Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on The Mentalist, Once, Smash, Criminal Minds, Scandal and More

Do we see sex in The Mentalist‘s future? Will Criminal Minds replace Prentiss/Paget Brewster? Is Smash‘s Ivy en route to an OD? Who faces off in Scandals juicy finale? Read on for answers to those questions plus other teases from TV’s hottest shows.

The Mentalist | Tonight is that night that Patrick Jane goes off the deep end, shoots one of the CBI’s own and then disappears to Sin City, where he catches the eye of Entourage’s Sloane – meaning, a cocktail waitress played by brunette beauty Emmanuelle Chriqui. Bonding at first over the topic of magic, “They have a nice little connection and hit it off right away,” Chriqui previews. Alas Jane, when he meets the lovely Lorelei, “is not in the best place…. He’s at a seemingly low point in his life,” says Chriqui. “But that doesn’t intimidate her too much.” Hmm, just how well do the two relative strangers get along? Do they fall into bed post-haste? Chriqui giggles a bit, but only reveals, “They have ‘an encounter.'”

Criminal Minds | Now that the season finale has set up Prentiss’ sayonara to the BAU to (perhaps) take that job in London, the burning question is whether the CBS drama will attempt to fill the void with a new face. Show boss Erica Messer says there have been “talks” about giving it the old college try, though she full well acknowledges, “Changing out characters can be a really difficult thing to do.” As Messer notes, “We have a good history of it working as well [with the additions of Paget Brewster herself and Joe Mantegna],” but “the most recent history is that it didn’t, and that’s what everybody’s thinking about.” But whereas Rachel Nichols’ short-lived Seaver was “so young,” Messer says, “If we … introduce a new female, it will be someone who is worthy of being on the BAU.”

Scandal | Not that you would miss tonight’s Season 1 finale for anything, know that you have this to look forward to: a very illuminating “meeting of the minds” between Olivia and Fitz’s wife, Mellie. “By the end of the season the First Lady becomes much less of a mystery,” series star Kerry Washington teases. “There are so many questions that people have about, ‘How much does she know? And how does she feel about it?’ And [in the finale] she will show you the secrets that she’s been hiding.”

VIDEO | Scandal POTUS Tony Goldwyn Previews Finale: ‘All Hell Breaks Loose!’

Revenge | At the ABC upfront party this week, I not only spoke with series lead Emily VanCamp and arch villainess Madeleine Stowe, but also Josh Bowman, who had this to share about next Wednesday’s season finale. “There’s a huge fight… There are a couple of relationship troubles going on… and there might actually be two deaths. Twists and turns galore!” But what about that which Tyler told Daniel on the beach before dying? Is that big red flag about Emily still tucked away in the back of her fiancé’s mind? “I hope so,” said Bowman. “[Daniel] has got to grow a pair of balls and catch onto what’s going on. But it’s good that he’s turning into a much more grounded character and exploring his darker side.” And as for the show’s central triangle, which veered wildly in a new direction last night when an emotional Em locked lips passionately with her childhood pal, Bowman showed perhaps a bit of bias by opining with a wink, “I wouldn’t root for Jack and Emily, if I were the audience.”

RELATED | Revenge Star Emily VanCamp Previews a ‘Big’ Finale Showdown!

Smash | So did she or didn’t she? Did Ivy pop that handful of pills and mimic Marilyn to an extreme degree, or did she have second thoughts? Interestingly, Megan Hilty reveals, that the sad sequence “was shot several different ways…. We did it where I actually took them, we did it where I did all these different kind of looks in the mirror…. But no collapsing, you never saw that.” Of the moment’s larger message, Hilty says, “It was Ivy taking her power back, as in, ‘This is the one thing I have control over, ‘in a sad way.”

Damages | The fifth and final season of the acclaimed drama premieres July 11 on DirecTV, and Jenna Elfman (best known for her sitcom turns, including the new NBC comedy 1600 Penn) plays a pivotal — and not very funny – role. “Yeah, I get murdered!” she told me, hoping that she wasn’t letting slip with too big a spoiler. After all, she notes. “You’ll see the ad everywhere, where I’m naked in a bathtub with blood everywhere.” The way it sounds, Elfman’s on-screen death will figure into this season’s flashbacky, unraveling mystery. “It’s a real whodunit,” she says —  one that features Ryan Phillippe as a Julian Assange type whom Elfman’s corporate whistleblower seeks out. “Ryan is incredible,” the actress raves. “It was some of the most fun I’ve had acting with anybody.”

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Duo Weigh In On (and Share Secrets From!) the Finale’s Big Reunion

Once Upon a Time | Now that magic has come to Storybrooke, will the Evil Queen be in need of her magic mirror? Because he might be a little busy given that Giancarlo Esposito (who also played Sidney Glass) is now a cast member on NBC’s Revolution. But in a pinch, “I think I can [pop up on Once],” the onetime Breaking Bad guy tells me. “And I would love to be able to do that. I am so happy about their pickup, because it’s a show my kids can watch! So you know I’m going to be trying to go back and forth.”

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 Vlada Gelman)