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"Red Hair and Silver Tape" is the second episode of season one of The Mentalist. It aired on September 30th, 2008 in the US and April 2nd, 2009 in the UK.



The dead body

Teresa, Patrick and Cho arrive at a vineyard where a female body has been found and are met at the scene by Sheriff Thomas McAllister. Patrick and McAllister watch as Teresa and Cho examine the body. They find a stab wound that doesn't appear fatal, no signs of ligature marks, and that the victim's gums are livid and eyes hemorrhaged. They believe she's been suffocated. Patrick informs them that the girl was a local and her death was an accident. He explains that the killer didn't intend for her to die that way. Since the victim was still clothed, Patrick speculates that the killer was taking her somewhere to sexually assault her. She made too much noise at the wrong moment, the killer tried to keep her quiet and smothered her by mistake. After that, she was no good to the killer, so the body was dumped in a place only a local would know. McAllister asks Teresa about Patrick and is told that he was a consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation. McAllister asks Patrick if he's clairvoyant or psychic and Patrick replies that he has no powers but pretended to have them once. A slightly confused McAllister asks him what he actually does for the CBI and Patrick invites him to play a game of rock, paper, scissors. Patrick proceeds to beat McAllister six times in a row. Sheriff McAllister is baffled and somewhat frustrated that Patrick easily selected the winning choice each time.

The team drives down a dirt road to the house where the victim lived. The O'Keefes, the girl's parents, are waiting outside, and Teresa informs them of the bad news. Their daughter Melanie had been found dead. Patrick enters the home and finds Melanie's younger brother Frankie sitting in his sister's bedroom. After Patrick introduces himself, Frankie inquires if someone has killed his sister. Patrick says yes. The O'Keefes talk to Teresa outside and inform her that Melanie waitressed at the Shand Creek Winery Restaurant and that she didn't come home two nights ago. She was scheduled to work until 11:00 pm and they said her car was still in the restaurant parking lot. Teresa inquires whether Melanie had any boyfriends, but is told that she was shy of boys and took the purity pledge in the ninth grade.

While Patrick studies the bedroom, he notices rectangular areas on the faded bedroom walls and asks Frankie when Melanie took the posters down. Frankie tells him after Christmas and that the posters were of boys on TV. Patrick continues to examine the bedroom. He lies down on the bed and notices photos pinned to the ceiling in the shape of an "H". One of them shows Melanie with another girl but appears to have someone torn out of the picture. Frankie asks Patrick if he is going to find the killer and would he tell him when he does. Patrick says yes and asks Frankie why he needed to know. He says he doesn't have a reason.


Sheriff McAllister see the crime scene

At CBI headquarters in Sacramento, Rigsby and Van Pelt work at their desks when a call comes in from Teresa. She tells Van Pelt that she's faxed over the sheriff's report and asks her to run it through the crime databases to see if there are any matches. Patrick exits the O'Keefe home and walks over to tell Teresa and Cho that Melanie had a lover who she met around Christmas. He says that the person was either too old, too closely related or too villainous for Melanie to tell her parents about and that his name started with the letter "H". Teresa says that would explain why Melanie wasn't wearing her purity ring. McAllister joins the discussion and says that he was at the Shand Creek Winery around the time Melanie was taken and that he saw a full-, black truck speeding out of the lot around 11:45 pm.

The team heads to the Shand Creek Winery and McAllister points out Melanie's car in the parking lot. Teresa asks Cho to take it for examination and then joins Patrick sitting at a table with Malcolm Boatwright and Sandra Boatwright, the owners of the restaurant. Teresa begins questioning them, while Patrick samples the food Malcolm has prepared for them. Patrick mentions that one of the dishes has a lot of butter and Malcolm laughs. He explains to Patrick that he looks at food as indulgence and necessity rolled into one. The Boatwrights escort Teresa and Patrick into the restaurant through the kitchen, and Patrick observes a chef accidentally burning himself while cooking at the range. Malcolm stops to scold the chef, and Sandra leads them to the office where she shows them Melanie's timecard. It shows that Melanie punched out and left at 11:25 pm.

