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.


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.


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.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (360 Votes)

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


I'll give a more detailed commentary about the episode later but let me say a couple things real quick
1) I think the season 3 finale ending for Red John was about equal in quality had the show decided to end the RJ arc, not better than this, not worse than it.
2) Here is a really good article that describes my problems with the writing the past couple years. Recommend all read, very well written
3) I can live with McCallister being RJ; he was not a guy most of us took seriously as a suspect(nobody after the season 5 finale had him as their top suspect NOBODY). And we got to see him from the very beginning. I can accept McAllister as an RJ.

@ black white and red all over i

McAllister was my Number One suspect of the remaining suspect list, but I kind of wanted Red John to be someone more interesting, like Walter Mashburn (too nice, I know) or the character played by Pruitt Taylor Vince, whose name currently escapes me. They built up the character too much and dragged out the story line too much, so we were bound to be let down by the ending. Plus, I don't think Patrick should have murdered him, in spite of his promise to do so.


While I jumped up and cheered because Sheriff McAllister was my Number One suspect for Red John, I must admit, honestly, to being a little let down by the episode. I liked the fact that the real "Red John" showed up in the 2nd episode of the series (Season 1, Episode 2) and I like Xander Berkeley, but I thought he overracted a bit in this episode. Also, after the build-up of Red John as the cult leader to end all cult leaders, I expected the reliably villainous Malcolm McDowell to turn out to be the Great Red Dragon. I wanted to know more about his operation. And, finally, I know Patrick Jane promised he would kill Red John, but I think it would have been better if he had taken the b*stard in. Of course, then Red John could have escaped, which would have extended the Red John story line that has become exhausting for most people. Anyway, while I thought the twist was a good choice (I knew it wasn't Bertram) I wanted more answers about Red John. One thing I know - the emoticon/smiley face in blood was a self-portrait of a bald man.


Aside from the disappointment of the episode I thought Xander Berkeley did a great job on his red john persona. The only fault came from the writing. *cough* cough* heller. Instead of showing Janes heavy orgasm breathing and looking like he's going to jizz on McAllister's face they should have shown McAllister's life flash before his eyes as he's dying thus answering all of our questions about red john and how and why he's done what he has. But the ending was the only faulty part in my opinion and I look forward to seeing what happens post red john and see if we get answers. Oh and by the way did you all see Janes wife and daughter walking hand in hand as Jane was running by. Very touching addition. Made my night. Overall my rating is 7.5/10.

@ Dr. Doctor

Funny, I did not think Jane looked happy at all when he was killing Red John. He looked like a person trying to get through something incredibly difficult and unpleasant.

@ Carobachik

I felt the same way. Incredible scene to me. Simon Baker -- you are the bomb sir.


Well, I didn't hate it like most people who saw the leaked version did. It is too bad that so many people saw it before it aired. My man problem is the way Jane killed Red John. I knew it was coming (and how it was coming) but to see a man take another man's life was just too much for me. I still have questions and have to suspend belief in some areas, but the death scene was just too disturbing... that Jane has killed several people....does that make him a serial killer too. In a way, he has become a RJ disciple. LOL


I find myself wanting to go back and watch all the episodes with Bertram and McAllister in them. But I was glad that Patrick Jane got closure by his own hand. I am sad that he and Lisbon never got to see where their relationship would lead. And I was a little surprised that one of the inner core group wasn't a member of The Blake Group. My money was on Rigsby... But I did enjoy some of the ending, a few questions are left unanswered and I look forward to seeing the new Patrick Jane!

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