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Red Rum is the twelfth episode of season one of The Mentalist. It aired on December January 13th 2009 in the US and June 11th 2009 in the UK.


The CBI team has been called to assist with a missing sixteen-year old boy, Cody Elkins. Patrick and Lisbon arrive at the scene to find Van Pelt, Rigsby and Cho

ady working the case. Rigsby begins to fill them in on what they have learned. Cody has been missing for a couple of days. CBI was called when the local police found Cody's shoe in a gutter. It is thought to be an abduction and potential homicide, which makes it a CBI case. The parents are Michael Elkins and Janice Elkins, owners of a flower shop in the neighborhood. They have a younger son, Brad. As Rigsby and Van Pelt brief Lisbon and Patrick, Patrick looks around observing the street life in the area. He sees three young boys on their bikes, watching the investigators from across the street. When Lisbon enters the flower shop to interview the parents, Patrick opts to go speak to the boys. He picks up a rock the size of a tennis ball and begins throwing it high in the air and catching it, putting on a show for the boys. Finally, he pretends to throw the rock up, making it appear as if it has disappeared into thin air. The boys gasp in amazement. Patrick walks over to the boys and sits on a pink bike with streamers on the handle grips. He teases the boy with the pink bike.

When Patrick looks in the same direction, he sees a flock of carrion birds circling in the distance over a wooded area. Patrick thanks the boys and joins the other agents. He tells Lisbon that he has a good idea where Cody Elkins might be. Patrick leads the team through a wooded area. He explains to Lisbon that the kids gave it away. They find the body of Cody lying in a hollowed out tree with his hands crossed on his chest in a rather peaceful repose. The agents, although viewing the scene with a professional eye, also look on with disappointment and sadness. Van Pelt seems to struggle to maintain her composure. A wooden star made of twigs catches Patrick's eye. He picks it up with a twig. He suggests that it represents black magic and sacrifice but Lisbon denies the existence of black magic.

As the local police take away the body, Rigsby gives them instructions on gathering evidence at the crime scene. At the Elkins' home, Michael, Jean and Brad tell Lisbon, Cho and Patrick when they last saw Cody. Michael Elkins explains that they came home after his football game on Friday and the last they saw him was at bedtime. Michael, Jean and Brad were up early the next morning but when they got home in the afternoon, Cody was gone. He missed a meeting with his football coach in the morning. Brad gets up and quickly leaves the room. Lisbon continues the interview with Cody's parents. They inform the parents that the death of their son may have had something to do with a black magic ritual. Cho ask them if Cody had any friends involved in black magic activities. The Elkins have a rather strong reaction to this news. They tell the agents about Tamzin Dove, a girl in the neighborhood who claims to be a witch. She blamed Cody for stealing her cat and put a spell on him.

After leaving the Elkins' home, Lisbon speaks to Van Pelt who explains that nothing was found at the crime scene and that the boy was probably killed elsewhere. It is determined that he was probably killed early Saturday morning. He was killed with blows to the head by a heavy object. Lisbon directs Van Pelt and Rigsby to speak to the football coach. She explains that Cody and the coach had had an argument the night before.

Patrick, Lisbon and Cho head out to speak to Tamzin Dove. While ringing the doorbell, they see several symbols of black magic including a goat head doorknocker and a pentagram etched in the cement of the step. Although trying to maintain an air of professionalism, Cho seems a little spooked by the presence of such evil symbols. His unease gives Patrick the opportunity to tease. No one seems to be home, so Patrick offers to pick the lock. Of course, the by-the-book Lisbon initially declines his generous offer. Patrick notices the same three kids he saw earlier sitting on their bikes watching them. He suggests they speak to the boys but before they get the chance they drive off.

The coach is pretty hard on his players. Van Pelt asks him about a dismissal from an earlier coaching position for smacking a kid. He defends his techniques and gives the agents free reign to search the locker room. As they leave, Van Pelt gives the coach some rather precise coaching techniques to improve his team's performance. In the locker room, Rigsby finds a bloody tee shirt in Cody's locker, which they bag and send to forensics.

After speaking to Minelli, Lisbon has obtained a search warrant for Tamzin Dove's house. She gives Patrick the go-ahead to pick the lock. When they enter, they see Dove sitting calmly at a table with tea and cookies set out for company. She welcomes them and invites them to sit. She explains that she knew the CBI would be visiting her; she was aware that Cody's death was made to look like it was the result of witchcraft. Since she was the only witch in town she simply put two and two together. As much as Patrick is enjoying an encounter with the occult, Cho is nervous and on edge, clearly wishing to be anywhere else. Tamzin indicates that she has befriended the kids in the neighborhood because they like the mystery and darkness of black magic.  She tells the agents that the kids had nothing to do with Cody's death. They had discovered the body when they were in the woods picking herbs for her. She invites them to view her jars of herbs and potions. She explains that a witch is simply a high priestess of Wicca. Witches function primarily as healers but they have the power to cast spells. When asked about the spell she put on Cody, she tells them that she believed he took her cat, then tortured and killed it and that he deserved to die. She admits to putting a killing spell on him. She has done it several times before, but this is the first time it worked. She explains that she knew about the details of the murders even though it wasn't published because she learned it from her friends. Patrick establishes that the friends of whom she speaks were Clyde with the pink bike and his two friends.

Van Pelt and Rigsby are interviewing the coach back at headquarters. The forensics tests on Cody's bloody t-shirt have determined that Coach Dieter's blood is on the shirt. He explains that Cody and he had had an argument. Cody took a swing at him and hit him. He tells them it was no big deal. He was too embarrassed to tell anyone. Dieter tells them of another fight Cody had with Daniel Brown. He beat Daniel unconscious.

