The CBI investigates the murder of a former gangbanger who was beaten to death and whose body was dumped on a public golf course nearly three years after he had turned his life around by working for a real estate office known for hiring criminals looking for a second chance. Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) discover their victim made several trips to the emergency room during the past year including one for a severe beating a month ago courtesy of his former associates. Before they find the killer Lisbon and her team will have to stop the victim’s younger sister (Kyla Pratt) from taking matters in her own hands by killing the head (Vicellous Reon Shannon) of the gang her brother used to work for.
With the gang leader looking to be their most promising suspect Cho (Tim Kang) calls in the help of the CBI’s new rapid response team. With the rest of the team investigating the victim’s past, Jane takes a trip back to the real estate company to get to give the victim’s co-workers (Larry Poindexter, Senta Moses, Anthony Ruivivar) and boss (Robert Curtis Brown) a second look. To draw out the killer Jane tries one of his trademark stunts at the model home in which the victim was killed but it nabs him far more suspects than he was expecting.
It turns out the victim was killed by his co-workers for wanting to come forward about an accidental death of a hunter at the company’s recent retreat. They manage to catch the killers, but to do the right thing for the victim’s sister and young brother (Bryce Clyde Jenkins) Lisbon will have to play on the emotions of Rigsby’s (Owain Yeoman) baby mama (Jillian Bach) to get the charges against the victim’s sister dropped.
“Black Cherry” turns out to be a solid, if not all that memorable, episode that does have a couple of nice moments including Jane offering support to the victim’s younger brother and the guilt trip that the Mentalist lays on Lisbon which she in turn lays on the new Assistant D.A. in order to do the right thing for the victim’s family. Cho also gets a new part-time assignment, and a possible new love interest, with the introduction of Tamsin Wade (Monique Gabriela Curnen), the head of the CBI’s new rapid response team.