Simon Baker stars as an independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation with a remarkable track record for solving crimes using only his razor sharp skills of observation. Despite his lack of protocol and past as a feigned psychic, his keen insight is still greatly valued by his fellow agents.
This episode introduces us to the complex life of Patrick Jane, a police detective with a troubled past who has a keen eye for detail. When a man and woman are found dead in their home, many believe they are victims of a serial killer, but Patrick knows better and must prove that this was not the work of Red John.
When the dead body of an 18-year-old good girl is found in the vineyards of Northern Napa County, the CBI team is called in to find a sexual predator. After creating a timeline for the victim’s disappearance from the restaurant where she worked, the team limits the list of suspects to the people who were at the restaurant that night. Hard evidence points to the victim’s drug dealer boyfriend, who came by to pick her up, but Jane’s mentalist skills point to the chef. To prove his suspicions, Jane goes behind Lisbon’s back and orchestrates an undercover operation with Van Pelt as the bait to lure the killer out of hiding. But when the operation doesn’t go according to plan, Jane has to get himself out of a jam when he gets caught in a room with the not one but two killers: the chef and his wife!
Patrick Jane and team plunge into the quintessential California world of surfing when a high school girl's body washes up on a state beach. Ditch water in her lungs suggests she was drowned elsewhere and her body was dumped in the ocean as a cover-up. Since the victim was last seen with her four surfer friends at a beach bonfire, soon to be the site of a condo development, Jane surmises the teens know more than they're willing to admit. And when the condo construction site security guard is found murdered, with evidence proving he died the same night as the victim, Jane sets a mentalist trap to get the four friends to turn on each other and reveal the shocking truth of their collective guilt.
The CBI team investigates the murder of a wealthy investment banker, found tortured before being bolted inside his hidden "safe room." At the memorial service, Patrick Jane flirts with the widow and gets her to reveal the victim was a many of many secrets. Through further investigation, the team learns she was living a dual life between suburban wife and young mistress, and was also skimming millions from clients and hoarding it away in a secret place. While the team suspects the killer is after the money, their suspicions are confirmed when the victim's daughter is kidnapped in exchange for the hidden money. Jane suspects the wife and mistress so he sets up a mental conundrum, testing their interest in finding the money or child. In the end, the greedy killer shows her true colors.
When a bloodstained car connected to two missing girls (Nicole Gilbert and her best friend Kara Palmer) is found abandoned off a local interstate along an isolated lumber town, CBI is called in to help. Upon arrival, Jane locates Katie stabbed to death under the car, but Nicole is no where to be found. After searching for her, Nicole turns up at a gas station, covered in blood and holding the murder weapon but has no recollection of what happened. Could she have killed her best friend? Jane, seemingly convinced Nicole is innocent and her memory is just blocked, engineers a situation in which Nicole must relive the terrifying evening. As her memories return and as she helps Jane identify the killer, Lisbon finds herself unintentionally facing him as well, alone.
CBI is called into investigate the murder of James Meier, the manager of operations for a resort casino, whose right hand has been found straddling the borderline between California and Nevada. Was this a mob hit or someone trying to send a message? While Lisbon and team look into Meier's business dealings, Jane uses his mentalist skills at the card tables, which make him a genius player, to rake in chips while studying the players on the floor. In the end, Jane discovers Meier's son-in-law's secret life as a degenerate gambler and plays on his gambling obsession to ultimately lure out the truth.
The team investigates a hit and run murder of a wealthy California heiress, Rosemary Tennant, whose death was predicted by her psychic, Kristina Frye, moments before the accident. Jane, always the skeptic, laughs at the prediction and becomes intent on proving the psychic is a fake and a killer. But when CBI discovers Rosemary's will was being changed, suspicion falls on Rosemary's deviant teenage son, who was being cut out of the will, her younger lover, as well as the ever-present Kristina who was named as a beneficiary in the will. In order to catch the real murderer, Jane uses a gathering of Rosemary's supposed loved ones at a seance, that they think is to expose Kristina as a fraud, but is instead a mentalist trap to flush out the killer.
When a State's witness in a narcotics case and his girlfriend (Patrice Matigan) are shot in a motel room, CBI is called in on this high-stakes case. Local police suspect the drug dealer on trial is behind the murders since there is no case without the witness, but Jane surmises Patrice was the intended target. Focusing on Patrice, the team discovers she might have been having an affair with a veteran police officer, suggesting she was killed by a cop to cover up the affair. But when the evidence doesn’t add up, the team stages a fake stake-out to ultimately catch the real killer and uncover the tragic truth behind the murders.
