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The Silver Briefcase is the fifth episode of the seventh season of The Mentalist.


A chance encounter with a military colonel leads Jane to believe the soldier is hiding something, leading him to dig into the closed murder case of the man's wife.


In a suburban house, a guy is washing his hands in the kitchen. He wipes his hands dry then tosses the paper towel. He checks the thermostat and adjusts it, turns on a fan and walks out. Later, the FBI kicks in a door and come into an empty room. They look around and head down the hall into another room. It’s a training exercise and Jane and the crew won it. A colonel tells Abbot the FBI is doing a good job. Abbott asks the colonel to pay up on his bet. He does but adds that the week isn’t over yet.

Lisbon talks to Jane about his notion of quitting and says she likes her job, and he won’t find it easy to walk away because he enjoys it more than he knows. Colonel Raymond approaches and she introduces him to Jane. He offers her a job if she ever tires of the bureau. She thanks him for the offer. Jane asks if she ever had a fling with him and says it’s strange and that there’s something there. She says his wife was murdered eight months ago but they arrested someone.

She goes to take a shower. Jane is intrigued and watches the colonel walk by downstairs. Jane then goes to talk to Abbott about Raymond’s wife’s murder and tells him he has a theory. Abbott asks what it is, and he says he doesn’t have one yet, but could soon. Vega tells him curiosity killed the cat and he says it also cured polio. Abbott tells him Raymond is more than a Marine colonel, he’s a decorated war hero. Jane says something is off about the guy.

Lisbon says they should trust Jane’s instincts. Abbott says they can, but no searches or interrogations. He says to use a cover story before they talk to anyone, so Raymond won’t know they’re investigating. Jane says deal and shakes on it. He asks Abbott to pound it. He laughs then does. He and Lisbon leave. Cho talks to a beat cop who worked the Raymond murder. He says Zach Jefferson, the guy they arrested for the murder, has filed civil rights violations.

The cop says they found the guy in her car, with her jewels the day after the murder. He says Raymond’s car was in the shop and she drove him to work. Liver temp confirms she was alive while he was at work. The guy shows Cho a red-light traffic cam photo. Lisbon and Jane go to talk to Zach at the prison. His lawyer is there and says it’s all off the record. Lisbon asks what he was doing before he was arrested. He says he lived in a halfway house and was bagging groceries. He moved out and got a roommate, but when his roommate got a new girlfriend and she didn't like him, he left. He didn't want to go back to the halfway house because they don't allow his freedom, so was homeless when it happened. He says the day of his arrest, he found the car with keys in it. He asks if it’s stealing if someone leaves it like that. She says he’s had three arrests and it’s not crazy to think he’d rob a house. Jane asks if he killed Nicole Raymond. Zach says he’s never killed anyone in his life. Outside, Zach’s lawyer says her client is going to get the needle if they don’t help.

Lisbon wonders if Raymond killed his own wife, then dumped the car in a bad neighborhood hoping someone would steal it. Jane mentions that every good plan needs luck, then tells Lisbon they need to go visit the crime scene. They park out front, and he calls the realtor on the sign. He says they’d like to look at it and the realtor says she’s on the way. She brings them inside and says it’s move in ready. She talks up the property and says it’s been on the market for a couple of months. Lisbon asks why it’s priced so low. The realtor tries to avoid the question by commenting on how what the master bathroom looks like.

Jane asks what she’s not telling them. At first she says someone just died, but then hesitantly admits the death was actually a murder. Lisbon mentions that she thought there was a law about how realtor's required to disclose that. The realtor gets flustered, which was their goal. Jane tells the realtor that they'll need to discuss it in private and the realtor leaves them alone in the house. They pull out the case file and start looking at photos. Jane goes to the window they said he broke in through and calls Lisbon over. Across the street is a park full of children and parents in plain view of the window. Jane even says hello, to which the people at the park turn to look at them. Jane asks what the weather was like, and she says it was in the 70's and sunny. Jane states that it would have been perfect weather for the park, so someone would have seen him. Jane then asks why someone would use the front window when there's another window on the side of the house that's out of view.

