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"Red Tide" is the third episode of season one of The Mentalist. It aired on October 14th, 2008 in the US and April 9th, 2009 in the UK.



Christine Tanner is found dead on the beach

Once again Patrick is entertaining the CBI team with his mental acuity. Van Pelt has hidden the keys to the van and he is making a grand show of finding them. To everyone's surprise and Patrick's delight, he digs them out of the hiding spot and asks who wants to ride shotgun. They head out to the beach in Santa Marta to investigate their latest case.

At the beach, several young people have gathered to hold a memorial service for their friend, Christine Tanner. They have set up a shrine with candles, pictures, flowers and stuffed animals. They begin throwing flower leis into the ocean as a tribute. As Patrick, Rigsby and Cho walk towards the crime scene, they are still discussing the logistics of Patrick finding the hidden keys. Hope and Win, two of the mourners approach the CBI agents to ask if the rumors are true that someone killed Christine. Patrick confirms that she was murdered. They begin questioning the two about Christine and her friends. Both Hope and Win assure them that all Christine's friends liked her. When Hope tells them that Christine was hooking up with Danny Kurtik, Win seems a little disturbed. He assures the agents that Danny would never have hurt her. Rigsby asks them to write down their names and numbers. While Hope is writing down her information, Patrick takes this opportunity to ask a rather strange question of Win...

Rigsby and Cho accept Patrick's line of questioning without challenge but once Hope and Win leave, Rigsby asks Patrick exactly how those questions were relevant. Cho chimes in with the suggestions they are looking for someone who doesn't like orange rabbits. Although he was being facetious, Patrick agrees. Patrick looks around and declares that he likes in on the beach and tells them that he is going to stay for a while. He proceeds to remove his jacket and lie down in the sand. Cho and Rigsby decide to leave him and return to the station.

Later, Lisbon and Van Pelt visit Christine's home. They are ushered into a modest home by Jack Tanner, Chris' father. Sitting in a couple of overstuffed chairs are Christine's younger siblings...Mikey playing with his Game Boy™ and Alisa reading a book. He apologizes for the mess, explaining that it was Christine who took care of the house. Lisbon suggests that they speak away from the children since they will be discussing some rather sensitive issues. Mr. Tanner dismisses her concerns but Lisbon insists. As the children leave, she notices an empty beer bottle and two bottles of nearly empty bottles of hard liquor on the coffee table with a couple of used glasses next to them. When they sit, Lisbon asks him when he noticed Christine was missing. He admits that he hadn't seen her in two days but didn't report it for another day.


Chrsitine's father, Jack Tanner is devastated

 He explains that she was very independent; he never had to worry about her because she was a good girl. When Lisbon challenges him for his lack of vigilance in keeping track of his daughter, he becomes defensive. He explains that he works hard and doesn't have time to keep track of her every move. He tells them that a drunk driver killed their mother in a car accident five years ago; he depended on Christine to take over the role of mother. Tanner seems a little lost. He doesn't know how he is going to manage to care for Mikey and Lisa without her. Lisbon asks about Christine's arrest last year. Tanner dismisses saying she was caught with a few joints but she didn't hang out with that crowd anymore. She started hanging out with the surfing crowd. He believed they were a better crowd for her because they seemed more upscale. He gave Lisbon a few names of the kids with whom Christine was spending time. He calls to Alisa to make her brother some lunch. Lisbon looks thoughtfully, considering this grieving father's over dependence on his young daughter. As they leave the Tanner home, Grace comments on how difficult it must be for Teresa to hear about Tanner's wife being killed by a drunk driver since her mother was also killed that way. Lisbon refuses to discuss her personal life a professional setting. She calls the station to get Cho to check on the kids in the surfing crowd Christine was hanging out with.

At the beach, Patrick settles in and begins to build a sand castle. He starts digging in the sand with his shoe until a young girl playing next to him gives him a pail. He accepts her generosity with a big smile and gets to work. As Patrick makes a rather significant structure out of sand, he draws a crowd who reward his efforts with applause.

At the station, Cho has located a Darlene Pappas, a friend of Christine, who was being detained for possession and resisting arrest. Cho arranges to have her brought to the unit for questioning. A little later, Lisbon tells Darlene that Christine was murdered and solicits her help in finding the murderer. Although Darlene is belligerent and has little information regarding Christine's demise, she seems genuinely surprised to hear that she was murdered. After Lisbon offers her help with the charges pending against her, Darlene explains that she was seeing some guy, however, all she could tell Lisbon was that he was an older guy she called "Pops". She tells Lisbon that Christine was ready to break up with him but she didn't know if she ever did. After the interview, Lisbon talks to Cho who found out that a guy named Phillip Handler had the nickname Flipper. Win and Hope had told them that Christine had been hanging out with him. Cho also checked and found out he had a record, which included a serious assault on a woman. They have an address and head out to find him.