Tamzin Dove explains to the detectives that killing spells are secret but she is showing them a different spell that is similar. To Cho's chagrin and Patrick's amusement, she shows off a spell on Kimball Cho. When Lisbon suggests that she is a suspect, Tamzin argues that the murder was staged to make it look like she did it. As they leave, Patrick states that Tamzin probably knows more than she is saying but wasn't directly involved with the murder. Cho still seems upset by the spell placed on him so Patrick tries to allay his fears.

The next day, Cho and Rigsby are waiting at the school to speak to Daniel Brown. Cho is still stewing about being the subject of a black magic spell. When they approach Brown, he bolts. Once subdued, they take him into custody. Rigsby conducts the interview while Cho and Patrick watch from behind the glass. Brown denies that Cody beat him up. They had an argument and he got roughed up a little. Patrick is anxious to join Rigsby in the interview but he is biding his time until the time is right. Finally, he goes into the room and introduces himself to Brown. He takes his hand, puts his finger on the boy's pulse and speaks some calming words to him. He asks what he said that angered Cody. Brown tells him that he said some nasty things about his family and Cody lost his temper. He broke a beer bottle over his head. He was knocked out and his friends restrained Cody from continuing the beating. Patrick asks Daniel how much the Elkins paid him for his silence. Daniel initially denies payment was made but Patrick makes it clear he knows that he is lying. Daniel finally admits to receiving a thousand dollars.

Patrick and Cho revisit the Elkins' home. Michael and Jean Elkins ask why Tamzin Dove hasn't been arrested. Patrick explains that placing a spell on someone doesn't constitute a criminal offense because it is protected by the first amendment, free speech. Cho asks them about Cody's violence issues. Patrick sees Brad leave the house and goes to speak to him while Cho continues speaking to the parents.

Outside in a shed, Patrick finds Brad brooding.

In the house, Cody's father admits to paying off Daniel Brown. He explains that Cody had a good chance at a scholarship. He didn't want news of the fight to get back to the coach. They tell Cho that it was an isolated incident and they didn't want Cody to miss the chance to go to one of the top schools.

Now that Patrick has established a rapport with Brad, he asks him why Cody killed Tamzin's cat. Brad seems surprised by the question saying that he wasn't sure that he did. Michael Elkins enters the shed and tells Patrick that he wasn't to speak to Brad without his permission. Patrick leaves.

Later that night, Van Pelt and Rigsby stake out the Elkins' house. They see Brad jump on his bike and ride away. They follow him to Tamzin Dove's house. Grace calls Lisbon who relates the message to Patrick. Patrick tells them to wait ten minutes then enter the house.

Inside the house, several people are gathered for a ritual. Tamzin Dove is dressed in a hooded robe. While they chant, Brad, shirtless and blindfolded, is led to a table. Tamzin takes out a dagger and recites a spell as she dips the knife into a liquid and sprinkles it on his chest. As she draws the dagger up as if to plummet it into his chest, Van Pelt and Rigsby rush in with guns drawn. Tamzin puts down the knife. Brad protests the interruption and asks to be left alone.

Tamzin is taken to headquarters where Patrick begins questioning her. He shows her a file, which exposes her real identity as Sarah Jones from New Jersey. Tamzin denies her past identity, stating simply that Sarah Jones is dead. Patrick explains that he doesn't want to hurt her but this is a murder investigation and he is determined to get the truth. She finally admits that Brad has been an apprentice in her coven for several months and they were performing a cleansing ritual on him.  A while back, Brad's parents reacted very badly to his involvement with Tamzin and threatened to kill her. Again, Tamzin denies killing Cody. Meanwhile, Rigsby reports to Lisbon that Brad has been admitted to the hospital twice in the last year, apparently because of his rough housing with his brother. They call Patrick out of the interview room. Lisbon and Patrick speak to Brad next, asking if he killed his brother. He vehemently denies killing his brother and states that Cody never hurt him purposely. When asked why he spent so much time with Tamzin when he knew his family disapproved, he stated simply that he felt safe there. Cho interrupts the interview to tell them that the Elkins were there to pick up Brad. Patrick asked to speak to them before they released Brad.

Lisbon and Patrick sit down with Michael, Jean and Brad Elkins.

Patrick has set his trap and it is now time to wait for it to unfold. Tamzin is released. Patrick suggests she avoid Brad Elkins for a while.

Lisbon and Patrick are staking out the Elkins' home when they see Michael Elkins' truck leave. They follow him to a wooded area where he begins to bury a large wrench. They surround him and shine their headlights on him. He has nowhere to run. Back at headquarters, Michael Elkins denies his involvement in the death of his son. However, when faced with the forensic evidence found on the wrench and the evidence that he was beating his wife and sons, he finally admits that he hit Cody in self-defense after an argument. 


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Production Notes[]

Character Revelations[]

  • Cho is afraid of witchcraft and black magic (Wiccaphobia), though is sheepish about his fear.
  • Grace is the daughter of a football coach and is knowledgeable about the sport.  She can also throw the ball well.


  • When Jane finds the victim's body, he points to the birds and states they are crows. The birds surrounding the body are actually ravens.


  • "Red Rum", the title for this episode, is "murder" spelled backwards.
  • Most of the ideas expressed by the witch ('Tamzin Dove') aren't representative of the actual religion of Wicca. Harmful magic is against the moral code of Wicca.

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