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Nothing Gold Can Stay is the tenth episode of the seventh season of The Mentalist.


Jane takes extreme measures as the team tries to apprehend a deadly gang of armored car robbers before their desperation to remain free costs more innocent people their lives.


An armored truck guard is dragged away from his truck by armed, masked gunmen. The driver calls in the robbery while the thieves unload all the cash from the truck and take off in an older car from the 70s. Jane tells Teresa about a rustic, romantic cabin he wants to take her too but she doesn’t like the word rustic. They meet Cho on scene and he runs down the crime with them. Vega says she found out this was the biggest cash delivery of the year and the tracking devices weren’t implanted yet.

Cho says they can do surveillance on bank employees to see who gave the inside info but Jane wants to just ask them. He goes inside and asks who among them is the robbery accomplice. Gil, the bank manager is shocked and says it’s outrageous. Cho says it’s not yet. Jane tells the employees that guilt causes a reaction and singles out a teller he thinks looks squirrely. He hands over the burner that’s in his pocket and when Cho asks him who gave it to him, the guy faints in his arms.

Jane jokes that he killed him. Ken the clerk says he’s hypoglycemic and that’s why he fainted. He has a lawyer with him. Abbott says they know he doubled the bank’s cash order. Abbott says to tell them about the robbers. The lawyer blocks the question but they keep Ken locked down. Abbott tells Cho that he’s holding out and won’t say anything. He tells Cho to take lead on this one since he’ll be in charge soon enough. Wiley tells Vega about a League of Legends tournament and invites her along.

She agrees to ride with him and have dinner. Cho shows up asking for Jane and Teresa. Vega says the getaway car was found not too far away. Wiley says Ken made calls to another burner. Vega says they probably met in person at least once so Wiley decides to run the locations of Ken’s personal phone and use security cameras to see if they can find it. Cho and Vega head out to run these down. Wiley asks Abbott about Vega.

Wiley asks what kind of restaurant he should take her to so he can impress her without coming on too strong. Abbott gives him some solid advice and reminds him that he already got her to say yes. He reminds him to have fun. Vega says Wiley sent a list of 14 locations. She says they’re all over the county and he says they have to search them all today. She asks if Cho is excited to take over the team but he says he doesn’t think about it that way.

She says he should be excited and he says he is, but his face doesn’t show it. She asks if he’ll make any changes and he says rookie agents will be seen not heard. Jane brings Teresa a box of mints for her pillow and says he found them a resort that will meet her wants but she says it doesn’t sound rustic. He says he’ll find a tree. They watch the security footage and Jane points out one that he thinks is the one in charge.

Teresa says the guy with the automatic weapon is the new guy. Jane thinks the alpha and the driver are brothers. Jane thinks they have a genetic anomaly that gives them different sized legs. Teresa calls this to Cho. Vega and Cho hit a diner on their list. The waitress is dismissive but then Vega points out a guy with a built up boot on one foot. Cho calls for back up. The two guys get up to leave and Cho stops them. He says he wants to talk and flashes his badge. Vega comes up behind them.

They tell them to stay calm and they can talk outside. Cho asks where the third guy is and then that guy starts shooting from behind the counter. Cho corners one and he puts his gun down but then goes for it again and Cho shoots him. Another robber comes for him and drags him out. Cho shoots out the window but they get away. He goes back into the diner and tells them to call 911. Vega has been shot. He holds her and tells her to keep breathing.

She’s been gut shot and he puts his hand on her stomach to try and stop the bleeding. She says it hurts and asks if she messed up. He tells her she did good and tells her to keep breathing. She tries but it doesn’t look good. His voice is fading as they hear sirens. Teresa and Jane show up the hospital. Abbott is already waiting there. They go in a room and see Vega in bed. She’s pale and still. Cho looks ready to kill. Wiley sits distraught at his desk in tears.

Brian Portis comes in and says he’s the homicide investigator assigned to Vega’s case. He asks for her desk and Wiley points. Then he asks for Abbott and Wiley shows him where to go. Teresa comes over and pulls Wiley into a hug. Portis tells Abbott he’s sorry about this but they can’t investigate the death of one of their own. He tells Abbott he’s there to work with him and says the diner hostess told them the crew were regulars and they ID’d them.

Aaron Brunell, Tommy Brunell (the one Cho shot), Steve Seller was the one who shot Vega. Portis asks if Vega did anything different this morning and Abbott says he doesn’t know, he didn’t even get to talk to her this morning. Abbott says Portis can have the collar and the credit but those men belong to him. Portis agrees then asks to talk to Cho. He goes and tells him that he’s Austin PD and offers him time to clean up. Cho declines. His shirt is covered in her blood.

Portis starts a recording and asks him to walk him through the events. Cho says they were out canvassing for the suspects. He says the diner was the fifth location. He says Vega spotted two suspects and pointed them out to him. Later, Abbott finds him putting on his jacket to cover the blood. He tells Cho he has to call Vega’s next of kin, her aunt. Cho insists that he be the one to do it and Abbott tells him to use his office for some quiet.

He looks at her personnel file that Abbott has pulled up on his screen and drops his head into his hand. He looks sick. He shakes his head and cries. He pulls it together and dials the aunt. He tells her he’s calling from the FBI about Michelle. Teresa finds Jane and asks if he doesn’t believe in the afterlife. He says no but she tells him she does and asks if it’s foolish. She says she needs to believe that Vega is someplace.

Abbott comes and tells them Austin PD may have something. Portis is with Wiley and shows they are near Windsor Park – they stopped at a gas station looking for bandages. Jane says they’re hunting a wounded animal and don’t want to drive him to ground. Jane says they’re not thinking about fleeing, they’re looking for medical supplies. Teresa suggests placing people quietly near area drugstores to wait for them. Abbott sees one of the guys at his location.

