The Mentalist: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (23 Sep. 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 1,041 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

A double murder seems to be the work of a notorious serial killer named Red John, but CBI consultant Patrick Jane thinks it's the work of a copycat.



(created by),
0Check in

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 115 titles
created 24 Jun 2012
a list of 61 titles
created 07 Dec 2012
a list of 3368 titles
created 18 Jun 2013
a list of 679 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Pilot" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Pilot (23 Sep 2008)

Pilot (23 Sep 2008) on IMDb 8.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Mentalist.
1 of 151 Episodes | Next Episode »


1 video »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Morgan Tolliver
Tag Randolph
Price Randolph
Medical Examiner
Lana Asanin ...
Mark Llewellyn ...
Homicide Detective (as Mark Llewelyn)


Police consultant Patrick Jane is suspended after inadvertently driving a wife to shoot her devoted husband, by deducing a family drama at first sight. He's soon asked back to the CBI profiling unit, however, for what initially appears to be a victim of the serial killer Red John. He takes extreme risks and uses his dirtiest tricks to solve the sinister, complicated case which involves prescription drug lies and a diary. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

23 September 2008 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Grace Van Pelt: You poor, sad man. The Kingdom of God is a real place.
Patrick Jane: Okay, later tonight, when Rigsby asks you to come back to his hotel room...
[Rigsby chokes and coughs in surprise]
Patrick Jane: Say yes.
Grace Van Pelt: Excuse me?
Patrick Jane: I know, you were planning on refusing him very curtly. First week on the job, you want to set a tone, no monkey business. But why not? Rigsby's an excellent lover, I'm sure. Tough, but fair. Right?
[Rigsby glares at him]
Patrick Jane: Right.
Grace Van Pelt: The Kingdom of God is a real place, Mr. Jane. And you have an immortal soul.
Patrick Jane: Oh, I ...
See more »


References The Secret (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Meet Patrick Jane
5 June 2010 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Who could have thought that after shocking viewers with the sex-and-blood-soaked Rome, TV writer Bruno Heller would "move on" to a seemingly more conventional program, i.e. a cop show? Of course, his knack for great characters means that the show isn't all normal. In fact, The Mentalist is one of the more interesting and fun additions to the genre.

The focus is on a man named Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), a "mentalist" - the term is explained at the beginning of every subsequent episode - who helps the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation) with tricky cases, thanks to extraordinary deduction skills that once allowed him to make a living posing as a psychic. The only downside is that, following a personal tragedy (his wife and daughter were killed), he masks his shattered life through a quirky sense of humor that occasionally irritates his superior, Theresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), and his colleagues (Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman and Amanda Righetti). That attitude is about to be tested as the team is assigned a case that looks like the latest Red John murder, whereas Jane, who has a personal stake in the investigation (Red John is the one who killed his family), believes it's the work of a copycat.

What strikes about the pilot of The Mentalist is its blend of classic and new: on the one hand, it uses the entrance of a new character (Grave van Pelt, played by Righetti) to act as the viewer's guide (and cause some awkward sexual tension with one of the male investigators); on the other hand, it's far less interested in the case (although it gets solved by the end of the episode) than in establishing the tormented psychology of the protagonist, not to mention his detective skills, which are demonstrated in the teaser. This approach enables us to understand and somehow relate to Jane's situation, even if revealing all the details at once isn't necessarily a good storytelling device (compare with the gradual revelations about Dr. House, for instance).

Naturally, what makes such developments matter is the man playing the role, and Baker, having spent a lifetime playing supporting parts in Hollywood (starting with L.A. Confidential in 1997) and getting rid of his Australian accent (much like Hugh Laurie masks his Englishness on House), is perfectly quirky and charming as the unconventional detective, backed by a solid supporting cast (with most of the limelight stolen by the excellent Tunney). Guest work is also remarkable, since this episode alone sees Baker square off against people like Steven Culp and the consistently mesmerizing Zeljko Ivanek.

In short, as pilots go, this one has some extra edge by adding a vital subplot to what is clearly meant to be a case-of-the-week series and putting said cases' outcome in the hands of a weird but charismatic investigator. Not bad at all.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Are they going to kill off cho? elechien
Does anyone remember this re: He is Mar? italycoramia
Will all the characters make it out alive? packersfan100
Grace/ Amanda is one if the worse actresses.... carolkaloka
Chemistry karinlouisa
help with an older eposide please- James Panzer- San Joaquin Killer Calumette
Discuss Pilot (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: