“The Mentalist” did not just give Simon Baker an ordinary episode to carry out Sunday night; instead, it gave him what may be our favorite of the entire season in “The Silver Briefcase.”
For once, this was a great procedural episode that really did spin a great yarn. We knew who the likely suspects were from the episode’s beginning, and that included a powerful military man who was not going to be intimidated by Jane or anyone else. The challenge was finding out how he or his new mistress killed his wife, who was threatening to take everything from him in the divorce. It was a standard premise for a cop show in many ways, but just those final fifteen minutes with Jane, Lisbon, the briefcase, and the confession chamber were outstanding. Somehow, Baker’s character managed to completely break these two people down to the point that they wanted to confess.
This episode was fun enough that it took away any frustration with finding out very little about the other main storylines. For example, the only development for Jane and Lisbon personally was a lively debate about whether or not he would get bored if he was to ever leave the FBI. While he seemed to be doing okay in “My Blue Heaven” before Kim Fischer found him, we feel like he would be bored to tears. Without a challenge, what is Jane to do?
Overall, “The Silver Briefcase” is simply a fun episode to watch. It’s fairly disposable, but some great direction and a sharp manner of storytelling help it still rise to the top this season. Grade: B+.
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