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.


Can we narrow the list? Not much. Bertram could be out simply because the actor left the series and returned only because his new show was canceled. The writers would have used a contractually stable actor for RJ. Smith and McCallister? WTF are they? Can't place them, but one certainly could pop up as RJ, most likely Smith because McCallister has a steady regular-hours job and RJ needs to be mobile. Hafner hates Jane for outsmarting him so he'd be a viable RJ. Partridge has serial killer all over him but too young to have begun his killing 25 years ago at the farm? Kirkland seems more like RJ's FBI informant, which is what he may have been up to when he broke into Jane's attic and photographed his evidence wall. Stiles is definitely involved but hard to say if he's RJ or RJ's enabler. Is Jane's carney past meaningful? Only for character development. RJ got interested ONLY after Jane dissed him on TV, never before (unless S6 tells us otherwise).


Well, Ani, while the rest of this crew discuss Simon's real-life hugs, we can work the RJ mystery a bit. I'm thinking we have been shown a lot about RJ already. What is he like? Timothy Carter showed us - outwardly normal, unable to see his behavior as evil, expects to retire to a peaceful life, not charismatic but absorbed in a delusional ideology that justifies what he does. This could apply to every one of the 7. Normal on the outside, batshit crazy on the inside. Not charismatic? No need to be. People get drawn into an ideology by the ideology itself, not the charisma of who offered it. Suicide bombers, guys who murder abortion doctors, etc. are driven by a delusional ideology, not someone's charisma. So even minions as alpha male as O'Laughlin and as needy as Rebecca are attracted. RJ as rapist of Lorelei's sister? Even old-guy Stiles (with father-figure appeal for Loreli) is capable. So who is RJ? The writers have shown us if we are smart enuf to see it.


Nicely put Rationalgal.


@bonaduz yes delicious, good enough to eat -- by licking! ha!


@Entwife - had to look up 'scrumptious'! Definitely 'lecker'! (that's German for scrumptious, comes from the verb 'lecken' - to lick! How fitting. LOL)
I hope the right inspiration will hit you soon! :-)


@bonaduz you know me so well :) That wonderful hug is definitely stuck in my psyche and no doubt bear hugs of all kinds are bound to start showing up. This particular one would deserve a special treatment, maintaining its sweetness and innocence or purity or whatever you want to call it. Have to wait for just the right inspiration on that. Saw that pic! Graham cracker crumbs, threads of burnt sugar, he looks scrumptious!


Did anybody see that close up of Simon Baker kind of from the left side, with his reddish beard at the Prix de Diane Longines last Sunday on tumblr, (jane is not a girl)? Graham crumbs, ready to lick off the plate?? I agree..... mmmmhhh!


@Entwife - when I watched that SB/RT scene the first time, I immediately thought of you and your stories! That's what I call a good ole hug! The kind I would like to see on the show! :-) (idea for a ff?)
And @chili - probably RT has a little crush on Simon. How can she not??? LOL
(oh well, I guess I'm just projecting ;-) and vice versa as well. How can he not???
As for 'who is RJ': As BW&R puts it very good:it depends on what you want. I'm still invested with the show and like all the episodes - and if it's just to discover some little side glances, looks or sentences with hidden/double meanings! That's good enough for me. Bottom line: I just enjoy watching these beautiful people interacting with each other.


and yes @chili, very different than their in-character hugs. And you make me analyze those hugs because Jane's are a lot more like Simon's than Lisbon's are like Robin's. Interesting. Every time Jane has hugged Lisbon, it's been a full force bear hug, while Lisbon is always tentative and waiting to get loose, I'm thinking except maybe one time, weems like she hugged him back kind of good one time, but I can't think what it was now.


@chili Same here, both just really good people. I just looked at it again. I hear her say, I thought you were Nicky (her fiancé). And I'm taking back the I love you. I think Simon does probably say How are you. Anyway, it's good.

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The Mentalist Quotes

Tea? It's like a hug in a cup.


As they say, you can take the girl out of Chicago but you can't take the Chicago out of the girl.