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Panama Red is the tenth episode of fifth season of The Mentalist.


The death of a young botanist leads the team into the lucrative world of medical marijuana. Cho reencounters Summer Edgecombe in a counterfeiting ring.


Lisbon walks into a recreation facility to see body hanging from the wall at Rock Climbing Gym, Clearlake. It is a single shot from the back, 9mm maybe. The victim's name is Jeremy Reese. Lisbon suggests it was a robbery and they should go to the victim's apartment.

Meanwhile, Jane is not at the crime scene. He is still looking for Red John, now that he has a clue to his identity.

Lisbon calls Jane and tells him he's obsessing and that she'll text him the address.

At the victim's apartment, Jane does a run down on the victim and then tells Lisbon and Cho that the apartment has been tossed. They glance around the tidy room, and he points out that certain things are slightly out of place - a shirt in the closet, a textbook on the bookcase, and they find a safe behind the books that's empty. Jane fiddles with a puzzle box and tells Lisbon he thinks it's important - whatever is hidden in it is important to the victim but not important enough to put in the safe.

Back at the CBI offices the victim's former college advisor, Alice Burns, arrives to talk to Lisbon and Jane. She was the last person the victim called, to talk about a fight he'd had with his boss at a medical marijuana grow facility. She tells them Jeremy didn't smoke; he was a botanist doing genetic research on different strains of marijuana plants. She says he could be secretive, but he was kind and generous and after his mother died and her son moved away, they became a little family for each other. Jane asks her what she's sick with and she tells him cancer and that Jeremy would bring her prescription for medical marijuana.

Lisbon and Jane go to the farm to talk to the boss, Matthew Gold. Gold talks about the laws around his operation and shows them the seeds the victim developed for him, calling it the 'dankest' weed in the valley. Lisbon goes to see where the victim was working the day before, while Jane goes and pokes at a farm worker, who he notes is thoroughly baked (sampling the company stash is against policy) and that he's protecting Jeremy from something. The worker, Carson, says that a few months ago he crashed his car and Jeremy gave him money to fix it - eight grand like it was no big deal.

At the office Wade from the gang unit tells Cho about a rapid response team bust coming up soon. The rest of the team talks about the victim's financials, including a savings account opened six months ago that receives ten thousand dollars each month from a company in the Caymans. The only money missing from that account is the money gave to his friend Carson, so it's not cash that was in the safe. Jane is still fiddling with the victim's puzzle box and Lisbon tells him to take it to Technical Services and have it open and on her desk in the morning.

Jane uses a magnet to open the box and finds an access card inside with a logo on it.

Cho and the rapid response team bust a counterfeiting ring, during which Cho runs into his ex-girlfriend, Summer Edgecombe, who is evidently pregnant.

Jane uses the access card to enter a lab, where he is caught by several security guards. Lisbon arrives and asks him why he's in a tobacco laboratory, to which he replies he didn't know it was a tobacco lab. Two executives, Francesca and Davis, arrive and they discuss the victim, who has been working nights and weekends for them. The tobacco company is developing a marijuana strain, looking to corner the market when marijuana is eventually decriminalized. They tell Jane and Lisbon that Jeremy had just harvested the seeds from the plants, which are now missing. Jane suggests that they might be what was in the safe and tells them he'll find the seeds if they'll let him look around. He quickly identifies a hidden bug in the lab apparently planted by the head of security, Elwood Pierce.

Rigsby and Cho are in the observation room watching Summer who is sitting in interrogation, eight months pregnant and in town as she's getting married to the baby's father. "You dodged a bullet when you let that one slip away." Rigsby says as he leaves, and Cho goes to talk to Summer. She's pleased to see him, but he points out that she was in a garage full of phony cash. She's dismayed to realize he doesn't believe that she didn't have anything to do with the counterfeiting and insists that she got cleaned up when she was in Seattle, she pleads for him to help her. Cho goes to Wade and asks her to release Summer, she refuses and tells him she's charging her.

Lisbon is in interrogation with Pierce. He tells her that he was called to restrain Jeremy three days earlier, when the company went to move the seeds into secure storage and Jeremy lost it screaming about it being his work. Lisbon asks him for the recordings from the bug and he tells her she needs a warrant.

In the office Jane picks up a hundred-dollar bill from Cho's desk, Rigsby tells him it's counterfeit and Jane pockets it. They discuss the security guard as a suspect and Jane dismisses him. Van Pelt says the victim went to the lab the night of his murder; they assume he was there to take back his seeds before it was put into secure storage. Jane asks about Jeremy's notebooks from the lab and Van Pelt tells him they're mostly gibberish, possibly code. Jane takes one to look at.

