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Scarlett Fever is the fifteenth episode of season one of The Mentalist. It aired on February 17th 2009 in the US and July 2nd 2009 in the UK.

Recap[]

A fancy soiree at the Marquesa mansion. Women mingle downstairs while upstairs another one comes out of a room foaming at the mouth. She stumbles down the hallway and then off the balcony, providing the wrong kind of floor show for the function.

At CBI, Jane hypnotizes a murder suspect. Right as he's about to confess, Lisbon busts in saying they have an active case. Lisbon tells him the suspect's lawyer is on his way and Jane snaps him out just in time. Lisbon is anti-trance.

The CBI-ers visit the murder scene where Jane checks out the family photos and they talk poison. He looks at the victim's face and sees that one eye is heavily made up and the other isn't. He races upstairs where he finds mascara by the sink and "Now we're even" written on a cocktail napkin in lipstick. A handy motive.

Villa Marsante Estates - Jane and Lisbon drive through the gated community, with a luxury car in every driveway. The widower is saying good-bye to two neighbors, both women who seem awfully supportive and one who over-hugs.

Jane roots through the victim's purse as Lisbon tells the widower Victor that his wife Scarlett was killed with rat poison. Jane accuses him of having an affair with Asra, one of the women he was hugging out front, but he denies it, saying the woman's just his account's manager. Jane says that makes sense. Jane notices Scarlett's keys are missing from her purse.

Victor is a real estate developer. His wife made jewelry that he describes as "trinkets." Jane looks it over. The party was Scarlett's idea, to let people know they're doing fine. Most of the guests were from the country club, where she was in charge of the women's committee. Outside, Lisbon asks Jane what his deal is with Asra. He references the "dinner theater way" she hugged Victor out front, which means she's deceiving him. Jane thought it was an affair, but it's something else.

Jane and Rigsby go talk to the women's committee at the club. Rigsby has a hunch that the muderer's a woman, especially given the lipstick and manner of poisoning, to which Jane agrees with. There's a tennis tournament and silent auction going on. Heather, the woman on the microphone, announces to Patience, Mandy and Jackie that the police want to talk to them. They were at the party because it's a rule that they have to attend the chair's parties. One accuses another of being jealous. Then they snipe. Jackie says she saw Scarlett and Asra fighting at the party. They head to the gossip queen Mandy to see if the affair rumor is true, and she laughs it off. Mandy says that Asra and Victor are just friends and admits to the officers that she thinks Victor's the murderer--Mandy acknowledges that while Victor certainly seems like nice guy, she also points out that when married women are murdered, their husbands typically end up being revealed as the culprits. Jane and Rigsby both agree that Mandy has a point in what she's saying.

When Jane goes to question Patience, she admits that even though she disliked Scarlett, she didn't kill her and also liked the jewelry she designed. Patience tells Jane that she thinks Asra was the one who killed Scarlett because she's convinced that Victor and Asra are having an affair, and that Asra had supposedly killed Scarlett out of jealousy. And then Patience excuses herself to go bid on two nights at Cliffside Inn.

The CBI officers then go to the chairwoman's office and Jackie explains that as the vice-chair of the women's committee, she and Scarlett talked almost every day. Jackie also explains that Scarlett, as chairwoman, was the only one who had keys to the safe in the office. This makes Jane point out that this is another reason to find Scarlett's missing keys, and they later get warrant to search the safe.

Van Pelt reports Asra cleared out her bank accounts that morning. The estate calls, security reports her house is cleared out. But Jane knows where she is: Cliffside Inn. Rigsby and Van Pelt bust in on two people having sex. Two women: Asra and Mandy, the latter of whom laughed at the idea of Asra having an affair with Victor.

Van Pelt asks to take lead on the interview. She interrogates Asra, tough Rigsby-style. She ran because she didn't want her affair to be exposed. And she didn't want to tell Victor she'd run his business into the ground. She borrowed from the company's reserve fund to cover her bad investments. Outside, Rigsby makes Mandy wait. She insists she's done nothing wrong. She's worried about keeping the affair quiet. Cho walks over to tell Rigsby a judge says they won't have the warrant for the safe until tomorrow. Rigsby acts as if he's blown a secret and tells Mandy she has to keep that to herself. After she leaves, Rigsby compliments Cho on selling it.

Lisbon and Van Pelt talk to Victor about Asra skimming as his son, Oscar, plays sorcerer. He says his wife covered some debts with sales of her jewelry, she'd just made a deal with some boutiques. They ask about some calls to pre-paid cell phones and a regular appointment in her datebook in Marysville. Her husband says it's an antique jewelry market. Cho calls Lisbon to say they ID'd the lipstick on the glass at the crime scene: it's a very expensive, high-quality brand of lipstick, typically only sold in high-end stores. She tells him to meet them in Marysville.

