The CBI investigates the mysterious death of the leading actress in a local theater who was pushed to her death on opening night. Lisbon (Robin Tunney) talks with the victim’s Foster parent (Maggie Egan) who points the CBI in the direction of the girl’s violent ex-boyfriend (Derek Ray) who she believes may have assaulted her a week before the murder. The returning Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) puts the man at the gala on the night the victim was killed, but the boyfriend paints a far different story when he informs them he attended the party only to protect his girl from one of other cast members she believed was out to get her.
Other suspects include the director (Erik Jensen), the producer (Matt Servitto), the show’s aging star (Donna Murphy) who has secret connection to the victim, and the three actresses (Alexis Carra, Gabrielle McClinton, Rose Abdoo) most likely to take the place of the victim in the show. Performing one of his trademark stunts during rehearsals, Jane finds the most scheming and conniving member of the bunch, and the woman responsible for the assault on the victim the week before, but not their killer. The stunt also backfires by inciting an on-stage cat fight Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) is forced to break up.
Talking with the show’s star, Jane discovers she was the victim’s birth mother and is able to put together the series of events which led the victim out of the ballroom and upstairs into the hotel suite the night she was killed. To discover the identity of the killer Jane performs one last stunt at the theater with the help of LaRoche (Pruitt Taylor Vince) who bears just enough of a resemblance to the play’s investor to pull off what Jane has planed during the show’s second attempt at an opening peformance. While not working the case, Jane keeps showing up at Jason Lennon’s (Christopher Cousins) hospital hoping to talk with Homeland Security’s witness and learn Red John’s real name as soon as he awakes from his coma.
Although it has some fun moments, the main mystery of “Behind the Red Curtain” is less interesting than the surrounding stories including the return of both Pruitt Taylor Vince and Amanda Righetti to the show. It’s great to see Van Pelt back in the fold and the episode offers just the right situation to get LaRoche involved in one of Jane’s cases. The episode ends in tragedy, however, as Lennon is killed by one of the agents of Homeland Security taking with him the one name Jane has been searching for since Red John murdered his wife and daughter years ago.