The Mentalist Season 5 Report Card: A

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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.


I absolutely think that our huisclothes has better artistic instincts that myself. I'm just a sucker for those moments that let us see inner turmoil: Lisbon's glittering fierce eyes and trembling chin in TWBB; Jane's face when the beauty of Rigsby's newborn son collides with memory of his daughter and Lisbon recognizing it and knowing she can't stop the wave of grief in SRIR; Jane's face when Charolette disappears ... Those acting moments are a treasure to watch.


HC is probably right about TM's artistic deficiencies but we have to allow a lot of slack. The writers have to satisfy commercial interests and keep the series running as long as possible. They have to do this with the uncertainty of renewal. So we get plot threads put in just in case the series runs long enough to use them or gets cancelled and they can serve as a quick wrapup. I'm amazed that the writers do so well keeping the show coherent, mixing main plot eps with secondary plot eps. Those are a lot of balls to keep in the air. If TM was made for PBS it would be tightly written and without plot holes. Even as a commercial venture TM manages to be astonishingly good, well written, with a great ensemble cast - the most thoroughly entertaining series on TV. And of course there is Simon Baker, carrying it all as the lovable, endearing, complex Patrick Jane. What a fantastic character he has created!


I did enjoy season 5, every episode. There is a pearl in those oysters to be found. Sure there were things that were not perfect. But, all Jane all the time would give me reason to discontinue the season. I much prefer episodes that all the other cast members to shine with Jane. Jane is better with them. An example, for me, would be the last episode of the Volker arc, I thought that the end of Volker (the character) was disappointingly done, but the last episode had a net whole of positives: Jane's being there doing the paperwork he hates and actually acting like a partner; Brenda selling them out; Lisbon realizing that following the rules for the principle can be an unethical choice and lying ethical; the terror that Volker induced in people; the end where Jane returns the child to his mum and you can see how much Jane wishes that for himself mixed with the joy of the reunion.... Just my 2¢.


It's interesting to note the difference in perception of TM fans. Huisclothes is obviously knowledgeable about filmmaking and notices technical problems. I have no such background for judging them. That said, there have been no episodes in all the seasons that I have not enjoyed. All added something worthwhile to the story line. Sometimes it was just a look on Jane's face as he felt his own pain of loss in the presence of another's - or in another's joy at finding their child alive. Sometimes an episode illuminated one or more of the characters so I understood and appreciated them better. And sometimes (as in Somethings Rotten in Redmund) it was sheer pleasure to see Simon Baker show off his Shakesperean acting ability - besides being so much fun! Season 5 seems to be reminding us of TM's ambiguities re moral conflicts, setting us up for a probably surprising denouement.


oops. meant - glad to be in the place season 5 got us...


continued from below. season 6 hope: rj/pj and tl/pj all twenty-two episodes. all white meat chicken with no fillers or artificial ingredients.


i'm glad to be in the place season six got us in terms of patrick/rj and patrick/teresa. that being said, i enjoyed it less than any other season finding myself cringing at most one-shot eps. i loved the tentpole rj episodes, crimson ticket, red sails in the sunset, there will be blood and red john's rules. also the two patrick/backstory eps, red dawn, devil's cherry. but i struggled to extract nourishment from the non-rj eps - formulaic. the volker arc was a disappointment - a cartoon villain. rigsby & dad - somebody and their father come to terms in the 42 min. they could have shown us patrick jane doing..anything? infuriating use of an ep. i love tm and patrick. i'm excited to see where rj goes and afraid of what the b-writers will serve up in between. cowboys & soldiers w/big helpings of rigsby? best ep: red sails in the sunset. worst: red feud, red letter day, red, white & blue, panama red, red lacquer, days of wine & roses. season 6 hope: rj/pj & tl/pj - all 22 eps.


April, I also want to emphasize that this forum is and always has been respectful of all views, so please stick with us. We have had just about every opinion possible posted re TM, Red John, and all the characters and plot lines. I would not be surprised if all of us are wrong and the writers are preparing one major blow-our-minds wrapup. As for this season, it has been the best IMO because I felt it was turning a corner on the plot and "heading home." The eps Red Dawn, Black Cherry and those involveing Kirkland were especially compelling and informative, full of possible clues re the relationships, backgrounds, and motivations among the characters. Even the filming seemed somehow different in how scenes were lighted. I thought it might just be my TV but friends who watch TM noted a difference also. It was like some kind of darkness slowly closing in. A portent of RJ killings in S6?

North coast

This is only my second post on this forum, but I've been reading it for a while, and what Katempw says is true. This is a very respectful, as well as entertaining, forum. That's why I finally registered. By the way, you have a point about other clues we have been given, especially the Red Barn connection, since it's this season. I hope they deal with that quickly in the first episode, even it's just a line like "By the way, Lisbon, I also checked that each of the suspects could have been at the farm."
Entwife, your favorite book is my favorite book! I read Lord of the Rings every summer during college, and I still return to it every few years like an old friend. I almost cried with joy when my 12 year old asked for my copy of Fellowship last week, except she gave me the 'don't do it' look.


@April, at the risk of butting in, I think you may have misinterpreted and seen irony or sarcasm in @KM's remarks and good wishes where none was intended. This forum and all regular posters on it (that includes @KM) have never been anything but respectful and considerate to all posters (regular, occasional, new). Everyone's comments and opinions are welcome and read with interest. It is ok to disagree - they are opinions after all - and no one tries to convince or sway anyone else to their view. That is why I come here and participate. Other than Reviewbrain, this is the only forum I visit. Posters like @KM make it a joyful thing to do.

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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.