A waitress named Raquel enters the office and denies being Melanie's good friend. Patrick tells her that he recognizes her from the photo in Melanie's room. The team questions Raquel, and she tells them that Melanie didn't have a boyfriend. Patrick asks her who Melanie cut out of the photo, but she says that she didn't remember. Teresa tells Cho to let her go and leaves the room to check the credit card receipts. Patrick asks Cho if he could talk to Raquel for a minute and Cho informs him that what he plans to do is illegal and unprofessional. Cho reluctantly agrees and gives him a minute with her. Patrick sits down and talks to Raquel in a hypnotist-like voice, saying that she should think of him before going to sleep and that he would make her feel safe, calm and serene. All of her worries, fears and burdens would be left behind her. He gently touches her knee and tells her that the next time she sees him and he says "hello", she will remember that good feeling and will tell him the truth, so that a heavy weight could be lifted from her shoulders. Raquel blows off his comments and leaves.

The team searches Melanie's locker at work and finds a hand-written note that says "sorry". Patrick borrows the note, and all the restaurant employees are gathered for a meeting. Patrick announces to everyone that the note was found in Melanie's locker and whoever wrote it was the killer. He goes on to say that Cho was a handwriting expert and that everyone needed to submit samples for examination. Patrick then says that when Cho determines who wrote the note, they will have also caught the killer. Randall, the cook that burned himself in the kitchen, faints.


Van Pelt and Sheriff McAllister

Back at the sheriff's department, Randall is questioned about the note. Cho informs him that his timecard and boss said he left 10 minutes before Melanie. Randall confesses that he waited around to talk to her. He thought that things were going okay because she wasn't leaving. He felt that since she was still a virgin, he needed to make the first move. He goes on to say that Melanie got upset, rejected his advances and walked away. Randall said he apologized but thought she might still be mad and complain to the manager, so the following morning, he wrote the note and slipped it into her locker. Teresa asked him how long he was in the parking lot with Melanie and Randall said around five or six minutes. This meant that Melanie was still there slightly after 11:30 pm.

Teresa and Patrick agree that Randall thought Melanie didn't leave because of him, when in fact, she was actually waiting for someone else. Van Pelt calls Teresa and tells her that there was one hit in a database. A woman in Fairfield was abducted at a bus stop and woke up in a motel room unharmed, bound with duct tape. Van Pelt also says that the woman was a redhead like Melanie O'Keefe. Patrick speculates that the two incidents are related. He explains that the person kidnaps the first redheaded girl, ties her up, takes her to a motel but does nothing. A month later he kidnaps another redheaded girl, but his planning wasn't good enough and kills her in a panic to keep her quiet. Patrick concludes that the person is new at this and feels conflicted. The person is hungry to do terrible things, but his conscience and fear tell him not to. Patrick asks Van Pelt to check motels within 10 miles of Shand Creek Winery that had a no-show cash booking for the night in question, but Teresa tells her to check for any full- black trucks with known criminals in the Napa area instead.

Raquel enters the sheriff's department and sits down by Teresa. Patrick reaches over, taps Raquel on the shoulder, smiles and says "hello". Raquel then proceeds to tell them that Melanie had a relationship with her second cousin Hector Ramirez. Raquel said that Melanie was meeting Hector the night she died and that she didn't say anything before because she was afraid of him. Teresa calls to ask Rigsby and Van Pelt to join the rest of the team in Napa. The team along with the sheriff's department go to Hector's house to bring him in for questioning. Hector runs and Teresa chases him down the street. Patrick is waiting by their SUV parked on another street, as Hector comes running down the road with a machete in his hand. As Hector gets closer to Patrick, Teresa appears out of nowhere, tackling Hector to the ground and subdues him.


