Matt's Inside Line: Mentalist Casting News, Plus Scoop on House, Fringe, Justifed and More!

Who’s returning to meddle with The Mentalist? Which House doc will land in great jeopardy? Which Fringe loose end might finally be picked up? Read on for those scoops, plus other teases from TV’s hottest shows.

The Mentalist | I’ve got some exclusive casting details from the CBS procedural, and Part 1 involves another appearance by cult leader Bret Stiles, played by the always entertaining Malcolm McDowell. He will be in a sweeps episode airing Feb. 23 and also guest-starring CSI alumna Louise Lombard as the Dean of a college associated with the Visualize Cult. The CBI crew will question Lombard’s character when a student’s brother is found murdered.

Exclusive: The Mentalist Taps Diane Farr, Bonnie Somerville and James Frain For February Sweeps

House | The Feb. 6 episode, guest-starring Emmy winner Jeffrey Wright, has been described as potentially an “instant classic,” and exec producer Greg Yaitanes, who directed the hour, is calling it “the work I am most proud” in his 16 years of directing television. Now having screened the episode, we can see why. Wright, as a mentor of Foreman’s who is leading a disciplinary hearing scrutinizing House’s rogue antics, is one of the good doc’s most formidable foils to date. But the case of the week that House is specifically being held accountable for is just as much a star, revolving around a chemistry teacher who collapsed while out for a run. In the course of treating the patient, one member of House’s team – by defying the boss man’s orders – winds up injured in a way that has shocking repercussions. On the lighter side of the hour, House engages in a war of pranks that at one point evokes Greg Brady’s bad hair tonic experience.

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on House, Once Upon a Time, Bones and More!

Fringe | OK, you wanna know about The Zeppelin Man who was introduced in the animated segment of last season’s “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide” and is fated to kill Olivia? Here is what exec producer J.H. Wyman told me about that loose thread: “We ourselves get frustrated with other shows that only ask questions and leave things up in the air and don’t really answer them, so we really take pride in saying, ‘Look our drama is strong enough that we can actually answer the questions.’ Let’s just say that we’re going to try and get you satisfying conclusions for all those things that are up in the air.” For example, Wyman shared, “You’ll learn a lot more about the Observers this year. And yes, you probably will understand a lot about that guy in the zeppelin.” Now let’s just hope that the show bosses get one more season to tie everything in an extra-neat bow!

Fringe Update: Season 5 Discussions Underway, J.J. Abrams ‘Hopeful’ Show Will Be Back

Justified | Now that you’ve met Ellstin Limehouse (played by Boomtown‘s Mykelti Williamson), you may wonder what sort of fresh hell he’ll stir up for Boyd, with whom he is about to have the not-the-friendliest of pow-wows. “He’s like the Godfather of ‘the other side of the tracks,’ and Ava has a past with him,” Joelle Carter told me. “If [Ellstin and Boyd] cross each other, it will be hard for Ava, because her loyalty is with Boyd now but she has this past with this man who really helped her out at a time when she needed it.” Detailing Ava’s backstory with the baddie, Carter shared, “A lot of the women who get battered, when seeking refuge, would go to that part of town, because the men wouldn’t follow them [there] — and Limehouse in particular would protect them.”

Exclusive: The Finder Hosts 7th Heaven Reunion, Casts George Stults as Geoff’s TV Brother

The Finder | One key difference between Walter and Isabel and Bones‘ own Booth and Brennan is the sex factor – meaning that the spin-off’s improbably attractive twosome had and have no bones about… er, jumping into bed with… each other. But is there more to this match-up than making whoopee? “They’re ‘friends with benefits,'” Mercedes Masohn tells TVLine, “but as you will see, we do sort of make things a bit more monogamous” in an upcoming episode — though taking such a step won’t come easy. “Isabel has trouble expressing her emotions, so it’s a lot of ‘Will she realize, and will he realize, that they are in fact perfect for one another?'” says the actress. “It’s not just a work thing, it’s not just sleeping together – they’re just all-around great for each other. They’re ‘yin and yang.'”

Switched at Birth | On Feb. 7, viewers will meet Kathryn’s mother Bonnie, aka Bay’s (though really Daphne’s) grandma, to be played by Family Ties matriarch Meredith Baxter. Previewing the mother-daughter dynamic, Lea Thompson tells me, “We have our own issues, and she has issues with the switch.” Specifically, Bonnie will give voice to some of the pricklier issues regarding the discovered switch and who has come into her family. “Her prejudices come out and we get to talk about that, which is interesting,” says Thompson. Of course, also interesting is the DNA that Thompson and Baxter already “shared” going into this. “It was really fun for me to work with her, because of Michael [J.] Fox and our connection in both playing his mom at the same time [in Family Ties and Back to the Future]!”

