Michael Ausiello
October 01, 2009 AT 07:30 PM EDT

Talk about playing mind games. The Mentalist is finally introducing Patrick Jane’s father, but it’s doing so via flashback.

In the CBS smash’s Nov. 12 episode, Nick Chinlund (Desperate Housewives, The Sopranos) will make his debut as Simon Baker’s TV dad, Alex, in a series of circa ’80s flashbacks that promise to shed light on Jane’s early days as a carnie freak.

According to a Mentalist insider, we’ll come to learn that young Jane (played by relative newcomer Chris Brochu) worked as a psychic at carnivals under the watchful eye of his overbearing showman dad.

Could this flashback-heavy ep be foreshadowing a present-day visit from Pa Jane — assuming he’s still alive? A Mentalist rep declined to comment, but I’ll go out on a limb and say duh.

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