THE MENTALIST Recap: “Il Tavolo Bianco”

the mentalist

We begin at the FBI offices, with Jane bringing Lisbon a cup of coffee as he holds onto his saucer of tea. I still lament his former tea cup that was left shattered on the floor of the CBI. Anyway, the bureau is picking up the tab for Pike to relocate, and Lisbon is checking out the real estate for him. That’s so…nice of her. Anyway, Jane asks her if she’s decided. When she tells him she hasn’t, he says he thinks she should stay. Lisbon turns a hopeful face toward Jane, who immediately turns that grin upside down by suggesting she’d be “bored” in D.C. Disappointed by his reason, she questions him about it, to which he replies “What’s worse than boredom?” Seriously, I think this man has been reading my recaps and everything I’ve been saying, because I agree, Patrick. After being with you all of these years, she’d be bored to death with sweet, doting Pike. Of course, I’m also mad at Jane, the intuitive one, who didn’t pick up on Lisbon’s hopeful face.

Rut roh. A couple of U.S. Marshals come walking up to Jane and Lisbon. Once they confirm he is Patrick Jane, they say, “We’ve got a warrant for your arrest.” Nooooooooooo! The Attorney General found his “co-worker” (aka Abbott?) in contempt of court for ignoring a federal subpoena. Then it gets worse. “Teresa Lisbon?” “Yeah, that’s me.” “You’ve been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Dallas.” Fischer comes walking up, and, hey! It’s free subpoena day at the FBI. You’ve got a subpoena, and you’ve got a subpoena! As Patrick is being led away in handcuffs, he advises his co-workers not to ignore these subpoenas.

Court. The lady prosecutor is questioning Fischer about the arrest warrant issued for Patrick Jane in connection with killing Red John. Fischer confirms being part of the international manhunt to bring him to justice. She’s asked if she now she works for the unit of the FBI that employs him. We don’t get to see her answer as we jump to…

Lisbon, who confirms she is part of that unit, but I’m guessing did not admit to being part of the manhunt, since she was not employed by the FBI at that time. The Prosecutor points out that instead of Patrick being brought to trial, he’s now working at a government job and, horror of horrors, also receiving benefits! Why?

Fischer. Because they made a deal with him. Prosecutor wants to know what kind of deal.

Lisbon. She doesn’t know the terms, since she came to work there after he was hired.

Fischer: Jane helps with cases in return for immunity from prosecution.
Lisbon. Prosecutor says she and Jane worked closely in California. Wants to know if he confided in her. Oh, lady, you have no idea. Lisbon confirms this.

To both ladies: Did he tell you he killed Thomas McAllister?

Fischer: Not specifically, no

Lisbon: I plead the fifth. Same answer as to where he was at the time of the killing. The Prosecutor wants to know if she’s “besmirching her badge” to protect herself or Patrick Jane. Lisbon gives her laser eyes and says, “Go to hell.”

BOOM! That is the Teresa Lisbon I know and love. I knew you had it in you, girl.

Where’s Abbott? The guy who made the deal? Shouldn’t he be the one being questioned?

Hmmm…Abbott is with Cho at the location they found Daniela (from the last episode) and Cho shows Abbott the underground hidey hole where she was kept. They don’t know why Daniela was separated when they took the other girls. Cho takes Abbott to the shack that was used as a way station, where the other girls were held. Abbott seems affected by this and says it’s hard to believe thirty-one women were crammed in there. Cho says it took two days to process. A lot of hair and fiber. Cho confirms the second truck of girls, probably containing Daniela’s sister, is long gone and most definitely had crossed the border. The only person the girls could identify was Jesse, the one who lured them into the being models. Unfortunately, he was also killed by the people who hired him. The ringleader remains a mystery. To them, at least, since we saw him at the end of the last episode. Abbott asks about “bow and arrow,” which were the last words the girl who died at the beginning of the last episode, uttered to Jane. No dice on that as well.

