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Something's Rotten in Redmund is the twentieth episode of Season 4 of The Mentalist.

Summary[]

The investigation of a murder of a high school English teacher gives Jane the opportunity to to show off his acting skills to a drama class.

Recap[]

Jane and the CBI Team are called to investigate the murder of Jack McTerny, a popular English teacher whose body was found on the baseball field outside the school. Why anybody would kill such a well-liked and respected teacher is initially unclear.

Jane interrupts the school assembly held after the discovery of the body to read an angry letter Cho found in McTerny’s briefcase. As he does, he uses the tell on one girl's face to identify her as the author of the letter. The girl runs out of the assembly and Lisbon gives chase.

After Lisbon catches up with the girl, she and Jane question her about the note. She says that McTerny was always trying to empower the girls at the school, but she spotted him downtown with a hooker, and believed everything that he had said had been a lie, leading her to pen the anonymous letter calling him a pig and a fake. Lisbon takes down the info about where the girl spotted McTerny and the hooker talking, including a copy of the photo the girl took of them.

While Lisbon continues her canvas of the school, Jane comes across a student practicing fencing backstage in the auditorium, which is set for a production of Hamlet. Jane engages the student, Jeremiah, in a fencing match with prop swords while questioning him, but when it becomes rather obvious that Jeremiah has no inside scoop he asks where he can find the “bad kids.” Jeremiah has no idea, so Jane investigates the school's bathrooms and basement, where he barely sees a student smoking a cigarette disappear out the window, purple high-top sneakers last. Snyder, the school principal, appear as Jane is leaving the basement and tries to interrogate him. Jane goes to the cafeteria and is able to spot the owner of the shoes, who he follows to the "bad kids'" hangout. A girl there tells Jane that McTerny was a “square” and a goodie-two-shoes, which everyone found odd given his friendship with the alcoholic school counselor Mr. Loveland.

Rigsby and Cho search for the hooker that McTerny was seen talking to, though Rigsby is distracted by the impending birth of his child with Sarah. They find another prostitute in the spot mentioned by the student, who sells them the information on the woman they're looking for, "white Chenille," and her location. Cho and Rigsby find her at a motel and learn her name is Lindy Hayes, a former student of McTerny's who dropped out three years ago and ran away to the city to escape her stepfather's abuse despite McTerny's best efforts to help her. She says that McTerny, who came to visit her every week and try to convince her to get her GED when he learned she was turning tricks, had a lot of projects – people like her he was trying to help. She also says that McTerny wasn’t into any drugs and the pills they found on him could not have been his. Rigsby and Cho go to visit a student named Martin who was having some troubles at school with bullying and who had scheduled an appointment with McTerny on the day before he died. Cho and Rigsby go to Martin’s house, where they find him acting suspicious and smell burning. They follow Martin when he flees into the basement, where they find him frantically trying to dismantle the laboratory setup he had been using to manufacture ecstasy.

Martin confesses during questioning that the pills were his, and that McTerny confiscated them the night they met. McTerny was trying to help Martin escape bullying, but Martin didn't want to accept help from a teacher, and was planning to make and distribute the ecstasy so the other kids would think he was cool. Rigsby tells him about the hard time he had as a high school student, but their interview is interrupted by a call from Sarah, who has just gone into labor. Risgby rushes to the hospital, leaving Cho and the others to handle the case.

At the school, Jane talks to Loveland about his drinking problem. Loveland says that he used to be sober, but fell off the wagon after his wife left him and came to McTerny for guidance. However, when his request for time off from the principal was denied and Snyder confronted him about his drinking, he thought McTerny was the one who told on him. Jane asks if someone could have overheard him and McTerny talking, but Loveland is adamant that no one could have overheard, since they had their conversation in the bathroom.

After his talk with Loveland, Jane goes to the auditorium and sees the cast of the play rehearsing, and gives the young actors some advice before taking a can of paint. The drama teacher, Ms. Austin, is pleased with Jane and his love of the arts. Jane brushes a leaf off Ms. Austin's sleeve before departing for the boys' bathroom, where he uses the paint to write “SNYDER SUCKS” across the mirrors and the wall.

Almost immediately, Jane is called into the principal’s office, along with Lisbon, where Snyder confronts him about the vandalism. Lisbon tells Jane to apologize, which he does, but only for the graffitti. He asks Snyder how he knew it was him who wrote the message when no one witnessed the act. Snyder insists it was a student who told him, but Jane posits that he really knew because of the illegal hidden cameras he has installed in all the bathrooms. When Snyder starts to object, Jane opens a cupboard in his office to reveal monitors with video feeds from all around the school. Lisbon requests all video footage and Snyder asks her to keep the illegal recording quiet, but Lisbon refuses. Jane and Van Pelt review the video from the night of McTerny’s death and Jane notices one of the kids from the cast of the play, Billy, moving around the school and notices something unusual.

Lisbon and Jane return to Redmund on the night of the play's performance, where a large audience of parents, teachers and students has gathered. Right before the show Jane runs into Jeremiah, who he induces to hyperventilate and pass out. With the cast's only understudy already covering for Laertes, who has mono, Ms. Austin and the kids gladly accept when Jane offers to play Jeremiah’s role of the ghost. Jane starts a scene with Billy, but interrupts midway through with references to McTerny’s death and accuses Billy and Ms. Austin of murdering him, shocking the audience and causing Ms. Austin to try to flee the auditorium. Lisbon catches her and takes her and Billy into custody, and before leaving Jane tells the whole crowd about Principal Snyder's illegal cameras before leaving the stage and bidding adieu to the audience.

Billy and Ms. Austin confess that they were lovers, and were caught making out in the woods that night by McTerny while he was jogging around the school field. When he threatened to tell the principal, Ms. Austin had Billy stop him and beg him not to say anything, then attacked him with a metal bat while he was distracted. After the two are booked, the team receives a text messages from Rigsby with photos of his newborn son, Benjamin. The team oohs and ahhs over the baby pictures, but the memory of losing his own child overcomes Jane and he leaves, as Lisbon watches him go.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

 Trivia[]

  • The episode's title is derived from a line in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, which the students of Redmund High School are staging.
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
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