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.


Whew! Some GREAT Jane/Lisbon analysis going on right now at review brain. I'm loving it! Just go to the last several comments, they're all in a line this time and not bunched by who's replying to whom.


Sorry @KM, I know you did not mean I said the doormat comment, but it's a worthy topic and helped me on my merry way with my jumble of thoughts. You did not say ANYTHING wrong. So there. :-) BTW, I always feel the necessity to warn people that my writing of the characters Jane and Lisbon is quite charged and almost always beyond salty. So, please be aware. I won't be offended if it's not to your taste or if you just don't want to go there. I mean that.


@bonaduz Ay caramba! I've created a monster! :-D Faster, faster! Harder, harder! Ha, you've got me laughing so hard I can barely breathe! Another one up tomorrow but the really good stuff starts after that. You bad girl :) @rationalgal I agree with your general take on Castle vs TM, although I do enjoy that show, just not obsessed with it. I thought they did do an excellent season finale last year where Castle and Beckett finally got together. It was smokin' and right and beautiful. Sniffles all round. I also think they did a really good job this season with handling that relationship, incorporating it, making it grow more serious but not taking over from cases. The season finale was excellent and put them at a whole new level than playtime. In fact the last few episodes showed the leading thread.


@ Entwife,
I was not thinking of you with the doormat comment, others and on other forums. Sorry if it came out that way. I'm sure your new story will come out grand. I've just started with reading ff. I just did Katrins's 'Redwood' and the one our huisclothes recommended. @ rationalgirl,
I agree. We gave Castle a shot.


@KM I never see Lisbon as a doormat. She struggles with him all the way, but doesn't lay down, just take it. She knows she doesn't control him, that he is out of control. It takes a sloppy finesse not to drive him so far he can't get back. Because he does need to be saved, no one else can, and she wants to. And it starts to look like he may not. She knows he's hurt, desperate and that he doesn't actually know the real nature or depth of the destruction he's wreaking on their relationship, how he actually dishonors her by choosing to trust Lorelei over her, or even that it's a real betrayal. He's operating almost on carny ethics where only the play matters and honestly feels she should get that and not act like a mark. This is his thinking, like you say he's desperate for it to be over and is throwing in with what he feels is the winning scheme. I just wrote a story, not up yet, that sits on some of these elements and deals with settling the remaining debt. My usual solution, ha!


I've been watching TM on TNT during this summer drought of new episodes. TNT was showing reruns of "Castle" so I watched an ep that was followed by a TM rerun, just to compare how the two shows presented themselves and see why Castle is so popular. I've watched a few of those eps but was never impressed. Watching a Castle ep followed by a TM ep made it clear why TM is so much better. The Castle characters are so run-of-the-mill. They could be interchanged with characters on just about any other crime procedural. Not so with TM. The characters of Jane and Lisbon are unique and 3-dimensional. The Castle ep had Castle saying he and his colleague were not a couple, just friends (similar to the TM ep like that), but Castle's attempt to show by his expression that it was more than that just didn't come across with any depth. Watching TM next to any other show makes the other shows look amateurish. TM is the only network show worth watching.


I think it helps to see him as we see him at season end. It helps us to remind us that he is so weary, so worn, and so very desperate to have it done with. I think Lisbon recognizes his actions and choices from being rooted in his pain and loss, something she learned from her dad, so excepts it through that lens. It does not excuse it. She is hurt and she feels his rejection of her, but we (the audience) are supposed to see him through her. We were to trust her flexibility with him, because she sees him and not view her as becoming a doormat, but by grace having the strength to anchor him to life and his CBI family.


Right @KM, this is sort of the beginning of his destructive insufferability. He isn't near puffed up all the way yet. I suspect all that I'll teach you what I know and you can fledge so you can do without me when I'm gone that's coming up with the Volker arc has to do with thinking he's about to throw in his lot for real with Lorelei and expects to take off with her to go get Red John. He needs his ass kicked six ways from Sunday and he's gonna get it, too. The little piss ant. And I still, or maybe especially, love him anyway. As does Lisbon, no doubt, even as he's driving her nuts and then tearing her heart to pieces. The little piss ant. :-) But it's a beautiful sight to watch his rebirth, new birth actually. A new creature, made for love. awwwwwww.


@ Entwife,
Yep. He is full of himself and confident that he has Lisbon where he wants her. To the point of being disrespectful. He's so confident that Lorelei is going to partner with him. So secure in it. He doesn't expect either woman's response to him in TWBB. He is not totally lost, because he does eventually start making some effort to be a team player. And, finally in LRC he is there for Lisbon and doesn't take kindly to Volker's intimidation attempts made towards Lisbon.


Oh, no no. It's My puzzle. All mine. ROFLMAO caught breaking in to the pot research facility, Jane introduces Lisbon and then says This Isn't my boss. And she introduces herself and says And I Am his boss. snicker. the little piss ant. He really thinks he's got the winning ticket. Oh, could you pass the cheese plate? This is getting good. -- You Are sitting down, Rigsby. I LOVE this show!

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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.