McAllister meet Jane

Back at the sheriff's department, Teresa and Patrick question Hector about his relationship with Melanie. He tells them that he was supposed to meet Melanie at the restaurant at 11:30 pm but showed up 10 minutes late and thought she hadn't come out yet. He waited a few minutes then drove off because he was impatient and got upset. Patrick feels that Hector is telling the truth. Teresa thinks Hector did it and points to a timeline drawn on a chalkboard illustrating that there wasn't enough time for anyone else to have entered the parking lot, abducted Melanie and driven away. Patrick stares at the timeline for a moment and agrees that there wasn't enough time. He notices Frankie O'Keefe looking around and waiting in the sheriff's department lobby. Patrick takes him to a diner for a snack and asks to see the gun hidden in Frankie's backpack. Frankie replies that he didn't have a gun. Patrick calls Van Pelt and tells her that Teresa has changed her mind about the motels and that she should check on them and call him back with any information. After he gets off the phone, he asks Frankie if he was going to kill Hector with a knife. Frankie opens the backpack and shows him a hatchet. Patrick tells Frankie the story of how he lost his wife and daughter and tries to explain that the hatchet is not the best solution. He then receives a call from Van Pelt about the motels.

Patrick goes to a motel and is shown the room in question by the manager. He is told that the man wore a disguise when checking in and paid cash. Patrick makes a comment about the maid not cleaning the room and learns that the maid only cleans every three days for monthly rentals. Patrick quickly searches all of the cabinets and finds one that has some gloves, a bottle of bleach and plastic sheeting. The manager says that the items are not the motel's property. Patrick realizes that the killer will be coming back to the motel room.

Patrick returns to the sheriff's department to find Teresa smiling at a desk. She informs him that quite a bit of Melanie's blood was found in Hector's truck. They question Hector again and he tells them that Melanie got out of line at one point and he gave her a bloody nose. After questioning Hector, Patrick tells Teresa that he needed to show her what he's found. He takes her to the motel room and turns on the TV. A live video feed from a camera hidden in Van Pelt's corsage appears and shows her putting make-up on in the bathroom of the Shand Creek Restaurant. Van Pelt goes outside to meet Rigsby at one of the tables. Patrick explains to Teresa that the killer plans to bring his next victim back to the room and that they'll catch him when he returns. He goes on to say that the killer is so close to obtaining what he desires, that if given the opportunity, he would not be able to stop himself. That's why Van Pelt and Rigsby are at the restaurant. They pretend to have an argument in front of the entire restaurant, and Rigsby storms off leaving Van Pelt by herself. She leaves the restaurant and begins walking alone on the side of the road. She runs into McAllister who tells her it's not safe and offers to give her a ride. When Van Pelt refuses, he becomes insistent that she go with him and Rigsby races over from the surveillance van and knocks McAllister to the ground. Patrick and Teresa sit in the room watching the video as Patrick's plan unravels.


Malcolm Boatwright, the killer along with his wife, Sandra

Patrick tells Teresa he suspects Malcolm because he uses too much butter in his cooking. Patrick said that it shows Malcolm is a glutton and is self-indulgent. Basically, he wants what he wants and takes it. Teresa doesn't believe his theory and leaves to smooth things over between McAllister and her team. As she gets in her car to leave, she receives a phone call and is not paying attention when the Shand Creek Winery van pulls into the parking lot. Patrick is still in the room when Malcolm and Sandra carry in a girl bound with duct tape. They grab the plastic sheeting from the cabinet and begin to cover the bed. They finally notice Patrick in the room. Malcolm is armed with a knife and Sandra pulls out a gun. Patrick is cornered and tries to talk his way out of the situation, causing Malcolm and Sandra to argue with each other. Teresa kicks in the door, shoots Malcolm in the chest and then turns to shoot Sandra as she points her gun at her. Teresa unties the girl and looks at a very shaken Patrick.

Later, the team attends Melanie's funeral and tries to make sense of why the Boatwrights did it. Patrick and Teresa exchange a thoughtful look with the O'Keefes and quietly walk away, Patrick placing his hand on Teresa's shoulder.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • This is the first appearance of Red John suspect Thomas McAllister.
  • The Boatwright couple are likely based on Fred and Rosemary West, two married serial killers who targeted young women.
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