The Mentalist Review: Anniversary of Evil

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Last week's The Mentalist was obviously the last bit of light hearted fun we're going to see for a while. "Red Rover, Red Rover" had Jane taking the plunge into the dark side and it's anyone's guess if he'll make it back out.

Red John was just cruel, but I suppose that's a prerequisite for a maniacal serial killer. As if leaving an anniversary card to celebrate the murder of Jane's wife and child weren't enough, he also sent a messenger.

Lisbon & Jane Investigate Dennis

The little girl was so sweet it was almost creepy. Seeing the child with the red face painted on her hand was rather horrifying. I can only imagine that Red John chose her because she bore a resemblance to Jane's daughter. 

I loved that Jane's first concern was for the child. He first asked if the man who approached her had done anything to her, then he hypnotized her so she'd forget she'd ever seen Red John.

As much as Wainwright and Lisbon were right - further questioning might reveal something - Jane was adamant. His own little girl died at the hands of Red John. He'd protect Haley any way he could, even if it meant letting Red John go.

Torturing Jane seemed like such a personal vendetta for Red John. Why wasn't killing his family enough? Was it Jane's crusade to take him down that has made this into some sort of twisted game for the killer?

Of course, the man is a psychopath so finding understandable answers might not be so easy.

Jane's meal of Bloody Marys with the empty chairs meant for his family was heart-breakingly sad yet macabre all at once.

The murder of the week mirrored the horror and darkness that Jane was suffering but I have to ask: who lets a coworker strip them down, handcuff them and lock them in a metal box? What club could possibly be worth that?

When Jane hit Ben in the head with the shovel, I flinched. He's lucky he didn't kill the man right there. And I love that Grace was the one person who said she thought Ben deserved what he got. She's not quite the naive girl we met at the beginning of the series. Of course being engaged to a psychopath's apprentice will do that to you.

Was Jane really trying to catch a killer or was he looking to get kicked out of the CBI? It appeared that suspension wasn't good enough for him. Jane's cruel streak reared its ugly head and he pushed Wainwright until he snapped. 

Poor Lisbon was in total shock. Her partner's spiraling out of control and there wasn't anything she could do to stop it. 

So was the thought of never catching Red John too much for Jane? As he said in this The Mentalist quote:

 If you don't get the bad guy then what's the point of all this? | permalink

Had this evil game of cat and mouse simply gone on too long? If Jane crosses over to the dark side, will he find his way back? With the season finale on its way, we'll have to hold our breath and wait for what comes next.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (130 Votes)

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


id like think he had to act in the manner he did in order to draw the response from wainwright. like it was just one step of the plan so to speak. either that or like you guys are saying, hes just evil. either way, i like it! :D this was definitely one of my favourite episodes of the series. although, as a side note, does anybody else feel this season has been slow in terms of getting back on the topic of red john and not just dealing with random cases, or is that just me??


Heartwing has it right: Jane *has* to alienate everyone in order to ensure they don't become targets of Red John. Plus, I think he knows that Wainrwright was playing some games of his own with the FBI chick - so he clearly doesn't trust him.


@David. Point taken and I admit that I too found his actions to be very disturbing and thankfully most of us wouldn’t cross that line. I guess my comment did come across as condoning vigilantism, which I do not. There’s obviously more to the story and I’d like to think that Jane’s character won’t suffer irreparable damage, as Jane in this episode was scary. I’m placing my trust in Bruno Heller on this one.


@David...........Finally, someone with common sense. If everyone in the world did something to someone who we think "deserves" it, what kind of world would we be living in? Let the Law dish out justice, seemly unfair as it is sometimes and lets not become vigilantes.


I'm sorry but I disagree. I was very disturbed by the episode. I would rate Jane's actions - the torture - as evil. It's not the way civilized people act, and the building stone for an unjust society. If the murderer "got what he deserved," then Jane should get the same. I've enjoyed the series up until now, I enjoy the way he solves crime and brings people to justice, but there has to be some moral compass.


@chris: you have a good point about Jane finding out more info. than he has let on from the girl, however as Jane said, the main reason he didn’t want the girl to be questioned was because anyone who has been questioned in the past has ended up dead, and RJ would not spare even a child, as Jane knows first hand. I think you’re right about Jane not getting as drunk as he let on. Just from his facial expressions in the final scene – he’s in control and I don’t think he’s lost it completely. @rationalgal: I agree – Jane’s only cruel to those who deserve it! Just 5 more sleeps!!! :)


I have to agree that Wainwright is involved somehow with Red John and have thought that from the start. Never trusted someone so young being the head of the CBI. It's hard to tell if Jane is faking it or not, that's what makes him such a great con man. But, I find it hard to believe he does not have something up his sleeve to lure Red John out of hiding. I did not notice the person lurking to the side as others have said. I guess if there was, it could be Red John or a disciple. We will have to wait and see. I did like that Grace said the guy deserved it, and you are right, she is not he innocent little girl she was when the show started. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of cliff hanger they will have for next week.


wainwright i think definitely has something to do with red john n i think janes actions are entirely for the benefit of wainwright in this episode. i also suspect the little girl told jane something that he didnt want wainwright to know so as to have the upper hand, why else would he not want the girl to be questioned? also, in the scene that people have mentioned - jane burning case files n getting drunk, the majority of the alcohol was used as an accelerant therefore i dont think he was necessarily drowning his sorrows. what do people think? :)


I'm starting to think that Jane's behavior may actually be a complex long con, except that his private scenes seen only by us viewers (as in burning the RJ files while drinking from that bottle in a paper bag) indicate he really has lost it. It DOES create suspense of course. I love the way the PJ character is playing out. He really is something of a Jekyl-Hyde personality, lovable and caring at one level, murderous and willing to torture and be cruel at another. But only toward people he deems evil who deserve what they get. For them, the end justifies any means Jane wants to use. A result of his family's murder at the hands of an evil person who deserves no mercy, only a slow agonizing death. What a fascinating character! So different from what we usually see. I just love it!


When the young girl ask Jane on behalf of Red John “Do you give up yet?� The embedded message was…�Have you realized by now that you’ll never lick me� Most people knows the saying “if you can’t lick them join them.� Jane has to show Red John he wants in and organizes himself to get fired all the while knowing full well that their is one or several Red John disciples inside the CBI that will vouch for his erratic behavior and dramatic dismissal. By doing that he effectively shows Red John that he accepts defeat and is now willing to become one of his top disciples. Red John being Red John will force Jane in doing something “criminal ie – murder someone close to him� to prove his allegiance. The real question who will that be…I think I know who but I don't want to spoil everyting. How far is Jane willing to go to get his promise vengeance???!

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The Mentalist Season 4 Episode 23 Quotes

We're in the middle of a toxic waste dump. Hurry up.


It's probably not too dangerous, as long as you know, you don't breathe.