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Red Handed is the sixth episode of season one of The Mentalist. It aired on November 11, 2008 in the US and April 30, 2009 in the UK.


The California Bureau of Investigation is gathered on the highway at the border between California and Nevada to investigate a severed hand with a pinky ring and the number forty-three written on it. Patrick Jane examines the hand and draws some surprising conclusions regarding the victim. Cho doubts the veracity of Patrick's deductions. Patrick bets him that he is correct. Lisbon joins the group and verifies Patrick's assertion that the victim runs a large casino and spa in Nevada. As always, he has remarkable insight into the people and situations around him. He wins the bet. Because the hand is inside the California border they have caught the case.

Lisbon and Van Pelt inform the next of kin, Mrs. Meier, her daughter Jessica and her son-in-law Daniel, of the grisly news of their loved one's demise. While they question the family, Jane wanders around using his incredible observational abilities to piece together a profile of the victim and his family, in order to determine possible suspects for the crime. Patrick talks briefly with the daughter in the other room about her relationship with her father and finds out that he wasn't around a lot as she was growing up. The daughter returns to the group as Lisbon continues her questioning; they all notice the son-in-law's inappropriate response to a football game during this rather sensitive discussion. The team tries to determine if robbery was a motive for the murder and finds out that Jim Meier wore a gold casino chip worth a hundred thousand dollars around his neck.

Rigsby calls from the office to discuss his research on similar murders in the past and has found that there was a mob connection to those murders. They discuss the possibility that Meier was involved with organized crime. Lisbon, Van Pelt and Jane proceed to the casino to speak to Matt Etienne, the head of security. While Lisbon and Van Pelt look over some investigative material and speak to Matt regarding the case, Patrick moves through the casino gambling and observing. He uses his mental acuity to play and begins to win big but there is obviously a method to his success. The casino realizes he is a card counter and flag him as a cheater. Not so coincidentally, Patrick has chosen table forty-three to work his magic. Matt approaches Patrick and asks him to leave the table. As he leaves the table with Matt, Patrick quietly exposes the dealer and her accomplice as cheaters.

Back at the office, Patrick joins Lisbon and listens to the interrogation of the dealer. He finds out that she was using the money she stole to pay for her mother's medical bills. Cho accuses her of killing Meier because Meier had discovered her thievery. Of course she denies it. Patrick wonders why Meier didn't inform Etienne of the theft. They postulate that Etienne was perhaps in on the scam. Patrick interrupts the interrogation to ask the dealer if Meier had asked her if Etienne was involved. She said that she told Meier that he was not. Jane asked her if Etienne was indeed involved but she denied it. Patrick obviously believed her and to Lisbon's chagrin, he told her that she could leave. Patrick explains that by letting her go they will be able to set up the real killer by making him suspicious of what the dealer had told the police.

Patrick then presents Lisbon, Van Pelt, Rigsby and Cho with some extravagant jewelry that he purchased with his $250K winnings. The group head out for a relaxing dinner celebration; however, after their dinner, the women return the diamond jewelry but the men decide to keep the gifts. Later we see Jane put the jewelry and most of his winnings in a charity bin. He keeps a small stake for his next gambling session.

The next day, in Mrs. Meier's home, Teresa, Grace and Patrick meet with Mrs. Meier, Jessica and Daniel where she confesses that she was having an affair with Matt Etienne, but vehemently denies that she murdered her husband. During the discussion, Patrick observes a strain in the relationship between Jessica and Daniel. He quietly approaches Daniel and asks him to set him up with in a high stakes poker game. The con begins.

Teresa and Patrick go to Etienne's house to execute a search. When Jane notices some suspicious footprints outside the garage, they begin their search. Meier's body is found in the freezer. The interrogation of Etienne yields little. It appears that he knows nothing about the murder. He explains that he had met with Mrs. Meier at their motel.

The autopsy report reveals that the victim died of blunt force trauma to the head and abrasions around his neck where they speculate that his lucky chip was ripped off his neck. They begin to look at the recordings Meier's used to spy on the guests to see if anything of use is revealed.

Patrick enters the high stake game with Trask, one of the big spenders at the casino. Daniel also joins the game. Back at the Meier's home Rigsby and Cho search for the surveillance tape. When they find the DVD, they discover that Meiers had recorded Jessica meeting with Trask in his hotel room. When Trask is questioned they find out that Jessica's husband used her as payment for one of his gambling debts.

In the poker game, Patrick is doing very well but so is Daniel. They begin a head to head game. Patrick begins his trap. He uses a sleight of hand to set up Daniel with quad kings (four of a kind) and "accidentally" shows Daniel his hand of trip sevens, to entice Daniel to bet everything he has. Daniel pulls out the missing hundred thousand dollar chip and plays it. To Daniel's astonishment Patrick lays down a straight flush beating him. As he leaves, Rigsby and Cho arrest him. Daniel confesses.

Patrick returns Meier's lucky chip to the family and tells Jessica that her father died protecting her.

A nurse brings a case to the dealer who is sitting by her mother's sick bed. She explains that a really cute blond guy brought the case by for her. When she opens it, we discover what Patrick had spent his $300K on. She looks at the money with tears of joy in her eyes.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • This is one of the only episodes in the series whose investigation takes place outside the state of California (in this case, the entire investigation takes place between the Nevada-California border and the fictional city of Calida, Nevada, where the victim of the episode, Jim Meier, lived with his family and owned Calida Hotel & Resort).


  • If Daniel had put two cards back in his poker game with Patrick instead of just one, Patrick would not have been able to complete his straight-flush and would have lost to Daniel's three-of-a-kind (or less probable a Full house) . This might have prevented Daniel's confession and Patrick having $300,000 to give the casino dealer for her sick mother's surgery. As putting back two cards would have been a valid line of play since three-of-a-kind is more valuable than a Full house, Patrick having seemingly left so much up to chance was likely an oversight on the part of The Mentalist's writing staff.
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