Abbott returns to the FBI offices, only to be accosted by Lisbon and Fischer re: their fun morning being grilled. As Fischer says they asked her and Lisbon point-blank if Jane had confessed to killing Red John, they reach Abbott’s office and hear, “And what did you say to that?” It’s Jane! YAY! He says he’s out on “bail” (air quotes). Lisbon immediately calls it a “con” but Jane calls it a “sting.” Abbott was in on it. The bromance continues. Oh, Abbott, I love you, now and forever. You and your cute little dimples. It’s “Operation Jury Scam.” So, it’s neither a con nor a sting. It’s a scam. Got it. Abbott is sorry for the deception, but for authenticity purposes, he couldn’t tell them until after they’d been…errr…raked over the hot coals.

Abbott says their target is John Acardo and shows Lisbon and Fischer a picture of him. Young mob boss. He owns the illegal sports betting market in Dallas. Jane, however, is more concerned if Fischer and/or Lisbon spilled the beans on him. They don’t answer but instead want to know how indicting Jane will nail Acardo.

Abbott shows them a picture of a very dead Elijah Macy, who created a sports betting website that was cutting into Acardo’s profits. The evidence against Acardo was more than enough to indict in the murder of Macy, but the grand jury decided not to prosecute. Lisbon points out they’d only need to sway to two or three jurors. Abbott agrees. The Attorney General asked for the help and says that fortunately, the same jury panel that let Acardo go are going to be impaneled for another month. Jane, under the pretense of a murder investigation, will face them and figure out which ones were bribed or intimidated. Lisbon is surprised a Prosecutor is going along with the con (Jane: STING), but the Prosecutor doesn’t know. Only the Attorney General does.

Cho. The shack. One of the female techs comes out with a box and says that’s the last of it. Cho goes to take one more look around, when he hears a noise. He draws his gun then confirms everyone’s out and slams the door as if he’s leaving, only he remains inside. The person comes out. It’s Daniela. She got in through the window. (Abbott had asked for more light earlier, and one of the techies had removed some of the wooden slats from the window.) Cho chastises Daniela that it’s an active crime scene, but she’s determined to find out what happened to her sister, to the point where she released herself from the hospital. When Cho points out Daniela said she wasn’t even sure if her sister was there, Daniela takes him to a place on the wall with “AW” chiseled into it. Daniela says it was her sister’s “tag.” She left it everywhere. Wait. Did she just go around defacing public property with her initials? Cho vows once again to find Daniela’s sister.

FBI offices. Jane is following Fischer, who’s refusing to tell him what she said to the grand jury. When he asks Lisbon, he gets the ice. She tells him to read the transcripts. He asks what he did wrong, and she wants to know when she became the subject of one of his cons. He reiterates it wasn’t a con, and Lisbon doesn’t care. The point is, he should have told her. She starts to say, “I thought that you…” then stops herself and says to forget about it. Jane points out that this whole thing was Abbott’s idea, and he told Jane not to tell anyone. Unmoved, Lisbon just says he picked a fine time to start following orders. Ouch. She is really hurt by this. To add insult to injury, Pike is there, because…what in the heck does he do all day? Anyway, he’s there to take Lisbon to lunch, and she makes a big show of how perfect his timing is. When Pike says he’s pulling for Jane, who did what any good husband and father would have done, Lisbon, in full-on bitch mode, says in a voice dripping with sarcasm, “Yes, Jane has all of our sympathies.” Whew. She is puh-HISSED.

Abbott, shipper and fanboy, comes up to Jane and asks how long he’s going to let “that” go, as he nods toward Lisbon and Pike. Jane says she’ll do what she wants to do. Abbott gets a knowing smile and talks about how he’s collared lots of con men, the “best in the business,” and asks Jane if he knows what brought about their downfall. Jane does, of course. It’s believing their own con. But Jane doesn’t think that’s happening here. He says there is no con. Oh, boy. Denial, thy name is Jane. Abbott walks away with a knowing smile as Jane looks like he’s about to be sick.

