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The Mentalist Review: A Desperate Grief

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The one thing that The Mentalist never lets us forget is that Patrick Jane is a tortured soul. "Devil's Cherry" drove that point home.

At the start, I couldn't believe that Jane would make tea in the victim's kitchen. He's been at enough crime scenes to know better, but Jane wasn't himself here.  Lorelei's disappearance looked like it sent him spiraling into depression and, as Cho said, who could blame him? He went deep undercover for six months only to have his one lead to Red John stolen from him. 

After 10 years of chasing a mad man, Jane is no closer to finding him - and perhaps too close to going mad himself.

How Will Jane React?

The hallucination sequence was a lot of fun. Seeing the pot lid jump had me doing the same and I enjoyed the delay on revealing the contents. I knew something was up when Jane started chasing the bunny. When he passed the couple dressed as garden gnomes, I figured this was either a dream or a drug-induced hallucination.

Obviously, I was correct on the latter but I have one question: How could Jane have taken that walk if he passed out on the kitchen floor?

However, I'm willing to let that question go to get to the heart of the episode... and that heart was Charlotte.

I liked that Charlotte had sprung from Jane's subconscious and wasn't yet another Red John plot. Yet, at the same time, it made me ache for Patrick. He longed to see his daughter so badly that his mind conjured her the first chance it had.

Their father/daughter conversations were really fun, as she berated him with teenage snarkiness and he told her to stop rolling her eyes. But it was Charlotte shining a light on Jane's empty life that was the most touching, as she told him in this The Mentalist quote...

 I've been dead for 10 years and you're still stuck in neutral. | permalink

Deep down inside, Jane was questioning what's fueling his obsession with Red John and whether sacrificing his own life to catch the serial killer was really worth it.  Make no mistake, Jane has sacrificed his life for Red John. It's been a decade and this obsession has become his life. The image of Charlotte tried to show him how sad and unnecessary that is.

The look on Jane's face when Charlotte disappeared was heart shattering. It was as though someone had ripped open a barely healed wound. His overwhelming grief was there to consume him once again.

This episode had some other interesting moments. Like when Jane told his daughter that Lisbon was the one person that really knew him and soon after he told Teresa that she could call him Patrick. Both were small moments but telling ones of his awareness of his feelings for Lisbon.

And the killer was... evil doesn't seem to cover it.  She drugged a man and made him saw himself to death while she watched! Horrifying evil is the only term I can come up with to describe it.

This episode was filled with wacky tea, butterflies, bunnies, garden gnomes and eagle's claws. All of it was great fun and kept me guessing. Then the end came and I was left to wonder if Patrick added the bella donna to his tea. I couldn't blame him if he did because I don't want to imagine that kind of desperate, gnawing pain. 

But if he did add the drug, he won't be able to stop and that could lead to a very dark and dangerous season of The Mentalist.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (189 Votes)

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

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Thanks for the great review! I loved this episode for showing more definitively the depth of Patrick Jane's pain and loss. It gives the series a better grounding. It also allowed Simon Baker and Robin Tunney to show more of their impressive range of acting skills. The end, where Jane was willing to drink belladonna tea to get his hallucination back so he could see his daughter again was heartbreaking. And BTW I noticed that Lisbon has a different cross around her neck now. What's going on? It was very plain in the first season, then became quite fancy after that, and now it's only a little bit fancy. Does it mean something or is it just a case of the show's prop department losing last season's crosses?

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and Jane called Lisbon "Belladonna" which means Beautiful Woman!!!!

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Loved this episode - beautifully tragic. Thought the actress who played Charlotte was perfectly cast. Great review.

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Jane making tea in the victim's kitchen the way it was done here(just like in Pilot), and the asian TV interviewer from Pilot make me wish every episode of the season includes a scene or something tiny related to the very first episode.

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As to thinking Jane would never make tea in the victim's house, this episode was a direct call-out to the very first episode of The Mentalist. That first-ever show began with Patrick Jane walking into the kitchen and making not only a cup of tea but also a sandwich from out of the crime victim's refrigerator.

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About his never leaving the kitchen, of course he didn't, the hallucination was all in his mind. The whole scenario happened while he is lying on the floor or in the hospital. He had a visual recollection of the scene he had already mentalized but behind the gate what unknown, so became a garden where he imagines his daughter. He his having to explain his obcession with RJ when Charlotte tells him to get a life, even that his wife wants him to move on. Subconsciously, Patrick wants to have a life and seems to want permission from his family to forget about RJ. How he left the hospital still high explains how he could be so mobile after having his stomach pumped. I just hope he doesn't end up in a real straight jacket (remember he already spent time in a mental hospital in a padded room). His drinking the belladonna spiked tea at the end just shows how he might be slowly drifting into dementia.

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Just when you think this show can't get better it somehow does. This episode was so sad in some ways and yet had moments of humor. My only wish is that it was done in two parts. For such a fascinatingly evil murderer, interesting suspects and Jane's hallucinations, 43 or so minutes just wasn't enough. And Lisbon's feelings for Jane were so obvious. She cared more about what was happening to him, leaving Cho to handle the investigation until she made sure Jane was alright. Or as close as he gets. I'm hoping this show keeps getting renewed. Like Leverage it keeps a viewer involved with wit. intelligence, great stories and characters plus superb acting.

Marisa1983

I agree it's one of the best Mentalist episode ever. Loved that it took a hallucination for him to question his relationship with Lisbon and reveal his feelings. His daughter was so much like him, makes you wonder if she would have turned out this way, snarky and smart. But then, it was his subconscious talking... I love the fact that they start to adress Jane's feelings for Lisbon with Lorelai questioning him last weak and his daughter this weak.

Marisa1983

@CPC, you don't need to be condescending with the reviewer. If you don't like her review, stop reading.

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Episode very interesting but I fear its opening too many doors and outs by the producers. You can convince someone on Bella Donna to kill themselves, is that red John foreshadowing and how red controls people? It also opens the door to question everything that has happened, even in past episodes. What if red John gets to Jane while Jane is on it? And most importantly, it allows the producers to create an entire season, then, at the finale, show it was all a drug induced hallucination.

The Mentalist Season 5 Episode 2 Quotes

How can I know what I know will help you?

Charlotte

Same as it ever was, more bodies, more death.

Jane
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