the victim in the CBI's current case.


John Flynn is shot on the marina near his boat, pulled from the water. Jane is not intrigued with the mystery at this point, giving Lisbon only the barest information as well as the tidbit of information that your body completely regenerates its cells every seven years — so she is technically a whole new person from when they met. “Sadder, but wiser,” she agrees.

Flynn’s widow, Erica (Morena Baccarin) is at the station, mourning. Jane faces off with her, and while the exchange is friendly there’s also sort of tension there.

Rigsby interviews a nervous witness, Sarah, who serves as Erica’s alibi for the time of the murder — she’d been with Erica, interviewing for the matchmaking service that the Flynns' run. At the end she asks Rigsby if he’s in a relationship and seems ready to ask him out, but chickens out at the last second. They also interview Flynn’s ex-wife, Kim Cartwright, who had put a threatening video up on the internet shortly after their divorce the year previous. Kim claims to have reconciled with John, and that he had confided in her while he was trying to retire from the business, Erica was trying to keep expanding. She also points them towards a man named Henry Cliff, who John had been in a fight with just two days before.

Jane drops in on Erica at Symphony, the company in question. They’re again locked in a battle of wits.. To keep her interested in playing, Jane lets her interview him as she would if he were a client. He gives flippant answers, although there are occasional serious ones thrown in there. When she tries to ease him into trusting her, he flat out accuses her of killing her husband. She challenges him to prove it.

Although Rigsby and Cho have talked to Henry Cliff and gone chasing an escort named Naomi who had blackmailed him after taping them having sex, the team has run out of leads. While they chase leads, Jane steals Lisbon’s laptop, and begins comparing his interview DVD with Sarah’s.

Grace found a woman matching a list of girls from a company holding a singles mixer, so Rigsby is off to the undercover races to find Naomi to bring her in. They make it upstairs quickly, and before Rigsby knows what’s hit him, they are on the bed with her clothed in nothing but her underclothes and a rose tattoo on her hip. Grace and Lisbon interrupt, and Naomi — real name Viktoria — is arrested.

Jane returns to Erica, and claims to have figured out her secret. He heard a sound on Sarah’s video that wasn’t on his — the click of a tape recorder. Erica had conducted her interview from a smaller room, partitioned off from the recording studio where Sarah was seated, although in reality had not been present. For this she would have needed an accomplice and a way out — which Erica quickly shows him is not possible. The only way out would have been past Sarah. Erica pleads with him to stop the obsessive behavior, that he, “[sees] evil everywhere.”

Lisbon tries to reason with him, saying they have other viable suspects, but Jane is pretty set on Erica for now. Naomi / Victoria is pretty short with Cho and calling in her lawyer before they can get any information out of her. After, Rigsby is waffling about whether or not to call Sarah to Cho, but Cho walks away without paying much attention. In the end, Rigsby picks up the phone. They have their first date.

Jane furthers his campaign against Erica by taking in her accomplice — young Peter, her assistant, who is easily manipulated by Erica’s feminine wiles. But he won’t talk either. Jane says to let him go, and later that night his rest is interrupted. First by Erica to gloat that she is still three steps ahead, and then by Lisbon, bringing word that Peter is dead and he killed himself.

At the scene, a body is taken away, and then Jane and Erica have their face off. She calls his bluff by opening up the letter that Peter supposedly left, but all it says is “I win.” Combine this with Jane’s insistence that she had loved Peter and her callous denials, and it’s all the perfect recipe for a confession. While there isn’t one, they do reveal that Peter is not really dead and has just heard Erica talking about how she hadn’t really loved him. It’s enough to flip Peter.

While Peter gives details about playing accomplice for Erica, she is calm and cool. She’s certain that she’ll get off since there’s no way a jury is going to believe Peter over her. “Not everyone’s so smart as you,” she tells Jane.

At the very end, Lisbon goes up to the perch looking for Jane, finding her laptop and his video set up to play on the other laptop. Perhaps out of curiosity, she presses play and Erica asks Jane what he wants in a woman. He answers seriously: “I would be interested in a woman I can trust, a woman who is tough, a woman who found peace with herself and who is a better person than me. Someone who knows the worst side of me and still loves me.” Erica remarks that she must be a remarkable woman, and he replies evenly, “She was.”


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • The episode's title is derived from the song by Poison.
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