Van Pelt is Van Gone. (Sorry about that little joke.)
Amanda Righetti, who plays special agent Grace Van Pelt on the CBS drama The Mentalist, has confirmed her exit.
"I feel like the time is probably right," Righetti tells TVLine. "It's the end of one thing but the beginning of something new."
The actress, who has been with the procedural since the pilot episode, will be exiting alongside onscreen love interest Owain Yeoman (Wayne Rigsby). Their departure is set for the end of this season, but as for how or why those two will be written off, Righetti doesn't have a clue.
"It keeps changing," she tells the site. "It's been a little bit of a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants season. I think it was sort of an unexpected turn for the writers too, to have the show kind of be reworked this season. So everybody's kind of trying to figure it out. And [they're] probably keeping it close to the vest so it comes as a surprise to everyone that is watching."
Of course, everyone is waiting with bated breath for this Sunday's big Red John episode and the aftermath, a spectacle that Righetti reveals will include both Van Pelt and Risby. The Dec. 1 episode will include a two-year time jump, and we'll find the whole gang in a very different place.
"Basically, they have their own private security company," Righetti says. "So we sort of are outsourced and freelanced with the FBI, and that's how we fit in."
When Yeoman and Righetti's departure was first reported back in August, series creator Bruno Heller wouldn't say much on the matter, expect that season six was sure to be a "dramatic and game changing season and anything can happen."
CBS has yet to respond to our request for comment on their exits.
The Mentalist airs Sunday nights on CBS.
How do you feel about Van Pelt and Rigsby leaving the series?