If there’s a show you’d like the Inside Line on, email mattmtvguy@gmail.com, and maybe it’ll get some love the next time around! (With reporting by Alyse Whitney)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Hatfield says:

    The danger of screeners: We haven’t seen the meeting on the bridge yet, except in the preview for next week’s episode. Might want to re-word that, Matt.

  2. Ho Hum says:

    Well, if Greg Yataines is “the most proud” of an episode of House (especially with the Brady Bunch reference thrown in to make it REALLY relevant), then it must be magic, indeed!

  3. Lisa says:

    Unless things change drastically in the next few episodes, I didn’t see any chemistry between Isobel and Walter in The Finder. I would never have said they are perfect for each other. They don’t compare at all with Booth & Brennan who had sparks flying from day one.

    • Alyssa says:

      I agree I like the show, but I kinda miss the girl from the pilot episode(the bones epi).

      • J,Norman says:

        I thought the female bar tender on the pilot was much preferable to the replacement.
        I have wondered why the change?
        Off screen problems? Was there too much similarity to Burn Notice?

        Was an explanation ever given for the change???

        • tripoli says:

          If I remember correctly, there was some speculation about her accent being dificult for people to understand. Which is utterly ridiculous. That and supposedly the character wasn’t well received. I too prefered her to the 2 female characters currently on cast. Burrows was much more interesting.

          • Ari says:

            I didn’t like the original girl. She just wasn’t very appealing. I haven’t watched any of The Finder episodes that are building up on my DVR but I’m planning on catching up with at least one episode this weekend while I give platelet so I’ll judge the new girls then.

      • Tarc says:

        Agreed. Saffron Burrows was a vast improvement over the changes. And the young girl just has to go – bad charatcer, bad actor.

  4. Kim says:

    Can’t wait to see Nobody’s Fault! I have a feeling that It’s Chase who gets attacked by the patient of the week. I wonder what will be wose for him, the injuries or the fallout from disobeying House. Poor Chase!

    • Spencer says:

      I’ve read on a private forum that Chase gets stabbed with a scalpel while fighting with the POTW and that he is left paralized and it’s all House’s fault.
      I’m so sad. Chase is my favorite character. He doesn’t deserve this at all.
      Amber is dead because of House, Cameron left because of him (I miss her and Chase), he ruined everything with Cuddy and now he’s hurt Chase.
      What does it take to finally stop him and for him realize being a genius does not make up for everything?

      • Gillian says:

        Don’t worry, whatever happens in this episode, I doubt it will have any lasting consequences. IMO Chase will be ok by the end of episode 12, he’ll forgive House, forget what he’s done to him and everything will be fine. Because this is generally how this series works – see Wilson fixing his relationship with House in like one day at the beginning of this season and nobody ever mentioning the Moving On crash again.

  5. kel says:

    Mr. Yaitanes is quite liar

  6. hilarity, thy name is yaitanes says:

    “Instant classic”? Figures, Mr. Yaitanes is a well known pillar of modesty and a beacon of humility. And no, thanks. We are not worthy.

  7. Aliza says:

    I’m sorry, but unfortunately Mr. Wyman isn’t being 100% truthful about the show always tying up loose ends or answering questions. I just finished watching Season 1 to see if there are any hints as to what’s going on now, and there were several questions or threads that they opened up and never tied up or revisited. Two examples: One is there were people who were very “interested” in the fact that Peter was back in town, and they sounded very menacing about his return. He also was involved with some woman who was being abused. That storyline was never heard from again. Two is the other side’s John Scott. We never see him on the other side. Why? It would stand to reason that if all their alternates were in Fringe Division he would be as well. So do we never meet him?
    So while I absolutely worship Fringe and pray that it’s taken on for a 5th season, for the writers and producers to say that they follow through on all their story lines is just not true.

    • Garrett says:

      I do think the Peter threads are a little mystery, but to me they were always more about showing the kind of life he had before Olivia recruited him than trying to set up any kind of continuing story. Almost seemed like they were trying to give him a love interest besides Olivia, and went from that random abused lady, to Rachel to give it some tension, and then realized that him and Olivia went well together.

      As for John Scott, that’s not a loose end at all. We’ve never seen Nina’s alternate self either, and she plays a much larger role than he did. He also was never in Fringe Division, he was just an FBI agent that was partnered with Olivia. She got recruited into Fringe after his ‘accident’.

      • DotDot says:

        John Scott was the one who put it to Olivia in the pilot to ask herself why she was sent to the warehouse where he got killed.
        That was his function, to bring her to the team.

