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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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (360 Votes)

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


@Rationalgal, they really did contradict themselves when McAllister said no one knows who I am. But countless people, especially Lorelei said they did know who he was throughout the series. They sure did yank all the mystery out of Red John. I can't remember who said it, I think Entwife. She said that shows years ago use to hire people to watch past episodes so that they would have continuity. It's apparent that they didn't employ any such person. Heller is doing so many other things there is no way he could have paid close attention to this series. Maybe this was the problem. His mind was everywhere else but where it needed to be.. How many other shows was he working on? How can you think straight juggling so many different projects. So he delegated his duties and his ship ran aground. Greed!


@Rationalgal, about Jane. He seems to show up as a man with desire with every women except Lisbon. With Lisbon he shows up as needy and needing something from her. Always making esoteric statements and then acting like he doesn't know what's up. He trashes Lisbon and then says he sorry. He been doing that for six years. Now he's off boinking some other chick in Ecuador. It looks and sounds like he loves Lisbon. Maybe this for me is that I'm not taking into account the writer's tease with this whole thing. For me it's a ridiculous notion that a woman with any self esteem would wait and watch a man flirt with, have sex with other women until he decides to make his way to her. It's kinda like watching the tv 14 version of Sex and death 101. Except that Lisbon is just waiting around for Jane to get finished with his exploits. How arrogant this all seems. Come here partner, we must have lost the meaning of that somewhere, probably right after he ditched her. The writers are making this relationship look really foolish. I'm starting wonder what the writers really think about women because they seem to show some pretty negative stuff on the far left end. We'll now have a chance to see what they are really up too. I bet Jane's first words to Lisbon will be I'm sorry!


OK I should add one more item to my RJ scenario: Motivation for serial killing. We need that. So Kirkland mentions that the severe abuse he and his brother suffered led to his need to control his destiny by controlling others rather than let others control him. Serial killing gave him a great sense of power and control. His brother, being weaker, was the first to be controlled and made a great dutiful minion.


What would have worked better for this episode? It needed a RJ like the one we've been shown for 6 seasons. We got a mob boss instead. Try this scenario: Backing up, in the explosion scene no one yelled; there were just 2 explosions.) In Red Dragon, Smith talks a bit about how wonderful RJ is (tho he has never met him), just as Rebecca did but by providing help, not love. In this ep, Bertram and/or Oscar could make some comments about the wonderful RJ and his "big picture." Jane knows who RJ and goes to the church to signal his defeat and invite RJ to reveal himself. He also tapes the gun to the pew. When RJ walks in it is Bob Kirkland. He wasn't killed; that was his brother Michael. He welcomes Jane as finally coming over to his side where they can share a wonderful life - same as his usual philosophical blather. Jane says he knows the concussion bomb was thrown in from outside but wonders why Stiles was killed. RJ says he knew too much about the Farragut murder and RJ's operations and was losing his usefulness as a cover for RJ and source of minions and was unreliable for keeping the Farragut murder a secret much longer. RJ says he has been following Jane since he first appeared at CBI and was hoping they could become friends once jane understood the "big picture." He used his HLS position to plant infiltrators, change ID's for people, etc. have access to all the resources he needed, and used his brother to do some killings. He hoped that forcing jane to allow torturing Heibach would break Jane's moral will but too bad he was stopped. (And he acts started in that cabin when some pigeons flew by.) When he was arrested he had his brother change places with him and get killed by Smith, like the loyal minion he was. So Jane pulled the pigeon stunt and shot RJ. From there it goes as it did in this ep but it all takes place in the chapel; no woman, no running. Given RJ's penchant for the philosophical/mystical stuff, the chapel was an appropriate setting for his death, especially since he was afraid to die. (And of course that was Michael in the Lennon ep, making sure RJ would not be ID'd. So would this scenario work better that the mashup we got? Maybe needs some fine tuning, but, yeah! And don't worry about how tall RJ was. The writers can't judge distances from Sac to Malibu either.


