The Mentalist Round Table: "Black-Winged Redbird"

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The Mentalist offered up a "Black-winged Redbird" this week, as a key character survived but yet another important person from Jane's past was brutally murdered.

Below, TV Fanatic Christine Orlando is joined by The Mentalist fans, Kate, @MentalistProbs from Twitter and anitraward1 to debate why Red John decapitated Sophie Miller and whether the famous serial killer could be more than one person.


What was your favorite scene from the episode?

Kate: Though the oven scene made my stomach drop to the floor, the hospital scene was my favorite. A lot happened there, some things obvious, some more subtle and raising questions: Jane's concern and tenderness for Lisbon (loved that), her oddly unfazed reaction (what did happen to her?), Lisbon sharing with Jane Partridge's words 'tyger, tyger' and admitting she'd been so easily hooked by RJ (nice touch, issue over), the nurse looking for Carmen Lee (significant surely?)  Honourable mention to Cho and Rigsby trying to figure out who RJ is. Just like all of us.

@MentalistProbs:  My favorite scene was when Jane was desperately looking for water to wipe off Lisbon's face and when he actually wiped off the blood. Simon did a really great job of conveying Jane's emotions through his actions. Plus, I'm a total shipper, so that just made my heart melt.

anitraward1: Partridge biting the dust.

Christine: I've got to agree with @MentalistProbs. Jane was so frantic to find that water and wash Red John's mark off of Lisbon. It was the one time he clearly showed his panic and distress over the entire situation.

Red John Leaves His Mark

Do you think Red John could be multiple people working together instead of one mad man?

Kate: I think there is one man at the head of the beast. Clearly he has acolytes, people who do his bidding and are willing to die for him, but I think there is one person directing all of this. There has always been something about RJ's relationship and dealings with Jane that is very personal, almost intimate. A many headed dragon does not fit with that. I would feel cheated if RJ turns out to be a committee. [However, there is likely an organization comprised of the law enforcement suspects we saw last week (and others) but my sense is that they are engaged in something else, something likely related to Red John, that will reverberate through CBI and other agencies when Red John is taken down.

@MentalistProbs: I definitely think Red John is more than one person. There were two main hints for me in last nights episode: the fact that Lisbon dreamt about more than one man being Red John (perhaps her subconscious is telling her something about the attack?) and the interaction between Reede, Bertram, and McAllister. It seemed like they were all in on it, plus all the suspects have that creep factor.

anitraward1: I think Red John is an organization with a killer in it.

Christine: Lisbon's dream and the meeting between 3 of the suspects leads to the theory that Red John could be more than one person, but like Kate I'd be very disappointed if there is more than one man at the head. Although I like the theory that sources within CBI have been protecting RJ all of these years for their own gain.

Did you expect Jane to shut Teresa out after Red John targeted her?

Kate: I didn't think Jane would shut Teresa out simply as a result of her being a target. She's had a bull's eye on her back for a long time now and will continue to have one no matter what Jane hides from her. However, if Jane suspects that RJ did more to Lisbon than taser and leave his mark on her (like hypnotize her so that she somehow betrays Jane when the going gets tough), that could cause Jane to keep things from her.

@MentalistProbs: I didn't expect Jane to shut Lisbon out at all. If anything I think this is going to bring them closer. Jane realizes his feelings for Lisbon and he doesn't want to lose her, so he will do anything to keep her close and safe.

anitraward1: No, I think he cares deeply for Lisbon.

Christine: I did wonder. If he felt it would keep her safe, he might. But really she's as far into this as he is and I think they are much safer working together. This was just a good example of what can happen when there's a rift between them. Red John was ready and waiting to take advantage of it.

Why did Red John change his methods when killing Sophie Miller?

Kate: My theory is that RJ did what he did to Sophie as a terror tactic to push and keep Jane off his game. In reality, it may show that it is RJ who is derailing, becoming even less stable, in his efforts to avoid Jane catching him. Either way, Sophie's head in the oven is a horrifying bookend to RJ's request for Lisbon's head in season 4. Bottom line: I liked the Sophie character and her relationship with Jane and was hoping to see her again. But not in this way.

@MentalistProbs: Jane is a whole other category when it comes to Red John- I am never surprised when he breaks MO when dealing with something personal to Jane. I think Red John is trying to break Jane before he gets caught. That and he really wanted to make a statement.

anitraward1: Red John heard the recording, didn't like what she said and he got a little hot headed about it.

Christine: I'd almost forgotten that Red John had asked for Lisbon's head. So there is a precedent set then. But it does feel that RJ is becoming more desperate to break Jane, perhaps because he feels the walls closing in as Lisbon and Jane get closer to finding him.

