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Red Scare is the fifth episode of season two of The Mentalist.


When a prominent architect, Alan Foster is mysteriously murdered in a crumbling, creepy and old mansion, there seem to be a number of witnesses that say that he was killed by a ghost haunting his mansion.


A man is working inside his home on blueprints. A ghostly voice calls out “Hey” and the man looks around. He goes back to work and the lights begin to flicker. Ghostly voices are heard throughout the house. Through the double doors, the man sees lights flickering on and off. He walks towards the doors to check it out when they suddenly open. The man’s eyes widen as the lights appear brighter.

The next morning, Lisbon, Jane and Cho meet with Deputy Nick Fisher at the man’s house. Deputy Fisher admits that he’s never handled a homicide before. The victim is lying dead, face down, on the pavement. A window on the second floor is broken. The man’s name is Alan Foster. He’s 43 years old, married, no children and an architect. He bought the house 3 weeks before with hopes of restoring it. Foster and his wife also own a house in San Francisco and that's where his wife was the night before. Lisbon sends Cho off to contact the alarm company to get information about the alarm settings from the night before. As Lisbon looks over the body, Jane looks at the sheriff and accuses him of being jealous and killing Foster. Deputy Fisher gets tired of Jane’s comments and asks Lisbon what his problem is. She says it would take too long to explain. Jane notices something in Foster’s right hand and reaches down to check. Lisbon yells, “Gloves.” Jane pulls his hand back so Lisbon, who is wearing gloves, reaches down and pulls out a brass button with the letter “B” on it from the victim's hand. Jane notices a flinch in Deputy Fisher’s face when he hears what letter is on the button. Jane asks him if it means anything to him and Fisher says no. Fisher and Lisbon go inside to look around.

Jane follows and asks Deputy Fisher what is going on. Seeing the button made Fisher’s pupils dilate and now he’s pale. Fisher says the button could stand for Beckworth. Walter Beckworth was the original owner of the house. He built it and died over 80 years ago. Rumor has it Beckworth's ghost haunts the house. Cho comes in and reports that he checked in with the alarm company and nobody was in or out of the house between the time the victim set it the night before at 6pm and when the deputy arrived and turned the alarm off.

Rigsby and Van Pelt show up at the crime scene. Van Pelt is talking about her volunteer work at a local soup kitchen when they reach Cho. Cho catches them up to speed on the crime scene then Van Pelt heads inside. Rigsby is bothered by a man at the shelter. Cho wonders if she’s having sex with the guy but Rigsby says she’s not. He mumbles about it to Cho, making no sense. Cho says, “Dude, you need counseling.”

Lisbon, Van Pelt, Rigsby and Jane are talking. Lisbon heads back inside to check something out. Jane asks Van Pelt if she believes in ghosts. He tells her if she sees one to let him know.

Cho and Lisbon talk with Foster’s widow, Lillian Foster. She tells him that Victoria "Tori" Abner was angry with her husband. Tori lives in town and used to own Beckworth. A week after they closed on the house, Tori blew up and accused the Fosters of stealing the house.

Jane knocks on the door, interrupts and asks to talk with Lisbon. He tells her that Walter Beckworth was killed in 1928 in a fight over a woman. He was thrown out of the very same window as Foster. Jane goes in to talk with Mrs. Foster. He asks if her husband heard strange noises, etc. Mrs. Foster says he did talk about hearing weird noises, like groans, during the night and things were moved. He was used to it as he’s been in a lot of old houses.

Cho tells Lisbon that a neighbor had a restraining order against Tori Abner 3 years prior due to some argument about the neighbor’s dog. Lisbon tells him to go talk to her about the selling of the mansion. Jane tells him to ask about the ghost as well. Lisbon says, “No ghosts. Don’t ask about any ghosts.” Behind Lisbon's back, Jane mouths “ghost” and makes hand gestures but Lisbon knows what he’s doing. She sends Cho out and tells him no ghost talk.

Van Pelt and Rigsby are at the house checking out the doors. Van Pelt says there are no marks outside the main door and there are no signs of forced entry. They talk about the fact that maybe it was a ghost. They walk around to check the other side of the house. Rigsby asks if she’s going to continue volunteering at the soup kitchen. Van Pelt says she is as it’s fulfilling doing the work. They find a lock opened in the storage area. They go inside the and find missing equipment and supplies. They also find a cigarette butt lying on the floor. Rigsby calls Lisbon to let her know of their findings.

Jane goes to a book store in town and talks with the shop owner, Philip Raimey. Jane wants information about Beckworth and the store specializes in history. Raimey tells Jane he came to the right place.

