The Mentalist Review: Who's Playing Who?

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Will Jane's search for Red John bring about his redemption or his descent into madness? 

"The Crimson Ticket" had me wondering who was playing who and would anyone survive the consequences of this Mentalist game.

The murder of the week was barely worth mentioning, but I will say the show planted enough subliminal clues to the killer's ultimate motive to be worthy of Patrick Jane himself. There were advertisements for the California Lottery planted in several shots. On buses, newspapers, etc. It was hardly surprising to find out that Callie was offed for her winning lottery ticket.


But the crux of this story was the aftermath of the season ending debacle that let Red John go free, leaving the CBI and FBI at one another's throats, literally. Agent Darcy had a nervous breakdown after the horrifying accidental killing of Wainwright and her fellow FBI agents believed Lisbon's team should be behind bars for their part in it.

Tensions were running so high that it didn't take much for Jane to make it worse. You'd think that watching Jane poke the bear would grow tiring after a while, but in the adept hands of Simon Baker it's simply fun to watch, even when we know what's coming. 

When Jane walks away after telling an irate FBI agent in this The Mentalist quote

 Your temples are pulsing like some weird undersea creature. If that's not anger, you should see a doctor. | permalink

... it's no surprise that Patrick was safely in his little blue Citron by the time the inevitable brawl broke out.

But Lorelei was the center of this episode and Jane couln't take his eyes off of her. A fact that didn't go unnoticed by Lisbon.

Lisbon seemed determined not to believe Jane when it came to Lorelei. Why was it so farfetched that Red John had a mole in the FBI? Wasn't Grace's ex-fiance an agent of Red John? Wasn't there a season long investigation trying to find a Red John mole in the CBI?

Yet Lisbon appeared convinced that Red John and Lorelei were playing Jane. Was the knowledge that Jane slept with her bothering Teresa more than she let on? Did she believe that one night in bed could cloud his judgment that badly?

I found it interesting that when Lorelei accused Patrick of being in love with Teresa, he didn't react. I don't believe that Lorelei's wrong. I just think that Jane was in such control of his emotions while he was playing this game of cat and mouse that there was no reason to respond. Or did he realize that any further reaction from him would only paint a bigger target on Lisbon?

Honestly, I love Lorelei. Her voice is downright hypnotic and the way she and Jane play off of one another is mesmerizing. Perhaps it's that odd connection that has Lisbon so on edge.

Jane's tactic of offering to be Lorelei's savior seemed plausible to me. She knows that Red John will most likely kill her and perhaps Jane can grab onto some innate sense of survival in the girl. For it to work Lorelei must believe Jane has some feelings for her. In that context, the kiss made sense.

But once Lorelei became the hot potato nobody could hold onto for long, her days were numbered. Is she dead?Is she alive and back in the clutches of Red John? Has a rogue FBI team secured her away for their own investigation?

Only time will tell but I hope we get to see her again soon. Either way I'm looking forward to another wickedly fun season of The Mentalist


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (170 Votes)

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


The new hairstyle of Jane is awful and the new promo is horribly colored


I loved the emotional tension in this episode. Jane is so determined to find Red John that he will do anything. As he said, he would even ask Lorelei to marry him if it got him Red John. He knows his actions (the sex on top of all his manipulations of the CBI team) are hurtful to Lisbon, but he doesn't care. Or dares not show he cares. That is not good and could lead to tragedy. Robin Tunney is an amazing actor! As good as Simon Baker in how she creates the Lisbon character with all its subtle nuances. She has a great deal of integrity (something Jane can't afford to have if he wants to find Red John) and a determination to be an up-front professional law enforcer. The Jane-Lisbon conflicting world views should play out in interesting ways. Best show on TV bar none!!!


I thought everything of substance had been covered in the preview. Lorelei's disappearance was totally predictable and still disappointing. Lisbon was tense throughout- the combination of the inter-agency feud and Jane's fixation w/Lorelei. I'll buy that Jane is well aware of what he's doing with Lorelei so that makes Lisbon's behavior more skittish- I thought Lisbon's reaction to Cho and Rigsby showed that tension. Oh, I agree, the cop was guilty from the get-go. That was very obvious. And all the lottery clues were obvious as well. Would like to hear more about the Asian guy from Pilot that handed out the check. I never saw the original season.


Amazing episode, met all of my expectations even though we received no Red John information at all. This was without a doubt the strongest season premiere since Pilot and it feels like things are finally about to progress(easy to say when Bruno Heller has already said so too).
A very random thing I noticed...the Asian man at the end of the episode. The one who gives the lottery winner her prize. The same man appeared in a flashback in Pilot; he's the guy who interviewed Jane the night his family was killed. He remains uncredited on both episodes and I'm sure he's of no importance...unless... ;)


I didn't know the cop was the killer until the end. I didn't see the twist About the disapearing of LorAlie either. I loved the episode. The seAson is off to a great start.


To me, Lisbon is treating Jane just like she treated Bosco, her old partner -- always quick to bring him down to earth and suggest he's getting ahead of himself or watch your back or who's playing who? I don't see anything more than cop partner vibes, just like in so many cop-detective novels. Also, it was obvious something was going to happen to Lorelei right from the beginning -- something always happens to anyone who can provide information of any kind on Red John -- but I couldn't guess what was going to happen (unlike the murder mystery part where it really was obvious that the cop who did it was the murderer right from his first scene (and it's never seemed so blatant to me before).


I loved the interaction between jane and lorelai. However Lisbon's reaction unnerved me. I hope it was genuine concern about Jane being played that put her on edge and not because she has "feelings" for him. Because if they got together, it would mess with his whole drive to avenge the murder of his wife and daughter. The whole Lorelai going missing was a little predictable, as soon as the FBI took her away though. I also agree that the case was boring and not memorable. But I guess that played well with putting the whole Red John thing in the spot light. And is it really realistic that the feds dropped the charges on Jane for killing a seemingly innocent man(who is obviously not Red John),just to cover up a mistake? Still a great premiere. Can't wait for the next episode, especially since I hear Jane's "daughter" will be making an appearance.


As Jennifer said, the tension between Jane and Lisbon was amazing. Mostly because Tunney has stepped up her acting even more (is she even improvising a bit now? It felt especially natural in this episode). The case may have been a kind of lame along with the plot twist just about anyone could see coming, but the acting and chemistry between the main actors saves this episode in my opinion.


Many familiar faces in this episode: Ivan Sergei from Jack and Jill (his is going to be recurring character along), Polly Walker from Rome, and Jerry from Parks and Rec.
I hope Brett Stiles and Kristina Frye make an appearance this season and we get follow up on the favor Stiles owes Jane and on Kristina's condition and if she can help Jane catch Red John.
I'm so glad to have this show back and I love Jane and the team but the writers really need to step it up with the weekly cases, the cases and the stories have been on continuous decline since last season.
Oh and btw, the actress who plays Grace Van Pelt is definitely pregnant, so I doubt that she would get a love interest this season since they'll be concentrating on concealing her pregnancy by taking clever shots.


I agree with Jennifer, Jane was darker in the past, so I'm glad the point where he is. I think the writers have found the perfect balance. Not to be darker series will be better. His connection with Lorelei I found fascinating.

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The Mentalist Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

Your temples are pulsing like some weird undersea creature. If that's not anger, you should see a doctor.


She believes, poor soul, in a benevolent universe.