The Mentalist Review: "Red Sky at Night"

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The season finale of The Mentalist left us with the abduction of psychic Kristina Frye and Jane himself reeling after his latest encounter with Red John. 

In the season premiere ("Red Sky at Night"), meanwhile, little has changed. Months have gone by.  Kristina has not been found and it is taking a toll on our favorite fake psychic.

The New Director

Of course, there is a new case to solve.  Peter Russo, a chauffeur, is found shot to death outside of the car he drove for State House lobbyist and lawyer Harvey Dublin.  Dublin is famous and well connected.  “The evil twins,” as Jane describes it. Dublin is missing.  CBI’s new director (Gale Bertram) is already in front of the cameras, proclaiming Dublin a pillar of the community.

Director Bertram wants his best people on this case and that includes Jane... but Jane bows out.  This case bores him and he needs a break.  “I’ll catch the next one," he says.

The Director needs Lisbon to get Jane on board.  She finds him alone, “upstairs” at CBI headquarters.  Why does CBI have an attic that looks like something out of a horror movie?  What type of office building is this?

But back to our story.   Lisbon tricks Jane into meeting Peter Russo’s daughter.  Jane’s daughter would have been the same age and he calls Lisbon on the tactic:  “I just have to say, I didn’t think you would stoop to such crude manipulation.”  Now Jane is on board for solving the case, but Lisbon spends the rest of the episode in fear of his revenge.

Jane believes Dublin is dead, although he has no proof and now there is a one million dollar ransom demand.  The money is dropped at the specified location but Jane insists no one will show and that the kidnapping is a sham.  When no one shows, partially thanks to Jane’s antics, the Director wants to know why Jane thinks Dublin is dead.  Jane tells a story about Dublin having a special diamond.  That he hid it on his person so that he would never risk going back to the poverty he came from.  This story is then leaked to the press.

Red Sky at Night Scene

For most of the episode Rigsby and VanPelt are interviewing hookers on the street, looking for a witness to the murder.  They finally track down Sugar.  Sugar maces Rigsby in an attempt get away.  This gives us a small scene with VanPelt helping Rigsby wash out his eyes.  The two are still apart but their feelings for one another obviously haven’t changed.   Sugar eventually comes clean that she saw who shot Peter.  The same person also shot Dublin in the head and drove away with the body.

Jane revisits the Russo’s daughter to say the murder might not be solved. The daughter asks about the diamond she and her stepfather heard about on the news.  Jane says it’s just a rumor that Dublin had one hidden in a false tooth, but it may have nothing to do with the case.

The team stakes out the daughter’s home and follows their suspect.  The stepfather is caught digging up Dublin’s body to find the hidden diamond.  I love how Jane peeks his head up over the hill, looking like a prairie dog as the others stand with guns drawn.

The stepfather says Russo beat the hell out of him in his own home after hearing that he slapped the daughter during a fight.  Humiliated, he plotted his revenge.  Killing Dublin and hiding his body was just a way to make Russo’s murder look like a tragic accident.

The case is closed and Lisbon calls Jane on pulling away from her and the team.  He tries to deny it, then admits that anyone who gets close to him gets hurt.  Lisbon says they’re family and he’s letting Red John win.  Jane backs down and offers her a hug.  She won’t accept it as he doesn’t really mean it.

I was hoping for more on Red John, but what did you think of the premiere? Is Kristina dead or alive? Visit our section of The Mentalist quotes and sound off now.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (26 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


This connection with the reading of Jane is relevant. But William Blake's poem offers an image of God which transcends everything and is present when the human is engaged with Love, Mercy, Pity, and Peace. Jane is reading this poem because he knows, indeed by Tyger Tyger quote that Red John reads William Blake. He tries to understand Red John, and he also understands that if Red John has saved his life, it is because he believes that Jane is the only one who is able to understand him. Blake's poem also speaks of Cruelty, Jealousy, Terror and Secresy and symbolizes all of Blake fears for the Human fate at a time right in the Industrial Revolution. And if Human is made in God's image, and both the good and evil was in him? The Love and Cruelty, and Jalousy and Mercy, Pity and Terror, Peace and Secresy, all in one man? If God is a symbol of Red John in Blake's poem, it makes the problem much more complex for Jane to catch him.


Did anyone notice that Patrick is reading The Divine Image, W.Blake's look into man's soul, and the poems of innocence and experience. Since Jane is also making notes into his little book, as Lisbon puts it, then he is following through on the Tyger Tyger quote that Red John infuriated him with. He also admits that Red John saved his life, so another conflict, his life is not in jeopardy from R.J. but his associates' are. He is now sufficiently cowed as to offer a fake hug to reassure Lisbon. Perhaps we are going to see a different side of Jane. By the way I didn't think his daughter would have been 16 or so, more like 12 or 13. Help me out here. good to be back.


I liked the ep. Thought it was a good one to set the stage for the season. Jane's head is in a stranger place than usual. I agree that it is too soon for Red John, but hope we see more of him before too much time has elapsed. The unsolved disappearance of Kristina Frye will up the tension racket.


I was thrilled that Lisbon called him on pulling away from the team and reminded them that they are his family. I do hope we get back to Red John's story. We didn't see enough of it last year.


I found this episode interesting with respect to how the relationship between Jane and Lisbon is built. The pragmatism of Cho is very funny and the relationship between Van Pelt and Rigsby is not over. It is as if from the first episode of the season, we put the counters to zero, and we start again from what builds the team: Director Bertram is the head of Hightower, who is the head of Lisbon, which tries desperatly to have a modicum of control over Jane, who is the unruly child of the group. But we love the wit and replicas of each other, and all reminders of what makes success of closed cases. About Red John? Knowing that a tragedy looms once he appears, let us relax a little and fear that his appearance will surely not be long. On average, he appears in two episodes in a season of 23 episodes. Let him be the sword of Damocles over the heads of Jane!

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The Mentalist Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Lisbon: You're lying."
Jane: You can't tell that I'm lying.
Lisbon: Yes, I can tell.
Jane: Liar, liar pants on fire.

When you tell me boring things, I set them free immediately. It saves on overcrowding.