The Mentalist episode, “Blood In, Blood Out” begins with the flip of a coin. Jane has flipped a quarter 20 times, and each time its landed heads. Rigsby is forced to pay up $20, and is frustrated when Jane won’t give up the secret of his skill.
Lisbon notices a woman at Cho’s desk, who turns out to be his girlfriend, Elise. Lisbon and Rigsby happily introduce themselves, and then Elise asks about Jane. She’s startled when Jane shouts “Over here!” from the couch. Elise says hello, then whispers to Lisbon that she thought he’d look scarier. “He’s resting,” Lisbon answers.
Cho comes in and Rigsby tells him they were about to get to the embarrassing questions. “And that’s why were leaving,” Cho replies. When Cho’s phone rings, Elise tells him she’ll meet him at the elevator.
The call is from a Detective Sharon Florey, from the Oakland PD homicide division. Cho thinks she wants CBI help, until she informs him they have a victim with Cho’s number on his phone. When Cho hears the description of the Asian gangbanger, he tells her he’ll be right over.
Jane knows something is up when Cho bails on a date to go visit a crime scene. Cho declines his offer of help, but when Cho arrives on the scene, Jane is with him. Det. Florey tells them the victim was shot three times in the back, but it didn’t appear to be a robbery. He still had his phone, money, and a slip of paper with numbers on it. Jane takes a look at it after Cho.
There’s a tiny blip in Cho’s stoic demeanor when he uncovers the body. He tells Florey that the man is David Seung, a member of Cho’s old gang, the Avon Park Playboys. He adds that the only next-of-kin is Seung’s grandmother.When Florey asks what Seung’s been up to, Cho replies that he hasn’t seen him in 13 years. He says the phone calls were Seung leaving messages, asking for help. Jane is surprised that Cho didn’t reply. Florey tells Cho they’re “good”, and he quickly leaves.
Not deterred, Jane questions Cho as they walk to the car, wondering if Cho and Seung were friends. “We were best friends,” Cho replies numbly. “He was like my brother.”
The next day, Cho walks into the CBI office to find Rigsby still trying to figure out how Jane flipped the quarter heads so many times. “You’re not getting enough sex from Van Pelt,” Cho says. Rigsby jumps up. “We don’t talk about that,” he insists tersely.
Just then an older Asian woman enters the office. She calls Cho by his first name, Kimball. It’s Seung’s grandmother. She tells Cho that while Seung was in prison for 12 years, she told him about Cho life changes, and that Seung looked up to Cho as a role model. She claims that he left the gang, and that he wouldn’t lie to her about that. Cho tells her that he knows Seung lied to her many times. When she begs him to help find the killer, Cho refuses, saying the Oakland PD will take care of it.
The team is surprised that Cho is being so cold. Rigsby and Van Pelt offer to cover from him. “He was your friend,” Van Pelt insists. Cho says Seung was a gangbanger, and they get shot. Jane keeps pushing, saying that Seung’s grandmother seemed convinced he wasn’t. He tells Cho there must be someone who could at least verify if Seung was in or out of the gang. Cho is resistant, until Jane adds, “To soothe your troubled conscience.”
Next we see Jane and Cho in Playboy territory, walking to a storefront. Cho tells Jane not to wander. “No worries,” Jane replies (which sounds like a little slip of Simon Baker’s native Aussie). Inside the two find a big guy sitting in a chair and eating, and a younger guy behind the counter. The big guy, Jon Jon, is stunned to find Cho there. He tells his buddy that Cho was a former playboy known as the Iceman–“if you wanted something done cold, you go Cho.” Jane nods. “Well, it’s still the same.”
Cho questions Jon Jon, who tells him Seung quit the gang, but then did a deal with K.S., which he found disrespectful. “Either you’re in or you’re out.” He tells Cho that K.S. is still really mad at him. Jane shows Jon Jon the list of numbers to check his reaction to them. He then tells Jon Jon that his eating is a sign of stress and that he should consider a new career.
Outside, jane harasses Cho about the not very macho names of “Avon Park Playboys” and “Iceman”. Cho won’t be baited. Jane gets a call from Rigsby about Seung’s work address. Rigsby begs Jane to give him a hint about the quarter, and Jane replies “Occam’s Razor” before hanging up.
