Patrick Jane (series star Simon Baker), an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation and psychological manipulation. Within the Bureau, Jane is notorious for his blatant lack of protocol and his semi-celebrity past as a former psychic medium, whose paranormal abilities he now admits he feigned. No-nonsense CBI senior agent Teresa Lisbon takes the heat from her boss, Chief Madeleine Hightower (recurring guest star Aunjanue Ellis), for Jane's theatrics and lack of boundaries, but acknowledges his usefulness and counts him as a loyal friend.
Lisbon's team includes agents Kimball Cho (series star Tim Kang), who serves as the lead interrogator with a desert-dry demeanor; Wayne Rigsby (series star Owain Yeoman), the team's resident fire and explosives expert; and relative newcomer Grace Van Pelt (series star Amanda Righetti), the optimist who is often at odds with Jane's more jaded views. Although the CBI team agrees that Jane is a loose cannon, they can't help but admire his charm and knack for clearing cases.