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Red Brick and Ivy is the tenth episode of season one of The Mentalist. It aired on December 16th 2008 in the US and May 28th 2009 in the UK.



Chancellor Stern introduces Alex Nelson

Chancellor Stern, of Leyland University, introduces Alex Nelson to a group of students and professors as a rising star in the field of neuroscience at the VIII Annual Neuroscience Symposium. His audience welcomes him enthusiastically as he moves to the lectern to begin his speech. Before he starts to speak, he takes a drink of his bottled water and collapses immediately.

Rigsby answers the phone at the CBI station and tells Jane the phone is for him, a Dr. Miller. Jane at first says he's not there but then changes his mind and takes the call, uncharacteristically unsure of himself. He then approaches Lisbon in her office and asks if a murder at a state university is CBI's; she replies it could be if they force out the local police. Patrick asks her if she could do him a favour and take on a case.

At the local Police Station, Sophie Miller is being interrogated by one of the officers on the case. Since Alex Nelson was Miller's ex-husband, she has become the prime suspect in his murder particularly since several witnesses saw her arguing with Nelson shortly before his death and she then left the scene immediately. She is asked how a ten percent solution of hydrogen cyanide got into the bottle of water Nelson was drinking. In addition, she is questioned about several incidences of violence between the two ex-lovers. She tells the officer that she and Nelson had put their past behind them in order to work together. Patrick and Teresa observe the questioning from another room. Lisbon asks Patrick why he is so sure that she is innocent; he replies simply because she told him she didn't do it. Patrick remains cryptic about his relationship with Sophie Miller.

Patrick and Lisbon are discussing the merits of the case against Miller with the senior officer in the local police department. The officer is convinced Sophie Miller will eventually confess and wishes to continue the interrogation. Lisbon suggests that they don't have enough evidence to keep her and pulls rank as the lead agency on the case. They begin to argue jurisdiction but Lisbon maintains that the CBI is better equipped to handle the investigation. A young police officer shows the group a flyer that was posted all over the university by the Animal Equality League. On the flyer, they state that Nelson got what he deserved because of the animal testing done on behalf of his research. Lisbon declares that they have more suspects to consider now and the senior officer reluctantly backs down.

Back at the station, CBIs Lisbon and Minelli and the University's Chancellor Stern examine a poster from the animal activists who demand that the University cease experimentation on animals and threaten Dr. Lewis Stutzer, a leading neuroscientist, with harm if he does not comply. The Chancellor explains that the victim, Alex Nelson and the accused, Sophie Miller, are Stutzer's colleagues at the Stutzer Institute. He also relates how very important Dr. Stutzer's research is to the University. He urges the detectives to handle the investigation with the utmost discretion and security. Once Chancellor Stern leaves, Minelli admonishes Lisbon for getting involved in an animal rights case, worrying perhaps that it will become a media nightmare.

Patrick finds Lisbon in her office to thank her for not telling the boss he pressured her to take the case. Lisbon demands that Patrick tell her his reasons for helping Sophie Miller. She insists that she has put her career on the line for him time after time and he owes her the truth. Patrick closes the door and with reluctance explains that Sophie Miller was his psychiatrist after his wife and daughter were murdered. He admits that he had a breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital where he was treated by Miller. Lisbon is grateful for his candour and the subject is dropped. Van Pelt interrupts to update Lisbon on what they have found. Rigsby was searching the security tapes of the University and Van Pelt was tracking the Animal Equality League but they haven't found anything of consequence.

At the University, Patrick and Teresa are at the Stutzer Institute speaking to Kerry Sheehan, who is Dr. Stutzer's teaching assistant. She seems at a loss for words when questioned on her attitude towards Alex Nelson and simply declares that he was a good man. She leads them to Dr. Stutzer's office where they begin to question him on his research.

In the lab, he introduces them to a chimpanzee named Susie. He explains that when she first came to the lab she had violent tendencies particularly when it involved food. He tells them that Susie's anterior cingulate gyrus was recalibrated and she is now very gentle and willing to share. Patrick asks him if the animal rights groups have ever threatened him before. Dr. Stutzer acknowledges that they have indeed been threatened before but tells them he's not worried nor intimidated and shows them where he's keeping a handgun. He continues with the lecture on his research. He tells them that their technology has the potential to rid the world of violent behaviour. He believes that they are trying to create a world of peace. He shows them another lab where they are performing the first stages of human testing.

