Friday, November 12, 2010

Things that bug me: The Mentalist basement scenes

I like The Mentalist, I really do. The crimes aren't terribly interesting, but the interplay between the characters is entertaining, and Cho is extremely amusing.

But, one thing about the show really bugs me. The basement scenes. There's been three or four so far where someone's been held in a basement by a kidnapper, in what I think might even be the same set. Every single time, the kidnapper has been killed or seriously wounded by a CBI agent standing at the top of the stairs. It gets old.


I mean, take last night's episode. Patrick Jane has been taken to a basement, where he's handcuffed to a pole. Then, Lisbon is taken and brought down to join him, after she gets taken*. Even though their hands are handcuffed to the thin pole, they both have a lot of freedom of movement. They manage to lure the would-be killer to the basement and convince her that Jane killed Lisbon to save her from burning. Lisbon gets the jump on the killer, and there's a whole lot of ways it could go.

Lisbon could choke her with the handcuffs (a la Malcolm Reynolds) or with her hands. Patrick Jane (the mentalist) could grab her gun , which he grabs at but obviously misses. The baddie has a cattle prod which she drops; Jayne could easily grab that and stun her, or stop her heart. Lisbon would certainly not be alone in carrying a backup weapon (many cops do, and considering all the nasty cases she works...); she could grab that, or he could. Any of those would have been an excellent way to end the episode. But no, the baddie escapes Lisbon's grasp, only to get mowed down by the cop at the top of the stairs. Deus ex machina. A total cop-out, pun intended.

* A glaring plot hole. No cop would abandon their vehicle, and their gun because a psychotic would-be killer says they'll lead them to the kidnapped man. That's just stupid. Especially if she doesn't let anyone know where she's going, or carry a second weapon.

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