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Ring Around the Rosie is the fourth episode of Season 4 of The Mentalist.


In this episode, Patrick Jane sees a man at a protest and believes he is on the verge of killing someone. No one believes him, so he must prove that the man is a killer. Also, the new CBI boss is introduced in this episode.


The team starts out as part of crowd control for the Mayor’s appearance at an immigration rally. In the midst of the chaos, Cho and Rigsby stumble on a body in an alley later identified as Scott Gibson, a photographer. They call in Jane, Lisbon and Van Pelt and it’s on the way to join them that Jane is tweaked by one of the men in the crowd. When he joins the rest at the scene he mentions him to everyone and suggests that they check him out. The dead body would be an excellent way to lure the police presence away from the main body of the rally, allowing someone the freedom to shoot the Mayor.

The man in question, Henry Tibbs is detained and searched. He carries a gun around in his jacket.

But Tibbs has a concealed carry permit for his gun and they let him go. They’re still discussing Jane’s feeling about Tibbs when in walks the new boss, Luther Wainwright, who proves he is sharp by determining Gibson’s profession from the callouses on his nose. In spite of disagreeing with Jane, he allows the team to put surveillance on Tibbs. Jane finds just watching boring and follows Tibbs into a bar to talk guns with him in a disturbingly good, or just disturbing, Texas accent that just doesn’t go with his appearance, but then neither does his claim that he’s a weapons expert. He isn’t convincing Tibbs either, who asks him his weapon of choice. Jane gives the right answer – “a loaded one.”

In the meantime, Lisbon has a hit on Gibson’s cell phone. They track it to an empty foreclosure property and a homeless man who Lisbon recognizes as Willie Shubert, a once famous jazz musician she loved in college. He claims to have committed the murder so they have to take him in. Back to Jane, he’s apparently convinced Tibbs he’s for real and takes him to look at a nice piece. He said what it actually was in the show. As Tibbs is looking through the scope, putting one person after another in the crosshairs, Jane asks if he’s ever wondered about taking that shot. Tibbs tries to play it off and say no, but his behavior screams yes. Tibbs goes his way and Jane meets back up with Cho. They’ve been called back, surveillance is off, they’ve got a suspect.

The team, back together again, try to convince Wainwright that neither one is the killer they’re looking for, but that Tibbs is a man on the edge of murder. Wainwright disagrees and thinks they should arrest Willie and move on, even after Lisbon says she agrees with Jane’s idea to run a scam on Tibbs. Wainwright says he likes to “reward passion”, so they can have 24 hours to prove Willie’s innocent and that Tibbs is a menace to society. Lisbon goes off on her own for most of the episode to work on Willie’s case while Jane sets the plan for Tibbs. Rigsby borrows a conference room from one of the companies where Tibbs has applied for a job and sets up a fake interview. Van Pelt is sent to talk to his ex-wife, who’s apparently filed for divorce. Cho is put back on surveillance. Wainwright steps into the plan by insisting Rigsby use his set of questions, which are adapted from a test for psychological profiling. Jane doesn’t really care what questions Rigsby asks, but gets him all worked up over a possible “melanoma” on his face before sending him in there. Wainwright and Jane both make their assessments. Wainwright’s tests didn’t show anything wrong with the man. Jane’s not fooled, those tests can be faked, but a normal person in that situation would have mirrored Rigsby movements, and Tibbs didn’t even touch his face once, while Rigsby couldn’t leave his alone.

At the same time, Van Pelt was unsuccessful at getting anything out of Tibb’s wife other than that he was violent and no one would believe her. Cho had better luck for a while, tailing Tibbs to a shooting range. After showing off his own skills shooting down a row of Merlot bottles, he watches Tibbs go into overkill mode with a machine gun and a row of “zombies”, which are life-size dummies used for target practice. He reports this back to the team, where Wainwright wants to just go ahead and arrest him on a weapons charge and insist he go into therapy since he fits the profile of a mass shooter. He reluctantly agrees to give Jane until the end of the day to “catch him in the act”.

With no idea where to look or him, Van Pelt goes back the ex-wife and shares her story from last season, telling her what she’s missing is payback. Since they are still legally married, and she has never officially moved out, it’s perfectly legal for her to give them permission to search Tibbs’ house. Once there, they easily find his “Imagination Station” behind the clothes in the closet. In addition to a massive arsenal, the contents include a calendar of the Mayor’s scheduled appearances. They also notice that he hasn’t signed his divorce papers yet.

Van Pelt and Rigsby are still at the diner watching, having sent the ex away, when Tibbs shows up in a rage and accuses the owner of “banging” his wife. Unable to get the satisfaction of seeing her, he reaches into his trench coat and comes out with a bouquet of roses for her. Shortly after that, Wainwright takes Cho and Rigsby to Tibbs’ house to arrest him on the aforementioned weapons charge. Wainwright pushes Tibbs over the edge and sends him running.

Now cut to the park where Jane has found Tibbs and again tries to play the Texan, but Tibbs recognizes the other agents in the crowd. Jane tries to talk him down, but he opens fire anyway and is arrested by Cho, for “attempted murder of everyone.” Shockingly to Tibbs, and apparently Wainwright, everyone starts getting up, no one was hurt. Tibbs could have used a gun he had in the car. He could have decided to reload. A lot of people really could have been hurt and the rest of the team agreed to go along with the plan. Then again, given his track record, they were probably surprised that Jane wasn’t able to talk him out of shooting.

Back to Willie, who finally admits to Lisbon that he just confessed to get off the streets and that Gibson was already dead when he took the watch and the cellphone. His camera was already missing. Lisbon tracks the camera to a local pawn shop where it’s already been resold, but not its memory cards, which hadn’t been cleared yet. On them, she finds images of another homeless man running at Gibson with a knife. Case closed, murderer found and Willie serves 90 days for the stolen items, long enough to keep him off the street for the winter. As a parting gift, Lisbon also gives Willie a saxophone she got for him at the pawn shop.

Finally, in a very interesting ending, Jane comes across Wainwright sitting in his spot on the couch. Wainwright moves to let Jane sit, but then stays to go over his latest profiling effort. That of Jane himself. He’s come to the conclusion that Jane is a clinical psychopath, and that he will need to adjust accordingly. He walks away and Lisbon comes in. She wants to go home, so she takes Jane’s offer of tea to go. As they’re walking away, one can hear Jane ask Lisbon if she thinks he’s an “antisocial personality”. She answers, “Sure, but who isn’t?”


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

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Season 4 Episodes
Scarlet Ribbons  · Little Red Book  · Pretty Red Balloon  · Ring Around the Rosie  · Blood and Sand  · Where in the World is Carmine O'Brien? · Blinking Red Light · Pink Tops · The Redshirt · Fugue In Red · Always Bet On Red · My Bloody Valentine · Red Is The New Black · At First Blush · War Of The Roses · His Thoughts Were Red Thoughts · Cheap Burgundy · Ruddy Cheeks · Pink Champagne on Ice · Something's Rotten in Redmund · Ruby Slippers · So Long, and Thanks for All the Red Snapper · Red Rover, Red Rover · The Crimson Hat