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.


@entwife funny. trying to think what wedding would be good. please not a double wedding with rigsby and van pelt. will cogitate.


Ah, but wouldn't a wedding be lovely to SEE for a minute? I'd like that. Kind of like the pay off at the end of Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice. Nice. I'm so ready to get rid of Red John, I'd like to hang around and hear him say "anyways" and then stab HIS eyes with knitting needles for not paying attention to his high school grammar teacher! Argh! He's tortured me long enough! I'd rather see Jane and Lisbon totally together and catching other bad guys a la case of the week.


@entwife guess that's why i find red john on the loose fanfics the most satisfying. the couple, still struggling with their feelings for each other, are increasingly menaced by their very own psychopath. instant interesting situation. also happens to be the one that's earned bruno the big bucks all these years. seeing fans write within that brilliant framework is fascinating. you get patrick and lisbon and sex and jeopardy. works for me. pet peeve: the use, by otherwise literate and lucid writers, of the word, "anyways." where did that come from and why would i rather poke my eyes out with knitting needles than read it again?


@entwife squirelly names! -%- abridgedella, mogendavida. wtf? ok, i'm exaggerating but not by much. i'm sure these are the names of the authors' kids.


I getcha @KM and @huisclothes. I definitely want Jane and Lisbon in a satisfying family life together. But I'm more interested in seeing how they get there rather than sticking around for the wedding, the pregnancies and the squirrelly baby names. Pull ups. The tenth gourmet meal with shopping and recipe names in a row and Patrick with a tea towell on his arm. Lisbon or Jane getting tortured. Jane and Lisbon continuing to have endlessly ridiculous timing and therefore endless suffering instead of harmony in their relationship. That's usually the point where I start skimming, even if the writing is good, and look for other more interesting passages, and is there going to be any nailing at all. lol So that's a reflection of me, however stunted it may seem, it's fan fiction.


oops. that ramble was for km too. thanks for info about premiere.


@entwife and rationalgal totally get why breeding or adopting seems to be the next step. and if it's well written, i will read box tops. the problem for me is that usually it's page after page of dramatic questions like "is it time for pull-ups?" or "can patrick conceal brussels sprouts in the twins' tacos?" in the quest for intensity, they have to go with a horribly damaged teresa to get patrick involved with something major. then teresa's travails become the star of the show. patrick shows up every few chapters to try to convince her he's changed and will now embrace her and/or their/her brother's children. eventually he shows up and plays the clown at the kids' birthday party or something (blecch) and wins her heart and gets to be instrumental in making the switch to pull-ups. but i do wind up reading them.


I'm inclined to think that Season 6 will begin on Sept. 29th, because that fits during the fall season start up for all networks, or for it to start Oct. 6th. And, I suspect, although I have not read any, that the ff that involve pregnancy or a child for Jane is partially rooted in the writer's desire to make his character come full circle with a new family.


@rationalgal I just got my notice from amazon, 23rd-27th. I think the new season will have already started. As much trouble as it was working around all those delays, I'm glad I got most of the season 5 episodes on DVR, now. @huisclothes While the act of writing feels serious when it has hold of me, the great thing about fan fiction is I don't take it seriously at all. I mean, it's someone else's characters. I just enjoy them living in my mind and my motivation for writing is to fix something that the real writers just won't do with them that I really want to see done. So I think I only look at it superficially except the act of writing itself. That tends to take me over. And I have a pretty high tolerance for other people's fantasies, easily suspending disbelief if the writing draws me in, even for babies and cooking and angst :-).


@rationalgal i think you make exactly the right point. post red john fanfics (and season 7) would have to grapple with patrick's inertia. he's been descending deeper and deeper into hell and suddenly, rj is gone. his psyche would get whiplash if he was able to just pick up and be normal. interesting to see how this would manifest itself. the fanfics mostly have him running off and staring at the ocean or staying on his couch staring at elvis. tough one. don't think anyone's pulled it off. in the fanfics, once he's staring, the only thing that seems to snap him out of it is someone waving a baby at him.

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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.