THE MENTALIST Recap: “Brown Eyed Girls”

the mentalist brown eyed girls

We begin with Jane at a food truck, using the Spanish he learned during his “time away.” When he walks away, he bumps into a nervous guy, and all of his packages fall to the ground. Jane offers to help, but the guy warns him away. From what I can tell, the stuff in the bag is bandages and cotton balls but also a rag and some duct tape. Jane smells that fish clearly from where he’s standing and chooses to follow the nervous guy, because of course.

Oh, man. Lisbon and Pike. Look, Pike, you’re a nice guy. Go and find a nice girl. Lisbon is already taken. They’ve just gotten out of a movie theater playing “East of Eden,” which Lisbon, despite talking about how the classic movies are the best, slept through. And, it seems Pike has a gig with his “old band” and wants to know if Lisbon would like to come. So, he’s pulling the musician card. That’s one to you, Pike. Lisbon’s phone rings. She checks and it’s Jane, who she immediately dismisses. Oh, no she didn’t. Interestingly enough, this causes her to remember the blackmail…errr…offer Pike made last week about her going to D.C. with him. She’d like to say yes, blah blah blah, but she’s so independent, blah blah blah. And I’m quite thankful the phone rings again. Of course it’s Jane, who tells her he needs backup. A woman’s been abducted.

Back with Jane, following nervous dude who still manages to look nervous, even when just walking and holding bags. Lisbon arrives in a taxi and Jane tells her about running into the guy and the whole kidnap kit, including stuff I didn’t see, like Tiger Beats, women’s magazines, and women’s vitamins. Lisbon, who decided to turn obnoxious this week, disregards Jane as trying to ruin her date. Jane: “You were on a date?” Heh. Anyway, he bets her a million dollars the guy has got some women in there, and Lisbon, with her best pissy face, decides to check it out.

Knock knock knock, nervous guy answers the door and manages to go from nervous to twitchy and panicky in three seconds after he sees Lisbon’s badge. He’s all “Female? No, no females. No females here” in a way that says he not only has them there, but they’re all nice and duct taped. He recognizes Jane, who tells him not to lie to Lisbon, because she’s very serious. As nervous guy babbles, there’s muffled moaning, definitely female. Lisbon tells Jane to stay where he is, with the bad guy, and she goes to investigate.

A young woman is in a room, bleeding a lot. She’s been shot. Nervous guy talks about how he “didn’t do nothing” and how he was trying to help her. Jane tries to calm the girl down. He’s caressing her hair and being so beautiful. I know we’re in trouble when the girl says “Bow and arrow,” because they will undoubtedly be her last words. When Lisbon asks nervous guy what she’s talking about, all of a sudden he’s a steel trap. As Jane keeps caressing the girl’s face and telling her to breathe, she passes away. He continues to tell her to breathe until Lisbon says the girl is gone. He runs a thumb down the girl’s cheek and says he knows then gets all choked up. This is not how The Mentalist is supposed to start! Why are people dying sad deaths before the opening credits?

Even the opening credits music knows how sad this is and refuses to play, in favor of the wistful music that was in the previous scene.

FBI offices. Abbott is interviewing nervous guy who is, of course, nervous. Only now he’s in handcuffs. He says again how he was trying to help the girl. He didn’t shoot her. He fixes things other people throw away and finds new uses for them. He says he would have had her all bandaged up, fine and dandy, but Lisbon and Jane interrupted him, thus her death is their fault. Abbott asks where he found her. He said he was driving along route 16. Abbott points out his history of stalking women. His restraining orders. But nervous guy chalks it up to lies and bureaucracy. Then he stops himself to say once again that he didn’t shoot the girl. He also doesn’t remember where he found her, since he was drunk at the time. Abbott offers him a map, but he doesn’t want one, because he knows all about their maps, whatever that means.

Abbott goes into the next room to talk to Jane, who’s been observing the whole interview with interest. When Abbott says nervous guy has no idea what he’s done, Jane says he thinks he does. That his worldview is carefully constructed, brick by brick. Jane also confirms there was no gun or gun residue, but he did have blood in his truck. He tells Abbott they should believe nervous guy’s story.

Lisbon is doing the audio/visual presentation. The victim’s name is Leanne Cole. She’d been arrested for shoplifting and joyriding in the past. She’d dropped out of high school and moved to L.A. Lisbon is going to check with the roommate as to how she wound up in Texas.

Lisbon in Skype session with said roommate, who is confused how Leanne got back to the U.S. so quickly, what with her leaving for Europe (“Like, Italy and stuff”) a mere four days ago with a model scout named Jesse. She’d booked a modeling gig.

