The Mentalist Review: The Red List

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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.

Lisbon Searches For a Killer

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?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (93 Votes)

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


The real mystery is who Jane and Red John really are. Both their lives are hidden. We don't know the real backstory on either of them. We have to eat our vegetables before we can have desert! The writer's haven't even scratched the surface on Jane yet.


I think that when this long ride we have been on is over and the writer's stop the car and we open the door and get out; we are going to say OMG it was him.... I should have known! I believe Red John was a ordinary man that worked his way up. During this time he went through a huge transformation or had one fabulous makeover! ANYWAY! Red John's styles of killings seem to have changed from then to now. I believe it was because he was in transition during these periods. Now he is stable and becoming a master. Before I really got into the series I was only concerned about revealing Red John. I think the backstory may be the most important of all. I think it will reveal Jane's and Red John's lives and how they came to be. It's not just about the who of it. It's about the why and how of it as well. That is why Jane's past is so hidden.


Jane learned his skills by being born and raised in a traveling carnival environment and coming from a long line of carney people. He is extremely intelligent with a natural gift for "reading" people. He reads constantly, deeply and over a wide range of topics. He was reading Carl Jung at the end of Season 4. Jung wrote his ideas in what is called his "Red Book." (There we go again.) The Jung philosophy is pretty consistent with what Red John seems to believe. (Pure crap IMHO, but he's a serial killer, so can't expect much.) If Royston is RJ I would be disappointed because he's too uninteresting. That's not a good disappointment to have. We have no investment in him as viewers. We need to have a good cartharsis in seeing him brought down. Royston would be a yawner. OTOH Mashburn would be a bitter disappointment and that's not good either.


I don't think I'm going to be disappointed when Red John is revealed. Red John seems to be someone who was a working class person who worked his way up. His insanity has somehow transformed him or Red John had a fabulous makeover when he came into his fortune! ANYWAY! Red John has been a killer for a long time. His styles of killing have have changed probably because his was still in transition during these times. Once he is revealed they will also reveal Red John's back story and that by itself will be absolutely fascinating. More fascinating is the fact that Jane has known him the whole time!


Red John's vioce seems very strange as if he's hiding it. Why? Because it is something you can't change, it's like a finger print. If Red John talked in his normal voice Jane would recognize it!


Professor Moriarty was Sherlocks childhood math teacher and later went insane. Bret Stile did tell Jane he was acting like an apprentice of sorts. Professor Moriarty liked Sherlocks intelligence but was willing to kill him if necessary. Red John has a twisted affection for Jane and has had the opportunity kill him but has not. Jane and Red John share the same set of skills. Red John seems to be superior to Jane. They seem to have a Grasshopper and teacher relationship. Jane can't recognize Red John because he is now insane. They sill however share the same attributes and skills. I think Red John has gone through a radical transformation of sorts as not to be detectable to Jane.


Could it be possible that the person that trained Jane is Red John? Oh, wait a minute, a pupil, teacher rivalry. This idea sure keeps up w/ the Moriarty storyline! This could be a major clue!


Jennifer1, you present a good solid case. Do you have any other connectors? I haven't eliminatated anyone but I do have my main suspects at the top of the list! We did say that these rich bad guys run in the same little circles and it is not inconceivable that these two organizations are connected in some way. The writer's did not just accidentally present two organizations like this for no reason. Something to think about. What I want to know is where did Jane pick up his skills, who trained him? He never went to high school and so he probably didn't go to college. So who did he train under?


My 1st pick for Red John is Jane's father or a relative. I'm looking for connector's. Look at this RJ-PJ. Looking at all the tea drinkers. Guess what and it may be nothing but Cho drinks tea and he knows Blake. There are so many things to consider but I'm sure it can be narrowed down. I did discover that Visualize believes in the same philosophy as Red John and was referred as a brainwashing cult. Watch the episode the Red all Over. The Visualize cult member speaks the same dogma.


Plus, you make some good points about Mashburn but I love the Mashburn character and I refuse to believe he’s RJ! ;-)

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The Mentalist Season 5 Episode 9 Quotes

Well, you have a very smart gut.


Jane: You were talking in your sleep.
Lisbon: I was?
Jane: And drooling a little.