Patrick Jane's need for secrecy put seven innocent lives in jeopardy throughout "Red Listed."
Well, perhaps they weren't quite so innocent... but they weren't Red John.
Below, TV Fanatic Christine Orlando is joined by The Mentalist fans Feint, @SteeleSimz, and @Donnamour1969 as they debate Kirkland's place in the Red John legacy and the long awaited return of Madeleine Hightower.
Did you think Bob Kirkland was Red John?
Feint: Yes, I thought and hoped Kirkland was Red John. Of course, it was obvious he would be just another person hunting for him but they made such a good case of him. After Partridge, he was my #1 suspect.
@SteeleSimz: I never pegged Kirkland to be Red John even when he first appeared in season five. Yes, he did have that creepy vibe but I always figured he was on the same mission as Jane and for the same reason.
@Donnamour1969: No, I never thought Kirkland was Red John. Actually, a few of us on Twitter believed he was on his own personal vigilante mission since he killed Lennon.
Christine: This show always keeps me guessing. I thought he was a Red John minion at first but this season I'd begun to suspect he had his own agenda. Turns out that was the case, in a big way. At least Jane kept all his fingers.
Were you surprised that the FBI and Homeland Security have been investigating Jane for almost a decade?
Feint: No, I was not surprised as we already knew it. They are most likely also protecting Red John(willingly or not) by gathering the information on Jane.
@SteeleSimz: Part of me was shocked first that they were but after watching the episode and having time to think about it more I'm not surprised anymore. The FBI and Homeland would look at all connections to the Red John cases and Jane having been a victim would have made both groups follow him. I was more surprised that I never even thought that both groups would be keeping tabs on Jane after all these years.
@Donnamour1969: It wasn't a surprise at all since they showed us last year at the end of "Red Dawn".
Christine: Not surprised that they're keeping tabs on him but a bit surprised that it started 9 years ago and it involves both agency. But I guess it's a long game. They either think he could be Red John or that they'll lead them to him.
Should Jane have just given Kirkland the real list and let him hunt down Red John?
Feint: No. Red John belongs to Jane. Plus, Kirkland would've killed him either way.
@SteeleSimz: Good question. We all know Jane is secretive in his hunt for Red John, he didn't even want to tell Lisbon that he had the list so giving it up easily to Kirkland would have been out of character for Jane. Despite both of them wanting the same thing I think Kirkland said it best when he said he was "willing to kill" anyone on the list in order to get him. Jane once upon a time might have wanted to do the same thing but not anymore, he only wants the one person that killed his family.
@Donnamour1969: He should have if it came down to his life, but Jane knew it was just as important for Kirkland to find out the real list, so he wouldn't let himself kill Jane. That's why Jane taunted him a bit. I think he stalled as long as he could, hoping he would talk him down perhaps, or make a deal.
Christine: No, because several innocent people would end up dead if he had but I'll admit that as soon as I saw the blowtorch, I would have caved and given him anything he wanted.
Were you happy to see Madeleine Hightower return?
Feint: I was happy to see her return but it was quite late, really. It took this long for us to find out what happened to her after the season 3 finale.
@SteeleSimz: I LOVED that Hightower was back, I just wished she had more screen time. When her character first appeared I wasn't a fan but over the course of the season I came to like her character and missed having her around. She did have some great lines, especially when she told Jane that he was a "pain in the ass." I always thought that she came to care about the team and always looked out for them even on the run. She wants Jane to kill Red John not only for himself but for herself also and the rest of the team.
@Donnamour1969: I always loved Hightower - she's one tough broad. It was great seeing her back, and Jane sure played on the little crush I think she had on Jane.
Christine: Hightower has always been a favorite of mine so I was really disappointed when she completely dropped off the grid. I was very happy to see her back and helping Patrick despite the danger to herself and her family. I love her interactions with Jane. Completely no-nonsense yet there's respect and a hit of attraction there. It's a lot of fun to watch.
With Bob Kirkland out of the mix, who do you think is Red John?
Feint: It has to be Bret Stiles. Boring and obvious but makes sense. Bertram, Smith and McAllister are all "Tyger, tyger" and Haffner is not high enough in the church to be anyone important.
@SteeleSimz: From the moment the list was released I went with Haffiner. After four episode I am even more certain that he is the man that killed Jane's family.
@Donnamour1969: I still think it's Ray Haffner, but this secret organization sure throws a huge wrench in things. Brings new light to the possibility of "he is many." Red John, Todd Johnson, Brett Partridge, now Reed Smith--all are somehow in the "Tyger Tyger" club. Visualize
may be in there somewhere too. I can't wait to find out how this all fits together.
Christine: I want to say Haffner but really, it could be any of them. The show has done a wonderful job of building this mystery to great heights. I only hope the conclusion doesn't disappoint after such a dizzying ride.
What was your favorite scene?
Feint: I liked all scenes with Kirkland but the ones with him and Smith were the best ones. A little disappointed about "Tyger, tyger" though and I can't quite understand how Todd Johnson was part of it. The last scene was amazing.
@SteeleSimz: Favorite scene? You want me to choose one scene out of the entire episode? Okay well that would have to the be the entire scene with Kirkland and Jane as he tries to get information out of Jane. Even though the scene is tense and you know that it is supposed to be serious Jane acts like his typical self and makes a smart ass remark to lighten the mood a little.
@Donnamour1969: So many! This was my favorite episode so far this season. If I had to pick one scene, it would be when Jane and Kirkland spoke at Homeland Security. The look on Kirkland's face when he found out he had the wrong list was priceless. I laughed out loud. I also loved the opening scene with Smith accusing Jane of murder. It's seldom that you see Jane so irked, and it was great how Smith manipulated that anger a bit. And of course, Cho's teasing Rigsby about married sexuality. Great stuff.
Christine: There were so many great scenes. I'm going to go with Jane and Hightower meeting at the Heavenly Gardens Chinese restaurant. Madeleine was tough but there was still that hint of something more between her and Jane…and I loved Jane's look when she said she had the gun pointed at something important under the table.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.