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The Scarlet Letter is the second episode of season two of The Mentalist.


Jane arrives on the crime scene after his nap in the car; he slept through Lisbon’s briefing on the way. Cho fills him in on what he missed. It looks like a woman working for a lady senator jumped off a bridge because she was having an affair with the senator's husband. Lisbon arrives to tell them that they’re getting the case and asks if she needs to recap. “The others told you?” Lisbon asks Jane who confirms. Jane and Van Pelt point out that there’s only one shoe, she wouldn’t jump off the bridge with just one shoe on.

Lisbon and Jane go to the senator’s office to find out about their victim. The woman explains that the rumor was just that and that Kristen was a nice young woman. They go to meet Senator Melinda Batson and her husband. The senator says that Kristen was having problems with her stepmother, who had called a bunch of times the day she died. Lisbon questions them about the husband’s involvement with Kristen, they both deny it. After Jane rummages through Kristen’s desk and her knickknacks he goes into the office and observes that there’s nothing going on between them sexually.

When Jane and Lisbon leave the building, Minelli is outside with the senator’s father. He’s there making sure that they’re doing their jobs and he’ll help them if they need it. Minelli asks what Jane did after Jane’s vague comment. “Nothing that can’t be repaired,” Lisbon assures.

Lisbon arrives forty-two minutes late for her psych appointment. She tells him that she can talk fast, since he has another patient in eight minutes. He tells her that this is the third time she’s been late. He asks her if she knows why counseling is mandatory for an officer involved shooting. “Because no one would come if it was voluntary?” Lisbon guesses. The shrink tells her that she experienced two traumatic experiences in seconds: being faced with possible death and watching a man shot in front of her. He tells her to be on time next week.

Jane lies on his couch and notices that the stain on the ceiling is off, someone must have moved his couch. The fixer moved it to change the light, so Jane has him help move it back. “Elvis is back!” Jane declares once he lies back down. The mother called Kristen eleven times the day she died, and that her stepbrother used her as an alibi. Jane says they should be looking for Kristen’s lover, she was having an affair. She keeps mementoes and Jane tells them that she probably kept it in a fancy jewelry box with a hidden compartment.

Lisbon tells Jane to forget about Bosco when she sees him staring at him. Lisbon says that he needs to deal with it even though neither of them like it. Jane says that he’s going to go get her a coffee. Jane is in Bosco’s office, Bosco is irritated with Jane hassling his people and hacking his codes. He wants to know about Red John. Bosco refuses and tells Jane that he needs help. Jane tells him that he’s making a mistake.

Van Pelt finds the jewelry box and secret compartment, but it’s empty.

Cho and Rigsby go to visit Kristen’s stepmother, Charlotte. They ask about Harlan, her son, but she says she hasn’t seen him for days. Cho and Rigsby bet on where Harlan is hiding. Rigsby wins the bet.

Harlan is taken into CBI Headquarters to be questioned. They ask about the carjacking charge and how he had her as his alibi. He doesn’t think that Kristen knew what family means because she was working at the capitol. They’ve found texts from Harlan to Kristen on the day she died; he was threatening her to lie for him so that he wouldn’t face the carjacking charges. Lisbon figures out a way to keep Harlan at Headquarters until they can search his car. Lisbon gets Van Pelt to take over and tells her to be “friendly.” Van Pelt seems confused at first and Rigsby doesn’t seem to be thrilled with it.

Van Pelt tells Harlan that she doesn’t think he had anything to do with the crime. She starts to eat his chips and he loves it. In the process she gets him to help her fill out the forms with the information they needed.

Jane goes to the senator’s father’s house to talk. Jane knows that he was sleeping with Kristen. They talk a lot in hypotheticals. Jane tells him that he’ll find the killer by the morning and thanks him for his time.

Cho and Risgby look through Harlan’s car. Rigsby wants to know about Cho’s date (he’s dating the daughter of the shopkeeper from the season finale) and Cho wants to know when he’s going to “man up” and make a move on Van Pelt. They find the other shoe in the back of Harlan’s car.

Lisbon and Van Pelt talk to Harlan and tell him that they found Kristen’s shoe in his trunk. He gets upset when Van Pelt tells him that she really didn’t believe him. He admits that he was upset with Kristen and that he threatened her, but he’d never hurt her. Lisbon arrests him.

