Grace Van Pelt
|Grace Van Pelt|
|The Mentalist character|
Amanda Righetti as Grace Van Pelt Rigsby
|Created by||Bruno Heller|
|Portrayed by||Amanda Righetti|
|Nickname(s)||Grace, Van Pelt|
Private InvestigatorFormer Agent for the California Bureau of Investigation
|Family||Amos Van Pelt (father; a football coach)|
|Spouse(s)||Agent Wayne Rigsby|
|Significant other(s)||Agent Wayne Rigsby (coworker; husband),
Agent Craig O'Laughlin (fiance, person that almost killed her; deceased)
|Children||Benjamin Rigsby (step-son)
Maddy Rigsby (Daughter)
|Relatives||Yolanda (cousin; supposedly a psychic),|
Grace Van Pelt is a fictional character on the CBS crime drama The Mentalist, portrayed by Amanda Righetti. Van Pelt is a former Special agent in the fictionalized California Bureau of Investigation (CBI).She is currently a private investigation running a investigation agency with her husband Wayne Rigsby
Born on April 4, 1983 Van Pelt is from a small farming town in Iowa. She tends to be overly sensitive at times, but is very intelligent. Van Pelt works with Rigsby and Cho most of the time, but occasionally works with Jane or Lisbon. She is the rookie of the team, having started her job in the Pilot episode. Grace's cousin is supposedly a psychic, causing her to sometimes argue with Jane about matters of faith. In the episode "Bloodshot", Jane makes a remark about Van Pelt's character, stating, "... you're deeply repressed and emotionally shut down... because of a trauma in your past that you've never spoken of to anyone... ever... even yourself..." which Van Pelt's facial expression seems to confirm. In the second episode, "Red Hair and Silver Tape", she is used by Jane for bait due to a killer who is killing red-haired people, leading to her being in an uncomfortable situation with a suspect (although it is ultimately a different woman who is kidnapped by the killers, and saved by Lisbon).
In the season 2 episode "Throwing Fire", Van Pelt talks a woman out of suicide by describing the impact her sister's own suicide had on her. Later, when questioned by Rigsby, Van Pelt quickly claims "That just came out. I don't have a sister", abruptly looking away and changing the subject – leading the audience to believe she did in fact have a sister or a family member who committed suicide and merely did not wish to discuss the matter.
Relationship with Rigsby
A recurring subplot is Rigsby's infatuation with Van Pelt. We see her return the feelings for the first time in Red Scare. Later on in the next episode, Black Gold and Red Blood, Van Pelt and Rigsby seem to be dating and greet each other happily at a crime scene, however, Rigsby reveals to Van Pelt he thinks that Jane may know about their relationship. Later in Red Bulls, Van Pelt and Rigsby argue about him not wearing a bulletproof vest to canvas an apartment building. Van Pelt is shot multiple times in the chest while questioning a young woman but survives with a bulletproof vest on. While she is loaded onto an ambulance, Rigsby states he loves her. Van Pelt slaps Rigsby, telling him he should wear a bulletproof vest next time.
In the episode "Bleeding Heart", she and Rigsby announce their relationship to the team. Lisbon then says she will take action and report their relationship to the head of the CBI. Although in the episode, "Redline", Lisbon changes her mind and tell them to not make physical contact with each other while at the office.
In the episode "The Red Box", the new head of the CBI, Madeleine Hightower discovers her relationship with Rigsby and informs Lisbon about it, although Lisbon pretends she didn't know.
In the episode "Aingavite Baa", Hightower gives Van Pelt and Rigsby an ultimatum. They can either be in a relationship and have one of them leave the unit or end the relationship. As they walk out of Hightower's office they state they love each other. Rigsby, after being in a shootout, tells Van Pelt he will get another job for them to be together. Later at the end of the episode, Grace ends the relationship by saying she doesn't want that responsibility in a relationship. Rigsby pleads with her to talk it through but she simply says she knows herself and walks away leaving him heartbroken. She is later seen walking into the elevator at the office crying and sobbing.
In the third season, Van Pelt is seen dating FBI agent Craig O'Laughlin, much to Rigsby's displeasure. Van Pelt and O'Laughlin become engaged in the episode "Blood for Blood", stunning Rigsby, who still loves her. In "Like a Redheaded Stepchild," she invites Rigsby to the wedding, but he refuses the invitation, stating he still loves her and cannot watch her marry another man. However, he helps them get the area they wanted for their wedding. In "Strawberries and Cream", O'Laughlin is revealed to be a mole for Red John. Van Pelt tells him he was a suspect after another agent became the main suspect, allowing Red John to find out their plan. Grace is shocked by his actions and more so when O'Laughlin makes it clear he never truly loved her. He is shot dead by Van Pelt and Hightower after he shoots and wounds Lisbon. Van Pelt cries over his body as O'Laughlin completes his dying act of ripping off the necklace he gave her.
During season four, she seems a little over the edge, understandably so after everything that has happened. In one episode, a man reacts when being arrested and slaps Van Pelt. Van Pelt does not take kindly to this and punches the man in the kidneys. In "My Bloody Valentine", the necklace O'Laughlin gave Grace is returned to her. The necklace instantly makes her anxious to the point Lisbon asks if she wants her to take it away. During the remainder of the episode, Grace has visions of Craig. She and Jane then have a talk about the situation. On another episode, two other agents are threatened and without hesitation, she sneaks up behind the man and shoots him. She was attending therapy towards the beginning of the season, but it is presumed she no longer is. Her fellow agents all express concern for her, but she insists she's fine.
During season 5 she is shown to still be close to Rigsby, hugging him when his father dies. Later in the series in the episode "Tooth and Claw" Van Pelt asks Lisbon if she can go on a computer course. Lisbon approaches Bertram who originally says no but later changes his mind and says she may.
While Van Pelt was away, Rigsby is shown to still have very strong feelings for her. In the episode "Red Velvet Cupcakes" Van Pelt and Rigsby go undercover as a couple with relationship problems. After the case is closed, they end up sleeping together once again. It's heavily implied in the episode following they're back together. In "Wedding in Red", Rigsby proposes to her and she accepts, and they are married later on in the same episode.
In episode "My Blue Heaven" it is revealed that Rigsby and Van Pelt have a daughter named Maddy.
Relationship with the team
Van Pelt is well liked by the rest of the team; Lisbon even lets her take the lead on one interview, even though she is still a rookie. She always refers to Lisbon as "boss" even when she isn't around. In another episode, Grace is shot (while wearing a kevlar vest) and is taken to hospital. Just before she gets into the ambulance, Lisbon is visibly upset and tells her sweetly: "Don't you do that to me again", indicating her fondness of her. In the opening of season four, Lisbon addresses Grace as her friend while encouraging her to get help. Jane appears to have a fondness of Grace much as she does of him, much like a sibling relationship. He tends to favor her over Cho and Rigsby. It has been shown that Jane gets enjoyment over messing with Grace. He offers Grace support more than most people but they tend to clash over issues such as the after-life. She seems to enjoy working with Cho. She is open with him and considers him a friend, although she doesn't always appreciate his straightforward manner.
- From personal file from the episode "Red Dawn"