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Paint It Red is the thirteenth episode of season one of The Mentalist. It aired on January 18th 2009 in the US and June 18th 2009 in the UK.


A man (Frank) and woman (Keely) are making out. They enter their bosses office using Frank's key. They roll around on the floor until the woman looks over and sees a dead man. CBI is called to the scene. Frank claims he got a call to check on the office where the victim was found. Only one thing was missing, but it's the most valuable thing in there: a painting. The victim wasn't supposed to be in the office. Jane surmises the murderer was surprised and used whatever was nearby. He picks out a bust he thinks was used as a murder weapon.

The victim was dragged from somewhere. He guesses that Frank and the receptionist came up there to have sex and then, because they weren't supposed to be there, dragged the body elsewhere because they couldn't explain why they were in there. Frank still doesn't admit anything. Jane further surmises the cameras in the room were off because, as the head of security, Frank could have turned them off. He folds.

At the office, Van Pelt tells Lisbon that the stolen painting is The Moro, a portrait from 14th century Italy of Carlotta Moro, the only known work of an artist known as the Sienese Master. It was bought by A.P. Caid for 50 million dollars three months prior. Caid is a wildcatter, out on his boat now. Lisbon tells the team to look into Harry Lashley's death.

Lisbon and Jane talk to his wife, Stevie, who's in shock. She describes Harry as a jack-of-all trades for her father. Jane guesses that Harry was a jazz guitarist (he could tell from the calluses on Harry's hands). She doesn't know why Harry would be on that floor. Frank has since been fired, but the staff all knew what was going on. She says her husband was honest and gentle. She refers them to Katherine Hawkes, the woman who buys the art for her dad's collection.

Lisbon talks with Hawkes, who says there are probably 100 collectors worldwide who could pull off the heist, but it's well-known Shirali Arlov - a Russian gangster - was outbid by Caid for the painting.

Lisbon sets the team on it.

Van Pelt finds that Harry has a record. She found evidence of a $20,000 payment to a mailbox in a small town. Jane suggests he and Van Pelt check it out. Lisbon expresses surprise and slight jealousy.

Jane immediately homes in on the the gallery of Rob Wallace. Jane tells Van Pelt to put the badge away. She tells him not to embarrass her.

In the studio, Jane starts in with telling a mom who's waiting for her daughter to get her portrait painted that he knows she thinks his fiancée, Van Pelt, is a lot younger than him.

Jane hovers as Rob paints, then excuses himself to go to the bathroom. But, as is his usual, he doesn't actually go to the bathroom. Instead, he looks around back as the artist chats up Van Pelt. Jane walks through rooms seemingly filled with nick-knacks and junk. Up front, the artist tells Van Pelt her fiancé kind of seems like a jerk. The "jerk" notices a secret room in back, turning a coat hook to find it. The painting is there.

Up front, the artist tells Van Pelt to turn her head to a certain angle, away from him, as he gets something from a cupboard. A shotgun.

He leads her to the back where he finds Jane. Van Pelt takes out her badge. They have their hands up as she explains that if he kills them their office would know. He's surprised to hear that Lashley is dead. Jane says that the painting he has isn't an original. It's a good copy that Lashley commissioned. One of three he painted, two of which he gave to Lashley. They're looking at the third, which he kept because he liked it. He's a forger, but that isn't a crime. Lashley paid him $10,000 per painting. He explains that he puts a detail in every one so that it can be identified as a copy. Jane makes Van Pelt examine it closer until she finds the detail: a TV antenna in something from 600 years ago. Jane asks to borrow the painting, or Van Pelt will take him away and ask a million questions.

Jane and Lisbon meet with A.P., who is tickled that someone stole his fake. He attempts to console his daughter over the loss of her husband, but is more focused on the painting. He keeps the real thing in his vault, which Hawkes isn't thrilled to learn. Jane asks to see it and immediately pronounces it fake. He asks A.P. to examine it. One of the riders in the background is carrying a machine gun. A.P. blames Hawkes, but she says she has the documents to prove he had the real one.