Jane asks if she arrested Harlan. “Victory is yours,” Jane tells her. She wants to know what he’s thinking because obviously he is. He asks if Harlan would really think to throw her off the bridge to make it look like suicide. He says aloud that he’s going to find the killer in about twelve hours. Lisbon tells Cho to keep Harlan there until he calms down and they can talk to him again.

Jane goes down to the senator’s office; he’s cleaning out Kristen’s desk. He has the senator and her husband help him carry the boxes down to his car.

Minelli presses Lisbon to get Harlan to arraignment ASAP. Lisbon pushes back, but Minelli isn’t happy about it and gives Lisbon until the morning. “You won’t regret this,” Jane tells her. “I already do,” Lisbon says.

It’s dark at CBI Headquarters and Jane is in Lisbon’s office and calls her phone and leaves her a message. He puts a paper in the top drawer of her desk and then leaves. The cleaning man comes in and pulls out the paper (Jane has written AH HA on it). Jane and Lisbon come out and Lisbon pats him down and they want to know who he works for. He says he’s a cleaner, but Jane says that it’s a mess and that he’s the fixer. Jane found one of his bugs in the overhead light. He thinks that the fixer overheard his conversations and took the jewelry from the box before Van Pelt got there and put the shoe in Harlan’s car. They ask again who hired him.

He says he doesn’t feel too good and ends up putting a letter opener to Jane’s throat. He has Lisbon put her gun on the floor, handcuff herself to the door, and tosses her keys away. He tries to walk out with Jane, but night security is heard and he instead pushes Jane. Lisbon tells him to follow the “fixer” to see where he goes while the security guard gets the keys for Lisbon.

Jane runs outside to look for him and almost gets run over. The “fixer” ends up in an accident in front of the CBI Headquarters right as Lisbon is running out.

Senator Batson, her husband, and her father are called down to headquarters and tell them that they found one of their private investigators and that he’s talking. Lisbon is offering a deal for anyone who agrees to give them details of what’s going on. The husband really wants to talk while the father is trying to ushering them out. Jane tells him to give it up because he knows his wife is gay. The husband explains that they had an arrangement. The rumors were started to keep the affair between the senator and Kristen a secret. He says that his wife wasn’t home until late and that she was a mess.

Lisbon has the necklace that had been hidden. Lisbon says that both the senator and her father were having an affair with Kristen, but the senator says that she was having the affair and her father seduced her. Her father thought that he was making a point, that she was a trashy girl there for a fling. The senator knew that Kristen was seeing someone, so she followed her. She found out that Kristen was seeing her father. She went to Kristen’s apartment and picked up her stone bookend and then she just remembers Kristen on the floor. She called her father for help and he said he knew someone who could fix it.

Jane reveals that the “fixer” is not really confessing to Cho and Rigsby, but that he’s dead and they’ve just got him in an interrogation room.

Minelli is appalled at their use of the corpse. Lisbon explains that the senator and her family subverted their case and she doesn’t think they did anything wrong. “Congratulations, you finally got her to drink the Kool-Aid,” Minelli tells Jane. He tells Lisbon and the rest of the team to check themselves. Jane is amused with Minelli’s reaction.

Rigsby tells Van Pelt that she did a great job with Harlan and then asks her about her plans. He ends up just telling her, “Have fun.” When Van Pelt leaves, Cho walks by saying, “You’re going to die alone.” Rigsby frowns.

Jane goes bearing a box of donuts for Bosco and his team. He tells them that he’s going to leave them alone and that he trusts them to catch Red John. While he places the box of donuts on the desk, he plants a bug underneath Bosco’s desk. Once Jane is gone, Bosco orders the donuts gone afraid that Jane has put something in them.

Jane returns to his couch to listen to Bosco and his team discussing Red John.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • This episode's title is derived from the book of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Season 2 Episodes
Redemption  · The Scarlet Letter  · Red Badge  · Red Menace  · Red Scare  · Black Gold and Red Blood  · Red Bulls  · His Red Right Hand  · A Price Above Rubies  · Throwing Fire  · Rose-Colored Glasses  · Bleeding Heart  · Redline  · Blood In, Blood Out  · Red Herring  · Code Red  · The Red Box  · Aingavite Baa  · Blood Money  · Red All Over  · 18-5-4  · Red Letter  · Red Sky in the Morning