As they leave the institute, Sophie Miller approaches them. The moment is somewhat awkward. Sensitive to Patrick's discomfiture, Lisbon tells him that she will wait in the car. Sophie thanks Patrick for getting her out of custody but Patrick tells he that the Animal Equality League bailed her out. Sophie seems taken with Patrick and he with her but perhaps for different reasons. They share a few pleasantries but the mystery of their relationship remains. Patrick then asks a direct question regarding her relationship with her ex-husband. She tells him that she had left private practice because she seems to be drawn to "controlling but damaged and emotionally unavailable men." Patrick continues to question her about the difficulties she had with Alex. When she gets defensive about his interrogation, Patrick tells her that he is very grateful to her for saving his life. He tells her that he would do anything to repay that debt. He seems confused as to why she needs his help if she is innocent. She leaves without giving him answers to the important questions.

Cho, Van Pelt and Rigsby are reviewing the security tapes when they see a suspicious van. Although they are only able to identify a partial plate, they are able to determine ownership by identifying a logo on the van. They assemble a swat team and enter what seems to be an abandoned building. They find a rather strange looking man sitting in an armchair in an undershirt; he is surrounded by cats. Back at the station, Cho is listening to the man confess to the murder of Alex Nelson and threaten to kill Stutzer for his maltreatment of animals. He then asks if he may leave to go feed his cats. Cho asks him about the Animal Equality League. The strange man explains that the AEL is a group of people who believe animals should be equal to humans. He proudly declares that he is the chair of the League's Supreme Council. The man seems crazy but knows enough about the murder to keep him in custody until his belongings are thoroughly searched and Psych can evaluate him.


Talking with Alex Nelson's wife, Emily Nelson

Back in the field, Lisbon and Jane go to interview Emily Nelson. As usual, Patrick wanders around the house and observes while Lisbon questions Emily. She appears to be a rather meek woman and is having trouble coping with the funeral arrangements for her husband. She recounts an incident when she went to Alex's office she overheardan argument he was having with a woman, possibly named Rosie. Patrick grabs her hand and counsels her to leave on a trip to a very nice place and build a new life once the funeral is over; he makes her promise to fight against her weakness for control freaks. She timidly agrees.

Patrick comments that she wouldn't kill anyone unless she was told to in a firm voice. Patrick suggests that they go to see Stutzer's assistant, Kerry Sheehan. He explains that Alex Nelson was extremely controlling and seemed to like his women blonde. His ex-wife, Sophie, and his widow, Emily were both naturally darker-haired but now dye their hair blonde. Kerry Sheehan has dyed blonde hair and her bizarre reaction when asked about Alex Nelson has Patrick believing that they were having an affair. When they arrive at her home, they find her slumped in a chair, dead. There is a bottle of poison on the floor and a note saying 'forgive me,' giving the impression that it was a suicide. The M.E. tells Lisbon that the poison is cyanide. Van Pelt brings a torn up picture of Alex and Kerry that she found in the garbage.

A little later, outside of Kerry's home, Lisbon and Patrick are listening to Chancellor Stern speaking as if the mystery was solved. It is almost as if he is dismissing the CBI from the case. Lisbon tells him that even if Kerry's death is a result of suicide it is not proof that she is guilty of Alex's murder and that the CBI is not finished with their investigation.

Back at the station, Lisbon is summarizing the case with the rest of the CBI team. She suggests that the suicide looks staged. She explains that women don't usually leave such brief suicide notes; they like to explain themselves. Van Pelt agrees. She questions why a scientist would kill herself in such a painful way with cyanide when she could use her stash of pills to slip away quietly and painlessly. Patrick suggests that perhaps she felt too ashamed to admit what she had done to Nelson and used the poison because she wanted to suffer as punishment. Lisbon asks Patrick why he is in such a rush to close the case. Patrick argues that Lisbon also wants the case to be over but she states emphatically that what she really wants is the truth. Lisbon maintains that Sophie was still obsessed with Alex, making her a prime suspect. Patrick suggests they visit Sophie to see if they answer some of the questions they have regarding the circumstances of the deaths of Alex and Kerry. As they leave to speak to Sophie, Patrick counsels Teresa on the strategy of dealing with her.