Asked by Jane who K.S. is, Cho answers that he’s the gang’s leader. And what he did to make him mad? “I shot him,” Cho replies. “That’ll do it,” Jane says, getting into the car.
They head over to Seung’s work “to get a second opinion” about Seung’s gang activity, according to Jane. They arrive at Cedar Creek Equities and talk to Seung’s boss, owner of the janitorial services, Frank Rodriguez. He says he knew about Seung’s past, that he finds ex-cons are grateful for the work and more loyal. As they’re talking, an executive from the building walks by and yells at Frank for not doing his job cleaning up one of the restrooms.
Jane gives the man a small note about “catching flies with more honey”, which would help him get out of middle management. The man glares at Jane and walks away. Frank complains about how even though he owns his own business, he has dozens of bosses. Jane shows him Seung’s list of numbers, and Frank says he doesn’t know what they are. His reply seems a little shaky, and Jane takes note.
Back at the office, Lisbon lectures the two about their “independent investigation” that Florey heard about from witnesses. She tells Cho that the gun matches one used in another Playboy killing, and it’s pretty much case closed. When she leaves, Jane says they should talk to K.S. Cho just walks away.
That night, Cho is with his girlfriend Elise. She knows something is wrong, but she knows Cho well enough to know he won’t talk about it until he’s ready. Suddenly two masked men break in and attack Cho and Elise, warning them to stay out of Playboy business.
We next see Elise being taken away on a stretcher. She’s more hurt than Cho, having been hit hard in the face. Cho tells her he has some things to take care of, and then he’ll see her at the hospital. As they take her away, Lisbon comes up and tells Cho they’re taking over the case. Before she can finish informing him of the next steps to take, he walks off. He gets into his car, and is startled to find Jane sitting in the passenger seat. “Where are we going?” Jane asks calmly.
On the way, Jane asks Cho why he shot K.S. Cho explains that it was an argument over a home invasion, kidnapping, and robbery plan that Cho refused to take part in. They argued, K.S. pulled a gun, and Cho shot him in the shoulder. Cho left the gang after that. He gave his gun to Seung, who later got pulled over with it in his car, and that’s what helped land him in prison. Cho says he doesn’t feel guilty–he thought it was stupid for Seung to keep it on him that way. Cho joined the army to get as far away from all that as possible.
Cho and Jane go back to Jon Jon’s drug house and find the younger partner alone. Jane steps away as Cho takes the violent route, pinning the guy to the counter and threatening to break his arm unless he fesses up to where K.S. is.
Back at the CBI office, Lisbon is angry and frustrated that they can’t find Cho and Jane. She sends Rigsby and Van Pelt back to Seung’s worksite to interview anyone who worked with him the night of his murder. When the two agents arrive, they first talk to a spacey secretary that they quickly figure out has been snorting cocaine on a regular basis.
Rigsby and Van Pelt get her to call the Director of Operations, Adam Reed, to they can talk to him. Reed turns out to be an egotistical jerk, who says he didn’t know Seung really, since he wasn’t “checking out the paper products in the men’s room.” He gets his sniffly secretary Crystal to take the agents downstairs to talk to the janitors on staff.
Meanwhile, Cho leaves Jane in the car and breaks into K.S.’s house, gun drawn. He gets K.S. away from his henchman and threatens to shoot him if he doesn’t fess up about hurting Elise and killing Seung. Once K.S. realizes Cho isn’t playing by cop rules, he tells Cho that Seung came to him to buy $5000 worth of drugs. When K.S. wanted in on the action, Seung said it was just a one-time thing. K.S. says he didn’t kill him, and he didn’t go to Cho’s house.
Cho doesn’t believe him, and says he’s arresting him. He takes K.S. out of the kitchen only to find the other gangsters have Jane held at gunpoint. It doesn’t look good, but Jane talks to them all rationally, reminding the Playboys that copkillers don’t get off easy. He also tells Cho that he doesn’t want to throw away his career and kill his chance at finding Seung’s killer. His soft, mesmerizing voice practically hypnotizes the Playboys, and everyone lowers their guns.Cho and Jane walk out, but not before Jane shows the list of numbers to the gang to check their reactions.
