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The Mentalist Season 5 Report Card: A

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Ready to play school teacher?

As we struggle through the long summer hiatus and await the return of The Mentalist this fall, let's relive some of our favorite - and not so favorite moments - from The Mentalist season 5. Read on for our latest TV Fanatic Report Card and grade the CBS drama below...

A Red John Lead

Best Episode: The Mentalist gave us a really solid season so picking one favorite episode was pretty darn difficult. But in the end I've got to go with the season finale, "Red John Rules." Between floating the idea that Red John is psychic, to breaking into Jane's memory box, the finale was filled with twists and turns. When Red John used an already deceased Lorelei Martins to tell Jane he'd predicted who would be on the final list of seven suspects, even before Jane came up with them, that really got my attention. Knowing that the serial killer will be killing a lot closer to home…let's just say I'm hooked on season 6 and it hasn't even begun.

Worst Episode: I can't say there was an episode that I really hated but "There Will Be Blood" was disappointing. I was a big fan of Lorelei Martins and it felt as though there was more story there to tell, so finding her as Red John's next victim may have been inevitable but was still a disheartening turn of events.

Most Improved Character: Wayne Rigsby. I've never been a big fan of Rigsby. Other than his arson investigative skills, he's always felt like the weakest member of the team.  With "Red Velvet Cupcakes" Wayne finally stepped up and told Grace how he really felt. I didn't even care that it was undercover. The words were honest enough to garner my respect and win back his one true love.

Most Disappointing Character: Grace Van Pelt…and only because she was either stuck behind a desk, or plant, or file box for most of the season and then shipped off to Los Angeles for training. I'm happy for actress Amanda Righetti and her new baby but I'll be thrilled to see Grace back full force next season.

Most Intriguing Return: JJ LaRoche. I had hoped we'd see more of this season and The Mentalist gave me my wish, culminating with "Red and Itchy." The fact that LaRoche not only worked with Patrick Jane but asked…no make that begged for his assistance to find his missing Tupperware made for a gratifying episode. The story behind what was in the mysterious container gave this already compelling character yet another curious layer.

Most Disappointing Return: Lorelei Martins. I was captivated by Lorelei from the beginning. She was the smart and seductive Red John disciple who had reason to turn on the psychotic madman. But watching her run around shooting at people and ditching Jane to go rogue was discouraging. Having Red John murder her may have been inevitable but it felt like a mediocre ending for such a unique character.

Hopes for Season 6:

  • More danger. I'd love to see Red John go after the core members of the CBI team. Not that I want to see anyone's blood drawn in a smiley face on the wall but I'd love to see how Patrick Jane deals with the people closest to him being in imminent peril.
  • With Red John playing head games with Patrick, it would be great to see Teresa step up her game. I'm hoping she's an integral part of keeping Jane on track and hunting down the serial killer.
  • Red John. I'd love to see him caught by the end of the season. As show creator Bruno Heller has mentioned, it will be interesting to see how Patrick Jane gets on with his life once Red John is no longer his focus. That said, at the very least I want to know who the maniacal serial killer is before the season ends.


Final Grade: A

How would YOU grade this season of The Mentalist?

 

 

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

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Entwife

I think Robin had a big time in France, several interviews, some really great photographs. Seems really comfortable with herself, gracious to others and I always like both of those. Don't know much about her fiance.

Entwife

Hey @huisclothes! What you say about Stiles makes sense because he just doesn't seem to be the stuff of which serial killers are made to me. He hasn't the stamina or strength for those rapes and killings. Maybe he provides training and conditioning for the minions :) Simon looked terrific in that video, those muscles on his arms, wow! The pictures from the Prix are terrific, too, especially the one where he's looking at you right in the camera, whoa. His face is weathered from all the sun and outdoors he gets, but I love to look at every mark.

Huisclothes

wouldn't it be cool if rj kills stiles?

Huisclothes

i love the video of robin and simon. thanks for posting. could he possibly be more photogenic? it reminded me of an interview she did on the set in season one where he runs into the shot and hugs her ostensibly for saying nice things about him to the press. don't think there was any subtext or funny stuff going on here. just one friend surprising another. he brought attention to her and skedaddled out of there. also, i rarely see him in a slim t-shirt (a fitted sweater, maybe? :D) and he looked fabulous in it.

Huisclothes

hi all. at first glance, stiles is definitely the one who is most like jane. cagey, charismatic, energetic, enchanted by games. but can he physically perform the killings and can he perform sexually for all the mistresses? dunno.
i think stiles was designed by bruno to be the guy with the overview. like the crane shot at the beginning of red moon, the episode in which todd johnson talks about the big picture, brett stiles can see over all the rows in the field. stiles is less interesting if he's red john. being the guy who influences red john is much more fun.
i still like kirkland or bertram for rj only because they're already more interesting than hafner, smith, mcallister or partridge. those two are very complex men with a lot going on inside. the rest of those guys are pretty much ciphers. the writers can give them any attributes they want since aside from partridge, i have almost no impression of them.

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We learned that Stiles can certainly be a monster when it was obvious that he murdered his political challenger Farragut 25 years ago. He stops at nothing to get what he wants - control. Evidence was never found. Stiles said, "You can look and look but you will never find." He is too cocky, too sure of himself (a lot like Jane). Jane will also stop at nothing to get what he wants - revenge. Bruno said of Jane that he would be undone by his own arrogance. So will Stiles. Both will clash in the end, each perhaps too self-confident. Yes they are definitely alike, as two sides of the good/evil coin are alike, yet fundamentally different. When the Stiles connection finally dawns on Jane it should get very interesting.

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What would make Stiles such a monster? Red Moon written by Bruno, had Todd Johnson as a serial killer. As with other TM serial killers he seemed normal. No one suspected that "other life." Motivation? Johnson had only his reference to the Visualize big "meaning" spouted by all RJ minions. So Stiles could be living two lives, one open and normal, the other murderous, just because he can do it. OR (given his lust for control) he could be ordering almost all the killings (even by Carter? Partridge?), relishing the control. Bruno has stressed the banality of evil - the predatory/prey relationships inherent in existence. "Tiger, Tiger," Johnson said as he died. The William Blake poem's theme of good/evil. The TM plot revolves around this, with Stiles and Visualize at the center, supported by minions and informants, some now among the 7. Is an antagonist to Stiles there too, under cover (Kirkland)? Now we know what Waldo looks like, and there he is, a handshaking friend, a charmer like Jane, hidden in plain sight.

Entwife

Hi @bonaduz. Loved your note. Surely I'm at my limit. No, really. Anyway, thanks very much for reading!

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Stiles really racked up the points. Out of all the people on the list, he is what Heller said Red John is. I think I'm missing something about Stiles. Something he may have said or did that I just blew off. Stiles is just like Jane. So now I guess the burdon of proof is on me. What would make Stiles such a monster?

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One more thing: Assuming Roy Tagliaferro is RJ, who among the 7 could credibly be presenting himself as Tagliaferro in addition to doing the job we see him doing? None of them have the "odd" RJ voice we've heard so that is a faked voice and we can ignore it as a clue. From what we've seen of RJ (hooded, robed, shadowy and vague) Bertram and Stiles seem too tall and/or bulky. (I think I'll watch more of S1 now for clues that I'm sure are there. Back later.)

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