Rockmond Dunbar must have been doing some impressive work on The Mentalist because the actor has already managed to turn his three-episode arc into a fulltime gig without a single episode of his seeing broadcast. For Mentalist fans, I think this means the future of the show is in good hands despite the casting shuffle that’s going on behind the scenes. Dunbar has always been a great actor, particularly when he was on Sons of Anarchy, and now we’ll get to see him bring to life a new badass that is guaranteed to be an exciting new addition. Let’s get down to the specifics of this promotion!
Season 6 will see the departure of two very important cast members: Owain Yeoman and Amanda Righetti will be exiting at the midseason mark. In their place, The Mentalist hired Dunbar and Emily Swallow as temporary characters to test out how they meshed with the world already established over the last five years. Should they be determined good fits for the series, they would be made series regulars. Dunbar, playing the no-nonsense FBI Supervisory Agent Dennis Abbott, was reported by TVLine to be the first to be made a regular. We’re still waiting to hear about Swallow’s status. She’s playing FBI agent Kim Fischer, an ex-homicide detective from Dallas who’s not afraid to stand up for herself.
Whether or not Swallow makes the cut isn’t a huge concern of mine; it’s going to be her or somebody else and it’s not like I have any investment in her character yet. I must admit, though, that it’s curious Dunbar was made a regular and Swallow wasn’t. You’d think that would be something they would announce at the same time. Why bother making two announcements when both actors are in the same boat? I can only think that Dunbar was immediately making connections and Swallow was struggling to fit in. We might still hear she’s been made a regular, but it’s also possible the search is on for somebody else.