Wylie, Fischer, and Cho. Wylie says she has no emails with someone named Jesse, and after she left four days ago, her digital life just disappears. Cho says Jane is going to jog nervous guy’s memory as to where he was when he picked up the girl.

Interrogation room. Jane comes in and asks if he can join nervous guy, who points out he doesn’t have a choice and can’t even scratch an itch, due to the handcuffs. Jane whips out the “key” and by that I mean a paperclip he proceeds to bend into a key. He unlatches the handcuffs for a grateful nervous guy who scratches the hell out of his neck. Jane’s holding a bottle and asks the guy if he likes beer. “Who doesn’t’ like beer?” he says. Me. I don’t. Anyway, nervous guy takes a long swig. Jane says “Ooh that’s good, huh?” then immediately launches into Hypno!Jane! He calls nervous guy “Thaddeus” and says, “Imagine you’re driving along route 16…” Eventually he gets Thaddeus to close his eyes and turn down the jazz on the radio. He proceeds to describe all of the landmarks he comes across and Wylie listens in and finds all of the places. Pictures flash on his computer, until there’s an abandoned bar where Thaddeus found the girl. She was dusty and bloody. He says her hair smelled like dirt. Wylie switches to an aerial view of the bar and says, “Bingo.”
Oh my God, Pike has come to the FBI office with some Thai food from Lisbon’s favorite place over on South Congress. Apparently they’re opening a new place in D.C., so Pike thought he’d pressure her…I mean subtly remind her about his offer. Pike, I thought you were a nice guy, just not for Lisbon, but now you’re starting to become really annoying. Jane comes in and notices the Thai food and where it’s from but says it’s too bad, because they found the dump site for the body. He says he’s driving, and he’ll be waiting for Lisbon.

As Lisbon gets to the elevators, she runs into Abbott, who says he heard the rumor she may be running off with Pike to D.C. and says they’d miss her. When asked if she’s going to do it, she says she doesn’t know. Abbott asks what Jane feels about it all, but Lisbon says she hasn’t discussed it with him, but if he wants to talk about it with her, he can. Abbott points out he may not know. Lisbon says that he must know, because he’s Jane, and he’s psychic. Abbott reminds her he’s a pretend psychic, and if she hasn’t told him, he probably doesn’t know. Cue Lisbon’s nervous face.

RV. It’s a quiet ride, and Lisbon is still nervous over this revelation Abbott just laid on her. Jane notices this, because even someone without his powers of deduction would see it, but he chooses not to say anything. Cho just sits in the back and reads his book.

Abandoned bar. Jane surmises that since Leanne’s hair smelled of dirt and her shoes were caked with clay, that she walked a bit and fell. Lisbon says there’s a lot of wide-open road to cover, but Jane thinks the whole bleeding thing would have slowed the girl down.

Lo and behold, they find a shack right there, and when they go inside, there’s mattresses all over the floor. Lisbon says it looks like a way station for undocumented immigrants. Cho thinks they’re a little bit too far north for that. Jane says he’ll wait outside. While walking around, he spots some kind of pipe thing. He bends down and listens then calls Lisbon. There’s a sound coming from underneath an old truck they all need to push to move. There’s a trap door in the ground, and they open it to find a girl down below.

Lisbon goes to visit the girl, Daniela, in the hospital, and she immediately asks if Lisbon found her sister. Lisbon shows her a picture of Leanne, but Daniela says her sister is sixteen. Her name is Amy Welker. Lisbon tries to calm Daniela down enough to give her some details. Daniela says she and her sister did a bit of modeling. They answered an online open casting call. After their headshots were taken, the model scout, Jesse, asked them to come back. He said European clothing designers would love the girls to model their clothes. He told the girls to bring their passports and clothes, and they’d take care of everything else. One Champaign toast later, and she found herself in her little hidey hole. Lisbon asks if she knows what bow and arrow means, but she doesn’t. Lisbon vows to find her sister and leaves.

Back in the RV, Lisbon tells Cho about the sister, but the news gets worse. He already knows there are more girls, since there was about twenty women’s DNA on those water bottles they found in the shack.

Abbott at the audio/visual. From the tractor-trailer marks found at the scene, they surmise that the women are in a truck with an eighteen-hour head start on them. They must be headed to Mexico, and Wylie says Nuevo Laredo is the most likely place where they’ll cross. Since they had an eighteen hour head start, it’s feared they’re already in Mexico, but Jane says they can fit a lot more girls in that truck, and by the tracks it looked like they headed north to pick them up, which means they’re headed to Mexico down I-35 as they speak. Abbott says the evidence is too thin to close down the road, but Jane says they don’t need a real road block.