Cho meets with Tori Abner. She insists Foster stole the Mansion from her and lied. A man in a suit walks into the home. Tori introduces him as her nephew, Drew Abner. Drew says the issue is complicated regarding the sale of the house. Tori says Drew is a lawyer. Tori reads Cho’s aura, she tells him it’s excellent color. It’s deep red, grounded, realistic. Cho doesn’t flinch. Tori says Foster lied to her when he told her he wanted to preserve the mansion when in reality he wanted to gut it. He asks for their alibis and they both say they were together, in her home when Foster was murdered. Cho’s phone rings, Jane is calling to find out if he asked about the ghost. He convinces him to ask because Beckworth was deeply involved in spiritualism and held seances. Cho asks the Tori if she knows anything about ghosts in the mansion. She says that it’s the spirit of her grandfather, Walter Beckworth, he haunts the mansion. Jane says there’s a rumoured treasure in the house. So, Cho asks Tori about it. She says it was a fraud, if it wasn’t would she be living in her current place.

Jane finishes clover honey tea with Raimey, grabs some books to leave. Jane asks how Beckworth made his money. Raimey says Beckworth was a boot legger. Jane wants to know if Raimey ever met Foster and Raimey claims once or twice but never really paid attention. Jane says, “You deceitful old bag of bones.” “Excuse me,” Raimey asks. “You heard me,” Jane replies.

Rigsby and Van Pelt return to the main door of the house and find it partially opened. The hear a noise in the house and Rigsby thinks someone is upstairs. The two of them head upstairs and when the noises get louder, they draw their guns. Van Pelt believes it’s old wiring making the noise until they hear voices. The double doors to the room shut and the same flickering light is going off behind them. Rigsby and Van Pelt identify themselves and tell whoever it is to come out. The doors open and it’s a ghostly image of Jane saying "Boo."

Rigsby and Van Pelt holster their guns as the doors close. They wonder where Jane went when they see him in the hallway. Jane shows them a system that was built into the house. It’s wired to echo voices throughout the house and a switch is set up to make the lights flicker. Jane shows them a glass panel that comes out, showing a reflection and a special light setup that gives you the ghostly effect. Beckworth had it installed to scare his guests during his seances. Jane tells them the house is rigged with all kinds of secrets and activates a secret passageway. The three of them go down the stairs and check out the passageway to find another entrance to the house.

Lisbon walks into a local bar. She walks up to a man, Jeb Haas. He is the local thief Deputy Fisher told her about and Lisbon is looking to question him. He gives her a hard time but she gets him to go into town to be questioned.

Cho questions Jeb, who finally admits that he did steal the tools from Foster's storage area. He has more information about the night Foster died. He tells Cho that he saw Lillian Foster parked in the woods, just sitting there. She was there the whole time he was and remained after he left.

Rigsby and Van Pelt follow the secret passageways through the house. They end up walking through a wine cellar then down a dark hallway and Rigby’s flashlight flickers. Van Pelt screams, she thought she felt something crawling up her leg. Rigsby goes to say something but changes his mind. Van Pelt starts to walk away but he stops her. He says, “I love you. I’ve loved you from the first moment I met you. Screw the rules. Screw the CBI. I need you. Unless you stop me, I’m going to kiss you now.” Just as they are about to kiss, a trap door opens and Jane sticks his head in saying, “Eureka, I found it.”

Lisbon and Cho visit Lillian Foster’s house. Tori Abner and her nephew are leaving with Lillian following right behind, yelling at them. Lillian tells them she will burn the house down before she allows Tori to move back into it. Tori tells her she needs psychiatric help. Lillian freaks out and attacks Tori. Lisbon and Cho break it up.

Back at CBI, Lisbon and Jane question Lillian. She admits she was at the mansion the night her husband died. Her husband had had an affair a year earlier and she was afraid he was having another one. When he told her he was spending the weekend at the mansion, she went to the mansion to spy on him. She admits she finally left because she felt guilty. When Lisbon asks when she left, Lillian says she used her credit card to get gas on her way home. Lillian feels if she had remained at the mansion, her husband would still be alive. Jane feels if she had stayed, both of them would be dead.

Cho brings coffee out to Drew. He tells Drew that his Aunt with be with them a while longer while they sort things out. Drew admits he’s not a lawyer, but a Paralegal. Rigsby walks up and asks to speak with Cho. Standing out of Drew's earshot, Rigsby admits he told Van Pelt he loved her but she hasn’t said anything since. Cho tells him to tell Van Pelt again.