He calls it in and calls in more units. Cho moves to their location. A car pulls up with sirens on but it’s too late. They alerted the gunman who takes a woman hostage. His ride pulls up and they fire on the cops then peal out taking the woman with them. Abbott calls in the gold minivan and says they have a hostage and warns not to engage.

The cops are outside a suburban home with SWAT and all sorts of fire power. They’ve cordoned off the street. Cho says they drive right into the garage and the home belongs to an older woman and her nephew. Aaron works on Tommy but he’s still breathing. Portis says they’ve demanded food, a doctor for their wounded and a helicopter. Jane says Ace is worried about his brother but Sellers just wants the money. Cho goes to the door and hands over pizza and says they get a doctor when they surrender.

Sellers asks Ace what the cops said and says no doctor til they surrender. They put a tiny camera on the pizza box insert. Jane asks if they hear the TV on and Teresa says it sounds like local news. Cho tells Abbott he thinks they can take them. Abbott says Jane has a plan but Cho says he’s improvising and they can’t wait. Abbott thinks he’s just looking for payback for Vega and Cho says maybe. He says to let Jane’s plan play out.

Jane goes to talk to one of the reporters. Then she’s on the news saying one of the robbers has started back channel negotiations for surrender. Sure enough, that drives a wedge between Ace and Sellers. The nephew begs them to let them go and Sellers slaps the nephew hard. His aunt begs them to stop. Tommy looks like he’s in bad shape. Cho and Abbott talk to SWAT and make a plan to breach but Jane says to give it more time.

They say no. Then Jane asks Teresa not to go in. He says Abbott and Cho just want to kill these guys and other people could get hurt. She says she doesn’t think it’s going that way. Jane walks up to the house, unarmed and arms out. They open the door and ask who he is. He tells Ace that he can help he and his brother but he has to let a hostage go and says to swap him for one. He says he’s FBI and worth more.

Ace calls out for Sellers to bring the crier. Sellers doesn’t care. He shoves the guy out and Jane goes in under gunpoint. Teresa is not happy with her BF. Portis asks what happened and Teresa says they may as well give him time since Jane is already in there. Abbott says to call a 30 minute pause on the plan to go inside. They pat Jane down and then hold a gun on him when he heads for the lady. He says he just wants to check on the woman who’s diabetic.

He goes to sit by her and asks how she’s feeling. He asks if she’s got any numbness and she says she’s not sure. He asks about her feet and he says her breath is getting shorter and she’s going to lose vision. She starts to pant and Sellers says it’s not his problem. He says the FBI his microphones everywhere and if she starts to slip into a coma, they will storm the place. Ace takes her out the side so the FBI can get her out.

Jane tells Sellers it’s a shame that all this is over $800k. Sellers says it was $600k. Jane says they got an official count and there was $800k. Sellers is skeptical but Abbott says they can support it. The news program says that more than $800k was taken from the bank. Ace says the news needs to get their facts straight but Sellers doesn’t seem to buy it. He goes off to take a pee. Ace asks Jane if Sellers said anything to him and he says he just said he didn’t want to die in prison.

Ace takes Jane out to the garage. They argue over money, Steve shoots and kills Ace, then Cho enters the garage and shoots and kills Steve. Jane is in shock at how rapidly he took the guy out without even considering alternatives. Little brother Tommy is taken out to the ambulance – he’s the only surviving robber. At Vega’s funeral, Abbott and Cho are the lead pall bearers. Teresa walks beside Wiley who still looks to be in shock.

The agents sit behind Vega’s devastated family. Her aunt, her cousins are there. Her parents are already gone. The honor guard pulls the flag off her coffin and fold it. Cho kneels and hands it to her aunt. She cries as she accepts it. As he walks away, she breaks into sobs. Abbott puts a shovel of dirt on her grave then passes the tool to Teresa then Wiley. There’s a long line to say goodbye to her in this traditional way.

Abbott puts his arms around Wiley as they walk away. Cho looks like he’s wound tight enough to burst. Teresa finds Jane later kneeling by a tree and says places like this must be hard for him. She says she doesn’t feel right taking their weekend trip and he agrees. He tells Teresa he can’t watch her do this anymore. He says it could have been her in that coffin. He says he can’t go through that again. Teresa says he’s the one who walked into that house.

He says he went in so she wouldn’t. She asks how him dying would be different and he says him dying won’t hurt him. She says he can’t keep pulling her from the paths of oncoming trains and says there are new trains every day. He tells her he’s leaving, that he has to. He asks her to go with him. She asks where he’s going and he says – someplace nice. He kisses her and walks away.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • This episode marks the first death of a regular cast member. 
  • This is one of the rare episodes in which Kimball Cho loses his stoic demeanor and breaks down crying. He had been shown often to give a quick smile or show some amusement with a dry sense of humor. There was a previous episode in which he broke down in the end when informing his childhood friend's grandmother that he had indeed been going clean and trying to leave thinking life behind. 
  • Vega's death, and Wylie's reaction It's the same reaction of Patrick when Red John kills his wife and daughter, and his fear of losing someone close to him (Teresa Lisbon).
  • The title of the episode comes from the poem of the same name by Robert Frost, "Nothing Gold Can Stay".

Season 7 Episodes
Nothing But Blue Skies  · The Greybar Hotel  · Orange Blossom Ice Cream  · Black Market  · The Silver Briefcase  · Green Light  · Little Yellow House  · The Whites of His Eyes  · Copper Bullet  · Nothing Gold Can Stay  · Byzantium  · Brown Shag Carpet  · White Orchids