The Mentalist Review: Jane's First Day

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"Red Dawn" brought us Patrick Jane's first day at the CBI and, like any first time, it was a little awkward.

First off, Patrick did in fact give off a homeless vibe, as Lisbon put it. He looked completely disheveled with his hair askew and his inability to tuck in his shirt. This was not the charismatic, confident Patrick Jane we know now. 

Jane's First Meeting

This was a man who was just released from a mental hospital. 

I couldn't say that Det. Hannigan was wrong in what he told Jane. It would be best if he could move on, but to tell him to move away and start another family, as if that could replace the one that was brutally murdered... well, the guy was just a jackass. And any law enforcement officer who punches a victim's husband in the middle of the office deserves to get fired, or at the very least suspended without pay. I don't care how much Jane provoked him.

Did Teresa come off very cold in this episode to anyone else? I know Jane just wandered in off the street, but his wife and daughter were gruesomely killed and Teresa and her team were in charge of the case. I have no doubt she was busy but couldn't she have sat down with him for ten minutes just as a common courtesy. Telling him to leave and call back for an appointment left me disappointed in Teresa.

Where she didn't let me down was in how quickly she realized that Jane had exemplary observation skills and that she could use them to catch the killer.

It was obvious that Jane was still very traumatized by his past when he jumped all over Lisbon for referring to him as a psychic. He was very quick to call himself a fraud. You could tell he was feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt that his charlatan past put his family in Red John's crosshairs.

As Patrick said in this The Mentalist quote

The human mind is amazingly powerful. It can do things for real that sometimes feel like magic. | permalink.

And that's why I love Patrick Jane. What he does feels like magic but it's not. It's very much based in the skills of observation and knowledge of the human mind. It's fascinating but there's nothing supernatural about it.

Jane's first meeting with the rest of the CBI team was a bit comical. It felt as though everyone was playing a parody of themselves. Cho's deadpan, emotionless delivery was taken to the extreme. And Rigsby's clueless expressions, especially when he found Jane in the break room, had him looking like an idiot.

I enjoyed this episode, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. While I liked seeing this early version of Jane and I always love hearing his cold reads on the people he meets, I was dissatisfied with the early versions of the CBI team.

All except for Virgil Minelli. Oh, how I've missed him. In the early days of the show I had picked him as Red John but I've since dismissed the idea. Now we know that the FBI…and Red John have had their eyes on Jane since the beginning.

Was I the only one a bit disappointed or am I being too hard on Lisbon and the CBI team? And did the FBI twist give you any further insight into Red John or was it just one more turn in an already corkscrew case?


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (137 Votes)

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

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I was disappointed by the 100th. It was decent but not great, the case was pretty boring and I wished we could see more Jane and the team's interaction. I would have loved to se Jane wow Lisbon or something like that.


rationalgal... yeah, you're thinking the same things as me. Right now, there are so many senarios supported by so many clues and hints that my mind is frazzled trying to think about them all. I'm still leaning towards Jane being both the good and evil with the TV nature scenes representing Jane being both the prey and the victim. Still thinking hard about the car Jane drives (1971 Citroën DS) which is the same car used in a French TV or movie where the hero and antagonist was the same person. Of course, this could be another one of Heller's cruel inside jokes to lead us astray... or it could just be they wanted a distinctive car like Columbo had.


This may well be a heaven/hell scenario, but given the William Blake connection (with Jane reading "The Divine Image" after "Red John" quoted the "Tiger, tiger" poem to him, it is also a good vs. evil scenario (hmmmm. Same thing?) but as Cho said, that means you can't have good without evil. There were 2 or 3 times in the series (the pilot had it) where Jane was shown watching TV. Each time it was a PBS nature film showing predators attacking prey. So good and evil are two sides of the coin and inherent in nature. Then, when Jane was in Las Vegas with Lorelei he said there is no such thing as right and wrong because it all depends, unlike alive/dead, legal/illegal, where it is or is isn't. Intriguing!!!


I don't agree at all that having Jane ending up being RJ is childish for Heller to do. Having Jane so hellbent searching for himself and not even know it, is actually pretty original and intelligent to me. Sure, the Jekyl/Hyde killer theme has often been used, but I don't recall doing this with some one like Jane who is trying to find the killer who is actually himself. This would be an intelligent psychological dilemma...

Menrich brother

It was awesome!


In most thrillers the murderer is always someone who does not know right from the start. I think RJ is the man in the limousine, because Heller promised that this season would know things tangible about Red John. On the other hand, Jane can not be the murderer and also find the murderer, that could be explained only with a split personality and that idea is rather simplistic and childish for someone like Bruno Heller. That would be a denouement own cartoon

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The Mentalist Season 5 Episode 5 Quotes

Let's hope that Mr. Jane remains so amiable when he wakes up with the morning with a pounding headache and some time to think.


Teresa Lisbon. That's a nice name.