The Mentalist Round Table: "The Desert Rose"

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The Mentalist season 6 returned with a killer episode... literally, as "The Desert Rose" featured Jane and Lisbon doubting one another and questioning what to do next when it came to Jane's list of seven suspects.

Below, TV Fanatic's Christine Orlando is joined by The Mentalist fans from Twitter - Nerwen_Aldarion, SteeleSimz, and Donnamour1969 - to decide whether or not Teresa was right to share the list with Grace and why Red John chose to paint Lisbon's actual face. Gather around now and join the debate!


What was your favorite scene from the episode?

Nerwen Aldarion: I'd say it was the last few moments. I loved watching Jane's terrified expression as he realized Red John had Lisbon. The painting on her face was just disturbingly awesome. Can't wait to see where that goes next.

SteeleSimz: I'm going to go with the argument scene between Jane and Lisbon after he finds out that Grace knows about the list. It shows that, despite all they have been through, they each believe that their way of catching Red John is the better way.

Donnamour1969: My favorite scene was Jane confronting Lisbon in the diner. Simon Baker plays this scene expertly, showing his anger, his betrayal, his horror at what Lisbon has done. I loved it when Lisbon says: "You're not my boss." That really defines the differences between them in their approaches.

Christine: I loved all of the above. Yet, even though I figured out that Lisbon was going to be abducted by Red John when she was grabbed from behind in the abandoned house, I still literally jumped.

Mentalist Season Premiere Scene

Was Teresa right or wrong to share the list with Grace?

Nerwen Aldarion: Hmmm, a VERY good question. I'm on the fence with this one. On one hand, Jane has always had very good reasons to keep the team in the dark. On the other hand, when it comes down to it, he has always needed their help. He can't do this alone and they are the only people he can trust. So in the end I think they will be stronger for it, but I have to say that I believe Lisbon probably should have warned him at the very least.

SteeleSimz: I think Lisbon was correct to share the list. She was doing what she thought was best even though she knew it was going against Jane wishes.

Donnamour1969: Given the results, and the position Lisbon was left in at the end of the episode, I'd say Lisbon made a bad decision. Red John knows that they know the suspects; he'll be expecting such surveillance and planning accordingly.

Christine: I understand why she made the decision to tell Grace, but I wish she and Jane could have sat down and told the entire team together in a secure location. That way they all could have discussed what to do next. Unfortunately, with Jane's need for secrecy and the constant sense of fear and paranoia that didn't happen.

Should Patrick regret sharing the list with Teresa and, if so, why?

Nerwen Aldarion: No he shouldn't. She's the most important person to him and as of now, the one with the biggest target on her back. She needs to know who to look out for and Jane certainly cannot do all of this by himself. He needs her. Granted I have my own reasons for why I think Jane did tell her in the season 5 finale but I don't think he truly regrets it. He's just afraid and that makes him say things he shouldn't.

SteeleSimz: No, he shouldn't regret telling her the list. Red John doesn't belong to Jane but rather to the team. They have been helping him chase the man and have suffered loses because of him.

Donnamour1969: Yes, Jane must be hating himself about now. The shock of hearing Red John's voice on Lisbon's phone has got to be huge. Given his tendency toward accepting blame for things he didn't do and not accepting blame for things he actually does,  I'd say he's in a world of self-loathing.

Christine: Should he? No. Lisbon's his partner and she needed to know. Does he regret it? Absolutely. I'm sure he feels that by telling her he's put her in Red John's crosshairs. But the truth is, she's always been there. The fact that they're getting closer to catching him is what's made this all more real.

Lisbon seems to be wondering if Red John could actually be psychic. Jane is vehement that there is no such thing. Do you believe in psychics?

Nerwen Aldarion: No and I'm not sure if Lisbon really believes RJ is a psychic. I think she is more wondering if Jane is in over his head. All of this time she's always thought that Jane was the smartest man in the room and now she has to be wondering if RJ is playing chess while Jane is playing checkers. Jane has been the man with the answers and now he doesn't, she's scared.

