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.


Continued-they are both con men. They are both charismatic. They are both huge manipulators of people. They have similar life beliefs and they possess similar educational attributes. They are exactly as Lorelei pointed out. They also attract women. How can you have so much in common for no reason. Also Red John is older then everyone one on that list except for McAllister. Do the math. If Red John was 20-30 years old at the time of the red barn incident and it's 25 years later, who fits the bill? Stiles could also be prematurely gray.


I think it's Stiles. Everything point's to him or it is pointing right at Visualize. He seems arrogant enough to want to prove such a dramatic point. He is a murderer, he likes and has power. Red John seems to offer people everything Visualize offers. Stiles is amused by Jane's intelligence like Red John. He likes Jane and offers a hidden type of friendship. The type Red John has asked for. Red John strikes me as the type that would try to gain Jane's trust another way. He tried with Lorelei and who knows what other way he might go. Stiles has been way to involved with all Red John's business. Stiles and Red John have the same type of access. They both deal with vulnerable people............there is to much here to be mere coincidence.


well Lisbon really wanted to let the team know about the list, but Jane again, was too controlling: No, Nobody!
I know Jane knows a lot about RJ , but this is also Lisbon case and she is in charge.Maybe Jane has a plan, but he wasn't going to tell Lisbon yet.And what would you do if you were her?Knowing the suspects, and do.....Nothing.Maybe if the team has been there with her, the things would have been different.It is obvious why the back-ups haven;t showed up: either because they were angry with her because of the previous case with Jane, or maybe RJ was deliberately making them late.


I was annoyed at Lisbon for telling Grace about the list and having the phones bugged, that was a major rookie move in my opinion. And telling Grace, you might as well just send a memo to the whole team. Lisbon seems scared by Red John and scared that Jane seems out of his depth, so she's reverting to her most comfortable tactics, but she ignored all that Jane has taught her about RJ, and I think she's underestimating him. Just confirms to me that these two are not a match, that when they don't have these cases and RJ, there really isn't enough there to make them a pair. I did not like the character Lisbon is showing currently, but I recognize it as a plot device. But I felt she definitely undermined Jane and betrayed his confidence in all senses. I was irritated to see him chasing after her when she was the one who had blown it for them.


Even though I think Haffner is the only one who fits the bill using the physical/circumstantial information we've been given, I have this feeling he's getting killed off in the next episode, "Black-winged Red Bird". None of the other guys fit the descriptions and established age, which I find annoying because why would the writers even bother with that then? I'm dying to find out what the buried clue is. It could have been so many things, it seems, in that last sequence. I got the impression Partridge was trying to tell Lisbon who was behind/near her when he said "Tiger, Tiger", but I could be wrong. It does seem like some Carnie connection is being alluded to with the bloody clown face on Lisbon and Lorelei's death scene. I'm very interested to see if that means RJ has a connection to Jane's Carnie past or he's indicating something else. I don't really have a favorite moment from this episode, my least favorite was finding out Partridge wasn't Red John.


I think Jane was right to share the list with Lisbon, he was doing what she asked of him. He was trying to be her partner. I think Lisbon was wrong and right. She should have told Jane first and given him time to tell her why she should not say anything. They could have come up with a workable solution. They are not communicating well with each other and it is causing conflicts. Lisbon wasn't thinking properly about Red John like Jane told her. Red John has hacked into the CBI servers a few times and he did use that against them like Jane said. The call that Lisbon got said an anonymous caller wanted that call routed to her. Distress calls go to the police department, not the CBI. RED JOHN knew what she was doing and lewered her there. Red John is a bit of a mentalist and knew how to do it. She will think differently after this and because she broke Jane's trust he may think differently about what to tell her next time.

North coast

I'm going to try to post this one more time. If ten of these appear, I apologize. I"m just excited, and want to join in the conversation!
I don't think Theresa was wrong to bring in help. I think her mistake was in trying to do this behind Jane's back. She should have told Jane, "This is what I am going to do, and these are the reasons why." I really like what Christine said. Lisbon should have told Jane, "I am bring the team together to tell them, and I hope you will join us." They could have done that without changing the rest of the plot significantly, but it would have been more in character for Lisbon. Well, for my view of Lisbon, anyway!


Really, these were the questions? Are psychics real and is Red John one? No. Geeze. He is "a showman" as Jane has been. He's got incredible connections and he's just as adept at reading people and messing with them as Jane is. Maybe more so? I'm interested to see if the clown face on Lisbon is a reference to the Carny thing, as Lorelei's death placement also seemed to be, and what, if any, connection RJ has to Jane's carny (carnie? sp?) past. With Partridge down, my main RJ suspect is too, and the only one who fits what we've been told RJ looks like and also what we've seen of him, and how old he's supposed to be is Ray Haffner. If it's any of the other guys, then the writers have described RJ for no reason since they didn't stick to it. Reed Smith almost could qualify, but I think he's just too chubby, from what we've seen, and a bit too young. I don't like Haffner for it too much, I just don't see any of the others being RJ, unless we throw all the info about him that we've had, especially age. I really felt like when Partridge said Tiger, Tiger he was warning Lisbon what was behind/near her, and that was all he could say for some reason. I really don't know what that darned buried clue is, but I sure would like to know! Anybody got some ideas with any backing to them? There were a hundred things there that could have been; the pigeons, the graffiti on the walls, what Partridge said, the bag on the sink, the bathroom itself, the clown face...??? I just miss Lorelei. Lisbon is such a bore, and such a poor match for Jane, they will have nothing in common after Red John is over. And Grace Van Pelt...gah. Can't get her off the show fast enough, in my opinion. Terrible, boring female leads. I'm hoping they'll bring back an interesting woman for more than a few episodes.


I think Lisbon secretly believes in psychics. But I also think as a cop she is a black and white thinker. She is religious and also believes in divinity. There is a certain amount of superstition that goes along with religious beliefs. This is what Jane tried to tell her about Barlow. Jane was trying to tell her not to believe in the boogeyman or she will get played. I don't believe in psychics at all but I do believe some of them can be very perceptive. It is very easy to cold read people. The fact that they are with a psychic means they are doubtful and vulnerable. A couple of right guesses and you can write your own check!


also I loved how worried Jane was because Lisbon didn't answer his calls.

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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.