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.


Back to a bit about Red John: I was watching Simon's movie The Lodger and it seemed that TM might have borrowed some elements of that, since it was about a serial killer. (The Stage 6 logo was even copied for the Karen Cross episode TV show logo.) Jack the Ripper was never caught and I wondered if TM planned to do something similar with RJ. It would fit, given the ephemeral nature of RJ. He may just disappear, leaving only his minions to be caught/killed. I enjoy watching The Lodger now and then. (Note: it's important to watch the credits all the way to the very end for a final plot wrapup.)


I tend to agree with what you and @KM are saying about Jane and Lisbon @rationalgal. Especially since Jane said "Ours is more of a Platonic love." Signaling clearly to me that it's not exactly Platonic. Rather for now, or we just haven't got there yet, or . . . something not quite exactly a Platonic love. Maybe like KM said just because it's chaste now doesn't mean it always will be. Definitely fits in with "more of" describing a temporary state. I loved how he was stung into making that declaration after Lisbon piffled at "couple," which was to get back at Jane for making fun of her listening to the Love Doctor. And the day just went from there. One of my all time favorite episodes. But back to Platonic love.


Interesting discussion of the meaning of platonic love. Jane said his and Lisbon's relationship was platonic. That fits Entwife's description of a sexuality based love that is not expressed physically. In Jane's and Lisbon's case it is Red John, the hunt for him, and the danger he poses to Jane and Lisbon if their relationship moved to a physical expression that keep that expression tamped down. RJ would want to destroy them utterly and it would be more satisfying for him to kill, say, Lisbon, if their relationship became deeply physical. As for the religion-based celibacy, that was based on a horror of the pleasures of the flesh (to be satisfied ONLY in a one-man, one-woman marriage-till-death for procreation - and in the missionary position at that. Very anti-human, very sad for how it denied the reality of the one life we have and rejected the beauty of a loving sexual relationship. That relationship awaits Jane and Lisbon and RJ's goal is to destroy it.


Yes, re upon the rapture gained through sublimation. I think priests and nuns are living examples by their vows of chastity. And, this maybe why modern day usage of platonic suggests asexual. Those who take vows of chastity can be thought of as being asexual, which is again a mistake. One does not take a vow to not participate in something they have no interest in. And, it denies the history of self-flagellation and self-mortification of the flesh some put themselves through (I'm thinking especially of young women in the Middle Ages who mortified their genitals and secondary sex characteristics.)


Exactly. Which fans? Love RJ. Hate RJ. Love Jisbon. Hate Jisbon. And any combination thereof. So they really can't say anything that makes sense to anybody.


Yes to all you say about Platonic love. My sense of how it is rapturous is about transcending the pain of self denial of physical union as a sacrifice either to the object of love (their circumstances, innocence, whatever it might be) or the call of a higher good. I'm not sure it even has to be mutual or even known to the other party? It's acceptance and experience of the pain that makes it rapturous and transcendent in the way I'm thinking of it. Accepting that pain and that lack as part of the love, holding it together as one whole. Stretching for that. It's not just rapturous for the love, it's the agony that goes along with it. I'm thinking of it in a strong classical sense like you're describing. I suppose there are weaker, less painful levels. I think I may be blathering about stuff that can't be described very easily.


What fans? All of the Nielson fans. Trapped between the RJ arc lovers and haters. (See TV Guides little article of 10 shows people are leaving or something like that.) And, between the shippers and non-shippers to a lesser extent. TM's future is dependent on those demographic numbers for selling advertisement and syndication. We reward them with our appreciation, but we can't save their jobs.


And, nothing to demand it remain chaste. Entwife, do not put too much stock into a brief video interview, don't let it get you down. She is obligated to please everyone in those interviews. They will do what their characters are written to do. Chin up!


@ Entwife, I don't know about the candle. I'm full of odd facts. People see the letter P and they confuse things. Those wise Greeks had multiple words for love. So they see "P" and think Philia (φιλία philía ) and their minds think, yes, Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love, an affectionate regard or friendship (dispassionate virtuous love) in both ancient and modern Greek. So people see 'P' and think friendship, and see philo(a) as synonymous with platonic, hence asexual. Big mistake! Big mistake, because in ancient texts philos while still denoting a general type of love, it is found also being used between lovers. Platonic is intended to be virtuous but not dispassionate. It is to represent the elevation of Éros from the purely carnal (vulgar) to the spiritual (divine), to love so as to be inspired spiritually and mentally to your betterment by the beauty of your beloved's entire being. There is nothing dispassionate about platonic. It is rapturous. And, nothing to demand it to permanent chastity. Platonic love, it defines Jane and Lisbon well at this point. Season 5 had its down moments, but it also had moments of both characters bettering themselves because they were inspired by the other, to please the other, to be thought well of by the other. Cheers!


I don't know why I'm taking Robin's interview to heart. It's obvious she's still mixing her feelings about wanting to kiss Patrick Jane, but it's really Simon her friend and that would be terribly awkward. She's been talking like that awhile now, although I'm sure if it come's to it she will do her professional duty, ha! Maybe I'm just getting tired of hearing it, even though none of them can probably say anything more definitive. As she said, they're very concerned about making fans angry. And that problem is, which fans?

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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.