SteeleSimz: I'm going to go with Jane on this and say that I don't believe in psychics.

Donnamour1969: This is another area that defines both of them--belief in the unknown versus complete disbelief in anything spiritual. Because of Jane's own trickery and dabbling in the world of chicanery, he can't allow himself to believe in the unexplained--to him, everything must have an explanation. Personally, I think some people are gifted with a sixth sense, but no, I don't believe in psychics.

Christine: I'm willing to say that there are things in this world I cannot explain. That said, I also believe that 99.9% of the time there is a logical explanation. Although psychic readings are fun, I honestly don't believe.

Why do you think Red John painted Teresa's face?

Nerwen Aldarion: A warning. Remember, the face is always the first thing a person sees when they enter the room, it's the message BEFORE you see the body. In this case Lisbon is the message but I think it's more than just Partridge's death. I think this is a warning to Jane that while he didn't kill Lisbon now (I don't believe she is dead by any means) he most certainly could have, very easily. He wants Jane afraid. Jane doesn't give a whit about his own life when it comes to RJ but we've known since the season 1 finale that Jane won't sacrifice Lisbon for that. That was when RJ was tipped off that Lisbon was Jane's achilles heel and he is certainly ready to exploit that.

SteeleSimz: I think he painted it as a warning to Jane. He wants Jane to know that he still has the upper hand and that he can still destroy Jane's life with on single slice of the knife.

Donnamour1969: To show Jane who is really in control, that he has the power of life and death.  Obviously Lisbon will survive, so this is sort of Red John putting Jane in his place, like he's saying,  don't even try to pull one over on me, because you will fail and I will win.

Christine: To me, it looked as though Red John was painting a clowns face on her, as though he's laughing at Jane. If you think you can catch me you're kidding yourself. I'm always a step ahead.

With the list now down to six, what's your guess? Who is Red John?

Nerwen Aldarion: Haffner. I did my own analysis of the Red John suspects and put Partridge down at the bottom so I was thrilled to be right so far. I feel like Bertram, Stiles and Kirkland are far too obvious to be Red John, while Smithe and McAllister are so unknown it would feel a bit like being cheated. But Haffner has been in recent episodes in a big way, it would also fit with the idea of Bertram being a follower. He would be the "power behind the throne" pulling Bertram's strings so to speak and being a CBI agent would give him all of the access he needs to carry out his plans. But I'll admit to liking the idea of all 7 being Red John in some form of another fitting with "He is m-a-n" being "he is many" However, a part of me hopes I'm wrong. While I love being right it would be even more satisfying to be surprised.

SteeleSimz: I still have two top suspect and those are Haffiner and Bertram. However, I believe that Haffiner is Red John.

Donnamour1969: I was personally disappointed that Partridge wasn't Red John. He'd been my number one suspect since the Season 2 finale. He matched every clue and even had the same voice as the Red John in that finale. But now, given new Bruno Heller interviews, spoilers, and future episode titles, I'm thinking that all seven of the suspects could be Red Johns, or at the very least, six could be his minions, given Partridge's last words ("Tyger, Tyger"). Another new theory I've developed is maybe many on that list are actually bigger insiders than Jane is into the mind of Red John. Maybe they are actually helping Jane. I've long suspected Kirkland has some personal agenda for getting Red John himself. Time will tell, and clearly I've been wrong before...

Christine: There are so many great theories out there. I was kind of hoping it was Partridge. Stiles and Bertram seem to obvious and I agree that Kirkland seems too have his own agenda. Since I'm a big fan of the actor Reed Diamond I'm hoping it's Ray Haffner. That would be pretty cool.

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


@Entwife, we have been trying to solve this puzzle for a long time. All of us together. I consider us a think tank and I enjoy taking every piece of the puzzle and trying to make it fit. I, like you am enjoying this very much as well. Doing this with all of you will always be one of my favorite things to remember. I don't take offense to things easily, a good hard debate will always produce some good answers wether it's my answer or someone else's. I'm just looking to solve this thing however we do it. For me it has been great fun digging around in all this stuff. I am amused by the fact that this show has tackled so many topics. I feel like I got an education of sorts. Oh and I can now do a few card and mentalist tricks.


