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Scarlet Ribbons is the first and premiere episode of Season 4 of The Mentalist.


Patrick Jane’s story picks up just moments after he kills a man in the middle of a crowded shopping mall. As the police escort him out, Jane is calm and collected – after all, he’s finally ended the life of his nemesis Red John. Unfortunately, the evidence doesn’t seem to bear out this claim. The gun he used to threaten Jane and the cell phone he used to talk with O’Laughlin are both missing. Furthermore, it looks as if, the man Jane shot is a respected local businessman. With the entire CBI team suspended due to his actions, Jane must find a way out of jail and prove that the man he shot was indeed Red John.


That said, the fourth season opened with the same startling moment that last season ended with – Patrick Jane very calmly shooting Red John and casually sitting down to finish his tea as frantic patrons flee around him.

It turns out that the dead man is named Timothy Carter and that he didn’t have a gun or a cell phone when the authorities processed him. This perplexes Jane as much as the audience, since we all clearly saw both items, and heard what Carter had to say. Jane defends himself by telling his coworkers that someone must have taken them before CSI arrived. End result here, Jane’s off to jail and the rest of the team is suspended for letting him kill an “innocent” man, not to speak of allowing the deaths of agents in the process. Bertram is willing to just let Jane hang out to dry.

Jane, who has decided to represent himself, accepts having his bail set at a staggering one million dollars to give himself time to think. When the injured Lisbon finds out, she leaves the hospital, even though she shouldn’t have, to go see him and find out what’s going on.

Maybe she decided what was done was done and to move forward with trying to get Jane and the rest of the team out of the mess he’s made. Jane just wants a blueberry muffin (a callback to the Season 2 episode "Black Gold and Red Blood"). The team gets together and brainstorms on how to work the case while they’re suspended.

After this, Cho and Rigsby manage to get the videotape from mall security without a warrant, and Grace and Lisbon’s conversation with Carter’s wife Sally threatens to turn into a cat fight. It all pans out though, since the footage shows two people approaching the body before the authorities arrive.

The first, a brunette barista, was only checking to see if he was still alive, but she points them toward the second, a security guard, Ron Deutsch,who, it turns out, didn’t show up for work that day. (Deutsch appears at the Visualize Center in Season 3, episode 3.)  It’s really hard to call in dead.

When they find him electrocuted in a bathtub, it's obvious to them he was murdered . They also learn that the paper trail on Timothy Carter only goes back five years.

Meanwhile, Jane is working his magic in prison. He’s managed to con his way into a high stakes poker game and he’s won his million- dollar bail money. Not only can Jane read his opponents “tells”, he can fake his own.

Jane has decided the perfect way to get under Ms. Carter’s skin is to show up at the wake with her husband’s personal effects. He manages to very convincingly convey his regret if he did actually kill an innocent man. So convincing that he not only gets tea from this Stepford Wife, he gets to use the bathroom too.

This is all he needs to pull one of his trademark clever ruses. He comes back and plants the seed of distrust in a woman who claims she and her husband had no secrets by asking why her husband had one more key than she did. She gets upset and throws Jane and Lisbon out.

About a block away, Jane has Lisbon stop the car and asks her if she feels up to running. He’s pleased when she says no. He tells her, as he’s running away, that he’s sneaking back into the Carter house and to wait there until he calls. Once back in the house, he hides in a closet until after the wake and follows Ms. Carter to the basement. Turns out that Mr. and Ms. Carter were getting their freak on together based on the girl handcuffed in the secret “apartment” behind the pegboard. The extra key was actually to Jane’s locker.

Ms. Carter’s arrested and the girl’s a witness at Jane’s trial. Bertram seems disappointed. It’s all over pretty quickly. Although the girl says that Carter never admitted to being Red John and that Ms. Carter didn't say anything, Jane still does his summation as if Carter was indeed Red John. He describes how Red John/ Carter was a bad man and that right or wrong, he wouldn’t change what he did. It was what he needed to do to satisfy his own revenge for the loss of his wife and daughter. The jury buys it and, in record time, finds him not guilty. But he does feel guilty, because, as he tells Lisbon when it’s all over, he lied to the jury – Carter was not Red John.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

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