Jane is talking with Tori. She is commenting on his aura. Jane feels the mansion is uninhabitable and wonders why would she wants it back. She tells him it’s for sentimental reasons. He tells her she’s lying, there’s something in the house she doesn’t want people to find - maybe evidence of her guilt. She says that is absurd. Jane says it’s because of the treasure. Tori tries to claim it's because she wanted to stop Foster from gutting the house. Lisbon tells her if she’s lying, she becomes the #1 suspect. Tori looks at Jane and asks how he is with riddles.

Back at the book shop. Philip Raimey says he bought some of Beckworth's papers at an estate sale. When he came across the riddle, he felt he needed to tell Tori. He recites the riddle, "If fortune is what you seek sincere, the only place to look is here”. When backed into a corner by Jane, Raimey admits he didn’t say anything sooner because he didn’t want to share the fortune with anyone other than Tori. Once again, Jane picks on the Deputy Sheriff. Jane asks Raimey to see the letter. Jane reads it and realizes the word here is actually spelled “hear.”

Jane brings everyone to the mansion. He tells them the word hear is misspelled and it’s a clue to the treasure. He has everyone offer up a word that comes to mind when they hear the word. He has Cho unveil the piano and he plays with the keys. Jane then crawls under the piano and starts knocking underneath it. He opens a panel and pulls out a box. When everyone asks what it is, he says “Beckworth’s fortune."

Jane opens the box and it appears empty but he realizes the top comes off and underneath is another riddle. “To find fortune and riches one doesn’t need help. All one has to do is look to one self.” Lisbon says it means they are wasting their time. She feels it’s just a joke by Beckworth. She kicks everyone out of the house, wants them to set the alarm and put shifts on the house. Lisbon won’t listen to Jane and she replies, “Bite me.” When everyone else leaves, he repeats what she said and she wonders if it was too much. He says it was a bit too much, a little over the top.

Rigsby and Van Pelt take the first shift watching the house. Rigsby begins to bring up his profession of love. Van Pelt tells him it’s just not the right time. Because things are awkward, they agree they should take turns walking the grounds but argue over who should go first. Meanwhile, a shadowed figure is lurking in the bushes, watching them. The figure runs around back and goes in through the secret entrance. It turns out it’s Drew and he looks into a mirror in the house and repeats the riddle. He picks up a chair, smashes the mirror and discovers nothing behind it. Lisbon and Jane turn on the light and confront Drew. He listened to family talking about all that they had from the Beckworth mansion for years and when he learned of the riddle, he finally figured it was his turn to have a part of it. As Lisbon is hand-cuffing him, Drew asks Jane if he planted the riddle. Jane admits he did and shows Drew the key that was really inside the box. He tells Drew he knows what it was but clams up when Drew asks for details.

At CBI, Lillian Foster is done being caught up on who murdered her husband. She finds Jane in the kitchen and joins him. She tells him she asked about him and knows about his family. She asks him if the dead know how they feel. Jane apologizes and tells her no.

Pizza boxes are opened in the office and Cho wants sausage before Rigsby eats it all. Jane tells them he has something special to drink to go with pizza and heads into the kitchen. Rigsby and Van Pelt are in there, gathering plates and napkins. Jane grabs a bottle of wine from the fridge and heads back to the office. Van Pelt and Rigsby continue gathering eating utensils until Van Pelt stops, grabs Rigsby’s arm and draws him into an office. When the door closes, she pulls him into her arms and kisses him. They kiss several times and she tells him she’s going to head out to go home, he needs to wait 5 minutes and then meet her at her car. She kisses him once more and they both head into the office to have pizza. Jane pours everyone a cup of wine. As they begin to drink, Cho asks what the key was for. Jane says the only thing that Beckworth collected for years, that is now worth tens of millions of dollars. They all look inside their cups and realize what he is referring to.

Title Reference[]

The title refers to the haunted house in the story and is also a reference to The Red Scare, a period in the U.S. when fear of communism was on the rise.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Season 2 Episodes
Redemption  · The Scarlet Letter  · Red Badge  · Red Menace  · Red Scare  · Black Gold and Red Blood  · Red Bulls  · His Red Right Hand  · A Price Above Rubies  · Throwing Fire  · Rose-Colored Glasses  · Bleeding Heart  · Redline  · Blood In, Blood Out  · Red Herring  · Code Red  · The Red Box  · Aingavite Baa  · Blood Money  · Red All Over  · 18-5-4  · Red Letter  · Red Sky in the Morning