Federal Courthouse, Dallas, Texas. Jane is being questioned. He’s under a waiver of immunity, which means anything he says may be held against him. Jane pours himself a glass of water, cool as a cucumber. The Prosecutor says she will be opening up the floor to Jane, so he can talk about what he was doing the date of time of McAllister’s murder. “Objection,” says Jane, based on the possibility that it wasn’t a murder and that McAllister shot and strangled himself. The Prosecutor points out there’s no objections because there’s no judge, but she takes his point and asks if he remembers what he was doing on the day of McAllister’s death. Jane says yes, because it was a big day. He’d been chasing that man for eight years. Then he asks if anyone knows what it’s like to be driven by a moral imperative and points out several members of the jury he can tell, have been. They have strong jaw muscles, which is a sign of strength and character.

Then he points to one older gentleman who he says he’s not so sure about, since the guy’s eyes are too close together. The gentleman immediately draws his hand up to the bridge of his nose in a sign of insecurity. Poor guy. When the prosecutor asks what he’s doing, Jane says he’s establishing a “narrative of events,” just like she asked. When asked to stick to the narrative, Jane agrees he does have a story, then points to a woman and says she also has a story, since she likes to read a lot of romance novels, and that an illicit engagement wouldn’t scare her. The Prosecutor wants to know where Jane is headed with this, and Jane says it’s his narrative, which she insists he hasn’t even started yet. But Jane says everyone’s engaged except for the guy checking out his new Jacket. Jane pegs him as vain and childish, since this is “serious business.” The guy starts to apologize, but the Prosecutor says not to indulge Jane, who wants it on record the guy the guy is indulging himself.

The Prosecutor, who has the thankless job of trying to rein in Jane (good luck with that, lady, people better than you have tried and failed), says it’s not a forum for him to chat with the jury. No surprise that Jane thinks it should be. That they all seem like good, honest, friendly people, except for…that guy on the end, who has a “Who, me?” expression on his face. He really should mend things with his son. All of his anger and resentment he’s bottling up is ruining both of their lives. The Prosecutor says to stop. He does not dictate the agenda. She does. It’s her courtroom and it runs the way she says. Jane smiles and says he gets it. That smile tells me he just figured out something.

FBI. Abbott’s office. Yep. He’s figured out it’s the Prosecutor, Lydia Falk, who’s the bad guy. Socialized narcissist. There’s nobody in the courtroom to keep her in check. Jane thinks she’s throwing the cases by the way she’s presenting them. Halfheartedly with a lack of confidence. The jury could see the defeat in her eyes and vote accordingly. New strategy: they have to prove John Acardo is guilty.

Abbott at the audio/visual with Lisbon and Fischer. He gives them the rundown on Jane’s theory then talks about the evidence they have. Earlier in the year, one of Acardo’s men was arrested. Turned state evidence to avoid a drug charge. He also testified that his boss ordered the hit on Macy. A bunch of witnesses said they heard Acardo threaten to kill Macy if he didn’t shut down his sports betting website. Acardo is the least stealthy gangster ever, I think. There’s no physical evidence.

According to the transcripts, Acardo says he was at a place called Il Tavolo Bianco the night of the murder. Went on and on about it. Lisbon says it’s to hide evidence of his guilt. When Fischer says she sounds like Jane, she says, “Well, spend enough time with a person…” Abbott picks up on this and THE BIGGEST JANE/LISBON SHIPPER of anyone, says she and Jane should check out Il Tavolo Bianco and have dinner on the FBI’s dime. Just when I think my love for Abbott can’t grow any bigger, he proves me wrong. Fischer gives the side-eye.

Jane passes by Daniela, who’s looking at photos of drug traffickers on a tablet. She says she needs a shower. Cho comes in to give her some Smart water. Jane notices she’s right-handed and there’s a little heart drawn on her right hand, so he guesses she didn’t do it. She says the kidnappers did. None of the other girls had it.

Lisbon calls Jane over, and Cho asks Daniela about the blood tests. When she and her sister, Amy, went to their first modeling gig, they got their blood taken by a nurse, because they were told they couldn’t enter Europe without one. They lied (of course) and Cho thinks the mark has to do with the blood test. Cho tells her to keep looking at the photos and goes to leave, when Daniela throws everything on the table, onto the floor. Cho tells Daniela it’s not her fault, but she believes it is. She talked Amy into the modeling thing.

