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Red and Itchy is the twenty-first episode of the fifth season of The Mentalist.


J.J. LaRoche personally requests Jane’s help when the mysterious container he’s been hiding for nine years is stolen from his home.


Jane is in the CBI attic thinking about Red John when Lisbon interrupts and says that there is a dead body in J.J. LaRoche's house and that JJ has asked for him specifically.  Jane arrives at the crime scene and quickly determines that the dead body suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. JJ wishes to speak to Jane before being taken away by the ambulance. In the ambulance, JJ tells Jane that his tupperware box is missing and in its place was a note telling him to drop his current investigation into a security leak at the CBI. JJ, unaware that Jane doesn't actually know what's in the tupperware container, points out that Jane knows what will happen if the contents of the box become public knowledge. Not only will it end his career at the CBI, but it will also destroy his life. He tells Jane that he's had the box for nine years. Jane agrees to help, and JJ thanks him and says that his mother would also thank him.

On the way back to the office, Jane updates Lisbon on the situation, explaining that JJ is unaware that he doesn't actually know what's inside it. He only used the knowledge of its existence to have something to hold over JJ's head. He doesn't want anyone else on the team to try to determine the contents of the box, but he doesn't mind if Lisbon finds out.

They determine that the body belongs to a local locksmith and inform his wife at his home.

Van Pelt discovers that nine years ago, JJ's mother was subjected to a 2-hour sexual attack and rape, during which she begged the rapist to stop the whole time. His mother committed suicide 3 months later. Both her and Rigsby are highly curious and when Grace states that this whole thing is making her "Really want to know what's in this damn box." Rigsby agrees.

Brenda Shettrick requests that Lisbon gives a TV interview about the events at JJ's house, stating that Bertrem wants to put a face to the story. She also tries to say that they want to put on the airs that despite this break in, nothing can harm the CBI. Lisbon tells her that JJ was harmed because he was robbed and shot in the process of the break in.

JJ explains to Jane that he was investigating the leak after a major drug bust failed because of a tip off. He also reveals that during the Tommy Volker case, Volker had been called 6 times on a secret cell phone from the CBI office. That's why he was able to know so many things ahead of time. JJ states he's been hesitant to ask, but he wonders what Jane thinks of him since he discovered the box and its contents. Jane assures JJ that he doesn't think any differently of him. JJ states that he's relieved, because he worried that Jane would think he was monstrous after discovering what's in it.

Lisbon meets Jane at the morgue while the M.E. is doing the autopsy on the dead thief. He tells Lisbon and Jane that the main was in constant pain and determines that Jane's initial diagnosis was correct, there was no way he would be able to open a safe anymore. They visit the widow at home, seeing a bunch of old safes scattered around the living room. Jane asks the widow if she knows the combination to one of them and she says that only her husband knew the combinations of all of them. Jane states that he was hoping she'd say that as he opens it and puts the family cat inside it. The widow jumps up stating the safe is airtight and her daughter is panicked asking what they can do. The widow grabs a contraption and opens the safe, pulling the cat out and handing it to her daughter. This confirms Jane's theory that she was the second person at the robbery. The widow admits her part in the robbery, but the box has already been delivered to a drop off point. When Jane and JJ arrive, the box has already been collected.

Rigsby and Van Pelt discover that Scott Saynay, the rapist of JJ's mother, had been granted an early release from prison. They question his last cellmate who tells them with amusement that Sainey was a quiet man. When they question why it's funny, he states that you'd have to meet Sainey to understand. They mention the tupperware container and his old cellmate gets spooked. He tells the guards that he's done answering questions and leaves them.

During the TV interview, the reporter asks about what happened. When he tries to deviate and ask about a bust that went bad recently, Brenda interrupts him and tell him that they discussed the questions and he's not allowed to deviate from those approved questions. The reporter acts nonchalant and states that he doesn't care about the questions they approved. Brenda threatens to call one of his competitors and the reporter quickly backs off.

Alone in her office, Brenda takes the tupperware box out of her purse and puts it in her desk, covering it with a file.

Cho finds a 7-year-old article in the Sacramento Weekly about Parsons (the locksmith), when Brenda was the managing editor.

Jane tells JJ his suspicions about Brenda and says that he can bring Brenda down by tonight, but he will have to involve Lisbon and the team. JJ is initially reluctant but realizes that Jane will do what he has to do.

Jane tells Lisbon that he needs her help to bring down Brenda. She is initially reluctant, but when Jane reminds her of the how Volker was always tipped off and how it allowed Volker to always be one step ahead of them. Lisbon says, "Alright. How do we get the bitch?"

Jane tells Brenda that Lisbon needs help with the press in the bullpen. Once there, Lisbon tells them that they have a tip about the drug lord who got away. Cho briefs the RRT team and the camera crew who are riding along. They leave without giving Brenda time to make a phone call. When she tries to text someone on the way to the operation, one of the team grabs her phone and takes it away as Cho tells her there's no outside communication while there's a bust going on.

Once at the scene, the team head out, but Brenda has to return to the van to collect her forgotten bulletproof vest. In the van, she calls the drug lord to warn him about the raid.

She then joins the rest of the team inside to find Jane, JJ, the camera crew and the rest of the team in an empty house reviewing footage of her calling the drug lord and is arrested. At her interrogation Brenda won't talk, so Jane calmly dissects her personality causing her to breakdown, calling her a political phony on the take.

Rigsby and Cho search Brenda's office and find the box. Cho tells Rigsby that he won't tell if he looks inside it. Just as Rigsby is about to look inside, Jane appears and takes the box which he returns to JJ. Jane tells JJ that Brenda is cutting a deal so that they forget about blackmail, and she forgets about what's in the tupperware container, thus preserving his career and reputation. LaRoche said it reminded him of the depths a man can sink and reminded him of his mother.

Jane asks Lisbon to leave him alone in his attic until he comes out, as he wants to work on the Red John case.

When Lisbon visits the house where the man who raped LaRoche's mom lives, she finds out from his mother that somebody broke into his house the day before his court hearing, gave him a sedative, and cut his tongue out.  The tongue was never found. The implication is that the box contained the rapist's tongue. Also, Scott had mumbled something which both Lisbon and his mother heard. It sounds like he said "tongue" and "can't talk".


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


The episode was directed by David Paymer, who played James Panzer aka the San Joaquin Killer in season four episode "Blinking Red Light".

Scott Saynay's last name could be a reference to the fact that he cannot speak due to his tongue being cut out. Saynay could be a variation of "say nay", meaning he can't say anything.

Production Notes[]

Filming of this episode began on March 10, 2013. (Revealed on Karl Sonnenberg's Twitter account)

Season 5 Episodes
The Crimson Ticket  · Devil's Cherry  · Not One Red Cent  · Blood Feud  · Red Dawn  · Cherry Picked  · If It Bleeds, It Leads · Red Sails In The Sunset · Black Cherry · Panama Red · Days of Wine and Roses · Little Red Corvette · The Red Barn · Red In Tooth And Claw · Red Lacquer Nail Polish · There Will Be Blood · Red, White and Blue · Behind The Red Curtain · Red Letter Day · Red Velvet Cupcakes · Red and Itchy · Red John's Rules