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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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (137 Votes)

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


Re the headstones having no dates: When Jane was there with his brother-in-law who had flowers for them, Jane remarked that he didn't do that because "They're not there," although later he said, "Well, are you going to give them the flowers or not?" So maybe they weren't there, meaning they weren't actually dead and Jane knew it? Oh, I give up. This show is driving me nuts with all the clues, symbolism, enigmatic statements and too many other wild goose chases to follow. But I love it for that. Beats every other TV series by every measure, hands down, no contest.


The Jekyl-Hyde scenario is also my first theory but like you say rationalgal, there are enough clues and hints to support very many senarios.
With all the William Blake references it is not even inconceivable that this is a heaven vs. hell senario. It's great that this show is so both so intelligent AND entertaining. Maybe there are countless red herrings to what is really going on with the whole RJ thing but it is a lot of fun trying to figure out which senario one believes in most. I'm also not convinced that Jane's wife and daughter are actually dead. The headstones on the graves for both of them do not have any dates at all. Highly suspicious.


Rationalgal you got me to thinking, If I came home to find my family sliced up and toe nails painted, I would have a mental break down too. I would not want to live either knowing I caused their deaths. In the episode Red Brick and Ivy in the look back part, you hear his psychiatrist say you can give up and die or you can fight this and live. Jane was so distraught by what happened he wanted to die. This seems normal to me. Wayneright was mad at Jane for making him look like a fool. If you remember, Agent Darcy said the same thing when Jane made a fool out of her. I do believe you are on to something because it seems like the people who really get in Jane's way turn up dead. Jane made a statement before bosco turned up dead. He said if you wait by the river long enough, you'll see the bodies of your enemies float by. I think that episode was Redemption and the episode His Right Red Hand Bosco was killed. Still I can't hepl but think that something else is at play here.


MEH that would be a great episode!


The devil is, in the details. I watched Devils Cherry again and Guess what I found! When Jane is in the kitchen and the cup drops, I believe for the second time, I noticed Janes shoes are black, not brown. After the kitchen scene they are brown again! The next episode ( not one red cent)he's wearing white shoes! Hmmmmm! Something is going on here. Could this be a clue to Jane having a evil twin? Please someone take a look! If this is really what I saw, Then they are actively leaving us clues.


More on the Red Dawn episode. It keeps bothering me. Why run it now? The only reason I can think of is that Bruno Heller and Simon Baker have decided to pursue the Jekyl-Hyde scenario after all. Going back to "Blinking Red Light" I saw a fair amount of hints to that in how Panzer related to Jane as "kindred spirits" and criticizing Jane for living a double life. Two serial killers understanding each other at some level? Jekyl-Hyde would explain why we have had no sign of a massive FBI search for a serial killer that has infiltrated their ranks so effectively and why some significant characters simply disappear from the plot, and why Wainwright diagnosed Jane as a psychopath, with Jane then asking Lisbon if she agreed. All clues? This would mean some episodes were delusional in whole or in part as the workings of Jane's mental illness. Otherwise he have had to be in two places at once. Oh well, there are clues to support any scenario, to who knows?


I'm wondering why this episode wasn't used as the pilot. It would have left us wondering about Jane's mental stability when others told him he was "damaged." Were they right? Was he delusional? And the Minelli character would have been far more interesting, knowing his early involvement, when Rebecca killed his agents and he then retired from the job. We would have wondered more about the nature of RJ after seeing that initial limo scene. As for Jane and Lisbon, the episode left Jane, who came in distraught and homeless, sleeping peacefully on his couch, surrounded by his RJ files, with Lisbon at hand. He had found a home, his purpose, and someone to take care of him. Sweet. Endearing. Simon Baker plays Jane as such an adorable, lovable character. You just want to take him in and give him some milk and cookies and tell him everything will be OK.


@anitraward1: I remembered an interview where Simon Baker appeared very amused by the idea PJ = RJ. Don't remember which one or when any more. He may have developed his fondness towards this idea after knowing it. Lol. I don't think the person in the limo is RJ. Red herring. So is Visualize. But I do think RJ might be an organization. It would be interesting if Jane could turn one brainwashing organization (Visualize) against the other (RJ). Just a thought.




Let's not get lead down the primrose path! Red John has been in this series from the very begining. The writer's and Bruno Heller know exactly who he is. They have had 5 long years to develope the Red John character and judging from the way the episodes are written, it will not be a let down! This show sets the standard in the industry. That's why so many people watch it. I don't think Heller brought us this far to show us Red John in the back of a limo. That would be seriously lame and a insult to the viewers. This show gives us clues in every Red John episode. The question is what have we as the viewers missed? At the end of the series (I wish it would never end.) we are going to be banging our heads wondering how we could have missed all the clues in plain sight. I'm going to keep digging! As Jane quoted "THE DEVIL IN IN THE DETAILS!"

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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.