        But there are many more questions around Olivia Dunham,
        as who is Olivia’s father?,
        who is Olivia’s mother? (we only know she was ill and died when Olivia was 14),
        her stepfather abused her, and here she killed him, what happened exactly?
        Why has September an interest in Olivia?
        Why has Jones? All to do with mr X?
        So that are a lot of Questions to answer surrounding Olivia, that would take at least 3 seasons , since that is the time they spent on that of the Bishops with far less questions.
        And since Olivia Dunham is the main lead she deserves a well written

    • Matt says:

      When Mark Valley got his own show he was unavailable to play alt-John Scott. Then he and Anna Torv got divorced so that kind of put the kibosh on alt-John Scott. Fauxlivia’s love interest was then taken over by the doctor, Frank Stanton. Alt-John Scott could have been killed in Desert Storm and simply be dead like alt-William Bell.

      Peter’s underworld connections were touched on several times in the first season and easily could have been explored more. It is a loose end, but has little to do with the mythology of the show so I don’t consider it a major loose end.

      A major loose end of the first season would be the beacon from “The Arrival” and who John Mosley was, how he new about the beacon, where he got and energy gun, how he read minds, and why he was after it. The beacon may have been left-over tech from the First People but a lot needs to be explained.

      • Mikael says:

        I really hope they don’t forget about that beacon from Season 1 either! It’s been bugging me ever since! That, and back in Season 1 when we first learned about Olivia’s trouble with her stepfather, he left her a note that said “See you soon” or something, and nothing ever came of it.

    • donna says:

      Please. Peter’s mob issues were never even a storyline. Who cares. There’s a difference between introducing and abandoning real plotlines, and then just aborting ones that never even got started.

      Fringe has been AMAZING about bringing back loose elements, such as the amber seen in the 3rd episode of the show which as we now know was such a major thing. And David Robert Jones. What are you talking about.

  8. Amber says:

    I like this new Justified villain, and I really hope that was nothing more than an alligator he was butchering. But I am concerned the show has too many recurring villains at the moment. It feels a bit ADD-ish and it needs to be centered more on one or two bad guys who will show up throughout the season, I think. Last week’s episode I had a problem with too many storylines and characters in the episode. It was hard to get interested and focused in what was going on with so many set-ups for future characters and events happening…Then there was that whole Karen Cisco thing going on on top of everything else too. And yes, I am convinced she was really Karen Cisco. I feel vindicated because I thought all along her last name (was it Goodall?) was really a married name and she was still our favorite female U.S. marshal from Miami. It was just too much of a coincidence. However, the storyline involving her was way too short and I wish they had focused more on her and Raylan instead of taking time for so many other stories. Maybe she is coming back more in the future? I kind of wonder how Jennifer Lopez would have done in this episode now opposite Timothy Olyphant. I don’t picture much chemistry there. Carla was clearly the better choice.

  9. Laughable says:

    Guess what ex-House fans, Greg Yaitanes is not responsible for Jennifer Morrison or Lisa Edelstein leaving this show. If anything JM was given a raw deal by David Shore and Katie Jacobs who continually lied to the fans. As far as Lisa, it was her choice to leave. Either way, I’m sick of hearing from both camps, who no longer watch the show, say how bad it is. The truth is, even though this may be the last season, it’s the BEST season in years. Matt himself wrote how great this episode is, but maybe he’s lying too.

    • Kate says:

      Greg Yaitanes was one of the executive producers at the time Jennifer Morrison was fired so while Shore and Jacobs, who staked the show on the lame Huddy relationship, are mostly to blame, Yaitanes bears some of the responsibility too.

      This may be the best season of House in years but the show’s last really great season was season 3. Since then, everything been a retread of what they did before, and there are never any long term consequences for House so he never learns or grows.

  10. kel says:

    sums it up, marketing and PR publicas.creerle a producer who spits on the fans when they disagree with. you just have to be objective

  11. Matt H. says:

    I thought the mystery of The Zeppelin Man was solved last year when it was Walternate who shot and killed Olivia in 2026. Addressing this again means explaining why Walternate really wasn’t The Zeppelin Man and fitting it into some sort of grand reconciliation between the old blue/red timeline and this season’s orange timeline.

    Maybe the 2026 we saw last season was just an illusion built into the machine by the previous cycle’s Walter.

  12. Nancy says:

    I just want another season or two of [H]OUSE!!

  13. lipsticksocialism says:

    I’m so loving Switched at Birth. Yay for more family stuff!

  14. nitemar says:

    Read this is GY last episode..maybe they are starting to wrap up for the last season..anyways, agree he has always been a poor PR for the show, but a very good director..maybe I’ll watch, bcs supposedly***SPOILER*** this episode will lead to the season/series finale..

    • Jess says:

      Jeez, it’s just a tv show! Watch or don’t watch, do wathever you want. It’s been almost a year after the huddy debacle and your “I don’t care about the show anymore, without huddy and Cuddy the show sucks” and so on but you’re still here. Bah