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The Mentalist Midseason Report Card: B+

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As we wait for The Mentalist to return on January 6 with "Days of Wine and Roses," we're using our down time to relive some of our favorite - and not so favorite - moments of the season so far.

We've already set fingers to keyboard for our Once Upon a Time midseason report and Sons of Anarchy Season 5 report card. Now take a look as we take a look at what Patrick Jane and company have been up to...

Back to His Old Life

Best Episode: I'm so very torn over this one. In the end it's a tie between "Devil's Cherry" and "Red Sails in Sunset." The first dove right into Jane's tortured psyche as he spoke with his deceased daughter while in a drug induced haze.  It was poignant, funny, sad, and hopeful all at once.

But "Red Sails in Sunset" brought Jane's obsession with Lorelei to a head as we learned why this intriguing character became the psychopath's mistress. The best twist was finding out how much Red John had taken away from Lorelei, and whether or not she'd ever believe Jane's theory as he let her go off to find her own truth. 

Then there was that whole issue about a handshake as Lorelei told Jane: I only wonder why the two of you didn't become life long friends the moment you shook hands. | permalink

Now that will surely have repercussions throughout 2013.

Worst Episode:  Perhaps it's simply because Wayne Rigsby has never been one of my favorite characters but I didn't find much to love in "Blood Feud." Rigsby's father was a despicable man and Wayne has never really known when to walk away.  Heck, in the past he'd even dragged Cho down into his mess.  So the only upside I saw in this episode was that dear old Dad won't be returning.

Most Improved Character: I'm not sure you can call Patrick Jane improved as he continues to carry this show but my love for the tortured ex-psychic continues to grow.

From the intimate look into his tortured heart that we glimpsed as he spoke with his deceased daughter to his obsession with the serial killer that took her and his wife away, somehow Patrick Jane just gets better with age. 

Most Disappointing Character: Almost all of the secondary characters have been disappointing this season for one reason or another but I've really missed these two...

Kimball Cho because we really haven't seen enough of him. I've been craving more of Cho's deadpan one liners and observations all season but they've been few and far between.

Grace Van Pelt has been stuck behind a desk most of the season, not that it's her fault.  Amanda Righetti is very pregnant which explains the large purses, plants and boxes that continue to jump in her path but I've missed the bad ass Grace we got glimpses of in The Mentalist season 4. Hopefully once the actress' beautiful bundle of joy is born we can get back to the sweet but snarky Van Pelt I've grown to love.

Most Intriguing Character Return:  Lorelei Martins. When we first met Red John's newest minion in The Mentalist season 4 finale she was certainly sexy and alluring but this season gave her a new twist.  Whether she realizes it or not, Lorelei is a victim of Red John. Will she survive the tug of war between Patrick Jane and the infamous serial killer?  I hope so. Watching this intriguing beauty's blood spill would be tragedy.

Most Disappointing Character Return:  Summer Edgecombe. I never thought she was a good match for Cho but Summer was smart and fun and funny. Upon Summer's return this season she was dumbed down and boring. Apparently they brought the former hooker / criminal informant back just to knock her up, marry her off to some dim witted guy and send her on her way. What a lousy way to close out a once interesting character.

Hopes for 2013:

  • More character development for Teresa Lisbon. I feel as though we only get glimpses into Lisbon and after five season's we should know her better.
  • I know this will probably never happen but I'd like to see the show decide whether Jane and Lisbon are headed towards a possible romantic future or if this is more of a brother / sister partnership. Surprisingly, I'm good with either scenario but wondering which way this duo is leaning can get confusing.
  • As much as I'm loving the slow build of tracking Red John, I hope the appearance of increased momentum isn't a fluke.  Perhaps we can have the answer to Red John's identity at the end of this season without having Jane and company catch him just yet.

Overall Grade: B+

Okay, fans. What grade would you give The Mentalist season 5 so far.

 

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

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Fortyseven

D. If not for Devil's Cherry and Red Sails in Sunset, it'd be F. I also want more Jane/Van Pelt.

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The Mentalist is making the same mistake NCIS is cracking a case of the week and not doing a long term story arcs people are getting sick of these case of the week stuff its why CSI is going down hill and its why Law and Order went off the air.

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One more last thing, LOL! My favorite episode was The Devil's Cherry. They burned the midnight oil on this one! I was amazed at how they captured so much information in one episode. For me this set the bar really high and I hope they can reach it again. Red Sails in the Sunset and Cherry Picked were my runners up. The cast in these episodes seem to reach a zenith they haven't hit before. They seemed to be more honest in their connection to their characters which made them more believable.

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I also love Jane and Van Pelts relationship with each other. Jane has let her in and she seems to keep him on the right track. Van Pelt knows who Jane is and what he will do and she is not afraid to let him know that. I should say that I've seen this occur in season 5. I like that she just checks him and he pays attention to it. Rigsby's character is becoming more rounded with a funnier side. I actually like him more this season. Cho, Cho, Cho! There is something sneaky about him. I'm not sure what it is yet. Last thing, with Jane closing cases the way he does and his level of expertise, I see a promotion in his future. He could become the middle manager boss. It would step his game up and give him more reach.

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I love everything about this show. They can't be perfect all the time but for the most part they are right on the money. I gave the show an A. I feel they deserve it. Jane and Lisbon work really well together, I like how they interact. They seem to have a profound respect for each other. I think that sometimes their feelings for each other seem to slip toward a intimate type of love but they pull back knowing that it would change the dynamic's of their relationship. They both are in need of a intimate relationship but I think they instinctively know it should not be to each other. They do hang on to the friend and family part of their relationship very strongly.

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I don't think Simon Baker is capable of carrying off the lead character as they have been making him do this season. I would like to see the show go back to a more ensemble type show, cracking a case of the week, and ease up on the long term story arcs.

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I am also torn between those two and Red Dawn was a joy as well. Devil's Cherry was fascinating and the Sunset one was beautiful as well as seeing Jane go out on that ledge again.. I am not a fan of the episodes that feature the other characters but I thought that the Rigsby one was better than I expected, maybe it was seeing LaRoache again and having him interact with Jane - one of my favorite guest star.
There seems to have been more interaction between Jane and Grace since she is stuck at her desk, which has been nice to see, as I like the way Jane interacts with Grace, he uses a softer tone with her. I was also disappointed with Summer's return. I didn't see the point. Loving this series though and would give it an A if I could vote.

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I am almost in total agreement except for the first 2 parts in the last section. Cho and Grace are my favorite agents. Their interactions with Jane were always refreshing. The dynamics between Jane and Cho are the most underrated and underutilized. The problem with secondary characters is their storylines were not quite interesting if they had nothing to do with Jane. Sad but true. Patrick Jane as such a tortured soul is the most fascinating character on TV.

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