No, "Black Cherry" was not specifically a Red John-centered story, yet Jane's obsession with finding the vicious serial killer was never far from his thoughts.
It's all in the research; and Jane is jotting down every person he's shaken hands with since arriving at the CBI. There were lots of intriguing names on that list. Some I've all but forgotten and others that caught my attention.
Virgil Minelli was my pick for Red John during the first season of the show. Gregory Itzin could certainly pull off the transition from lovable former CBI Director to diabolical serial murderer. I really wouldn't mind seeing that one come to fruition.
Walter Mashburn, rich playboy and Lisbon's former lover, was also an interesting choice. Currie Graham was another of my favorite guest stars and I wouldn't mind seeing him return in any capacity, but having him turn up as Red John would be a real twist.
Of course, there's always Bret Stiles - and wouldn't that be something, especially since he helped Jane spring Lorelei out of prison just to find Red John?
Those are my three favorites but I could go on and on about the list. Most of you likely could could because for as many fans who complain that the Red John story has run its course, there are many more who can't stop theorizing about the identity of the evil psychopath who is as obsessed with Patrick Jane as Jane is with him.
It's the dark and twisted subplot that gives the show an undeniable depth.
And tonight it also gave me one of my favorite moments between Jane and Lisbon, as the latter asked if she was on Jane's list of possible subjects. Jane responded in this The Mentalist quote:
She said it's a wonder Red John and I didn't become friends. Now what we have, I consider a friendship. So my friend, you are free and clear. | permalink
It isn't often that Jane acknowledges his friendships. It was nice to hear him say it out loud to Lisbon. Of course, it wasn't long before the moment was over and she wanted to strangle him once again.
The murder of the week was just okay. Not really anything special. I knew it was someone at the real estate agency but I honestly didn't much care who. However, that they bludgeoned a man to death as a team sport was a rather sickening twist.
I was a little surprised that Jane pushed so hard for Lisbon to drop the charges against Julianna, but Jane always feels a kinship towards children and he definitely formed a bond with Noah.
I was even more surprised that Lisbon veered from the law and order route and pushed to let Julianna go. Pulling Sarah into it made some sense but it did seem a little odd to bring her character back. We haven't seen her in months and I'm not seeing what purpose the character serves if she and Rigsby are no longer together. Any ADA could have played the same role here.
Cho couldn't wait to dive into the new rapid deployment team. His eyes lit up when he saw the new weapons. He'll fit in well there with his background and I see a new love interest for him on the horizon.
Jane was definitely in a more playful mood this week. Having a new lead on Red John has given him hope. But is it a tangible lead or just another wild goose chase? Will we ever meet the real Red John?
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.