The Mentalist Review: End of the Red Era

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After six seasons of chasing the infamous serial killer, Patrick Jane finally came face to face with "Red John" the man who slaughtered his wife and daughter.

No doubt The Mentalist Season 6 Episode 8 will divide fans of the series with the conclusion of this intricate, complicated story arc. There was no way to answer all of our lingering questions in one episode and despite many dangling threads, I was still left satisfied.

The End of a Journey

Let's start from the beginning.

The CBI is indeed gone and FBI Agent Abbott made it clear that Lisbon's team was under a microscope. If they've ever done anything even remotely questionable they will be held accountable. 

That statement had to send worry through them all. Rigsby and Cho and that mess with Rigsby's father? Grace being engaged to one of Red John's minions? If Abbott truly decided to dredge up the past I doubt any one of them would be left standing.

But Abbott had one goal…find Patrick Jane.  

I had to wonder what Abbott was planning to find in the CBI attic. Wasn't sending half a SWAT team in to sweep for Jane overkill? 

I couldn't believe Bertram and Cordero were still anywhere near the Sacromento area but that was before I realized they had their orders to carry out before they could leave.  In the meantime this dynamic duo had no problem blowing away people in public places who recognized them. You'd think they could have come up with better disguises than a silly hat and sunglasses. 

When Bertram and Jane made the plan to meet at the Alexandria Cemetery, a question occurred to me.  I know we've seen Angela and Charlotte's gravestones before but why would they be buried in Sacramento if the family lived in Malibu? Not that it matters now but it struck me as odd. 

One of the most touching moments was when Jane met Lisbon in the park and told her he didn't want her involved in this anymore. From his expression, I believe he was trying to protect her. His goal, as it has always been was to kill Red John and he didn't want her to be a party to that. 

It was sweet but still very, very, sad.

That's when Jane found out who really had his back and it wasn't just Lisbon. When Abbott and his men had Jane literally on his knees, Lisbon, Cho, Rigsby, and Van Pelt all went toe to toe with the FBI, guns drawn. Lisbon and the team not only put their careers but their lives on the line to allow Jane his chance to finally end his quest for Red John.

That's not to say it wasn't a source of stress. I loved them all handcuffed in the car. Cho couldn't stand how helpful and polite Rigsby was being and even the newlyweds found themselves at odds. The sarcasm between them was the one bit of humor in an otherwise intense hour...

Grace: Sometimes I think you like being helpless.
Rigsby: OK fine, don't relax. Break the window with your forehead and we'll all jump out and make a run for it.

When the two men finally met in the church, Bertram was just as arrogant as he's always been as he told Jane in this The Mentalist quote

Jane: You lied to me.
Bertram: As did you. What a couple of scamps we are. I promise that is the last lie I will ever tell you.

Who else would use the word scamps?  The moment he made his promise I knew he planned to kill Jane but I still wasn't sure if he was Red John.  Up to this point I'd been assuming he wasn't RJ, that there would be yet another twist in the story but then I began to wonder if no twist was the twist. Because that's what this show will do to you. Send your theories spinning in circles. 

One of the highlights of the hour was Cordero shooting Bertram. Bertram's shocked, "Hey, " just before he hit the ground was priceless. He never saw that coming and I was amused at how the members of the Blake Association all seemed to forget how vicious a tiger could be. 

And finally, the real Red John was revealed. 

As many had suspected, not all those presumed dead in the Malibu explosion actually were as Sheriff Thomas McAllister stepped into view. 

To briefly recap his Malibu caper, instead of a spare tire in the trunk of his car, he packed a spare body. Then he used a concussion grenade to render the group unconscious so that he could make the switch and slip away before setting off the real explosion. DNA had been changed in the system by Brett Partridge before he was killed.

Far fetched? Yes, but let's face it. Red John has pulled off things in the last six seasons that ranged from the bizarre to the unbelievable so I'm willing to accept this as just one more part of the master plan from a diabolical serial killer.

McAllister stood there, eager to continue the game. It's as though Jane had been his favorite play thing for over a decade and he just wasn't ready to let him go yet. 

Jane on the other hand, was done.

I have no questions. You're an evil, sexually perverted sociopath with pathetic delusions of grandeur. The rest is just details.

Jane
 

Some details we already knew. Red John killed Jane's family after Patrick's show of arrogance belittling the killer on TV. Since then he's claimed to have used Jane's belief that he is smarter than most everyone else as a way to stay one step ahead. Well, that and having hundreds or even thousands of followers to do his bidding certainly helped.

But Jane had had enough. He took Red John down with two items…a bird and a hidden gun. So we can assume Jane figured out that RJ's fear wasn't heights but pigeons. 

When that woman didn't immediately run when she saw Patrick with the gun I knew she was one of Red John's minions. I was kind of surprised Jane didn't see it coming but thinking straight can be difficult with that much adrenaline pumping through your system.

Then somehow, with a gunshot wound, McAllister made a run for it that sent him through the cemetery, across streets, yards, and homes and finally into a park.

When I saw him get close to that school bus I immediately thought of all the ways that could have gone horribly wrong. I was relieved they didn't go there.

When Jane finally caught up with him, the man was writhing on the ground trying to call 911 for help. Instead he had to face Patrick Jane.

I found it amusing that his last ditch effort was to try and make Jane think he was really psychic. I guess whatever abilities he had didn't show him what came next. 

I was a little surprised by Jane's questions. He wanted to know if Red John was sorry for killing his family. The fear of death was the only reason I could think of that would get the man to say yes because after ten years he certainly never showed an ounce of remorse. And I'll admit that as he died, he did look afraid. 

In the end Jane got to look Red John in the eyes and squeeze the life out of his nemesis with his bare hand.  I found that satisfying. After all this monster had taken from him and a decade of his life hunting him, Patrick deserved that moment of intimate vengeance. 

But it was his phone call to Lisbon that made me sad…

Lisbon. It's over. It's done. I just want you to know that I'm OK and I'm going to miss you.

Jane

Miss him? Where was Jane headed? Did he have a plan? And with her cell phone in the possession of the FBI, would Teresa ever even hear his message? 

I'm afraid we'll all have to wait another week to find out. In the meantime I found Sheriff McAllister a creepy, arrogant, and worthy Red John.

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Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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