They drive up to a run down trailer with a variety of detritus around the yard. Loud music is playing; they approach cautiously. They announce their presence and barge into the trailer with guns drawn. They move slowly towards a tough looking guy with tattoos and scruffy hair. As they near the kitchen area of the trailer, they are stunned to see Patrick poke his head around the corner to greet them. He is sitting at the table, playing chess and drinking a beer with Flipper.

At the Sheriff's headquarters, Patrick explains to Lisbon that he found Flipper because he and the victim had the same beaded hair. It's clear that Patrick's time at the beach was not ill spent. In the interview room, Flipper suggests that Lisbon is the bad cop while Patrick plays the good cop. Lisbon asks him about his assault on his girl friend. He defends himself by explaining that she was pouring oil into the storm drain, complaining that she might as well have chopped up a family of dolphins. She asks him if Christine had given him a reason to get violent with her. He speaks kindly of Chris as if to suggest that he would have no reason to become angry with her. Patrick abruptly asks him why then did he kill her. He vehemently denies killing her. He also denies having sex with her suggesting he waits until the girls hit legal age at which time he gives them a very special birthday present. Lisbon is getting very little co-operation from him when Patrick intercedes...

Shortly after Flipper's interview, Lisbon is standing in the hall speaking to Jack Tanner. Alisa and Mikey are standing meekly behind him. He is questioning Teresa about the investigation into Flipper. She assures him that when an arrest is made he will be the first one called. When Rigsby escorts Flipper out of the interview room, Jack loses control and begins shouting at him. Lisbon is forced to physically restrain him from approaching Flipper. Rigsby hustles Flipper out of the area. Finally restrained, Jack Tanner breaks down, weeping for his daughter while the children look sadly at their broken father. Lisbon quietly comforts him, encouraging him to go home and take care of his children. Alisa comes to her father and gently leads him away with Mikey by their side. Lisbon is obviously very upset by the emotional display. As she collects herself, Grace looks on from the other room.

A call from the coroner informs the team that Christine's body was placed in the water sometime early Tuesday morning. They postulate that someone from the Monday night party had to have some information regarding her death. Rigsby, Cho and Van Pelt rush off to speak to the people who attended the party on Monday. At the school, Lisbon and Patrick speak to the group of the surfer kids, Win, Hope, Danny and Andy. Again Patrick's unconventional questions leave the kids wondering...

The kids make light of their activities that night and wonder why that is such a big deal. Patrick tells them that they were probably the last people to see Christine alive. Lisbon asks them why they didn't mention the party earlier. The kids explain that they were drinking and didn't want to get into trouble with their parents. Danny's father owns the land on Devon Point and is developing a condo complex on the land. Win tells them that they all left for home around ten and Chris stayed to clean up. Hope suggested that Christine stayed late to meet someone. Danny had asked her to go home with him but she declined. He said that he and Christine 'hooked up' once in a while. Patrick asks the kids if they knew anyone named Pops but they said they didn't. The kids seemed uneasy during the questioning but also seemed to have easy answers to the questions.

Later Patrick and Lisbon go to the construction site to investigate the possibility that Christine Tanner was killed there. The foreman, Rayburn, is complaining to them about the delays pushing the completion date back. He grumbles about the workers not showing up for work. They find out that a worker named Eddie Garcia is missing. While Teresa is questioning Rayburn, Patrick makes a grisly discovery. He notices a human nose sticking out of a block of concrete. It turns out to be the missing Garcia.


Danny's father, Dane Kurtik

Dane Kurtik, Danny's father, shows up at the construction site. He is also frustrated about the delays. He denies any involvement in the death but is a bit skittish when Patrick begins questioning him about Chris Tanner's death. As he walks away, Patrick calls him Pops.