Jane describes the way the colonel's wife would have been sitting in a corner doing her crossword, to which Lisbon points out that she would have heard if Zach broke in. Lisbon says the time of death contradicts Raymond being there. Lisbon says the body had a fan blowing right on her but it wasn’t a hot day. Jane tells her how his aunt would cook a roast. He says if Raymond turned the thermostat up to convince her to use the fan then turned it off after he killed her would adjust the temperature. Then they theorize he turned off the fan too and then left. The front door was wiped down for prints which makes no sense.

They wonder if he was wiping off someone else’s prints. Perhaps a woman’s. Jane wonders what woman would have been in the car with Raymond at the red light. Jane says he’s going to talk to Raymond about another matter. Jane tells the realtor they’re passing on the house for lack of closet space. They head out.

Raymond sits at his desk when Jane knocks and enters. He remembers Jane as the FBI consultant. He says he’s there to offer Raymond some advice to help with the challenge. He tells Raymond that plans get in the way of instinct and says Napoleon said that plans don’t survive the first shot. Raymond says war is real and you should never let them fire the first shot. Jane says it’s stupid and Raymond asks why he’s trying to provoke him.

Jane says he wants to see how he reacts. Raymond asks if he learned anything, and Jane says he did. Jane shows Cho and Vega that he saw something strange in the colonel's office decor, an African art piece. The entire time they're talking, Wiley keeps stealing glances at Vega. Jane says the woman Raymond is involved with probably gave him that art and he more than likely works with her. Jane says they need to send someone in that wasn’t in training, saying he, Lisbon, and Cho were out. Vega tells them she's also already had her training. Jane leans over and asks Vega to do him a favor. The next time Wiley glances at her again, please wave him in. Vega, surprised turns to look at Wiley, as do Cho and Jane. The next time he steals a glance he's taken aback because all of them are staring at him. Vega waves him into the room. Jane laughs and Vega blushes and tells him to stop.

Wylie goes to the offices on base and says he’s from IT. He goes from office to office poking around and then finds a woman in her office playing a computer game. She freaks because she thinks she’s in trouble for playing the game, but he tells her it has nothing to do with that, as he stares around the room at all the African artworks. He says he’s there to check her data stacks. She asks what that is and he comes over to show her. Later, he talks about her to Jane and Lisbon. He says she has lots of African art and photos on Facebook, but no pictures of a boyfriend.

They compare her to the red light photo and agree it could have been her. They discuss ways in which to find out things about the woman, Lisbon asking if he wants to go meet her. Jane states that he shouldn't have all the fun. Next thing we see is Lisbon behind her in line in a coffee shop. Jane quizzes Lisbon later, telling her she knows how to do this. Lisbon describes all of the things that she noticed about the woman, everything from the way she acted to the fact that she ordered black coffee and put a ton of sugar in it. Jane asks Lisbon if her instincts say she’s a killer. When Lisbon says she's unsure, Jane tells her to trust her gut. He'll give her to the count of three. At "one" Lisbon interrupts and says she doesn't need time; the woman could have done it because everything about her is like a mask. Vega and Cho strip their weapons down and she says the theory is Denise helped kill Raymond’s wife then dressed up like her to deliberately run a red light. He then grabs Vega's gun and takes it back apart. He looks inside and then tells her to clean her weapon right, not fast.

Vega says they have no evidence and shows her how she can get some. He says Denise and Raymond would have to walk back to work after dumping the car and would have to change her clothes and get rid of the other ones. She says it’s a five-mile route and Cho hands her a blonde wig to put on and a paper bag. She gets in the car with Wylie in the disguise. He drives and she changes out of her disguise outfit to time how long it takes to change. She pulls off the outer layer of clothing, tosses it all in a bag and then readies it to dispose. She calls out when she's done and he pulls over under an overpass. They get out to look around. Vega says they need to grid search both sides of the street. Wylie says it’s going to take a long time and she says even longer if they wait around. They don gloves and start poking around.

Wylie sees a tent and creeps up on it. He snaps some photos and gets closer. He calls out a greeting and that he’s FBI. He steps closer still and touches the makeshift tent. He skitters back scared and calls Vega. He says he thinks he has something. Raymond is at the FBI and asks to speak to Lisbon in private. She takes him to an office. Jane follows. She asks what she can do for him, and he asks if she thinks he murdered his wife. Jane steps in and says he thinks he did. Raymond tells him to arrest him them. Abbott steps in and Raymond says Detective Rios told him about a pending civil rights case. Abbott just looks at him. Raymond tells him to end the investigation now and tells Jane he overplayed his hand. He walks out and Abbott calls Lisbon and Jane into his office.