Cho heads over to Abbott’s office. He hands Abbott a bunch of blood testing paraphernalia that was supplied by a place called Rutherford Medical Supply. The purchase records could help find the traffickers. Before Cho can leave, Abbott stops him and says he knows Cho is working with Daniela but to try not to get her hopes up (Too late!) He says the longer it goes on, the less chance they’ll find her sister.

Il Tavolo Bianco. Who should greet them but Aurelio, and already I’m suspicious, because he’s played by Tony Amendola. He ushers them to a special table. Lisbon tries to toss it off as “just dinner,” but Aurelio says to Jane that every night with Lisbon is an occasion. Jane says he can’t deny it. Awww. Then they sit down in a little, itty-bitty booth, and the cloud of awkward hanging over them could start a rainstorm.

Lisbon apologizes for her behavior earlier, only she’s not looking at him when she says it and sounds like it was something her teacher made her memorize. It’s Jane’s turn to be sarcastic, when he asks if Pike helped her come to that conclusion. He did. But Jane turns it around and says Marcus was wrong. He should have told her. And just like that, the ice breaks. They start being adorable together. She smiles and said she pled the fifth, and he says he knew it. She says he always knows what she’s going to say. He agrees. She says one day she’ll surprise him, and he says not to do that, because he loves that she’s predictable. Oh, the cuteness! She says it’s just what a girl wants to hear. Then Jane says, “What does a girl want to hear?” and my little shipper heart just melts. She says she wishes she knew, then they stare into each other’s eyes for a really long moment before Aurelio ruins it by coming over with the menus.

When Aurelio makes some wine recommendations, Jane says he wants to know what the mobsters drink, since he read in the guide book that real mobsters used to come to that restaurant. Aurelio laughs and says his father used to serve the old-time mob families. When Lisbon asks about now, Aurelio lies that there are no more active crime families in Dallas. Jane, not about to let that little lie go, says he heard about an up-and-coming guy, John Acardo, and does he eat there? Aurelio gets all shifty and says he wouldn’t know anything about that. Then he makes a hasty exit. Lisbon asks what Jane thinks. He wants to look at the evidence from the original case and order the waiter’s wine recommendation…which is over a hundred bucks a bottle. Lisbon reminds him they’re on Abbott’s dime. “Bingo,” Jane says. Sigh.

FBI. Wylie, who’s been MIA till now, has all of the evidence laid out on the table. He’s got the most relevant stuff up front, which is anything from which they can get trace evidence to identify the shooter, like hair, fiber, etc., so they can cut a deal with him to identify Acardo. Jane says trace evidence is the boring way to figure it out and asks Wylie what the most random object on the table is. Turns out, it’s an overcoat with no trace evidence, found two-hundred feet away from the scene. They weren’t even sure if it was part of the scene. Jane opens up the overcoat and notices a bunch of holes on the inside. Also, it was warm the day the murder took place. Jane says if the coat did not belong to the victim, Wylie just solved the case. He tells Wylie to find out if the coat belonged to the victim.

Fischer goes to pay Elijah’s mom a visit. She’s got the overcoat. Mom explains how it wasn’t until Elijah was “taken away” that she realized how woven he was into the fabric of her life. Awww…She talks glowingly about Elijah, including that he learned to “code” when he was twelve. He went to school at UT. He started his internet company while he was there. He bought his mom a house with the profits. Fischer gets around to asking her about the coat.

Back at the FBI, Fischer tells Jane and Abbott that Elijah was allergic to wool, and the coat is a hundred percent wool. Jane says he knows how to prove Acardo ordered the hit. To do so, he needs to make Acardo put out a hit on Jane. Oh, Jane. Really?

Dance club. Jane and Fischer spot Acardo. She’s doubtful Jane can get Acardo to put out a hit on him so fast, and that it’s usually people who know him who want to kill him. Jane says it’s a matter of figuring out what buttons to push. Acardo likes to be in control. He likes to be the master of all he surveys. For instance, Elijah cut into his profits, so Acardo had him killed. Grand jury tries to indict him, and he buys the outcome. Jane says he’s going to take something that belongs to Acardo and suggests the blonde cuddling up to him. Fischer wishes him luck with that and heads for the bar.