Jane and the team head to a small farming town to investigate the murder of a National Guard veteran, Rich Garcia, who was killed in an arson fire. After learning Rich's fellow veteran buddy, Dave Martin, was killed in a house fire a few years back, the team goes to question the town's police chief, also a veteran from Rich's unit, only to find the police station a blaze. With three out of four members from the unit killed by fire, the CBI digs deeper and learns Dave discovered something more valuable than gold to the drought-stricken farming community - a limitless water supply on land purchased for him by his fellow soldiers. When Dave wouldn't cut them in on the potential profits, his "buddies" set his house on fire. Evidence points to the only surviving soldier, Ben Machado, but when someone tries to set him on fire, the team realizes the killer they're after is not motivated by greed but is instead out to revenge Dave's murder.
When a leading scientific researcher at Leyland University, Alex Nelson, drops dead from poisoning, Jane takes a personal interest in the case after learning the lead suspect and victim's ex-wife, Sophie Miller, is Jane's former psychiatrist. Sophie helped Jane through a bad patch following the murder of his wife and daughter and now Jane wants to return the favor. While the evidence starts to stack up against Sophie, Jane focuses on the multi-million dollar behavioral research project Sophie and Alex were working on, and ultimately discovers their research was a sham. With reputations and millions at stake, Jane and the team must find who was willing to kill to keep the fraud covered up.
An inmate, serving twenty-five to life for murdering his family housekeeper’s daughter, contacts Jane about having information on Red John that he’ll reveal if Jane will prove his innocence. Minelli disproves of reopening the case, but Jane needs to find out the truth so he quits CBI, and the rest of the team takes a week’s suspension to help him. After delving into the Renfrew family affairs, Jane makes a disturbing discovery that Jared’s mother committed the murder and framed Jared, after learning he was in love with the housekeeper’s daughter and that the girl was her husband’s child from an affair. Following the mother’s confession, Jared is released, but slips from sight before revealing anything about Red John. When CBI hunts him down in Mexico, they find Red John has gotten to him first, leaving behind only some cryptic words to the information he had.
When the dead body of a promising high school football star, Cody Elkins, is found with a pentacle and burning candles next to him, CBI suspects a self-proclaimed real witch is the killer. The witch, Tamzin Dove, confesses to putting a death spell on Cody after he killed her cat but swears she did not hurt him. While Cody’s parents believe Tamzin is guilty, hospital records stating Cody put his younger brother, Brad, in the hospital for “rough-housing” and a pentacle in Brad’s hideout suggests he killed his brother in retaliation. But when Brad doesn’t fall for a mentalist trap and instead his father does, the true story of family abuse and Cody’s murder is revealed.
Jane and the CBI team delve into the art world when a fifty million dollar painting is stolen off the office wall of an oil tycoon, A.P. Caid, and his son-in-law is found dead nearby. While it appears the son-in-law, Harry Lashley, was in on the robbery, Jane thinks otherwise and A.P.’s daughter, Stevie, pleas with him to prove her husband is innocent. As the team works to find the real killer and the stolen painting they encounter a variety of suspects including: an art forger who was hired by A.P. to paint a copy of the stolen painting, an art curator with a side-line in helping rich people purchase art, and a criminal Russian oil baron who A.P. outbid to get the painting originally.
CBI is called in to investigate the murder of a millionaire’s wife, Claire Wolcott, who was shot following a sexual rendezvous with her lover, a local pick-up artist, Paul Fricke.
A country club is rocked when the queen bee, Scarlett Marquesa, is poisoned at a cocktail party in her home. After interviewing party attendees and the woman who served on the club’s committee board with Scarlett, CBI discovers the community is full of secrets, including love affairs and drug abuse. It turns out Scarlett held in-home jewelry parties as a front for the sale of diet pills, tranquilizers, painkillers, etc. Because of the economic downturn, Scarlett was determined to keep up appearances and save her family by any means necessary, which ultimately lead to her murder.
Jane loses his sight during an explosion and must rely on his other senses during the murder investigation of a financial adviser. Jane and CBI discover that Jane is the true target of the killer.
A story of greed and betrayal and pits Jane against a passel of Alpha Male Financiers. CBI investigates a series of murders at a corporate retreat in the wilds of the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Patrick Jane and the CBI team track down a mastermind who hypnotizes people into doing their bidding and ultimately killing them.
The team goes Hollywood as they investigate the murder of a movie producer.
Ed Didrikson, aka Eddie Russo, a member of the mafia turned informant, is found dead by the river with a gunshot wound to the head.
CBI is called to the exclusive harbor, Pelican Cove to investigate the disappearance of Jim Gulbrand, CEO and founder of the software company Gaia Matrix.
Patrick Jane must find a way to convince a group of students at a wilderness program for troubled kids to tell him the truth about the circumstances leading to the death of one of their fellow students.
As the CBI investigates the murder of a young girl and the abduction of her twin sister, everything points towards Red John's return. However, Patrick Jane thinks somebody else is involved as well.