Rigsby and Jane return to the country club, where Heather talks to Jane about losing her 16-year-old daughter in a car accident last year. They didn't move because they couldn't afford to. In Marysville, at a dirt bike race, not exactly a jewelry market, Cho nabs a drug dealer in dramatic fashion. At the club, Jane and Rigsby wait in the office in the dark for whoever took Scarlett's keys to show up.

They look through the things found on "Digger," the man who was meeting Scarlett. His van is loaded with pills. He says Scarlett was one of is biggest customers, dealing mainly with things like prescription drugs and diet pills. They first met at a swap meet, where Digger found Scarlett's jewelry to be tacky, and told her that there are other ways to make more money. Scarlett's been saying she was going to quit and he's been getting calls from another "prissy sounding" woman. When Digger admits that he doesn't know the woman's name but has her number in his cell phone, Lisbon suggests that he call her right now.

At the club, someone breaks into the safe. Her cell phone rings. It's Digger. Jane and Rigsby catch Patience red-handed with the safe open. Rigsby interrogates Patience, who says she lifted the keys when she went to console Victor. She says she opened the safe out of curiosity. She says everyone knew Scarlett was dealing. She sums up what they have and it's not much. They let her go, with plans for discreet surveillance.

Rigsby discusses the bonuses of dating older women while he and Cho wait outside Patience's house. She spies them and brings out a panini to tide them over. Lisbon and Jane tell Victor about his wife's dealing, during which Jane that Victor seems genuinely surprised to discover what his wife had been doing, even though many other people in their neighborhood knew about it.

Jane takes notice of Victor and Scarlett's young son, Oscar, and goes over to talk to him. Jane expresses sympathy to Oscar about what he and his dad are going through, which Oscar appreciates--Oscar explains that he really misses his mom and wishes that she were still with him. But despite that (as well as Oscar's young age), he understands that he'll never see her again. Jane admits to Oscar that he can understand what Oscar and his dad are going through, having lost his wife and daughter (though he only mentions his wife to Oscar). Jane notes that Oscar's make-believe could be a good way to help him through his grief, as he does a similar thing (talking to his wife even though she's dead). The two then have a sword-fight, which Oscar wins.

Cho and Rigsby wait outside the club while Patience gets her massage. Jackie, who has a crush on Rigsby, comes over to flirt with him. Rigsby notices the lipstick that she's wearing--it turns out to be the same kind of lipstick that was found at the crime scene. Jackie admits that bought it after seeing Patience wearing the very same lipstick at the party the night that Scarlett died. During their conversation, someone is heard screaming nearby and running from the room where Patience is getting her massage--unfortunately, the officers' surveillance was a bit too discreet, as someone has murdered Patience (by stabbing knife through her middle).

The team arrives and they try to figure out a motive for killing her. Jane agrees that Victor fits nicely. He joins Jackie and Heather for a drink, "accidentally" saying too much by saying they're going after Victor. They both feel awful over the idea Oscar might be placed in foster care. At the Marquesa-estate, there's a crowd and TV-cameras as Victor's taken out in handcuffs (the women had done their part in blabbing). When Oscar runs out sobbing, crying for his dad, it's too much for Heather to bear--she rushes over to Jane, telling him to stop and cofnesses that she's the one who murdered both Scarlett and Patience.

At CBI, Jane tells her he first suspected her because she was the only one who didn't wear Scarlett's jewelry. He says losing her daughter has "unhinged" her. She tells him that before her daughter drove the night she died, she had taken some pills that she got from a friend--it turns out that her daughter's friend had gotten them from her mom, who in turn had gotten them from Scarlett. Flashback to scenes of the party as Heather talks about how horrible it was to see her hosting parties and acting like everything was fine. And after Heather killed Scarlett, Patience told everyone at the club not to worry, she'd take over the business and keep the pills flowing. Feeling no lessons had been learned, Heather decided to "finish what she started" by murdering Patience as well.

At the end, Victor and Oscar come to thank Lisbon and the other officers for their work in the case, during which Victor reveals that he and Oscar are moving out of the estate and moving back to his old hometown. On their way out, the father-and-son run into Jane thank him for his part, which he attempts to brush off. After the father-and-son leave, Jane admits that while he's happy to have helped them, he always feels kind of uncomfortable when people thank him for stuff, to which Lisbon adds that it's because Jane likes giving off a Lone Ranger-persona ("Who was the man that helped us? I never got a chance to thank him"). Jane admits that Lisbon is right.

Jackie, Rigsby's crush, va-va-vooms into the office and Jane tries to prepare Rigsby for the impressive sight. Rigsby's not surprised she's there, because he asked her out on a dinner date. Van Pelt smarts.

Cast[]

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
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