Jane purposely bumps into said blonde and apologizes then notices her sparkly arms. She’s really flattered he noticed her sparkly lotion. When she holds up her arm to show him how it looks in the light, she notices her tennis bracelet that her fiancé got her, is missing. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that Jane immediately finds it. Then he puts down her fiance’s taste by saying nothing less than Cartier should be around her wrist, her neck (touches her neck) and dangling from her ears (he rubs her earlobes, and she’s instantly putty in his hands). He introduces himself, and she says her name is Randi. Fischer watches all of this then turns to the bartender and asks what kind of scotch he has.

Oh dear. Pike and Lisbon, cuddled up on the couch. He’s watching TV and she’s reading. See, Jane? They’re not boring at all! He notices Casablanca is on and talks about how Bogart made up the line, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Lisbon says she hasn’t seen it, since she’s not into old movies. Pike is insulted she’d refer to is that way, because it’s a classic. He insists she watch it, and she says, “Okay, let’s watch it” as if she’d rather have root canal. Then she continues to read her magazine. Pike is not an idiot, so he immediately picks up on her mood. She tells him she’s just tired.

Pike, still not stupid, tells her he doesn’t have to read minds like Jane to figure out something’s wrong. Lisbon, who had to just be reminded Jane isn’t a real psychic, tells Pike he can’t really read minds. Then she tells him it’s hard to explain and says it doesn’t matter. Pike’s antennae go up, and he asks if she wants to talk about it. She does not. They both sit up to face each other, and basically Pike thinks it’s the decision to move to D.C. that has her tied up in knots, and she might not feel comfortable talking about it with him. He tells her just to let him know when she comes to a decision. Oh, for goodness sake, Pike, stop being so gosh-darn understanding and sweet! She says they should watch Casablanca, but when she asks the plot, he says it’s about a woman who has to decide between two men…then he kind of thinks about that a second before suggesting a baseball game.

And if that’s some kind of foreshadowing, I think I’m going to be sick.

Oh, no. Back at the club, Jane is dancing close with Randi and swigging champagne straight from the bottle. One of Acardo’s goons sees this, and Acardo goes onto the dance floor to set Jane straight. He even gets the DJ to cut the music. Acardo threatens to cut off his hands, but Jane talks about being indicted for murder and how he wants to go out big, with the finest champagne and the finest woman. Randi tries to save Jane by saying he’s joking, but Jane digs his own grave, pretty much literally, by saying he’s not kidding, and he’ll take Randi places she’s never been. Then she can go back to Acardo and describe it to him. Fischer is watching all of this and wondering when she should pull out her gun, because there’s about to be a murder. Then Jane goes full-out Jane by going up on the stage and telling everyone Acardo is a drug dealer and killer. He tells everyone to remember the faces of him and his goons, because they’re about to physically assault him. Then he skedaddles. Fischer purposely bumps into Acardo on the way out. Acardo tells the goon to book his usual table at IlTivolo Bianco. We all know what that means. Alibi time!

Cho and Wylie. Rutherford Medical Supply. Cho confirms with the lady who works there that the blood test kits come from there. They don’t handle the results, since it’s a home kit. Wylie moseys on over to the boxes in the warehouse, and VOILA! On the label on the box is a bow and arrow. Cho wants a list of all of the people they sent these particular blood test kits to. The lady says the list is long, but Cho says they’ll wait.

Il Tivolo Bianco. Acardo shows up with Randi and a goon. Aurelio takes his coat, and Acardo says to take Nico’s (the goon’s) coat as well. Aurelio looks nervous, and we can see why when the coat he removes from Nico looks just like the one found at the other crime scene. Aurelio talks to the bartender in rapid-fire Italian then says in English to take good care of Mr. Acardo.

Acardo places his food order. Steak for him, a salad for Randi, of course.

