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Pretty Red Balloon is the third episode of Season 4 of The Mentalist


Jane and the CBI team are assigned with a kidnapping case, the victim being the son of a former client from Jane's days as a psychic. Meanwhile, Jane encounters his former client's new "spiritual advisor".


This episode starts with a missing child, Conner Flint, and the kid’s mother, Elizabeth, was one of Jane’s clients back in the day and still believes he’s psychic. Furthermore, she has a new psychic that’s obviously a fraud.

As it turns out, if the person in question is as desperate for hope as Elizabeth Flint. She just refuses to believe his confession and keeps berating him for denying his gift and not using it to find her child. Enter her latest “spiritual adviser” Nate Glass, who’s conveniently been around ever since her husband passed on. Upon investigation into Conner’s kidnapping at his bus stop, the team discovers that two other boys had been taken the same way and had been found dead within 12 hours by someone the media has dubbed “The Balloon Man”, because he uses the balloons to lure his victims away with him. Looks like the clock is ticking on poor Conner. Lisbon and Jane are still at the house and talk to Conner’s step-brother, Jonathan, and his Uncle Deke. Seems Jonathan owns everything and just lets his step-mother and Conner live there free. It’s also obvious that neither one of them likes Jane for fleecing Beth all those years ago. Jane snaps right back at them with the “tells” of their addictions. Bottom line out of these two is that it was a typical morning. They had breakfast, then Conner went to the bus stop. He waited there alone because he didn’t want to be teased for needing someone to wait with him.

Back at the office, they’ve hauled in the “usual suspects” for interviews and they don’t seem very productive, except mention of a ubiquitous black SUV. Jane’s pretty quiet, except his efforts to convince Beth that Glass is a fraud, even going so far as to tell Glass that he’d let him run his game if a kid’s life wasn’t at stake. The team keeps hunting the Balloon Man and discovers that the vantage point the kidnapper would have needed to know the kids were at the bus stops alone would be a telephone pole – leading back to the very same suspect that pointed them towards the SUV. Jane stays behind “to think” while the rest of the team go to bring him in. Van Pelt sneaks in from behind and takes him out. Jane’s left them a note in Rigsby ’s pocket – the Balloon Man didn’t take Conner. The whole thing does give Van Pelt a chance to mess with Rigsby too by telling him, that she thinks she’s starting to enjoy shooting people.

Jane’s still not sure who did take Conner, although he suspects it’s something more “tangled”. Further research shows that Beth is in a lot of debt and that Conner was the one who inherited when her husband died, not her. She only gets the money if Conner dies. So the team brings her in for questioning. She’s very believable when she said her life would be over if anything happened to Conner. Jane is thinking “love is strange” and that he’d like a sandwich.

Jane’s ready to set up the suspects to see who bites, but this time he’s doing it in style with an award worthy performance of a “reading” of Conner. He uses all the clues he’s gathered so far to paint the kidnapper into a corner where he has to do something. If he doesn’t the team will find the boy. And that’s exactly what Jane wants and the team is actually poised to follow the kidnapper to wherever he has the kid. It was actually Jonathan, who still hadn’t decided if he could kill his step-brother. Either way though, by comforting her after he was found dead, or being the hero that rescued him, Jonathan thought he could spin it to win Beth’s heart.

Jane and Lisbon take Conner home and was greeted by Beth who is happy to see her son come home alive. After Beth, Deke, Lisbon, and Conner get inside the house, Glass comes up to Jane and confront him about stealing his act. Jane, then proceed to tell Glass that his con man act is "Weak" but Glass replies by mimicry his psychic act but Glass doesn't know that Jane is recording their conversation the whole time.

Beth asks Jane how does he know and Jane proceed to tell how he suspects and observes. Beth talks about Jane's psychic life and Jane apologizes but Beth said even though Jane did decieve her, she still thankful that Jane gave her hope. 


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Season 4 Episodes
Scarlet Ribbons  · Little Red Book  · Pretty Red Balloon  · Ring Around the Rosie  · Blood and Sand  · Where in the World is Carmine O'Brien? · Blinking Red Light · Pink Tops · The Redshirt · Fugue In Red · Always Bet On Red · My Bloody Valentine · Red Is The New Black · At First Blush · War Of The Roses · His Thoughts Were Red Thoughts · Cheap Burgundy · Ruddy Cheeks · Pink Champagne on Ice · Something's Rotten in Redmund · Ruby Slippers · So Long, and Thanks for All the Red Snapper · Red Rover, Red Rover · The Crimson Hat