At the Stutzer Institute, Patrick and Teresa are in the lab with Sophie and a colleague. They are watching them test a subject's reaction to some ethical questions. Once the test is finished Sophie explains the research. She explains that the ethical dilemmas presented are exactly the same but they can manipulate the response by running a current through a certain part of the brain thereby bypassing conscious thought. She can manipulate the subject's moral reasoning towards either good or evil. Patrick seems excited by the prospect of taking part in the experiment both as the test subject and the controller.

Lisbon asks Sophie if they could talk in private about Kerry Sheehan's death. Lisbon then asks her if she knew that Kerry and Alex were having an affair. Sophie tells them that she knew that Kerry was having an affair with a married man because she had told her about it. She denies knowing that it was Alex. Teresa is surprised that Kerry told her about the affair since they really weren't close.

Patrick had discovered that the monkey in the cage is Rosie, not Susie. Susie never did become calm and gentle. The 'morality engine' didn't work so Rosie and Susie were switched in order to falsify the data. Initially, Sophie admits to the switch but argues that the project was valid and that they were very close to a revolutionary discovery. Finally, she concedes that the project is a sham.

Patrick seems to believe that she was involved but Sophie adamantly denies having anything to do with the deaths of her colleagues. He is frustrated to know that Sophie knew the murders of Alex and Kerry were used to cover the sham and she didn't tell him. Patrick asks if Stutzer was the murderer but she doesn't know.

He tells Sophie that he's going to give her a chance, if she is the killer, to walk away and get on a plane out of the country, but she calls him back to once again reassure him that she had nothing to do with the murders.

Patrick begins to set up the trap for the murderer. While the rest of the CBI team watch, Patrick speaks to the boss on the phone. Although Minelli denies permission to go through with his plan, Patrick lets the team believe that the set up is a go.


Chancellor Stern confesses that he killed Alex Nelson and Kerry Sheehan

Sophie approaches Stutzer and excitedly tells him that the morality engine works. In the lab, Patrick is in the chair. They calibrate his brain first for good. When given an ethical dilemma, he makes the moral choice. Then Sophie calibrates his brain for evil. When presented with the ethical dilemma, Patrick makes the immoral or evil choice. Stutzer is elated. Chancellor Stern is brought in to view the experiment. He is thrilled with the result. Patrick pulls of the sensors and leaves the computer room. They call him back so that his brain can be recalibrated to normal but he refuses. Sophie tells professor and the Chancellor that Patrick is still calibrated for evil and they all chase him into the other room. Jane grabs Stutzer's gun and points it at the professor. He tells them that good people do good things and bad people do bad things. He tells the professor that he is going to test his moral baseline. With the gun pointed at the professor, he asks him who killed Alex Nelson and Kerry Sheehan. Professor Stutzer tells him that he doesn't know. Patrick doesn't believe him. He swings the gun around and points it at Sophie. He tells Stutzer that if he doesn't tell him who committed the murders he is going to kill Sophie. We see Patrick wink at Sophie but neither the professor nor the Chancellor realize they are being set up. He shoots Sophie and she goes down. Outside the room, we see the rest of the CBI team calmly waiting until Patrick is finished playing out his ruse. In Stutzer's office, Patrick continues his threats on Stern and Stutzer. He points the gun at Stern and demands a confession from Stutzer. Once again Stutzer denies any knowledge of the murder and Patrick cocks the gun as if to shoot. Finally, in terror, Stern admits to the murders. He tells Stutzer that he was only trying to protect him. Patrick demands evidence to the crime and Stern directs him to his basement and tells him exactly where to find the cyanide he used to kill Alex and Kerry. Stern tells them that he did it to protect the university. He couldn't allow Alex to expose Stutzer as a fraud.

Lisbon comes into the room to arrest Stern. When he realizes that it was a trap and Sophie wasn't really shot, Stern begins to deny his confession. He argues that it was inadmissible because it was given under duress. Lisbon calmly tells him that there are agents at his home with a search warrant. He is advised of his rights and arrested. Patrick is pretty pleased with himself. Stutzer, on the other hand, is devastated that the morality engine doesn't work.

Later in the quad, Patrick and Sophie say their good-byes. Patrick tells her that his debt is paid in full now, so if another one of her lovers ends up dead, he asks her not to call him. She tells him that her career as a scientist is over so she will probably go back into private practice. Patrick gives her a chaste kiss on the cheek and wishes her well.


Main Cast[]

Recurring 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