Aurelio shows up at an abandoned lot with the overcoat. A guy in a knit cap comes from the shadows and tells Aurelio he knows what to do. Aurelio falls to his knees and cuts the inside of the coat open. There’s a whole bunch of money in the lining. That’s when the FBI shows up. Aurelio surrenders, but wool cap guy isn’t giving up that easily and shoots Fischer, who’s wearing a bullet-proof vest. But she shot wool cap guy dead. Jane comes rushing in to show them the jacket stuffed with money and explains that’s how Acardo distanced himself from the hits. Aurelio is less than thrilled and still sitting there on his knees. He claims they made him do it. Then Jane finds his own name on a piece of paper in the pocket of the coat.

Il Tavolo Bianco. Jane heads in first wearing the EVIDENCE…I mean…overcoat, with the FBI behind him. Acardo sees him in the coat and immediately chokes on his steak. Jane gives him the Heimlich so he’ll be good and healthy when he’s carted off to jail.

Back at the FBI, Abbott informs Jane he was indicted, but the AG was going to make it go away. Abbott says Jane is lucky he’s under their protection, and Jane knows Abbott won’t let him forget it. Then Abbott asks how dinner went with Lisbon. Jane tries to make it just about the food. Sigh.

Fischer goes to arrest the Prosecutor who tries to get the bailiff to escort them out. Yeah, good luck with that, lady. They got a hold of Acardo’s phone, and apparently they had a lot to say to each other the night before he was supposed to appear before the grand jury. Then there was the large deposit into her offshore account two days later.

FBI. Interrogation. Aurelio. Abbott says the AG won’t prosecute if he testifies against Acardo. I guess he agrees, because he starts singing like a canary. Aurelio says Acardo came to him and said he’d make his wife a widow. He’s going to move to protective custody. When Aurelio asks about his restaurant. Long silence. Aurelio says he’ll testify, but if Acardo wants revenge, he’ll stay out in the open. He won’t lose his home or his restaurant. Otherwise they’ll hurt his family to find him. But he’s in protective custody until he testifies. Jane calls him a brave man. Then he looks out and for the umpteenth week in a row, Jane has to watch Pike come in and kiss Lisbon before they leave together. Show, please stop trying to kill me.

FBI. Wylie and Cho. Wylie gives him some paperwork that basically shows twenty kits were delivered to Wheatondale Medical Center, but it was condemned two years ago.

Wheatondale Medical Center. Dead of night. Abbott and Cho. After breaking the lock and getting inside, they hear a hum coming from the room. They go inside to see a fully stocked room that looks like it belongs in a hospital. It has gurneys and a bunch of medical equipment and tools. Further investigation reveals…oh my god…a freezer room with three dead, obviously female, bodies lying on gurneys. They all have the heart on the back of their hand, like Daniela did. Cho lifts up the paper blanket and says the girl is cut open. They’re killing some of the girls for their organs.

And…oh my goodness, the show is trying to kill me. Jane comes walking up to Lisbon’s door, all smiles, with a bag in his hand. Pike opens the door, and you can just see Jane is not at all happy about this. Jane asks for Lisbon, who walks outside to talk to him. He says he’s just dropping off cannoli from Il Tivoli Bianco, but Lisbon has known Jane long enough to realize he didn’t just come to her house that late to deliver some food. Then Jane says he was thinking about her moving, and…oh dang…Jane is CRYING. I can’t handle Jane crying. Anyway, he says he just wants her to be happy and to do what makes her happy. And it’s almost verbatim what he said last week, but this time he’s just coming from the heart and letting her see his pain and sadness. Then he walks off, leaving Lisbon to try and pull herself together before she goes inside.

Oh, show, what have you done to me?

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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  • Ckbythebay Tampa


    I just want you to know that I love your recaps. There aren’t very many recaps out there for The Mentalist. I just found yours tonight as I was trying to remember how Cho found the place with the girls’ bodies in it. I had just started watching tonight’s episode and couldn’t remember. Needless to say, I was very pleased with your style and personal input as you recapped the episode. Thank you! And I also appreciate your “Grammar Police” moniker.