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.


Very interesting @katempw! I enhanced the lighting in the picture and put it on my blog along with my comments. There's definitely a man behind him, appears to be dressed in a blue uniform of some type. So you could be right. Unless Bob's brought reinforcements to torture Jane. Who knows with this show. Anyway, the easiest way to comment on something in my blog if you’re not a Tumblr user, is to click on the part where it says “Ask. Tell. Rattle the suggestion box." It will send your message to me anonymously. You can leave it anonymous, or you can tell me who it is in the body of your message. Great catch! I love it!


so, just a a thought that passed my mind, no reference to RJ because my brain is fried with too much you think we'll have a chance to finally meet Lisbon's three brothers and have a family reunion and of course Jane must be in it!!that would be super...


Oh, and as for Lisbon's garb, I do love the kick@ss Docs (or whatever they are). Way more practical and realistic than the heels they've had her wear since the early days. No comment on the pants (looks like they were intended to be worn with the heels :) ). Oh, apparently I couldn't resist making a comment after all.


@Carobachik, I agree with you that the writers are trying to make each of the remaining suspects look like viable Red Johns by cranking up their creep volume to high. This to confuse and ensure that any one of them COULD be Red John. And the whistling by those 3 keeps them all in the running. Which means they probably aren't. My take on the Sophie tape is that it was legit. Red John didn't find it because he didn't know to look. Unlike Jane, he didn't know that Sophie couldn't type. As for the photo, the one I was referring to was the one of Kirkland by himself with the cutters (which, by the way, remind me of the tool Lorelei had out to cut off Patrick's fingers at the end of season 4).


I kinda like Lisbon's outfit in the picture!She looks ....ready to kick some asses!!go girl!!!!


I see nobody else in the pictures of Kirkland and Jane. Wishful thinking, I think. But I'm pretty sure Patrick makes it out of whatever scrape he gets himself into, there. Hate Lisbon's outfit. Those pants with the Doc Martin's sh*t-kickers looks so sloppy and awful. Why does she have to dress so badly? Her hair looks great. I would say Patrick looks worried in the pictures with Kirkland but not terrified...?


@ anitraward1,--regarding Haffner's behavior being to weird and up-front all of a sudden, I think they did the same thing with Kirkland earlier. He came on hella strong as a weirdo, and did some things that pointed very strongly to being Red John. So that made everyone veer over to him. They've also recently pumped up the volume on Bertram's percieved creepiness. So I think they're giving each of the most likely suspects their turn in the spotlight, if you will. They're still not giving anyone anything real to work with, I think. Just messing.


Also, I found it super improbable that Red John did not imagine Sophie Miller was recording him, that he would have just left the recording there in an unsearched drawer. So whether or not Red John forced her to make it, he has to know about it. Since I found the recording mostly unenlightening, I imagine it was something he wasn't worried about either--or he did indeed force her to make it. The only bit of info that was new was this phobia, which may or may not be of heights. The whistling thing is a red herring for me, since RJ never whistled before, and then 3 suspects whistled all of a sudden in that same episode.
So what's this about the list being fake? The List of 7 is not the right list, and now Jane has endangered innocent men? Or he made a different list that Kirkland stole? Are we getting a second list? If so, I'm really interested to see who is on it, and who may be on both!


couldn't post this earlier b/c computer was weird: Has anyone mentioned that actually 3 of the suspects whistled in Episode 2? Haffner, Sherriff McAllister, and Smith-he let out a whistle in Bertram's office. Haffner and Smith's whistles seemed really forced in by the writers, and then when Sophie was talking about the whistling in the voice over, with the Sherriff doing it, I realized they were probably messing with us. I really cannot get excited about which song Haffner was whistling, I don't think the particular content of the song is what was being communicated. It's a happy song, about life being good, and it shows whistling skill, which was what I think they were trying to show rather than something deeply cryptic about whether Haffner is the top dog or has a master. But again, I see Red John as someone who more enjoys his real power being hidden, rather than someone who goes about marking his territory and asserting his dominance like that.


Jane quote from Red moon, Ellis is in rm. 21,consider it a gift. I hope someday someone will do the same for me! Todd Johnson quote from Red moon, trust me, there is a big picture. It!........WILL!.......BLOW!........YOUR!.......MIND! . .

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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.