A.P. turns on his daughter, saying that her husband must have done it. Lisbon asks if they knew he spent six months in prison for theft year ago. A.P. lays into his daughter, saying he knew he shouldn't have trusted her husband. She just wants him to find her husband's killer.

At the office, they figure how and why Harry would have stolen the painting. Shirali Arlov is in the country, but traveling on a diplomatic passport. They can't talk to him. Jane asks where he's staying.

Cut to ladies in bikinis with drinks, frolicking around a posh house. A Russian-looking man watches someone snort some blow off a table and then looks at his wall, where the painting hangs.

Jane tries to goad Lisbon into giving him permission to visit Arlov. Jane sees that Rigsby wants to go after him and quickly talks him into sneaking off. They head to LA and Arlov.

Cho, Rigsby and Jane huddle in the car. The signal is "she is beautiful." Jane goes in, with a painting under his arm. Jane tells the goon at the door that he has the real Moro portrait that was stolen a couple days ago and he'd like to sell it to Arlov.

They let him in.

He sits with Arlov, who generally acts intimidating. Rigsby and Cho listen in through Jane's cell phone.

At the office, Lisbon notices everyone's gone. Van Pelt tells her Jane called in sick, Rigsby has a hot date and Cho got Kings tickets. Lisbon knows that Jane never gets sick; Rigsby doesn't have a hot date because he's in love with Van Pelt; and that the Kings aren't playing that night. "You know about that?" Van Pelt says. Sure, Lisbon says, everybody knows the Kings are on the road tonight. No, the other thing. Yes, everybody knows Rigsby's in love with her.

Jane shows Arlov his Moro. He unveils it - it looks like a child's drawing. He admits that it's a prop. He knows Arlov has the real thing, confirmed by a predatory smile on Arlov's face when Jane said he had it. Jane lays out the psychological profile of crime bosses. Sadistic, astute, methodical. Jane shows him his ID and explains he's trying to find out who killed Harry Lashley. He wants Arlov to tell him who he bought the painting from and stay protected with his diplomatic immunity. Arlov turns him down. Jane asks to see the Moro.

He shows him. Jane asks to hold the 600 year old painting. Arlov hands it over. Jane says, "She is beautiful" and Rigsby pulls the smoke alarm. In the commotion, Jane swaps Arlov's for the forgery he brought in.

He runs out to Cho and Rigsby in the car, giggling over having ripped off the Russian mob. Lisbon and Jane go to see A.P. She's peeved he directly went against orders.

They present A.P. with the painting as Hawkes and his daughter look on. Jane admits he stole it. There's nothing Arlov can do since he was in possession of stolen art. Stevie is upset that her dad is more excited to get the painting than he is concerned about her dead husband. He tells her again that Harry was no good and she could have had children with him. "We dodged a bullet here."

Jane watches the interaction happen, upset. He tells A.P. that he had a daughter once. That's how he knows anyone who treats his daughter like that is a fool. She's hurting and he doesn't care. "You're a blind, vain, emotionally stunted fool," he says. A.P. tries to throw him out and Jane ramps up, trying to figure how he can make A.P. understand. He takes the Moro from the wall and tosses it in the fire. Hawkes watches it burn. Jane turns to her and says you'd think that someone who dedicated their life to art would try to save a masterpiece, unless she knew it was another fake. She claims to be shocked.

Jane says it is a fake, which he only found out after he stole it. But Hawkes knew it was another fake because she has the real one in her safe.

Jane lays it out: Harry came to her for advice about the painting. She asked him to make a second painting so she could sell one to Arlov and keep the second one because, of course, she's the only one who deserves it.

All she had to do was come in after hours and take it off the wall. Flashback to Harry interrupting her and her hitting him over the head with the bust. Jane tells her people are going through her apartment right now - he looks at Lisbon who tries not to act surprised. She confesses. She never meant to kill him. Jane apologizes to A.P. for his pious rant earlier. He needed a pretext to burn the painting and their family dysfunction was it.

At the office, Cho and Rigsby puzzle over the idea that one painting is worth $10,000 and one is worth $50 million when they look so much alike. Jane looks at the painting he's just hung on the wall, does a double take and decides, eh, it's hard to say. Just to mess with them.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

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