Also not only did I say they were running out of ideas but also rushing it as well, I really hoped this wasn't true but that last episode just wasn't good enough in my opinion.


I know this is a week late ( I choose to watch the episode one week later on a Saturday evening) but some of you were here at the end or towards the end of season 5 when I said they are running out of ideas, too bad that was true. McAllister was a great character in the show, the way he was running for his life was not only funny as McAllister but also as Red John. Also too bad is that Bret Stiles is killed of the show, we won't now find out about Red Johns past because he knows more than Red John or Patrick could ever know as he said. There is no one else who can tell us the past of Red John. Writers forwarding two years to avoid explaining these things and the other clues. McAllister was a solid character who could have stayed on the show after the Red John just like many of the other solid characters on the show that had to be killed of like Kirkland. How can the writers even make the mistake of showing McAllister in the 6*08 promo breaking through the glass door, let alone leaking the episode.

@ HA559

The writers don't do the promos. CBS puts them together, according to Jimmy Gadd, an editor of the show.

@ Entwife

But writing of this episode wasn't good as well.


Now for some good news: I think I have a credible explanation for that pigeon in the pocket mystery. Jane borrowed Lisbon's gun saying he was going to use it only as a prop. Which he did. He knew he was likely to be searched before meeting with Bertram, and that a gun is usually carried in back, pushed down under one's belt. When Cordero approached, Jane's jacket was open and swinging freely. Cordero patted down Jane's legs, then reached up to the logical place for a gun and found it, so he stopped looking. As Jane showed in other episodes, you always stop looking when you find what you want. So Cordero never continued on to Jane's jacket pockets and never found the pigeon. As for that, don't birds go to sleep when it gets dark? Don't people put covers over bird cages so the birds can go to sleep? So the pigeon went to sleep in Jane's dark pocket. At least this removes one plot hole from the episode.

@ rationalgal

The gun was another "mistake" in my opinion which I never mentioned.
he borrows Lisbons gun... and when he is getting in the car, he takes it out from his back and put it on the seat... He is stopped and that scene with FBI and CBI team,... then he borrows Lisbon's car... Where's the gun now?!
Then he goes to the church. one gun is found by Oscar and one gun taped there... That's another thing I never understood.. but then again, not important! I am not going to try to put reason on everything I see in this show, anymore...

@ rihanna

@rihanna, I can't tell from your posts what you believe. You're teaching me not to believe a word you write by constantly posting criticism and ending it by saying it doesn't matter, don't worry, it's not important. Which part am I supposed to read? I think I'll go with your ending statements.

@ Entwife

@rihanna Thank you for the advice about your posts. I'll put my attention elsewhere.

@ Entwife

It really isn't important anymore... but some comments make me write what I saw. I am not connecting any dots saying what I think it went on their minds or what I think they meant.. just repeating scenes! The answer to the question Washgurl36 asked before, was maybe critism, but this one was just saying what I read about that pigeon and the gun doesn't make sense to me. that might have helped the person who came up with the idea to think more and maybe come up with a better idea...
BTW, you shouldn't care what I write here... just pick comments of the people whom you agree with and read them, seriously... life goes on much easier like that for you...

@ rihanna

When Jane is stopped by the forced crash there is about a one second pause before commercial break. It resumes with him walking away from the car and then on knees, arms in the air. I would guess he had time to put the gun back in his belt band at that point. Maybe it is uncomfortable with a glocke tucked in your backside. The gun was planted so that when he would be frisked, the gun would be found and no other search would be necessary, hence the sleeping/hypnotized bird would not be found. The other gun was taped underside of the church pew in the last episode. I went back and looked and you get a swift glimpse of a white package as he was kneeling on the kneeling bar in the church.

@ washgurl36

I agree, Washgurl36. Pretty obvious he must have taken the gun from the car, tucked it in his waistband where he's always been carrying it, because he had it at the church. Period. Anyone could figure that out. I assume he trims his toenails, but I don't expect to see it shown to me onscreen just to prove it. Some things one just needs to work out for themselves.

