Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Mentalist “Bloodshot” Blindingly Bad

Photo from CBS
This episode of The Mentalist (CBS), “Bloodshot” had a decent start. It started off as a normal day, with Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) arriving at the CBI and seeing Grace (Amanda Righetti) talking to a man at the outdoor food vendor. Things look like they could be cozy, and Jane decides to gossip to Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) and Cho (Tim Kang) about it, just to get Rigsby a little jealous. But, it seems that someone has been calling in bomb threats to the CBI, and the day turns eventful when a bomb threat is texted directly to Jane’s phone. As the building evacuates, Jane realizes that person who sent him the text was telling him the bomb was not in the building but nearby the building. He and Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) start to check cars in the parking lot, and Jane sees a van, with a man inside being restrained, with what looks like detonator ticking off the seconds. But there isn’t enough time to get the man out, and the van blows up, vaulting Jane high into the air with the explosion. He seems unhurt – which is amazing considering the loft he had as he was thrown by the blast - but there is one problem: he can’t see anything.

This is when things take a turn for the worse as far as credibility. At the hospital, Jane is told that his blindness will be temporary. But the big error the episode makes is that temporary or not, Jane is still blind, yet they seem to make it so easy for him to get around by just hanging on to people and using a walking stick to help him find his way. Now I have never lost my sight, but I highly doubt that after an ordeal like that, they would let him out of the hospital immediately. He also seemed a little too comfortable with that walking stick and even simply walking, even with his hands on someone’s shoulder. To me, they minimized the whole idea of what it would be like to lose one’s sight, and I think it may have even been an insult to people who have developed blindness. Ludicrous was when Jane walked into an interrogation all alone and managed to find his bearings, and a chair, a little too easily. The whole blind thing simply was not credible and I think it ruined what could have been a decent episode.

They decide to check out to see if the person who was blown up in the van was suicidal, but Jane doubts it, since he saw the look in the man’s eyes. They begin to look at motives, and why the bomber decided to target Jane in his latest threat. We get some insight to Jane’s past as he tries to recall his previous consultations. He realizes that he touched a watch like the one belonging to the murder victim once before, and apparently the watch was a gift from his company. Jane recalls other people he did consultations for that may have had that same watch, specifically one consultation for a woman whom he told her husband was not happy and was having an affair. To make a long story short, she left her husband and he fell on hard times, and the man killed in the bomb had fired the husband for poor performance. To top it off, in one of the more obviously plot twists, the man that Grace was seeing – Dan (Gene Farber) was the son of that man and woman. For me, the minute I saw him with Grace and then having the text message come in shortly thereafter, that he would have something to do with the whole case. And when he showed up at the CBI office to see Grace, he should have just taped a sign to his back that said “mad bomber.” When Rigsby asks to talk with Dan privately, they go into the men’s room and Dan seems to play nice, but then he beats up Rigsby and leaves him on the floor, unconscious. He returns to Grace and asks to meet the psychic detective, so she nudges Jane awake from his nap on his couch. But when Grace’s phone rings and it’s Teresa telling her the name of the person they thing is the bomber – it’s her boyfriend – it’s already too late, and he pulls out a gun and threatens Jane that he will shoot Grace in the head. It seems Dan is a little peeved that he lived a great life before his parents’ divorce, but after Jane set those wheels in motion and his mother divorced his dad, things turned sour quick. He cuffs Grace and has her help lead Jane out of the building into the parking lot, with a gun on them. When the security guard asks some questions, Patrick hits Dan and they take off with Grace, and Dan shoots the security guard. Again we turn to the ridiculous when Jane is able to run and escape from someone when he is blind and really doesn’t know exactly where he is. Even more incredible is that he tries to convince Grace he can drive them out of the mess as long as she guides him, which only causes them to crash into many cars. Lucky for them Teresa arrives and shots Dan, saving Jane and Grace from getting shot, not to mention a whole bunch of cars in the parking lot from total destruction. Grace and Rigsby have a nice reunion in the men’s room, and maybe now their relationship will move forward. And, like magic, Jane realizes he has his sight back. Now isn’t that a miracle?

It’s a shame that this show took the core of a good story and completely cheesed it up and made it so ridiculous that it would have been better off as an episode of CSI Miami, the gold standard for cheesiness. The only edge that The Mentalist has right now is it’s star, Simon Baker, designated as TV’s sexiest man by TV Guide Magazine. I’ll admit, he is a lot prettier than David Caruso.

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