In "Golden Hammer," we find Jane and Lisbon a few cases further into their new lives at the FBI. Compared to the CBI, the FBI offers Jane bigger mysteries to solve with national (and in this case, international) reach. We all know that for Jane, no case is too difficult to crack, but there are limits to the amount of top-secret material the FBI can share with a consultant who has, at best, a shady past. This investigation could expose a security breach at a military subcontractor. Jane will need security clearance. But will he play by FBI rules? Will he be discreet enough to complete the task? And what tactics will Jane bring to bear on a sensitive case?
As we were plotting the series refresh and the move to the FBI, writers were asked to come up with storylines with a little more scope. That might mean bigger bad guys. Or more complex plotting. "Golden Hammer" would be Jane's third FBI case. What could we throw at him that we never dealt with back in Sacramento?
The jumping-off point here was a spy story that would test Jane's abilities as well as the trust that he is building with his new team. "To catch the killer, the mentalist must first catch an international spy." That was my initial thought. Secret codes. Clandestine money drops. Shadowy alliances. These seemed like tantalizing elements to introduce to the world of the show. But to keep it from spinning out of control, we started as we often do with "classic Mentalist stories." That means a body on the floor. Building a twisty-turny spy story around that victim that we could tell in 44 or so minutes – that was the challenge.
In addition to the spy case and the emerging dynamics of a newly formed FBI team, this episode needed to introduce a threat from Jane and Lisbon's old life. While their CBI days are long behind them, Jane's… unorthodox methods left collateral damage. No spoilers here but someone from CBI days past has come back to have their revenge. It's a story that will pull in the entire original team, including old friends Rigsby and van Pelt. We'll get a glimpse of their cozy life before… sorry. No spoilers.
Producer Mike Weiss