@ washgurl36

from what I saw he jumped out of the car. I saw it without commercials and I had 1 sec black screen. I am sure if they wanted to tell us he grabbed the gun, they could have shown us that scene instead of black screen... empty handed while kneeling! look again! Don't worry. these things are not important. mistakes or not, clues or not. doesn't change anything or the outcome for what it matters! they are in the past!


Ani where are you getting this negative view of Patrick Jane? He never was a womanizer. He had sex only with Lorelei and only to get her to lead him to RJ. He was full of self-loathing for all the times he had cheated people as a fake psychic. There were many episodes showing that and how he had given up that life. He was probably as self-centered as you said before his family was killed but that woke him up the consequences of his actions and he was constantly haunted by the memory. He said his one wish was to escape his past. The only redemption he could find was in killing RJ and he became obsessed with that. So much so that he closed himself off to anything that could weaken his resolve. We saw what he was closing himself off to early on in Ladies in Red when he resisted his attraction to that woman who killed her husband, then to Kristina Frye, that to Erica. No way was he going to allow his feelings for Lisbon to show for fear his resolve for revenge would evaporate completely. And he did need to keep her at an emotional distance to protect her. That did seem a bit harsh at times but the look on Lisbon's face always showed she understood. They understand each other very well. Jane's sometimes cavalier use of his CBI team for his own purposes did bring out the Moby Dick aspects of this story with the dissolution of the CBI. If TM followed the Moby Dick plot more closely, Jane would pay for that destruction by going down with RJ but the viewers would not stand for that and DVD sales would go down too. Jane may still pay a price in episodes to come. Regardless, any hurt Jane caused his friends was always a reflection of his own pain and self-loathing that could be ended only with the death of RJ. And possibly his own death. That alone was enough for him to keep an emotional distance from Lisbon. As for other aspects of Jane's character, many episodes showed his compassion and generosity and basic decency in large and small ways. He gave his casino winnings to that dealer for her mother's organ transplant, secretly donated expensive jewelry to a global charity, helped Dr. Steiner to live his last days enjoying a few earthly pleasures and to die with dignity. All in all the picture of Jane is of a thoroughly decent man carrying a terrible burden of pain and self-loathing, trying to live down a con artist past he is ashamed of, yet never hesitating to help people who need help. He's not perfect but his intentions have always been honorable for the most part, compromised only by his pain-driven obsession with revenge.

@ rationalgal

This is how I see Patrick Jane. He's definitely not a womanizer.


Ani I completely understand your frustration with the inexplicable aspects of the RJ reveal. They do not make sense. So how can that be when Heller and the writers are so talented AND Simon Baker is known to be such a perfectionist? He did say in a DVD extra that some of the episodes were a bit ludicrous but he seemed to be referring to crime of the week stories. I keep trying to figure out what is going on. I can see how those of us with such varying backgrounds can find equally varying meanings, which is OK, but wouldn't those meanings still be there if the RJ wrapup had followed what had gone before instead of veering off into a trip through the Looking Glass? Were the writers testing the effect of belladonna and it hadn't worn off when they started writing? Nothing about the RJ in this ep was even remotely like the RJ we've been exposed to for 6 seasons. He went from a rather plaintive, seemingly lonely, charismatic, philosophically minded psychopathic killer bemused by the Blake poems and some kind of "big picture" to just a scruffy secretive controller of a bunch of corrupt cops who weren't even doing anything criminal for RJ other than killing people who might recognize him. Maybe we'll get some explanation in the coming eps. At the very least the S6 DVD should include an extra where Heller and Simon deal with this in - hopefully - some credible way. Meanwhile, I'm more perplexed by this whole mess than angry.


So, from now on, I'll watch the shows episodes, I'll like them or not like them. They will either make sense or not make sense. I no longer care if they have some hidden reason for their storylines. They showed me exactly where they can possibly go. I'm not interested enough for another wild ride. I'm still trying to make my way home from the last ride in a neck brace. I'll be watching mostly cause I like Simon Baker now. Nothing more. Heller can smell rocks!

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