Rigsby and Cho go to pick up Chuck Calloway, the ringleader from the counterfeiting ring. They chase him and he attacks Cho before they subdue and arrest him.

Jane goes in to see the security guard, showing him a coded note supposedly written by the victim (really written by Jane using the victim's notebooks as a handwriting guide). The guard offers to see if he can figure the note out, Jane leaves it with him.

Cho is talking to Chuck, wanting to know what Summer was doing at the warehouse. Chuck tells him that he was there to turn over some cash to the counterfeiters, he didn't have enough and thought taking a pregnant lady would make them less inclined to violence.

Lisbon is talking to the tobacco executives, telling them she's working on a warrant for their security recordings. Jane pops in with another copy of the fake note, sowing more seeds about 'Oliver Gans', a black-market pharmaceutical buyer that Jane has made up.

Ardiles arrives at the CBI offices to talk to Chuck about informing on the counterfeiters, which he agrees to do based on getting immunity and the charges against Summer being dropped. Ardiles agrees and leaves with Chuck.

At a memorial for the victim, Jane talks to the Gold and Carson about the fake note and Olivier Gans, then talks to Lisbon about it - she thinks he's getting carried away, he invites her to join him at Gans hotel room and gives her the address. There he tells her that the whole point is setting up a fake buyer for the seeds, that the note translates to a meeting time and place - this hotel at 3pm - and introduces 'Olivier Gans', Rigsby in a sharp suit and earpiece so Jane can talk him through the sale.

They wait and finally their guest arrives - Francesca enters and tells 'Gans' that Jeremy couldn't make it and he'll be dealing with her. She offers him a sample of the product, Rigsby coughs his way through a few puffs and asks to see the seeds. Lisbon gets up to go in and there's a knock on the door - 'Not us.' Lisbon tells Rigsby. He answers the hotel room door, it's Gold from the marijuana farm. Jane asks Lisbon to pass the cheese plate, this is getting good.

Francesca greets Gold - the pot business is small. Rigsby, clearly feeling the effects of his sample, asks if he's talking loud. Jane declares he knows what to do and has Rigsby repeat what he says. Rigsby does with a few fumbles and barely suppressed giggles. He offers them a deal: he takes both their seeds, they split the four million he agreed on with Jeremy. Gold says yes immediately, Francesca refuses - she has the real product and isn't here for half of anything. Gold pushes back and tells her Jeremy came to him when the company planned to put his work on ice, and the seeds he has are the ones he took from Jeremy's safe. Rigsby lurches to his feet and points finger guns at Gold, then snatches his gun from his holster and aims the grip at them. Lisbon enters and tells him to handcuff them both - Gold for murder, Francesca for industrial espionage. Rigsby agrees then stops and instead sits down, so baked he can barely function.

In interrogation Gold confesses to the murder and stealing the seeds. Van Pelt tells him that Francesca has also confessed - she knew Jeremy would steal his seeds, so she stole them first. Gold killed Jeremy for a handful of worthless hemp seeds.

Outside Cho talks to Wade, she tells him she can't trust him and they won't be working together anymore. As she leaves, a limo pulls up. Summer emerges from it in her wedding finery, followed by her fiancé, Marshal. She thanks him and promises to be good. Cho says goodbye and good luck, Summer tells him she'd kiss him but Marshal gets crazy jealous. And with a white gloved wave she departs.

Lisbon is searching her office for her keys and Jane asks if she's checked her desk. She turns and spies the puzzle box on it, picks it up and hears the rattle of keys inside. Unfazed, she opens her desk drawer, pulls out a hammer, smashes the box, and retrieves her keys. 'You keep a hammer in your desk?' "You only think you know everything about me."


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • The episode's title comes from Panama Red, a popular strain of cannabis.
Season 5 Episodes
The Crimson Ticket  · Devil's Cherry  · Not One Red Cent  · Blood Feud  · Red Dawn  · Cherry Picked  · If It Bleeds, It Leads · Red Sails In The Sunset · Black Cherry · Panama Red · Days of Wine and Roses · Little Red Corvette · The Red Barn · Red In Tooth And Claw · Red Lacquer Nail Polish · There Will Be Blood · Red, White and Blue · Behind The Red Curtain · Red Letter Day · Red Velvet Cupcakes · Red and Itchy · Red John's Rules