The Mentalist Review: Then, It's Gone...

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A stolen body, an alien abduction, and a dying man made for an oddly sweet outing of The Mentalist.

"The Red Mile" began with a Jane versus Steiner showdown, as the medical examiner tried to mark his territory and keep Jane away from his crime scene. However, the antagonistic relationship didn't last long. Steiner was dying and Patrick quickly noticed the signs of serious illness that all others missed. 

Frances Conroy on The Mentalist

That realization brought about an understanding and friendship that humanized Jane in a way I hadn't yet witnessed in previous episodes. He seemed to go out of his way to give the man every opportunity to be a part of the team and threw in some good Scotch and cigars, too, albeit belonging to someone else.

When the doctor told Jane that he knew exactly how bad the end would be and that he didn't intend to suffer through it, it was a poignant scene. The medical examiner then explained that he didn't want to end up on his own table and my chest tightened. 

I appreciated the way Jane balked at first at the request to witness this man end his life. This wasn't something to be taken lightly and the normally glib Jane was obviously taken aback. When he decided to stay, I found it moving that he used his own rituals of comfort to assuage the man's distress. Jane sharing a cup of tea and his magic tricks was heartbreakingly beautiful.

Of course, we also enjoyed moments with Jane's normal banter. I loved his glee when he thought the butler did it. The very thought made him positively giddy. And when he rattled off Jabba the Hut and Alf as possible murder suspects, I didn't know which was funnier, his answers or Lisbon's vexation.

Also on the lighter side we had the alien abduction enthusiast trying to convince Cho that he was one of them. Cho's humorless stare and deadpan delivery were perfect. Every week I wish this character got more screen time.

Then we come to Rigsby, O'Loughlin, and Van Pelt. Did O'Loughlin merely freeze under pressure or was there something more? When Grace was in trouble he didn't respond. When Rigsby called for O'Loughlin to cover him, he didn't move. Did the trauma of the close gunfire cause him to pause or was there something more sinister going on?

Rigsby was right not to tell Van Pelt. There was no proof of anything and if she's in love with O'Loughlin she'll simply jump to his defense. It was nice to see that Rigsby cares enough for her to want to see her happy. Unfortunately, I doubt her upcoming nuptials will accomplish that.

Jane's repeated final words to a dying man were a haunting way to end the show. "It's there and then it's gone." As the season winds down, those words left me wondering if this was foreshadowing for what's to come.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (93 Votes)

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


This episode was very moving. The ending was just heartrendingly beautiful. Perhaps, more than the reason of ending up on his own table, Steiner wanted to pass while in the warmth and kindness of a friend. What was also really touching was when Jane was about the leave, because of his first-rate ability to read people, he knew Steiner would have done as he said without him and made a conscious decision to stay and do it in a way that is so elegant and Patrick Jane-esque. It's amazing how Patrick Jane's character keeps getting richer and more endearing as I watch. Kudos to the writers, and of course, Simon Baker and his brilliant acting!


So few people understand the metaphor of the coin trick AND the fact that Jane was using it to hypnotize/relax/distract Steiner and ease him toward peace. This episode was brilliantly written and acted. The "A" story merely served as a backdrop and offered transitions between the real gems, which were all the Jane-Steiner scenes. Bravo.


Fred, Excuse my frenchglish. Your email is very touching.
We all have a "terminal illness" but some, like you, can no longer ignore it.
I wish you, I wish us all, the choice and a Jane "on the due date"... at least an imaginary Jane inspired by this powerful episode. XOX...


I have watched this show from the beginning and just think it is one of the best on TV. This episode touched me personally because I have a terminal illness as did the character of the good doctor.
I also have the same plan as the doctor. It is more common than people know.
Watched my father fight and gasp to the last minute.
Sorry, not for me.
The good doctor had the right idea. It should be a matter of personal choice. Sometimes art imitates life or death.
I just wonder if I could have a cup of tea with Mr Simon on the due date?


Been watching the Mentalist since Season 1, this was probably my favorite episode so far. The show's been getting a bit stale (how annoying is that IA guy?), but this was a much needed resuscitation.


I cried...what else do you all want to know? Damnit.


I liked how Jane solved the murder by referencing the hunting photo. I also liked the interplay with Steiner, but it wasn't quite plausible that Lisbon or Cho didn't notice Steiner's condition. Weight loss isn't hard to spot, and cops are supposed to be trained observers. This wasn't one of those obscure clues that only Jane would notice. Lisbon should not have been so confused about why Jane was being nice.


The promo introduced a very flippant Jane, with all his quirky vexations, but when witnessed, the humanity of this charactor and the way Baker mastered these nuances was quite brilliant. The trick with the coin was also hypnosis in a way for the ease of transition from life to death. Good writing and a murder that did not interfere with the level of emotional substance. So m any episodes leave you wondering about the logistics of situations.




WOW, what a powerful ending. I agree, that was a very strong show this week (acting, writing and directing). I hope we get to see more of this quality level.

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The Mentalist Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

I know you have the doctor patient confidentiality thing. Lets not worry about that now.


Lisbon: Swear on your life?
Jane: On your life even.