Lisbon says they have the fabric Wylie found at the lab and it could tie Raymond or Denise to the murder. Abbott tells them it was good work but wasn’t enough to re-open the case. She says they got as close as they can off the books. Abbott tells her only a confession will open the case back up. He leaves. Jane mulls that over and says let’s go for the confession. Jane and Lisbon head into the training room at the facility. Denise meets Raymond there and says she got his message. He says he didn’t send one. Jane and Lisbon come in and Jane asks her to sit. He asks if Raymond didn’t tell her that she’s being investigated. Raymond says he’s calling Abbott. Jane tells him to feel free. Jane’s pocket buzzes and he says he must have picked up the wrong phone.

Raymond says he wants his lawyer and Jane says he’ll talk to his lawyer soon enough. Jane says he has test results from the lab that implicates one or both of them. He says if one of them confesses, they get a deal. He says after he opens it, no deals. They set a five minute timer on top of the briefcase. Raymond looks cool but Denise looks at him with concern. The timer ticks down. Raymond says they don’t have anything on them and Jane says they’ll soon see.

Raymond says he’s walking out and Jane tells him to go. Lisbon tells Denise she should stay and says there’s a lot he likely hasn’t told her. She sits down in the chair and won’t look at Raymond. He sits as well and just fixes Jane with a stare. He tells Denise they can sit, see there’s nothing in the briefcase and they can walk out. She starts to speak but he tells her to hush it. Jane says they can tell they’re in a relationship. She says there’s no law against it.

Jane tells him if either was smart, the scam would be over by now. Jane tells Denise that Raymond will get tired of her just like he got tired of his wife. They tell Raymond that his murder plan was almost perfect. They mention the fan, the thermostat and throwing out the clothes at 23rd Street. Denise tries to speak and Raymond tells her to shut it, then calls her stupid. Raymond says they did it and Denise says he did it, not them together.

Back at the FBI, they talk to each separately. Raymond told them that his wife said she’d clean him out in the divorce. He says she had no right to take everything from him. He says he didn’t think Denise would really do it then we see Denise grabbing a knife. Denise then tells them he told her it would be one bad day then a life time of happiness with him. She says Raymond told her his wife would drag them through the mud. Raymond says Denise told him it would be quick.

We see Denise stabbing his wife and him saying she was a different person. Denise says Raymond let her in and says it was so hot in the house and then he got the knife off the rack and smiled when he did it. We now see Raymond going after his wife with the knife. She says he stabbed his wife and then said something under his breath when he killed her. She says she doesn’t know what he said. She says he stabbed her and she just stood there and watched it happen.

Raymond tells them Denise wasn’t the same person. We see them both walking out of the murder house in a flashback. Jane and Lisbon go talk and she tells Vega to call Zach’s lawyer and tell him he’s off the hook. Vega and Wylie want to know which one killed the wife but he says it doesn’t matter. Jane and Lisbon leave and Vega is dying to see in the brief case. Wylie agrees to look.

They pop it open and Jane and Lisbon peek from around the corner. Inside is a note that says “curiosity killed the cat.” Lisbon tells Jane he loves the work and asks what his plan is if they leave. He says they can quit and leave and wait for a plan to take seed. He says they’d be happy, and she asks isn’t he happy now. He says he’s scared too. They talk about alternate futures on the beach and she says there are bugs on vacation. He says they could do anything they want.

He talks about buying a boat and sailing around the world. She reminds him about pirates and says she gets seasick. He brings up beekeeping and tells her she’d look cute in the outfit. They walk out still debating their future.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Season 7 Episodes
Nothing But Blue Skies  · The Greybar Hotel  · Orange Blossom Ice Cream  · Black Market  · The Silver Briefcase  · Green Light  · Little Yellow House  · The Whites of His Eyes  · Copper Bullet  · Nothing Gold Can Stay  · Byzantium  · Brown Shag Carpet  · White Orchids