This Sunday on CBS’ The Mentalist, the CBI team found themselves heading to not just one wedding (to draw out a killer) but a second ceremony, as well (for happier reasons).
Executive producer Daniel Cerone, who penned the episode, spoke with TVLine about giving Wayne Rigsby and Grace Van Pelt (and the couple’s fans) their due, shared one of his favorite scenes and revealed whether, amid all the romance, a Red John suspect got crossed off the list.
WEDDING DAY STRESS? NAH! | “The wedding aspect of the show was the easiest part because it was the most honest part,” Cerone shares. “It’s something that we’ve been building to for a long time, so there were a lot of authentic emotions to explore.” It was all the other stuff going on that made the episode a challenge. “It was a big episode in three aspects. One is the wedding,” he notes. “Two, it’s the first time that we really explore a singular Red John suspect in full detail, and that provides tension. And then of course we have a case.”
GIVING RISGBY/VAN PELT FANS THE BEST GIFT | “The fans deserved a nice payoff, particularly those that have been with the show since the beginning,” Cerone says of the pressure to deliver a great Big Day. “Since the pilot, there was a romantic attraction between Rigsby and Van Pelt, and there have been many, many ups and downs through the years — psychopathic fiancés who ended up with bullets in their heads and baby mamas. It’s been a pretty wild ride for them!”
A ‘CRUSHING’ MOMENT | After causing a young couple’s Napa wedding to be canceled after a guest is murdered, “Jane realizes that to track down the killer he needs to put the wedding back together,” Cerone reviews. “So, being the mentalist that he is, he shoves Van Pelt forward to talk the bride into getting married.” And as Van Pelt recounted for the bride all the hurt and regrets she herself has lived through — while Risgby looked on through the one-way glass — “Amanda [Righetti] just crushed that scene.”
I GET MISTY…. | Everyone cries at weddings, right? Even the cast and crew who watched this relationship blossom over six seasons? “It was really fun to watch [Rigsby’s proposal] because the actors committed to it so fully,” Cerone says. “A lot of times with actors you are trying to find emotions to access to play a scene, but in this case I think both [Righetti and Owain Yeoman] were there, really excited for it and feeling it. Everyone on the set was absolutely rapt.”
HIGH ANXIETY | Can Sheriff McAllister be ruled out as a Red John suspect, having demonstrated he doesn’t actually suffer from vertigo? Or is no one ruled out until someone is proven to be the sinister slayer? “It’s the latter,” Cerone says. “In a certain respect, suspects will fall to the wayside quickly. Some have, and some will continue to. But if they’re still inquiring at the end of an episode, they’re still in part potential suspects.” Next Sunday, Homeland Security agent Robert Kirkland lands in Jane and Lisbon’s crosshairs. As Cerone most simply puts it: “If they’re not dead, they’re alive!”