The Mentalist Season Finale Review: Tea with Red John

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Wow! The Mentalist season finale gave us some serious closure on Red John with twists, turns - and an ending I didn't see coming.

I spent most of the episode wondering where the title "Strawberries & Cream" was going to come into play. When it finally did, it all became clear.

It's Red John!

But let's start from the beginning. The episode began with a bang, literally, as an innocent man was blown up by a bomb vest. It was a terrifying scene, as we witnessed the horror on Dinkler's face as the cops approached. He knew he wouldn't survive.

Jane worrying about Lisbon's safety and going to join her at the abandoned high school was sweet. We don't normally see that kind of concern from him.

And the setting of the closed down school at night was very creepy, with its sounds echoing through the hallways, but Lisbon didn't respond to Jane's pleas. Still, I never expected to find her with a bomb strapped to her chest.

I liked that Lisbon's Catholicism was brought into play as she whispered Hail Marys as Patrick drove. She was truly frightened and it was nice to see Jane take control in those moments, letting her know she wasn't alone.

I wondered if La Roche was our mole when he shot Gupta. How did that man get his cuff off and what gun was he going for? I guess we'll never know. The scene was left ambiguous enough for us to question it either way.

And what the heck is in that damn tupperware container in La Roche's safe that he was so willing to hand Jane his suspect list? How bad could it be? If I were Jane, I might break in again just to find out and relieve the curiosity.

The suspect list was not a surprise. I was wondering if they'd throw in someone from our core CBI team, but it didn't happen. The whole set up with the different rooms was a nice bit of suspense but I never really doubted that it was O'Loughlin. I figured he would either be a bad guy in the finale or end up dead. Turned out it was both.

Poor Grace. Confusion and horror crossed her face as her fiance told her he was sorry and he'd grown genuinely fond of her. Ouch. I can only imagine how this will effect her going into next season.  Will it send her into Rigsby's arms or will it leave her closed off from all romantic relationships after being so blatantly betrayed by someone she loved?

I couldn't believe O'Loughlin pulled the locket from her neck just before he died. That was cold. And what's worse was that with Craig dead, she'll never get any answers as to why he targeted her.

The final confrontation between Jane and Red John was well played. Jane finally met the devil, face to face, and there were no horns. I was surprised when I saw Bradley Whitford in the role but pleasantly so. Red John didn't look like the big bad wolf. He was a guy who could be your next door neighbor - and wasn't that what made him so scary? That such evil could appear so completely innocuous?

In the end, I had the same thoughts as Jane. Was this really Red John? But when he told Jane his daughter smelled of "Strawberries & Cream," probably from her shampoo, well, they say that scent is a powerful trigger for memories. You could see those memories play out over Jane's expression. This was the man, the monster that had viciously murdered his family.

As Red John watched Jane's face crumble in grief and sadness, he almost smirked as he turned to walk away. But not so fast. With a "Please, wait" Jane looked Red John in the eye one more time before he shot him three times with the gun hidden in his pocket. Then he calmly sat back down at his table and finished his tea. Vengeance delivered.

Patrick Jane did exactly what he said he'd always do and I was happy to see it.

Where will next season take us? Has the Red John arc completely played out? I don't have the answers but I look forward to the fall out, lamenting the long summer until season four begins. 


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (860 Votes)

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


IDK if the guy was red john or not. But it is quite simple for Jane to get out of jail. He had a gun AND you have O'Laughin's phone to prove he was in contact with that guy. AND Lisbon as a witness that the guy responded: "oh well, sometimes you loose...". So, he can proove the guy sent O'Laughin and the guy had a gun. Self-defense, obviously.


muy bueno venia bastante baja la serie, si es verdad q esta confirmada otra temporada entonces no creo q ese haya sido red jhon, y no es una exageracion como dicen x ahi...
hay bastantes pistas para pensar esto, la mayor y mas obia, red jhon ya sabia del plan y ya sabia q lo queria matar. imaginense, jane mata a un hombre inocente, va a la carcel y se entera q no era red jhon, esta mas undido q nunca, ya perdio.... q final de serie mas epico q ese se pueden imaginar si al final de todo eso termina matando al verdadero? eso si, si al final no lo mata, lo lleva a la carcel, y que quede como q esta vez, al final hace lo correcto seria la peor bazofia ya q toda la serie pregono ser distinta en ese aspecto y quedaria en otra cursileria de justicia....


So suppose Jane shot a man who happened to have a gun with a permit. Also, Jane would have to convince people that the man he killed was actually Red John. Considering he couldn`t get any physical evidence linked to him before I find that a tad unbelievable.


RJ was armed. Jayne will claim self defense and win.


The next season will take us to a time jump when Jane gets out of jail because that`s where he`s going. He killed a man in front of a lot of witnesses. No matter the cause there has to be some punishment.


Omg what a fantastic but spine tingling finale!!! Let me just say I knew it was Oloughlin come on people u had to see that comin. However I will admit for a brief moment I thought CBS was goin to deliever a twist with the spy bein of the immediate circle but glad they didnt. So the the whole jane caring for lisabon was cute I guess ive always had a soft spot for them hoping they get together. The whole van pelt slash crazy dead fiance thing im sad for her but she should have never ended things with rigsby. Now Red John and Jane what an interesting endn but I have a question that maybe I missed early in seasons Why did Red John kill janes family? And RD really being dead brings some questions like what will Jane do now the whole RJ is dead. What will be his reasons for staying? And come on people just becuz this guy knew a lil fact bout his family doesnt make him RJ. All and All great endn but leave alot of questions.


Ok, starting with the pleasantries: Great season finale! All of your theories were fun to read and informative. Just one major concern of mine. There is SOMETHING up with Bertram. I mean, nobody has addressed that it was Bertram who quoted yet another William Blake poem after Hightower's escape. It's too specific a reference to be coincidence. This could readily fall in line with Bertram being another of Red John's informants, but it still makes us wonder, if there were connections that Jane & Co. still hadn't made about Red John, then how will they be addressed in the show now that Red John is dead? Or of course the question: Is Red John really dead? Was the man Jane killed just another ready-to-die minion/decoy of RJ's, given a very specific fact about his Jane's family's killing in case it was ever needed? I don't know I may be reaching a little far here. Eagerly anticipating the next season.


After the clues in the TV GUIDE article I knew...or thought I knew who Red John was going to be. Then, I saw him that the table reading the paper when the shot at the food court widened.
Part of me has always thought Patick might actually take him in.
But, that heartless cruel desrciption of Jane's wife and little girl were just too much for his agonized, tortured soul.
After all,the man is a multiple murderer, he didn't get shot in the back, and had that gun with the hollow point bullets.
As said in another program I love: "The shooting was justified."
Very satisfying ending to three years of waiting.
Now Patrick can start to heal, I hope.

Jessica peterson

I'm pretty sure Craig didn't pull the necklace from Grace's neck because he was trying to be "cold" (though obviously he must be some kind of sociopath) ... I think he was trying to give her a message... that the necklace wasn't a gift but a recording device. Remember when Red John tells Jane that Craig told him about the trap? I don't think there is any way he could have known that without listening to her conversations.


It's Red John. They wouldn't sacrifice Jane's morals, killing and guns and all that for anyone else. It was time to move on anyway.

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The Mentalist Season 3 Episode 23 Quotes

Frankly, this is less thrilling than you advertised and possibly wrong.


Jane: If Director Bertram wanted a CBi presence to jump off a cliff would you and your CBI presence jump off that cliff?
Lisbon: If there was overtime, sure.