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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

You bring up a really good point @KM about the validity of what the various minions have said being compromised because their minds have been tampered with. It introduces such an artifact into the hunt, it's no wonder there is such little agreement about how to make any sense of it. And, I also tend to put more credence in what people say on their death beds, but those clues, too, have been very enigmatic and empty of information. Like "Tyger, tiger." Fine. Todd Johnson's an RJ affiliate. So where does that get anyone in the hunt? Plus if the person's mind has been altered, why would that be shed on a death bed? Etc. Lorelei does seem like a special case to RJ, allowed more autonomy maybe, but still spouted RJology up until she knew he killed her sister. Set her off on a torture and killing rampage. Not a stable frame of mind, although definitely goal-directed. I really do look forward to seeing this get cleared up. I just hope it's pretty speedy. :-)

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Cont.
We could assume that any clue offered from a dying person could be true, under the idea that the dying have little to loose. Anyway, I think the only clues that may have more truth weight, but are still suspect due to RJ's mind control, may have come from Lorelei. Her place in RJ's world was one of confidant, we can guess this because unlike other disciples her incarceration did not result in immediate termination and because of RJ's anger in learning that she shared intimacies (not physical) with Jane and turned. Hence the new rules. And, the ambiguity we feel is deliberate and part of the journey, we share it with the characters. I hate moderation. I'm at an hour of trying now.

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My thoughts on the partnership Red John idea is mirrored by the locksmith and his wife in 'Red and Itchy', and It fits with Rationalgirl's Volker observation. So in my musings Red John is one, real person, just as the deceased locksmith was, but there are other hands involved in doing the work. This is likely an unpopular thought, but I don't think we should be clinging to any clues as gospels of truth. An example is Rosalind Harker's description of Roy. We have no idea of how brainwashed she was or was not. I suspect she was hypnotized the last we saw her, because she was playing the piano with bloody hands. It is unlikely that she would not have felt the blood, and smelt it. We have seen how RJ altered Kristina's mind. Was Jared messed with before he left his message? Thus all clues are suspect to having been altered. Cont.

Entwife

Cont'd-----> I know Bruno has to have more planned, even though Robin has said it's going to be one long RJ arc. I just finished the season 3 dvds and watched the special features. Enjoyed those SO MUCH! One about Simon directing, wow. But the other with professionals on serial killers, all different aspects. I'm sure everybody has seen this, but for those wrestling with RJ theories seriously, I think it merits another look, especially since Bruno says in it how everything looks like it doesn't fit and the clues aren't right, etc,. but that it's all going along to plan. True, that was 2 years ago, but it looked a mess even then. Especially when it wasn't Timothy Carter after all. Very interesting in that light. It doesn't help me pick out RJ, but I'm hopeless anyway. But it might help someone who has patience to think about it. Just my thoughts.

Entwife

I especially like what you say in your last paragraph @rationalgal. I think it would add a lot to have the audience in the know before Patrick and the CBI, very suspenseful. I don't think I could go with RJ dragging on for 10-11 episodes unknown to all and then another 8 or so while the audience knows. I will want to jump in and kill RJ myself long before then, I would be so frustrated. I guess it depends what else is going on outside of the RJ arc. I absolutely will have no patience with constant subliminal crap about is it Jane and Lisbon or is it not. No patience at all. None. I'll still dig through for what there is, but I will be growing more and more resentful if it isn't shown clearly, and long before the last episode. I'm done with that crap. And Bruno Heller will be on my blacklist forever. Cont'd----->

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It seems most people think the identity of RJ should be kept secret to the very end, but that does not seem like a good way to go for a series. It works very well for stand-alone crime of the week episodes, but a series needs something deeper. If Stiles actually is RJ I'd like to see that revealed to viewers about halfway through S6, while Jane still does not know. If the audience knows who RJ is, we can be kept on the edge of our seats watching Jane inadvertently endanger himself or Lisbon or others, RJ coming close to winning, and Jane and Lisbon figuring it all out in the last episode after keeping viewers on edge, knowing what we know, for the final 2 or 3 episodes. But we will get what the writers think we should get and they may surprise us.

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Another thing I got from Wine and Roses was that Volker is a serial killer who has others do the killing while he watches. That might be the writers telling us to think of RJ as more than one person in the sense that he relies on others to help him kill, perhaps finding it more of a turn-on to watch than to do it. (Jared's bloody "He is ma[ny]" HAS to mean something!) I always thought the Volker arc was a strange interpolation in the overall plot, so that may be why it was there - along with starting to show Lisbon in more of a take-charge role and developing a solid partnership with Jane of course. And Volker, if he was not shown as a serial killer, would certainly be considered charming, just as Stiles is shown to us. I just don't see how a credible RJ can be constructed out of any other character except possibly Kirkland, and then perhaps only if he is a Jekyl-Hyde type. We shall see.

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Hafner could be RJ because he has a sneaky vibe and is involved with Visualize, which is important. I tend to discount him because RJ is smart in the same way Jane is. That's why he defeats every plan Jane has to catch him. Hafner was no match for Jane when Jane plotted to get his team back after his murder trial. Jane outsmarted him brilliantly. Because of that Hafner no doubt would love to get back at Jane and may be involved through Visualize in helping RJ do that. Stiles is the only one with the RJ type of smarts needed to spar with Jane (tho Kirkland may, but we don't know enuf about him yet). Age means nothing if Stiles has others such as Partridge and minions to "wield the knife" (Jane SAID Stiles never does that himself). But Stiles is so personable that viewers may not want him to be RJ. Well, Heller said viewers might be disappointed. Killers have often been charming.

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hi Entwife, yes it feels like eternity!! we have to stay busy!!lol

Entwife

@Rainman and @all I'm pretty much in the Haffner ballpark myself, although I feel he's still a pretty weak choice for Red John. But I like the way you've reasoned it out, Rainman, it's as good as any right now. Hopefully Heller will give us a lot more to work with since the hunt will really be on next season. The field has been way too wide open for me to function in my already weak whodunit abilities. The seven names helps a little, but not a lot because some of the choices are so far-fetched and no one really seems right with what we know. The weak field @KM & @rationalgal almost forces us to consider there is more than one RJ. I hope not, makes it MUCH less interesting to me. Hi @Mimi!! Less than 90 days to the start of season six. Oh, joy. *splat*

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