Mentalist Scoop: Craig Bierko Previews 'Creepy' Case, Morena Baccarin Teases Her 'Juicy' Encore

American Horror Story has nothing on The Mentalist, which this Thursday (CBS, 10/9c) has Jane collaborating with an alive “dead” man (played by Craig Bierko) to track down a would-be murderer.

Also on the horizon for the crime drama: the return of Erica Flynn, the vexing vixen-slash-murderous matchmaker played by Morena Baccarin.

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First up: This week, Bierko (Boston Legal) guest-stars as “Doc” Duggan, a retired pro football QB who is believed dead after someone blows up his car. Relishing the rare chance to pick the brain of a “murder victim who’s alive,” Jane, with Lisbon, work with Doc to deduce who might have tried to sack him for good. Ashley Williams (How I Met Your Mother) plays Doc’s ex-wife.

“He’s kind of a larger-than-life character, an ex-quarterback who’s got his own restaurant and bar,” Bierko says, examining Doc. “After he’s thought to have been killed, he’s hidden away at CBI as Jane tries to figure out what happened. And… that’s all I’m allowed to say!”

Indeed, Bierko grew most cryptic when pressed for other details on his visit and any twists involved, except to say that this Mentalist episode, as typical, “has got a lot of different spinning wheels,” and that the mystery surrounding Doc’s apparent brush with death “gets a little creepy.”

“I like playing guys who are sort of in that margin where you can’t quite figure out if they’re up for having a great time or if they’re hiding something a bit more diabolical,” he added. “And I will say that this kind of satisfied that itch a little bit…. It’ll be fun for the audience to try to figure out what really is going on.”

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Looking beyond The Mentalist‘s imminent holiday break (starting after the Dec. 15 episode): I recently asked Morena Baccarin (Homeland, V) about her upcoming encore as high-end matchmaker Erica Flynn, whom we last saw being arrested for murder in the April 2011 episode ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”

When TVLine first reported on Baccarin’s re-booking, the speculation was that the CBI may need to pay Erica a visit behind bars, perhaps for a consult on a new case. But as the actress herself muses, “She was apprehended and going to go to trial,  but you don’t know if she actually made it to prison. After all, she covered her tracks pretty well, and nobody could really prove anything….”

Baccarin had not quite yet gotten her hands on the actual script at the time I spoke to her, but said she had been told “it’s really juicy.”

Currently wowing Showtime viewers with her emotional scenes as Homeland‘s widow-no-more, Baccarin said of her Mentalist comeback, “It’ll be fun to do something completely different – get back to my evil roots a little bit!”

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8 Comments
  1. Nerwen Aldarion says:

    FINALLY some Mentalist scoop but nothing really concrete.

    I’m excited by the return of Erica Flynn, she was a fun character. Any time someone gets under Jane’s skin is interesting, I’m sure he’s going to want to take her down again, he really doesn’t like someone who thinks they are smarter than him.

    I am shocked that TVLine has done nothing about the episode next week. I know many fans are going nuts over the buzz that is Fugue In Red…

    • Heidi says:

      Oh yeah! Simon Baker did an outstanding, and unintended promotion work when he said his favorite Lisbon/Jane scene was in Ep 10. hehe! 10 times more effective than going to 5 talk shows. ;)

      • Sara says:

        I totally agree. Next week’s episode I am totally stoked for. Of course I am watching tonight’s episode but I’m actually most excited about seeing the promo for next week, tbh. Whoever came up with the premise of the episode is awesome in my book and I hope it lives up to my expectations. I read that Simon said that about Jane and Lisbon, and Jordan Harper, one of the show’s great writers, stated that there was a lot of Jane and Lisbon stuff in this. So all of that info together makes me really excited about the prospects of the episode. Also, must agree that one of the aspects of the show I enjoy very much is the Jane and Lisbon relationship. It’s very enjoyable and well-written. I actually was watching an older episode written by Bruno Heller last night and realized that he has written some of my absolute favorite J/L times of the series. It seems as if he enjoys writing it, and therefore, so do I. I’d go into deets, but this is too long already. I will end with saying I really enjoy this show and am a very happy fan. :)

  2. Plum says:

    Morena was so crafty on Mentalist that she’s one of the few villains that you couldn’t help admiring, a perfect match for Jane.

  3. Saint Alicia says:

    Thanks so much for covering the Mentalist! I’m always wishing for scoop and was just about to email you guys (read: pout and do nothing) about Morena’s return but ya already delivered.
    Really hope she avoided prison, it would be great to see her and Jane interacting on the same “level” (free murderers and the smartest people in the room ;)). Also, they had great chemistry–let the sparring commence!

  4. tahina says:

    Good gawd Matt, finally a scoop on The Mentalist! :) Loved the Morena’s episode when she is that mischivious vixen that men love and women love to hate. Can’t wait.

  5. Lina says:

    Any opportunity to see Ashley Williams is a good day for me. Love that girl! Wish she’d put down roots somewhere.

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