The Mentalist Review: Manipulating a Monster

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Just when he thought he'd gotten a brief reprieve, Jane was revisited by his monster of an enemy on "Always Bet on Red." The episode brought Red John out to play once again, as he continued to taunt our hero.

Special Agent Susan Darcy believed that Red John was dead - and why wouldn't she? Jane had shot and killed a man he claimed was the murderer, a man he'd spent years hunting. Why would she think he'd gotten it wrong?

Catherine Dent on The Mentalist

But he had, and the only person he trusted with that information was Lisbon. At what cost to them both, though? 

You could almost see Jane's sanity start to fray around the edges as he watched the recorded stalking of Darcy. Then, he set up an innocent man to take the fall for Panzer's murder just to get Darcy off the case. Yes, Tom Maier was dead, but he wasn't a killer. 

It's a twisted and dangerous game. Jane's sliding down a murky moral slope and he's taking Lisbon along with him. He may have told her that deniability was her best friend but Lisbon's no fool. She knew exactly what he did, whether he said it or not.

The murder of the week was unimpressive, or perhaps I was so enthralled by the Red John story that I didn't much care who took out the attorney.

The best part about that story was that it brought Summer back. Cho's face positively lit up when he was with her. He actually looked possessive when she walked away with that mobster. And Summer certainly wanted to spend more time with Cho. I think she'd even have eaten the mushrooms on her pizza if that's what it took.

Summer noticed that Cho's back pain was still an issue. He's been popping pills for months. At some point that's got to come back to bite him. I only hope that Summer is there to help when it does.

Rigsby was in the background for most of this episode, but Van Pelt's best moment took place when Colette told her she didn't believe Lawrence could hurt Alton and she replied:

 Don't be naive. Men lie... and kill. | permalink

Yeah. She's still got some issues to work through.

When Jane set Red John on Panzer he let the tiger out of the cage. Now Jane's dancing as quickly as he can to protect the people around him.

She's cute. This is going to be fun. Eerie. How long until the taunts become more serious.  As Lisbon said:

 You manipulated a serial killer. There's going to be consequences. | permalink

So... how long will it be before Red John goes after the one person Jane really cares about? Indeed, how long until Red John targets Lisbon?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (84 Votes)

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


I am sooooooooo tired of the Red John storyline that I believe I'm going to stop watching. It was interesting when they used the billionaire. They could have spread that story arc over a few episodes that beats the red John crap. I'm sooo tired


This show is schizophrenic. I enjoy the "catch the murderer" episodes, I HATE the Red John storyline. First: it's depressing. Second: It's insipid. The "rules" for what Red John can and cannot do keep changing. For example, when the storyline needs him to be ominicient, he knows everything everybody is doing everywhere. And yet...and yet...Patrick can break Lorali out of FEDERAL PRISON, and Red John would be unaware of this? Do you mean to tell me Red John doesn't have his nemesis under surveillance at all times? Red John is one big yawn to me. I record the show and when I see it's a Red John one, I zap it.


Red John has overstatyed his relevence. I just don't care anymore, bring back Walter Mashburn.


I absolutely loved this show. Well, not the basic "catch the murderer" plot. It was OK but what got me was the Red John part. Some posters were upset when Jane killed the guy he thought was RJ in mid-series. Where would the show go now that the assumed climax had happened? We see now that that killing set up a story arc where Jane is truly between a rock and a hard place. He can't admit he lied to the jury amd Red John can't let Jane get away with controlling his serial killing. RJ has to keep forcing Jane to admit he killed the wrong guy and Jane has to keep avoiding that. RJ will continue being who he is - a worthless serial killer, while Jane will be forced into an increasingly darker place, doing increasingly questionable things, sinking lower and lower to RJ's level. Can he avoid that? Perhaps, but as things stand, all I can see is a "Moby Dick" type of ending where Jane goes down with his White Whale. We shall see. Fascinating series!


Interesting to see Patrick finally come out with it: he has to cover up the fact that Red John is alive after he convinced a jury to set him free because his victim killed his family. It's about time this season acknowledged that not only does he no longer have the full resources of the CBI behind him while he tracks down RJ, he has to keep pretending that RJ is dead even while RJ shows every sign of getting back in the game. He's basically covering up RJ's crimes. How long will that work? How many "copycats" can he pretend there are out there? I like the chemistry between Cho and Summer too, but please, no romance. First of all, ewwww, she's a hooker. And I don't buy that she's not a hooker any more. What does she live on? $600 and a pizza every few weeks? Second, if Cho gets jealous when she fakes interest in another man, what's he going to do when she sleeps with a real client?


I agree with the poster who thinks the Red John story is boring and silly. I hate it when they drag it out again. I guess they'll be doing that until the series is cancelled, and even then we may never find out. Hell, maybe the writers don't even have it planned out.
This week's episode was a bust all the way around.


Am I the only one that hates the RJ story line?!To me it is boring and a little silly. Super criminal that sees all and knows all. Smarter than everyone, even the show's star. Let's move on. The show works without RJ. They should focus more on the characters, that's what makes every good show work. Not a gimmicky super villian.


I loved this episode and I LOVE this season so far. Some people think it´s cliche RJ going after Lisbon but, what isn´t in TV? All kind of formulas have been used already so what I personally want it´s to have fun watching the series. I would love to see RJ targeting Lisbon (only if she is safe and she doesn´t die because she´s my fave character on the show). Apart from that, I think it would be really strange if RJ didn´t target her: she´s Jane´s closest friend and the most important person in his present life.
So this was a great episode (another one this season) with great character moments: Van Pelt is not naive anymore and she still has issues to deal with, Cho and Summer´s relationship is very refreshing to watch, Jane´s behavior is questionable but understandable at the same time (he did what he did to protect Darcy) and if I started writing what I like about Lisbon I would need too much time (I adore all about her).


I loved the episode. It was amazing to see Jane work so hard to make te evidence tell what he wanted it to. I liked the way he was protective of Darcy. I think he likes her. It was good to see Summer back. She met Jane and still just wants Cho, good for her.


If theres one thing thats bad about the mentalist imo it's that when ever the red john storyline comes back into play it reminds you that almost everything else about the show sucks when compared.

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The Mentalist Season 4 Episode 11 Quotes

Van Pelt: So who wanted this guy dead?
Lisbon: He was a divorce attorney. Who didn't?

At least he was dead when, you know...the shark ate him.