Everyone sits around a table with a microphone as Wylie picks up long-range frequencies. They’re putting the word out via “CB” that the road is closed. Jane begins, and of course he does great. Lisbon, not so much. She sounds like she’s reading it, especially when she’s talking about Mounties and Bears. Then comes Cho who KILLS IT with the “deadheadin’” etc., and Jane, who is rarely impressed, sits there with his mouth hanging open. Jane CBs that he’s going to pull over to the diner and check his cargo.

Diner. Jane, Lisbon, and Cho. Lisbon and Cho at least look like they’re trying to fit in. Cho even wears a baseball cap. Jane’s in his usual suit. He doesn’t’ stand out in this crowd at all. Anyway, it’s packed with the people who don’t want to run into the police. Lisbon asks how they’ll know which one’s their driver, and Jane says “We look” as he mosies away. He immediately spots a young, Hispanic man with a goatee and a pony tail. He’s there with a middle-aged looking woman. Jane thinks they make an odd couple, and there’s no intimacy. To prove they’re not a couple, he goes over and bumps her. The guy doesn’t say anything, which for Jane is proof. Whatever you say, handsome. Lisbon spots the gun in his pocket, so away they go.

Outside, they track the guy, who just stands there out in the open and shoots at the FBI agents hidden behind a huge truck. This guy’s got good instincts. He’s almost immediately shot by Lisbon. The lady tries to get away, but it’s over. She just puts her hands up and cries. They open the back and find all the girls. This one is really getting to Jane. I can tell, because it keeps showing on his face, and that’s unusual.

Cho goes to see Daniela at the hospital. They didn’t find her sister in the truck. He shows her the composite sketch of “Jesse” he got from her and the other girls. Daniela confirms it’s him and tells Cho to find her sister. Cho, also showing a rare display of emotion, agrees.

FBI. Lisbon shows the woman a picture of Daniela and her sister. The woman says they don’t look familiar. Bad news. The sister could be on the other truck that left the day before and is probably well into Mexico by now. The woman claims she’s not a bad person and that her parents’ house was in foreclosure, so she agreed to transport some illegals. Then they threatened they’d go to the police unless she transported the girls into Mexico.

They’d paid off a border patrol guard, who knew her truck by the hula dancer ornament. Because no other trucks have those? I’d think they’d want something a little more unique. Anyway, Lisbon asks her about Leanne, and the woman seems hopeful Leanne got away, until she finds out she’s dead. The woman explains they were running late as it goes into a flashback to that night. Ramon is telling Claudia (the woman) to hurry it up. The girls are in a line, waiting to get into the truck. Leanne makes a run for it and is shot by Ramon. He tells Claudia to track down Leanne, but she only goes three feet before she declares Leanne is gone.

Back in the present, Claudia says Ramon started making calls, and she’d never seen him so scared. Lisbon thinks it’s because Leanne would go to the cops, but Claudia points out what we all know from the earlier example, that Ramon isn’t afraid of cops but the man he works for. Claudia doesn’t know his name, but she does know the name of the guys she turned the girls over to. The Qasimi brothers, Ali and Ray.

Abbott at the audio/visual. Ali and Ray Qasimi are businessmen with connections to the Middle East and Asia. They were raised and educated in the U.S. and have network connections worldwide. They’re clean as a whistle, according to Abbott. Also, after Ramon’s call about Leanne, the talent agency pulled up stakes. Ramon’s phone is also a bust. Prepaid burner calling to other prepaid burners. Cho is telling Abbott about how they’re running “Jesse’s” picture through facial rec, when Wylie announces he has a match. James O’Connor, who also goes by Jesse. He’s from San Diego. He sent police to Jesse’s house. Fischer asks if they can bring the Qasimis in, since the driver can identify them, but they’ve got a clean record and are living in Mexico. By the time they’d get the extradition paperwork, those guys would be long gone.

Jane comes up with a plan. He asks if they still have Claudia’s truck. They do. Since the Qasimis only know the truck is late, Jane suggests he and Abbott drive it into Mexico and get the Qasimis to make a deal with them. Lisbon doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Jane’s smile wins Abbott over, and before you know it, the new bromance is headed down the highway in a black SUV, wearing hats, no less. Abbott is having doubts, but Jane is just having a good time. They drive past the Nuevo Laredo sign.

