"The Mentalist" Red John's Friends (TV Episode 2009) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Jared Renfrew has lost the last appeal against his conviction for the rape and murder of Undine Kopecki, the daughter of his family estate's housekeeper. Jared promises to deliver Red John to Patrick if he gets him out by proving his innocence. Jane accepts, but has to resign and the whole CBI team risks suspension to help him. Jared's brother and business 'heir', Gardner Renfrew, opposes their efforts. Red John meanwhile has infiltrated the CBI computer network and seems to stay one move ahead, however brilliantly Patrick advances.

  • Patrick makes a deal to try and prove a convict's innocence in exchange for information about Red John.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • SWAT storms a mansion, busting down fancy doors until they come to a locked one. On the other side a man sits, naked on a bed, crying, next to a dead woman.

    Cut to dapper Patrick entering a men's prison. He's visiting the man we just saw weeping on the bed. He says he has information about Red John, the man who killed Patrick's wife and children. He says if Patrick gets him out, he'll give him Red John. Weeping Man is accused of raping and killing his housekeeper's daughter. The door was locked from the inside, there were bars on the windows. His last appeal has run out. Patrick decides he won't help. Then the man says that Red John painted Patrick's wife's toenails with her own blood. The police never released that. He promises to tell Patrick more if he gets him out. Deal.

    Minelli tells Patrick no. Unequivocally and several times. Patrick says he understands, lying through his teeth.

    Lisbon reiterates the facts of the case. Patrick says he has to take the chance the guy isn't lying. Lisbon makes him a deal: he'll call when he gets in trouble. She tells him not to use his CBI card.

    Patrick visits the mansion to speak with the brother of Weeping Man, aka Jared. He tells the brother, confusingly called Gardner, that he can prove Jared is innocent to get in the door, then admits he was lying. The brother thinks Jared is guilty.

    Patrick strolls off to chat with the mother, who lives in the guest house. She tells Patrick her son was egotistical but fun, if a bit out of control in his youth. Mom shows Patrick where the murder happened. The housekeeper, mother of the dead girl, doesn't work for the family anymore. Patrick asks for her address. He notices a camera set up in the closet. He examines the locked door.

    The police show up, telling Jane he's an intruder and asking him to leave. Mom returns with the housekeeper's address just in time to admonish Gardner for freaking out and to politely say good-bye to Jane.

    Back at CBI, Minelli is upset Jane bothered the richies. He tells him to leave the case alone, which of course Jane won't do, despite not having any evidence that Jared is innocent. He has some pieces he's piecing together, mentalist-style.

    Minelli tells Jane if he pursues it any further he'll have to throw him out of the CBI, which he very much doesn't want to have to do. Jane makes it easy for him. He quits.

    The team looks at Lisbon all weepy-eyed. They want to to help him when he needs them. Lisbon thinks Jared's a conman. Van Pelt shows Lisbon Jared's possible connection to Red John. Jared shared a cell 10 years ago on a drug charge with a man who claimed to only be a murder accomplice. That man's dead now, conveniently. Lisbon says if she weren't ordered to stay away from the case, she'd tell them to look into the dead inmate.

    Minelli strolls in suspicious. He asks Van Pelt what she's doing and she's incapable of lying and 'fesses up. They all cover for each other, saying one had no idea what the other was doing. He says he'll suspend them if they keep helping. Lisbon suggests he suspend them already because they're going to keep helping Jane. He grants their wish, in a snit.

    She follows him into his office where he tells her he'll be visiting his sister in Hawai for a week, during which time the suspension paperwork will sit on his desk. Do they understand each other?

    Jane sits alone, bumming in death memories. Lisbon calls him in. He reports that Jared said he would never hurt the girl, but her mother said Jared was stalking her. But Jane couldn't find housekeeper mom. Gardner the misnamed brother had motive, because of a morality clause in the family trust. But why not just kill Jared then? Van Pelt tracks Housekeeper Mom online. She changed her name and bought a condo, according to a secure IM Van Pelt received from a "Dr. Joe, N.H." or, letters rearranged, "Red John." Suddenly, Jane is IM'ing with the man who killed his family. He tells Jane to keep up the good work. He's tapping into the DOJ secure network. Jane figures that Red John wants him to succeed so he can get to Jared once he's out. Jane likes the idea of Jared-as-bait.

    Jane and Lisbon visit renamed Housekeeper Mom, at her spiffy condo. Jane lies his way into the door, and then tells her her guilt and shame won't go away until she tells the truth.

    Housekeeper Mom says she doesn't know who killed her daughter, but Jane says she got paid for her silence. He badgers her, saying that he knows Jared was her daughter's lover and she was paid to say that they weren't. She admits it, but says she doesn't know who paid her. A PI visited her. But he's dead, they find. Hit by a bus.

    Jane has a Plan B, but Lisbon's not going to like it.

    Back at the mansion, Jane lays out a demonstration in the hallway outside the crime scene. Rigsby goes inside and the locks the door, leaving the old timey key in it. Jane pokes something through the lock and the key pops onto newspaper below, which he uses to slide the key under the door from inside to outside. Fishing line gets it back in the other way. Gardner, his wife and Mom watch.

    Then Lisbon suggests that for the right amount, they'll drop the whole thing. They are, she says, ex-state agents. Gardner objects, Mom appears to be deciding. They give a 4 p.m. deadline.

    Back at the office, they stew, worrying their careers might be over.

    Jane gets a call.

    He goes to visit Mom. He tells her only a guilty person would respond this way to such naked extortion. Jane recaps the facts, including that her husband died a week after the murder, and the housekeeper left shortly thereafter. Jane guesses: She got rid of her because the victim was her husband's daughter. The victim was Jared's half-sister. (Pause for gross.) Mom tried to make him stop, but she didn't tell him why.

    She takes out a vial of the girl's blood.

    Flashback to that night, someone using Jane's key trick to get into the locked room. Mom. She took the vial of blood so that she could confess and free her son when the time was right, after he'd learned his lesson. Always listen to your mother. (And, as a side note: Don't sleep with your half-sister.)

    Two Weeks Later Jane's excited to pick up Jared and get him in a safe house to draw Red John out. Jared says he'll tell him everything, as soon as they get out of the parking lot. They put a bullet proof vest on Jared. In the car, they're stopped by picketeers. Jared contemplates for a few moments and then throws his hot coffee in Cho's face and runs from the car. They chase him, but he's gone.

    Back at the office, they try to figure out how to get to Jared before Red John does. Jane's cell phone rings. It's Jared, calling from a Mexican hotel room (where he's already gotten a hooker). Jared thinks he's safe and his friends will get word to Red John that he didn't rat. Jane thinks Jared has no idea what's coming. He hangs up, with a "vaya con Dios." Jane gets off the phone as they trace. He says Jared was calling from a hotel room in Tijuana with a hooker, to wit: He wouldn't call unless he thought he was out of their reach and the background music said Mexican city. Also, he wouldn't have a phone, so it had to belong to someone. Van Pelt traces the call. The phone belongs to a Mexican hooker.

    They trace the phone to the hotel. They bust in hours later. They're too late. Jared and the hooker are dead. Red John's trademark smiley face adorns the wall.

    Jane realizes that Red John is more powerful than he thought, that he's been ahead of him the whole time. They try to figure out a clue left on the wall in blood by Jared: "He is Man".

    The hooker's phone rings. Jane answers and hears heavy breathing and then cackling, a murderer rubbing it in.

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