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'The Mentalist' season premiere: Has Simon Baker met his match?

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Sometimes I think The Mentalist is clever fun; sometimes I think The Mentalist is so slight, it’s lucky to be such a hit. Last night’s season premiere was definitely clever fun. The episode, written by show creator Bruno Heller, introduced a welcome new character, Terry Kinney’s Agent Sam Bosco, to put a few worry-lines in the smooth face of Simon Baker’s Patrick Jane.

Kinney, veteran of HBO’s Oz and so much terrific theater work, is clearly enjoying hamming it up as a tough cop, and his relish (dig the way he scarfs down that hot dog) is contagious. Baker responds with a fresh alertness.

Sometimes when shows bring on a guest star to arc out new phases of a series’ hero, the results are meeted by fans with dismay. (Oh, how the House fans whined and moaned about David Morse’s avenging-cop storyline a while back; me, I liked it.)

I also like Bosco as Jane’s new roadblock to finding Red John.

Did you watch The Mentalist? What did you think?