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Red Queen is the sixteenth episode of Season 3 of The Mentalist.


Evidence in the murder of an antiques dealer found dead in a museum indicates that the suspect may be a member of the CBI team.


We join the team and LaRoche in media res, questioning a lady who had seen "the suspect" on her way back in from lunch. Suspect for what, we don't know, but she was headed up the stairs to the roof where Jane works. Lisbon leads the charge upstairs, where the door to Jane's perch is found locked. When he comes out, he is on the business end of a shotgun, with Madeleine Hightower at the other end.

We go back thirty-six hours.

At the North California Museum of Archaelogy and Anthropology, Manuel Montero is dead from multiple stab wounds and a Mayan pendant worth $200,000 is missing. Jane observes a rib on a dinosaur skeleton has been broken off, either for cloning or breaking thick glass.

Rigsby speaks with a heavily accented man from the museum, who speaks glowingly about Montero as an honest antiquities dealer. He travelled a lot to South America and had a key and security codes to the museum in order to show potential buyers artifacts. Examining the body, Montero is wearing a calculator watch which read '6078' - or, upside down, 'blog'.

Back at the office, Hightower is about to get 'LaRoched' over the Todd Johnson case. Rumor has it that she'd been involved with one of Johnson's victims, Rance Howard. As LaRoche says, this gives her a nice motive for committing the crime.

Grace finds Montero's blog "I dig dead people" and finds out that he blogged about the pendant three weeks ago which came back with him on his most recent trip. An anonymous person had contacted him through the internet to set up a viewing. More bad news follows when there are multiple partial prints on the triceratops rib, and while more intriguing than bad, the news that Montero's business had flourished while other antiquities dealers were shutting down or losing money is certainly of note.

Jane finds Hightower in the underground parking garage, on edge and on her third half-smoked cigarette. He surmises that she's been 'LaRoched' and he is, of course, right. She pours out the dilemma to him and Jane simply advises her not to keep the truth from LaRoche - because he will find out eventually.

Rigsby and Cho have been sent to check out Montero's warehouse. While Rigsby is more excited about a taco truck, the situation changes as they check out the back and find people working there, loading things into a truck. A good old fashioned shootout ensues, but they get one of the guys and find out that guns are their cargo, not precious antiques.

The man they have in custody, Salvador, reveals that Montero was trafficking guns for cartels, gang, private armies in exchange for black market antiquities. Lisbon and Jane are listening in but he's not fooled and knows that they are being led to believe one way. He slides into the interrogation and asks if someone who was in trouble with a cartel would be found stabbed in a public museum concerning the location of Montero's body. Salvador answers "Of course not, it's too high risk.

La Roche pulls Hightower away from Director Bertram for a talk, where he begins to show her his visual board of who was in the headquarters the night of Johnson's immolation, in a number of overlays. One group didn't have the security clearance to get to the holding area, some were too far away, others had two or more witnesses to verify their location - and left are five suspects including Hightower. She then confesses that she and Howard had been in an intimate relationship but it had ended by mutual agreement, before he was killed.

Lisbon meanwhile is uncovering some interesting leads. Montero grew up in Vineland, California, the same hometown as Todd Johnson. Montero kept such good track of every gun purchase made for his business, serial numbers and all, and one of those serial numbers match the gun that Johnson used to kill his victims. So now the cases are connected.

At a group briefing, Jane pulls Hightower out by revealing that he knows that the evidence is going to show her to be the killer. Upstairs, he has a very large gun and seems to be ready to use it. She is willing to let him turn her in for the crime if he thinks she committed it, but no - if she killed Todd Johnson, then she knows something about Red John, which makes her Jane's.

The man from the fingerprint lab comes downstairs with the evidence that Jane predicted - Hightower's fingerprints on the dinosaur. While searching Hightower's house, Rigsby finds the pendant that had been stolen from the museum.

We see the opening again and they make their way out of the building and get away. The team hurries to catch up and do so when Hightower's car has been wrecked. Jane is dazed and concussed and Highower is nowhere to be found.

They set up perimeter and all to catch her and Director Bertram quotes to Lisbon and LaRoche "And when thy little heart doth wake, then the dreadful night shall break.", fobbing it off as an old poem he likes. LaRoche clarifies to Lisbon that it's from William Blake. (Also author of "Tiger, tiger, burning bright" that Red John quoted to Jane previously.)

Lisbon and Jane have a scene in the perch. She doesn't seem to know whether he had anything to do with the shenanigans that afternoon or not. But he thanks her for saving his life anyway. He also takes a bottle of scotch to LaRoche as a Thank You and just as all seems well he sidles to LaRoche's car. He knocks on the trunk and Hightower pops out of trunk like a jack in the box.

Apparently he had been able to determine that she was being framed, and so helped her escape with her children. Red John won this round but Jane now claims the advantage because his mole in the CBI is going to start relaxing. Just as she's about to take off, Hightower insists that Lisbon at least should know about this plan, but he closes the conversation with "I'm better off alone." But she gets in one more word to wise: "Nobody is better off alone."


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Deleted Scenes[]

  1. Jane meets LaRoche by the coffee cart at the CBI. He says that LaRoche is wrong to suspect Hightower of the Todd Johnson murder.
Season 3 Episodes
Red Sky At Night  · Cackle-bladder Blood  · The Blood On His Hands  · Red Carpet Treatment  · The Red Ponies  · Pink Chanel Suit · Red Hot · Ball of Fire · Red Moon · Jolly Red Elf · Bloodsport · Bloodhounds · Red Alert · Blood for Blood · Red Gold · Red Queen · Bloodstream · The Red Mile · Every Rose Has Its Thorn · Redacted · Like a Redheaded Stepchild · Rhapsody in Red · Strawberries and Cream