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.


Simon Baker is an exceptional actor. The merest flicker on his face can be so revealing. Robin Tunney was magnificent in this episode, just perfect. I loved it when Cho and Jane were interviewing the guy with asthma and after Jane steals his inhaler, he places the guy’s strand of hair back on his head! Little gestures like that are gems. This show is great. Looking forward to next week’s episode. Should be a dandy!

Sue ann

The show runner has said that Jane is not Red John. In addition, there was that episode where the deputy kidnapped one twin, and Red John killed the other. Red John had been upstairs smoking and having a cup of something hot, when Jane and the deputy arrived in the basement. Patrick Jane is NOT Red John. Jane told Brett Stiles one time that Stiles would not hurt a fly. It appeared to me that Jane meant it. Stiles seems to know Red John, but not be him. I won't be able to evaluate the look on Wainwright's face regarding the disciple question until I get this season's DVD, and can watch it again, but I did not notice that look at the time. Enough people have mentioned it over the subsequent months that I figure I missed something, though.


Excellent episode. Jane was all over the place but still Jane.


I agree that Simon Baker deserves an Emmy! Never forget that Patrick Jane is a mentalist. He's VERY adept at reading and manipulating people and circumstances. As broken up as he "appeared" to be, he had the presence of mind to identify AND catch Castro's killer! I don't think that would have been possible if Jane was as cracked as he pretended. No, he is working a con. Instead of continuing to chase Red John, he'll make RJ come after him. To do that, he has to make it look as if he's given up. If RJ truly believes it, he'll have no choice but to kill Patrick. The "game" is only fun if Patrick plays. Additionally, Patrick needs to separate himself from people he cares about. There's just too big of a risk that RJ may call Patrick's "I give up" hand by torturing and/or murdering someone he cares about (mainly Lisbon). I just hope to heck this ends the Red John saga! The show is great enough to stand without him. And....I'm still firmly convinced that Bret Stiles is Red John...and that "there are many"....


Kudos to Simon Baker. He deserves an Emmy.


Just throwing this idea out there. WHAT IF JANE IS RED JOHN. That would be one of the best twist in TV history and would make the next season so crazy. B/c they would be hunting the person they worked with for so many years.


Am I the only one that is ticked off that last year's final is basically been forgotten. Reminds me of the 'dream sequence' where the character 'wakes up' and the audience finds out the entire scene(s)wasn't real.


That scene in the restaurant was weird. Apparently Jane has been a regular customer (but only on the anniversary of his family's murder?) who orders the same thing every time. Where did this come from? No hint in any previous episode. I started wondering if Jane was actually hallucinating (he had such a vague look on his face), given that the next scene had him in the CBI attic, burning the RJ files and drinking from a bottle in a paper bag, like a homeless derelict. I suspect Jane really has lost it, probably from seeing how his feud with RJ put a little girl in danger. It's been 9 years of emotional turmoil for Jane. Of course he would be likely to crack. We'll see how he recovers - which he will, of course.


It will be epic next week, then an epic fail on the season opener, just like last year. A seemingly huge thing that will change the show, then a stupid resolution and back to normal.


This was by far one of the best episodes this season, and of course leading in to the finale, which Bruno Heller is controling. Jane drinking himself into a stupor, burning his files on R.J. acting so cruel to everyone, even to the point of assaulting the culprit with a shovel and locking him in a coffin, then insulting Wainright with stupid innuendoes and baiting him until he blows and Cho has to restrain him (as usual when Jane insults people) seems like a plow to be removed from the CBI ths removing harm from his friends, and next week we'll see either the continued downfall, his becoming a disciple of his foe or completing his con. Or maybe he's just tired of the whole thing and wants his life back.

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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.