@KM I agree with you completely about the basis for Lisbon's actions about the list. She was acting as a professional cop, according to her training and duty, giving Jane as much leeway as she could for the secrecy of Jane's list. VP did not keep faith, disobeying a direct order from her boss because of some bogus what her boyfriend might think excuse. Rigsby broke faith with both Lisbon and VP, I assume, by telling Cho. SacPD was ticked at CBI and Jane/Lisbon in particular for what went down w/the baseball player. They were derelict in their duty by not providing requested back up, I don't care how cheesed off they were! The whole thing turned into a master cluster***k. Lisbon had a duty to enter the house, even alone, when she heard someone in distress. She didn't want to, knew it was bad and even swore. I want to see some punishment! Payback on all those who screwed Lisbon so she had to enter that house alone. I can't tell you how angry I am--still!


@KM, I don't disagree.


I looked at that head in the oven and it appears to long dark hair. It could be Lorelei's head. She did asked Jane to bring Red John Lisbon's head. This would solve the problem of her being back on the show and kills her off without anymore doubt that she's alive. This would solve the mystery of how Red John got the names which at some point was going to be revealed. Now I will say this is a wild guess!


Lisbon is scared. She is scared that she'll fail to prevent the death of RJ's next victim. She's scared that RJ's next victim will be a team member. And, Jane scares her. He scares her, because his life is focused around a deep raging fury and desire for revenge, and she feels bound to keep him from either getting himself killed or a prison sentence. And, she is scared that should she succeed in helping both stay alive and avoid prison time that he'll leave. @ani1,
I disagree that Lisbon's behavior was either impulsive or desperate. It was professional. She was being an officer, obligated to protect and to serve.


@anitraward I take to heart your message at 2:15 yesterday and @creamy, I was remembering the same thing about what Bruno said. The take-down of Red John will be messy and its aftermath, too. All I can say is I'm glad it seems to be winding up with 6x08 "Red John," and beginning to look at the wide, clear field of debrit with 6x09 "My Blue Heaven," Simon's episode to direct btw. I have no doubt I will be absorbed with every detail they present along the way, wherever they go afterwards and whatever my pea brain can fathom from the unremarked details, facial expressions and alternate meanings of dialogue! So we will all be in the puzzle together, friends, and enjoying every bit of it. And I am enjoying every bit of it. Thanks for clarifying @antiraward!


Lisbon is bugging me too. Her behavior has changed. She seemed spooked and scared. Her behavior was impulsive and desperate. I think she probably thought she was losing her grip on the situation and the only way to get it back was to act immediately. She is in a hard place. I think what made her so angry is that she knows she out of her depth. Jane pointing it out didn't help the matter much. Lisbon is qualified as an officer but she is not qualified in the occult / con. Her and Jane will have to work together. Their skills offset each other.


Last thing, if all else fails Jane will release the names to the people on the list. If they are associated with Red John they will know what their fate wil be. The last person standing will be Red John.


One of the reasons Stiles is on the list is because Jane has always suspected Stiles of being Red John. If Stiles is not and is threatened then Jane my seek his assistance.


Some thing has been bugging me about that list and here it is, This is why the list was created in the first place. Jane knows Red John's egomaniacal nature. He took Red John's power and spread it among his minions. Red John will never tolerate the notion that any of the other people are being seen as great as him and that's why he is killing the people on the list. Jane's intentions are to have Red John reveal himself, that's why he is not doing anything. He's waiting! Jane has crossed over to the dark side and everybody else is a casualty of war. He has fully prepared himself for death. This is why he has been so careless about life. He has never given up the notion of being on a suicide mission. Lisbon changed all that and has subsequently gotten caught up. Because of what happened to Lisbon Jane will now have to change his plans about how he will go about it.

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The Mentalist Season 6 Episode 1 Quotes

I'm trying to work here and you're staring at me like I have two heads.


Jane: It's a trick.
Lisbon: A trick how?
Jane: I don't know.