Rigsby joins Cho and Jane at a diner after. “Why’d you call him?” Cho asks. “You’re an unrelizble partner,” Jane replies. “I nearly got shot.” Cho is determined that K.S. is involved, but Jane doesn’t see the motive. Rigsby adds that Seung’s tox screen was negative, so he wasn’t using the drugs he was selling. Jane says it’s an example of Occam’s Razor–the simplest solution is probably the right one. He finally shows Risby that there were two quarters–one with heads on both sides, and one regular quarter to show to Rigsby.
Jane asks them to think simple, and figure out who got the drugs Seung bought. We next see snorting secretary Crystal back at Seung’s work. Van Pelt ambushes her in the bathroom, where she finds her partaking in a little recreational drug use during work hourse. Van Pelt brings her in and she and Lisbon question her. Fearful of reprisals, she finally confesses that her boss Reed is the one that bought the drugs from Seung. Reed saw Seung trying to take a laptop and threatened to turn him in to his parole officer unless he got him the drugs from his old gang connections.
Crystal also paints a dismal picture of Reed’s treatment of her, including sexual and physical assault.
After the questioning, Jane quickly enters the interrogation room and shows Crystal the list of numbers. She’s confused at first, and then asks Jane “How did you get those?”
Next we see Jane, Cho, and Rigsby back at Cedar Creek Equities, and find Reed in a conference room, sharing drugs with a woman. Cho tells the woman to get out if she doesn’t want to be arrested. He then roughs Reed up, trying to get him to confess to blackmailing Seung into buying the drugs, as well as stealing laptops to get customer’s account numbers and passwords to siphon money out. Reed finally confesses to the drug sale, but swears he had nothing to do with the accounts or with murder, or with hitting Cho’s girlfriend.
Cho doesn’t believe him, and drags him out of the office. Rigsby and Jane head after him, but he locks the door handles with a broom from the janitor Frank’s cart. He takes Reed outside, and Rigsby and Jane bang on the door until Frank sees them and lets them out. They also get Frank to unlock the outside door so they can follow Cho and Reed.
Outside they discover Cho standing over Reed’s bloody body. Jane and Rigsby are horrified, and Frank is terrified. Jane yells at Cho, saying that Reed would have talked if he’d been guilty. “What do you think, Frank?” he asks.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Frank protests. Jane persists, saying that Frank lied about knowing the numbers. After cleaning up after the rich people, Jane guesses it must have felt good to be stealing their money. Jane and Cho wonder about the gloves on Frank’s hands, if they’re hiding abrasions from beating Elise. Cho draws his gun again, threatening Frank to confess or he’ll kill him, too.
Frank begs for his life, on his knees, and confesses to killing Seung and going to Cho’s house. He takes off his gloves to show his damaged knuckles. He says the gun is in the storm drain in front of the building. Jane tells Cho that Frank is telling the truth. Cho then calls out to Rigsby, who brings Reed out–and Reed is still alive. We see a quick flash of Cho pouring fake blood on an unconscious Reed, and then shooting a couple rounds into the pavement.
Jane tells Cho, who isn’t playacting his anger, that it’s all over, that Frank confessed. Cho puts his gun away, but punches Frank in the face as payback for Elise.
Back at CBI headquearters, the team interrogates Frank. He says that he killed Seung because he wanted out, and Frank was afraid he’d go to the cops. He identifies the other man who attacked Cho as one of his employees.
In Lisbon’s office, Cho apologizes in a monotone to Reed and his lawyer, for accusing him of crimes he didn’t commit. The lawyer threatens to bring several lawsuits against Cho and the CBI, until Lisbon reminds him that Crystal’s testimony means they can charge Reed with a host of crimes including sexual assault. Reed grudgingly agrees to cut some kind of deal with the DA in exchange for forgetting about any lawsuits.
That night, Cho visits his girlfriend at home, watching over her as she sleeps. Her kisses her goodbye and then goes out again, to Seung’s grandmother’s house. He tells her that he didn’t want to face that Seung had gone straight, because then he would have to admit that he let him down. He assures her that she was right about her grandson, and he was wrong. He then asks for her forgiveness. After a long pause, Mrs. Seung leans over and embraces Cho. He closes his eyes and returns the embrace, and we can finally see the anguish that Cho is so good at hiding.
Watch The Mentalist on CBS on Thursday nights, 10/9c.
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