Cho in voiceover as Jane and Abbott are driving. He says there’s a free-trade zone south of the border into Mexico. NAFTA created it. There’s no tariffs. Cheap labor and cheap materials. Products for the U.S. market. Back at the audio/visual, Cho goes on to explain that the Qasimis own a factory there. It’s probably where the girls were dropped off then shipped to the Middle East. He says the Qasimis appear legit. Cho also says that if they arrest the Qasimis, they’ll flip on the guy who’s rounding the women up in the U.S.

Jane and Abbott arrive at the factory. They walk up to the big ape-looking guy and hand him the hula dancer, which gets them a visit with the Qasimis. Jane introduces him and Abbott. The story is he owns a couple of gentlemen’s clubs, and Abbott is his chief of security. Anyway, he says Ramon used to like to come into his club, because he liked Jane’s girls. The Qasimis are all “Ramon?” but Jane keeps going, saying that Ramon basically gave him the truck full of girls, because he was scared after Leanne ran away that his bosses would be pissed off. Ah! Okay, there’s where the truck comes in.

Qasimis are still playing dumb but tell him to continue. Jane says he basically gave Ramon some money, and Jane got the truck with the cargo. The Qasimis are done playing dumb, say they possibly know Ramon, and ask how much Jane wants. Jane says ten thousand for the truck and five thousand a head. The Qasimis point out they’re girls, not racehorses. They negotiate down to two-thousand a head, and Jane insists they come over the border to pick up the women. The Qasimis say he has to come there, but Jane says he “ain’t no smuggler,” repeats they have to come back over the border to get the girls, and walks out. Next thing you know, everyone is taking a ride in a stretch limo. They get to where the truck is, and big ape security guys pulls a gun out of the briefcase instead of money. The bad guys go to open the truck and find it empty. That’s when the FBI shows up.

FBI. The Qasimis claim they’re already dead, just by being at the FBI. They say the FBI doesn’t know who they’re dealing with, and this person they answer to will bury them. When shone a picture of Daniela’s sister, one of the Qasimis says, “My brother and me will not say a word,” so on top of everything else, they also massacre the English language. Lisbon thinks a couple of days in “gen pop” will loosen their tongues, but Cho is not as hopeful. Lisbon says she’s going to contact Daniela, when Wylie says San Diego police are on the line. If you haven’t guessed, good old “Jesse” is dead, his throat cut ear-to-ear. They send a picture, just so we can all be grossed out, I guess.

Cho props up a picture of Daniela’s sister and stares at it. It’s clear he’s torn up over this. Wylie asks him if he’s okay, but he doesn’t answer.

Someone named Anthony strolls along a suburban street talking to Mr. Ridley (Hey, Titus Welliver! Sorry to see you playing the bad guy.). He tells Ridley that Jesse was taken care of, and Ridley asks him to do the same with the Qasimis, so I guess they were right.

Hospital. Lisbon and Jane. Lisbon tells Daniela they couldn’t find her sister. Daniela seems hopeful they will find her. Almost too jubilant. But I don’t think they told her she went to the Middle East, because Daniela is happy someone saw her at the house, and Lisbon only said she may have been on the other truck.

And…why, show? Why? How many weeks in a row are you going to do this to me? Anyway, Mr. “I Have Nothing to Do but Follow Teresa Lisbon Around All Day and Night” is at the freaking hospital waiting for her. Even Jane points out the “Art Department” guys aren’t too busy. Lisbon says they are, but I haven’t seen proof. He seems to be like those people who can take months off work just to follow a band around.

Lisbon tells Jane about the promotion, and Jane says congratulations. Lisbon seems disappointed with this response, but Jane says if she’s happy…and before he even finishes, Lisbon paints this big, huge FAKE smile on her face and declares her happiness…then Jane says he’s happy, which is a LIE. Both of them are lying liars who lie, because as Lisbon leaves, she looks longingly at Jane, and once she’s gone, Jane’s smile fades until he looks like the most unhappy clown on the face of the earth. And the camera just lingers there with Jane and his sadness, like for an uncomfortably long time. I can watch Simon Baker’s face for hours, but this is killing me. It seems to me that Lisbon is really trying to get Jane to step up to the plate and say something, but Jane is too busy being a martyr to do it. I know he’s sacrificing his own happiness, and he doesn’t want to get in the way of her happiness by being selfish, and he doesn’t think he’s good enough for her, but Jane, BE SELFISH. She thinks you’re good enough. She’s looking for a reason to stay. She wants you to say it. JUST SAY IT!

CJ Stevens falls asleep every night to the comforting flicker of her TV. Nothing makes her happier than the little red dot on her dv-r, notifying her one of her shows is taping. She edits books for a living and was even known among her editing comrades as “the grammar police.” Ending apostrophe abuse is her calling.

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