Patrick continues to provoke Kurtik until he punches him in the nose. Later at the station, Lisbon is talking to Minelli. Minelli is upset that Kurtik, who is extremely well connected, was arrested. Lisbon explains that she had to arrest him since everyone saw him hit Patrick but Minelli wonders why she couldn't have found another solution to arresting such a prominent man. Lisbon reminds him that if he was having sex with Christine it would give him a motive for murder. Minelli reminds her that that is a pretty big hunch. Lisbon counters that it is a 'Jane hunch' and should perhaps be given some consideration. He finally consents to allow him to be interviewed until his lawyer arrives but asks her to keep the interview soft. Cho is sitting with Kurtik in the interrogation room. He is attempting to get some kind of admission from Kurtik with little success. Jane, who is watching the interview with Lisbon, concedes that Kurtik isn't going to admit to anything. He declares that it is time to put the second part of his plan into play. He makes a phone call to Danny Kurtik and asks him if he wants to help catch Christine's killer. He asks him to gather up his friends and meet him at Devon Point.

Danny, Andy, Win and Hope meet Patrick as requested. Patrick outlines a few scenarios, which may explain Christine's murder. He asks them if they sincerely want to catch the murderer even if it is someone close to them; of course they agree. He tells Danny that Christine and his father were having an affair. Danny feigns shock by this revelation but Hope reveals that they all knew about the affair. They discuss the possibility of Danny's father or Flipper committing the murder. Patrick simply tells them maybe it was someone else. Andy asks Patrick how he meant to catch the murder. He leads them to the beach. He explains that he wants to hypnotize them to see if they remember anything about that evening. He tells them that any detail could help. They seem reluctant but Patrick assures them that they will be in complete control. They sit in front of a fire and Patrick talks to them in soothing tones. He asks them to go back and see what they can remember. Hope, seemingly in a hypnotic spell, calls out that she saw Dane Kurtik watching them. Danny is upset with her and runs off with Hope following him.

The next day, Lisbon asks Patrick if his plan worked. Patrick makes a show of counting down the entrance of one of the kids. Although no one walked through the door right away, as they begin to walk away, Hope come into the station wanting to talk. She asks if Kurtik was arrested but they tell her that he had an iron clad alibi for that night. She expresses surprise. She tells them that she saw him so clearly in her trance. She suggests that maybe it was symbolic. Patrick tells her that what is really symbolic is that she said she would be a hawk and Christine would be a rabbit. Hope seems confused by this comment so Patrick explains that she would be a predator and Christine would be the prey. He suggests that she never liked Christine Tanner. He reveals that he never really hypnotized her. He accuses her of pretending to be hypnotized in order to implicate an innocent man. She tearfully attempts to deny his accusations but it is clear she feels backed into a corner and must find another story to tell.

Lisbon and Patrick take her to an interview room and turn on the tape recorder. Lisbon encourages her to just tell the truth. She tells them that Flipper had already left the party. The group were drinking and partying when a guard came and told them to get off of the property. Danny told him to back off because his dad owned the property. They got into a physical altercation and Danny punched the guard. He fell down and cracked his head on some heavy equipment. He was dead. Hope told them that it was an accident. They all agreed not to tell anyone...all except Christine. She explains to them that Danny was frightened that all he had worked for was lost because Christine was going to tell. She said that he hit her on the head. She wasn't dead yet so he dragged her to a trough filled with water and drowned her. Lisbon asks her how she, Andy and Win just let it happen without saying a word. She tells them she was scared of Danny. She didn't want to be next. Lisbon and Patrick leave her in the room and go out to talk to Danny. Danny tells them he can't let his father be blamed for something he didn't do. When Patrick asks him if he is confessing, he seems confused. Patrick tells him that they know he killed Christine but he denies it. They take him into the room with Hope. He confronts her, asking her how she can accuse him. Danny counters with an accusation against Hope. He tells them that Hope had always been jealous of Chris. He confirms that the death of the security guard was an accident. Christine was going to call the police but he tells them that Hope went crazy and hit her on the head with a shovel. Hope finally confesses, crying that she did it for him.


Jane, Lisbon and the four killers

Van Pelt knocks on the window and calls them out. They go into the waiting room to find Win and Andy. Unaware of Hope's confession, Win tells the detectives that it was Flipper who committed the murder. Patrick suggests that Andy committed the murder, which he denies. They usher the boys into the interview room with Hope and Danny. All the teens seem nervous. Andy denies involvement in Chris's murder again but Patrick tells him he did do it and he goes around the table accusing each of the kids of the murder. Everyone participated in the murder, so no one would accuse each other of it.

They are given their rights and taken away in handcuffs. A little later Dane Kurtik is brought into the station in handcuffs charged with statutory rape. Lisbon stands with Jack Tanner comforting him as he learns how his daughter died. She encourages him to get help because he is all his kids have. She tells him to be good to them. She explains that although her father was a good man, after her mother died he was a self-pitying drunk. She tells him his kids need him to be there for them. Once again she tells him to get some help and gives him a card.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

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