If you can only pick one person to be Red John, who is your pick?

Kate: I haven't played the who is RJ game much. I stink at it and would prefer to be surprised and amazed by the reveal. That said, I have variously thought Stiles, Kirkland or Haffner would be viable Red Johns. I never liked Partridge or Bertram as RJ and for me McAllister and Smith are ludicrous candidates. Since that creepy discussion he had with Lisbon in her office about Elliston Farms (and her odd demeanor at the time), I've been leaning towards Haffner. I will probably be wrong.I think that Visualise figures into it, perhaps with Brett Stiles as RJ's reluctant or willing enabler.

@MentalistProbs: This is tough because there are clues pointing to many of them! If I had to guess, I would pick Haffner. I don't know, he's always struck me as being off in some way.

anitraward1: Bret Stiles.

Christine: Once again, I'm going with Haffner. He's smart and very creepy and in Lisbon's nightmare he was the one to actually kill her. But we all know that with this show Red John's true identity is anyone's guess.

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


In the scene that Partridge was found dying, there were pigeons and when Lisbon was look at what might have been a sink there was something that looked like a brown bag on the sink- perhaps a bag of bird seed? In the next episode there was "a woman" on a bench next to the bench that Jane and Lisbon were on, feeding pigeons bird seed. Coincidence? Could the bird seed in the dying Partridge seen be the clue to notice the person feeding the pigeons in episode 2? And the "Carmen Lee" by the nurse seems like something to take note of.


no way.Amanda Righetti's husband is spoiling TM on his twitter page, just saw it on Tumblr....he's really something..


@ Entwife- first, let me say I love your name. And I visited your Tumblr blog, looked for the picture you enhanced of Kirkland, and I really do not see a man in blue there. I see some light distortion of a blue color, nothing that looks like a man in uniform to me, and nothing that doesn't look like Kirkland's shadow. I just couldn't make it happen, hard as I tried. But, that doesn't mean that Kirkland is confirmed as Red John because of these pictures, or that he's not there to free Patrick...I'm not sure what it means. We will all see in two weeks time, eh? And maybe I will be wrong, there will be a man there.


@Carobachik You can go to my Tumblr blog, entwife-incognito, and put in the search term Bob Kirkland. It will bring up a few things, not many. But the top one should my the pic of him which I enhanced the lighting and you can see someone in what looks like a blue uniform behind him. If you look at the dark published pictures only, you can hardly see anything. It's not a shadow. Me, too. I'm assuming Heller is telling the truth that Jane and Lisbon's list is the real one. They've made such a big production of it, hawking it everywhere. I feel confident it's the real one.


@Entwife, the crass creep! Lovin' it!


I still don't see anybody in the "Boris Karloff" picture of Kirkland, just his shadow. But clearly, we will find out what's up there!


@Entwife-yes I remember the toothpick in the door and the knowing smile on Jane's face. I also remember Kirkland looking like he was about to tear his hair out standing over a reproduction of Jane's info wall. What I've been wondering since then is whether this list, the one Red John had Lorelei read off that's the same one Jane shared with Lisbon (and so then the whole team) is the faked list, or if it was a different list that we never saw. I'm starting to think the List of 7 is the faked list, and we are ALL barking up the wrong trees. It would be frustrating since Heller made a big deal out of legitimizing the List of 7, but whatever. I would just hope it does not result in the death of anyone who was an ok guy.


@creamy I like how Lisbon looks too, like such a bada**! It looks like Jane is giving her some lip and she's thinking about swiping him with that boot and knocking him on his but* and not even sloshing her coffee! Love to see that :)


@Carobachik Haffner himself says that members of Visualize sent him to find out what Jane knows about RJ (on Lisbon's hospital bed, no less, the crass creep). This makes me think he is at least a couple steps down from RJ. Also, we know Jane did something to set up whoever was surveilling his RJ board in the attic. He laid that toothpick trap which was sprung and he smiled, although he did not know who had fallen for his trap or say what it was. I suspect now it's about creating the false list. Jane has the real list, and it's the one we've been given in canon. The man behind Kirkland is in the solo photo of him, not in any with Jane.


@anitraward I think the same about Hafner. He's an underling of some kind. He may have been promised Lisbon as a reward, hence his creepy confidence with her that they would have "a time."

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The Mentalist Season 6 Episode 2 Quotes

Lisbon: You were right about the phone traces. Red John hooked me like a fish.
Jane: Well, at least he threw you back.

He took Partridge's blood, put it on your face, made his mark.