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Red Dawn is the fifth episode of Season 5 of The Mentalist.


See how Jane met Lisbon and the rest of the CBI team for the first time.


Jane has come to the CBI to talk to Agent Lisbon about the Red John case. She is surprised to see him since the cops lost track of him six months ago. Jane's wife and daughter were killed last year. The CBI had taken the case over from SAC PD in May. Just by then, Lisbon is told that a body has been found. She asks Rigsby to check it out while she talks to Jane. Jane asks her about the development and leads of the Red John case, but Lisbon does not reveal anything and asks him to come back later. He asks if three hours is enough time for her to have time to see him and she agrees halfheartedly. Lisbon tells her agent Steve Hannigan, a member of her team, to show him out.

By the elevator, Steve tells him he's seen a lot of guys just like Jane, they want to get revenge on their family's killer. He pats Jane condescendingly on his shoulder, something Jane is clearly not happy with, as he tells Jane to move far away, move on and start a new family. Jane provokes Steve and he gets a punch. Jane says that he deserved it while Lisbon helps him up and takes him into the office. He gets some ice for his bleeding nose. Minelli talks to Jane who asks him too about the Red John case. He tells Jane he'll get the Red John case files, but it will take a while. In the meantime, he offers Jane the chance to ride along with Lisbon to the crime scene so that she can answer all of his questions.

They arrive at the crime scene where Jane meets Cho. Their victim's name is Winston Dellinger. He was shot three times and the time of death is estimated to be around midnight by the coroner. When Jane asks what they do now and Steve tells Jane to get closer to the body. They both squat down and Steve starts telling Jane about how they're lucky the body's fresh and sometimes when they get a body they are covered in maggots and how bad they smell. Jane stands up quickly moving away from the body while Steve smirks, obviously taking pleasure in making Jane feels queasy. When they start to talk about leaving the crime scene, Jane tells the detectives to find the woman Dellinger was on a date with. Steve mocks him and calls him a psychic. Jane takes offense and states very agitatingly that there are no such things as psychics and cites the smell of mint, heavy cologne, and alcohol on Dellinger's body and how he has a bachelor's car. Cho finds out in the meantime that Dellinger had dinner last night. He is told to go to the cafe and find out what happened there.

Meanwhile, Lisbon drives to the home of the victim's father who is a judge. Jane joins her. Lisbon does not want Jane with her during the interrogation, but the judge comes out and asks to talk to her outside, since his wife is distraught. The judge thinks that his son was killed as an act of vengeance since he sent a lot of people into prison and gets a lot of threats. Jane tells him that his son is an alcoholic, which he does not appreciate.

Afterwards, Lisbon tells Jane that she could get into a lot of trouble if the judge gets pissed off because of Jane's comment. She gets a call from Cho, who confirms Jane's inference on Dellinger having a date. The woman is named Kelly Burbage, and she will come in tomorrow. Lisbon tells Jane to clean himself up and come back to the office tomorrow for the files.

The next morning, Jane is at the office, dressed in a suit and drinking tea. Cho and Rigsby are surprised to see him. Cho goes to interrogate Kelly Burbage, who tells him that she worked at the bar where Dellinger was a regular. Dellinger got drunk before they even got served dinner, so she left. She is shocked to learn he was shot dead. Kelly suddenly thinks of her ex-boyfriend Emmet Cox, who called and followed her to the date. He told her that Dellinger was a loser and that she deserved much better.

Lisbon talks to Jane and thinks that he shouldn't look into the files. But Jane says that her boss said he was allowed to. She eventually agrees on having them sent over.

Cox is brought in. He said that he followed Dellinger, but he was driving too fast, so he lost track and drove home. Hannigan wants to try another time to break him. But Lisbon thinks that he is telling the truth.

In the meantime, Rigsby finds out that the guys who threatened the judge could not have killed Dellinger and that the gun that killed him was used in an armed robbery 12 years ago. Cho tells Lisbon that Dellinger killed a woman named Mia in a car accident when he was driving in a drunken state. But the charges were dropped to a simple DUI. The husband, Christian Dos Santos, was pissed and threatened Dellinger. The leading detective on that case was Nathaniel Kim.

Cho goes to talk to Kim, who tells him that the blood that was found on Dellinger's car wasn't Mia's, so there was no case.

Lisbon talks to Dos Santos and Mia's mother. Dos Santos says that he shouldn't have threatened Dellinger, but Mia's mother thinks he should have done much more, since Mia's murderer wasn't punished for his crime.

Back at the headquarters, the team is baffled. Jane is about to go through the Red John files that just arrived, when Lisbon asks him for help. She wants him to go into a room where all the suspects related to the case are sitting , and find out who the liar is. Jane tells her that he is not psychic, but a fraud, and that he does not have a gift. Lisbon says she believes him, but that he does have the gift of reading people so he enters the room.

Jane asks the people, "Who killed Dellinger?" They all get offended and Lisbon tells them that Cho and Rigsby will be taking over the interviews from this point on. However, she changes her mind when Jane says he is 70% sure that he knows who the killer is. He performs a card trick on the suspects. Since there are no tarot cards, he uses some empty cards and draws on them. Jane tells them that they should all remind themselves of their scariest dreams while the cards are mixed and put on the table. He tells them that the subconscious mind will choose the right card. He states each suspect's dreams and matches the cards to each one. Kim is revealed as the hangman, and therefore the killer. Kim does not talk, but Jane says enough to make him cry.

Later in the interview room Kim tells Cho he's a silent partner in the bar and there had been a fight. Everything was invested in the bar, and he couldn't risk it being closed, since he has been sued. It was also about that time that he got the Dellinger case. He went to the judge and made a deal: he would hide evidence that Dellinger was the murderer, if the judge would rule in favor of the bar in the lawsuit. The judge agreed.

Then he got a call during the previous night from Dellinger. He was drunk and thought he hit someone with his car again. Kim, a police officer, asked him to own up to his crimes, but Dellinger threatened that if he did not help, he would reveal everything about the deal. So Kim left his home, meeting him to find the body. But there was none. Kim knew that was his chance so he shot and killed him. Cho tells him that the body that was found wasn't human, but a deer's.

Next, Lisbon tells Rigsby and Cho that Jane has been hired by the department, since Minelli thinks of him as a hero. But Steve was transferred to another unit, not wanting to work with Jane. She shows them some files of the trainees. One of them is going to replace him. Rigsby takes Grace's file, and tells Cho that he likes her. Cho agrees that she is cute but she's out of Rigsby's league.

Jane thanks Lisbon and hugs her. She asks if he is sure he wants to do this and he assures her that he definitely does so she takes him downstairs to the room with the Red John files.

Minelli gets a call from Alexa Shultz, who asks him to update her on the Red John case. She also informs him about Jane, who has been in a insane asylum the last six months when he couldn't be tracked down. She wishes him luck and hangs up. Then she tells someone sitting across her that the work is done. The person is shown to be Robert Kirkland.

Next morning, Lisbon arrives at work and finds Jane sleeping on the couch, having gone through the Red John files. Cho tells her that there is another case. She tells him to get Rigsby and leave before the traffic.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • This is the 100th episode of the series (chronologically it is the first).
  • This is the first appearance of Red John suspect Robert Kirkland.
  • When Cho and Rigsby are looking at Van Pelts file, her description mentions things that hadn’t happened at that time, such as her being bait during season one or a conversation she had with Jane.
  • At the end of the episode, Jane is asleep on a couch that would not have been in the office yet, as Jane was the one who orders the couch.
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