It's a crazy, jam-packed night on The Mentalist (10/9c, CBS). The fate of psychic Kristina Frye (Leslie Hope) — abducted last season by serial slayer Red John — will at last be revealed. Malcolm McDowell returns as messianic cult leader Bret Stiles, who appears to be involved in the suspicious death of one of his female followers. (He might even be Red John!) And a major love affair gets underway.
Towering heartthrob Eric Winter (Brothers & Sisters) joins the cast as Craig O'Loughlin, a former NFL sensation—turned—FBI man who'll work with the CBI team on the Stiles case. O'Loughlin quickly sparks with the stunning Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) when they bond over football (her dad was a highly respected coach). And that'll light a fire under Van Pelt's ex-beau Rigsby (Owain Yeoman).
"This is a triangle that will develop slowly through the year and eventually force Rigsby to stand up for his passions," says creator Bruno Heller. But Winter has no plans to be the bad guy: "O'Loughlin is not a jerk and he's not breaking up anything," says Winter. "Rigsby and Van Pelt ended their affair because it was against CBI rules. She's fair territory." And there's an ulterior motive to playing nice. "Hey, I wanna stay on this show!" he says. "I intend to be a guy the audience roots for!"
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