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.


Then there's my theory that Kirkland may be a Jekyl-Hyde character, being at times the decent Kirkland/Hyde and at other times the evil RJ/Jekyl, vaguely aware of his separate identities and hounded by fear that he may be the evil one he is trying to find. There are no Jekyl/Hyde persons in real life, that is a classic fictional concept, but we accept it for storytelling purposes. TM is not a reality show (not that they are realistic), it is a psychological and philosophical drama that helps illuminate the human condition and makes us think about why we do what we do. I loved this season. One of my favorites (shared by few posters) was where Riggsby got revenge for his father's murder. Jane (who knows the value of revenge) worked it so he could get that revenge with no legal price to pay. Jane says revenge and justice are the same. How many TV shows give us things like this to think about?


I loved this season for they way it continued to develop and deepen the theme of good and evil, right and wrong, predator and prey, crime and punishment. Viewers who drop out are probably not used to the slow development of a complex plot line and character development. Yes, some plot holes develop, but this is fiction and you always get plot holes and inconsistencies and improbabilities. There are no people like Patrick Jane, yet we not only accept him as real but love him dearly. He is there to tell a story, often using metaphors. We have the evil Red John as a serial killer, but when have we ever seen a serial killer like RJ? They are always more like Volker, a character who might have been created precisely to show us that RJ is something entirely different, more a symbol of Evil, than a portrayal of a real person, and that may play out in interesting ways.

North coast

Hi. I've been reading and enjoying the posts here for about a month, but this is my first time posting. I just became hooked on The Mentalist last summer, and I really liked most of the episodes this season. I am one of those who want to see Jane and Lisbon find some happiness with each other, and I was impressed with how they showed the relationship developing after the Volker episodes. Speaking of Volker, the one episode I really didn't like was his last episode. I mean, how stupid can one human being be? This great master criminal who can wipe out a village a hemisphere away, and he tries to kidnap a child in a croweded zoo? After leaving his fingerprints all over the boy's apartment? I didn't buy it. Other than that, an A+ season!


@ April, I deeply regret that you found my comment condescending. That was never my intent. Differing opinions have always been welcomed here. And, I do sincerely wish you well and hope you find some show more to your liking. Kind regards,


@KM- there is no need to be condescending to me. In my field, we also evaluate one variable at a time. But Jane does not need an entire season to look at the age and physical description of 7 people. He needs about 30 seconds. He did already show he believed these clues, though the writers are ignoring that fact. Even if he used location to make the first cut, he should have then reduced the list of 7 down to 2 or 3 names using the other clues. He did not, and I highly doubt the writers will do so next year. Best wishes to you as well. And I wish you luck in continuing to ignore the obvious flaws in the Red John will need it.


@ April, Methodically one goes through things one step at a time to rule things out, at least that is how it works in my field. You deal with one variable at a time. Never more than one. That left application of other clues for Season 6. It is fine if you dislike the show. I hope you find one that is suitable to you. Best wishes.


@KM - I know what he said. But in not using those other clues, he did ignore them. It would take 30 seconds to eliminate most of the 7 using these clues. So it's not like he didn't have time and that doing so is the obvious next step. He chose to ignore them and he did not give any reason why. It is just bad writing. Atrocious. If I am going to watch a show with an ongoing story arc, it needs to make sense and be consistent. I already overlooked many inconsistencies, this was the final straw. I am not wasting any more of my time on below average writing.


@ April,
When Jane revealed that he had the list down to seven suspects, he said he did it by location. That does not mean he ignored Rosalind Harker's description or any other clue. He said he used the location of the murders. All seven of the suspects have the possibility of being at the location of everyone of the Red John murders. You can rewatch the episode by going to CBS.


Looking forward to season 6 and the breakdown of all the players. Also looking forward to all the new developements!


My only problem with The Mentalist is that it's made Lisbon out to be one of the most inept investigators on television. She's Cuddy to Jane's House. A weak leader who cannot solve a case without the troublesome, brooding anti-hero. She doesn't give off the vibe that she genuinely cares about Jane and that leads me to wonder if she isn't in cahoots with Red John. Why else would she risk her career to be saddled with the CBI's (apparently) only consultant? I agree, too, that Red John can only up his ante by going after a member of Jane's team. I honestly felt like they would've dealt with Amanda Righetti's character in that manner. I'm glad they did not because she's a sweet and darkly funny character in Jane's life. Then again, she's a redhead so maybe.... :)

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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.