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The Mentalist Round Table: "Red John"

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It was the end of an era with The Mentalist Season 6 Episode 8, as Patrick Jane finally came face to face with Red John.

Talk about juicy material for our Round Table team!

Brlow, TV Fanatic Christine Orlando is joined by The Menalist fans Katempw and from Twitter @Nerwin_Aldarion, @Donnamour1969 to find out if any of their Red John guesses were correct and what important questions were still left unanswered.

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Were you right? Who did you think was Red John?

Nerwin_Aldarion: Nope, but I loved being wrong, I was sure it was Haffner but after he died I knew it wasn't Bertram so I was glad it was McAllister.     

Donnamour1969: I wasn't right at first. I hoped with my whole heart Partridge was Red John, but after last week's show, a friend and I figured out it was the sheriff, since Bertram seemed "off" as Red John. The only person "killed" at Jane's house who had a tattoo was McAllister, so I wasn't surprised by the reveal.

Katempw: I never played the game hard, only dabbled. My take changed over time and initially I went with who I wanted as RJ (Stiles, Kirkland) rather than trying to reason out who he would be. In the end (early Nov.) though, I settled on McAllister as the most likely after reading some promotional articles. So I suppose my last guess was right but it was kind of a cheat. And I believe earlier on I said he would be a ridiculous choice :).

Christine: How far back do you want to go? In season one I believed it was Virgil Minelli. But this season I was voting for Haffner until a couple of episodes ago. Then I toyed with Reede Smith. I never really considered McAllister until the explosion in Malibu.

The Mentalist Round Table

Were you satisfied with the explanation that Sheriff Tom McAllister is Red John?

Nerwin_Aldarion: Yes, it fit who RJ was, playing the power behind the throne easily.

Donnamour1969: It made sense, I suppose, but he didn't seem evil or charismatic enough to lead so many. I was disappointed it was him. But thinking back on McAllister's first appearance way back in 1x2, it's funny now to think Jane played Rock, Paper, Scissors with Red John--and beat him every time.  Foreshadowing?

Katempw: Yes, I was satisfied and I think Xander Berkely carried it off really well. I liked the banality of evil he and his low profile character brought to Red John. It had the ring of truth and reality to me, in contrast to an over the top larger than life TV explanation and persona — which would have been a safer, easier, more commercial way to go, but insulting to the intelligence of the viewer. I am not at all fussed that every outstanding question wasn’t addressed in those 42 minutes and may never be. That is not important to me.

Christine: Despite my predictions, I actually liked McAllister as Red John in the end. I thought he was a great combination of arrogance, charm, intelligence, and evil and the last few scenes between he and Jane were riveting.

What one question did you want to have answered that wasn't?

Nerwin_Aldarion: Red John's back story, how did RJ become RJ? Who was he originally? What drove him to kill? I so badly want a true origin story 

Donnamour1969: I would like to know more about the Visualize connection. That seemed to be totally dropped. We know Red John and the cult were connected somehow, given "The Red Barn".  I'd like to know just how connected, and how Stiles knew so much about Red John's actions.

Katempw: Oh, that has to be Jane’s list of seven. How did Red John figure that one out?? I am firmly in the there-are-no-psychics camp, so it remains a mystery to me. And I am good with that. An amusing loose end to ponder.

Christine: I, too, would love to know Red John's back story but I really wanted to know how he figured out that list of seven. Like Kate, I'm not buying the psychic angle. There had to be a way he figured out the list and I really want to know what that was. 

Why was Jane shutting Lisbon out? Why didn't he want her involved in the take down?

Nerwin_Aldarion: To protect her and himself, for one if he told her where he was going then Abbott would use her to find him. But mostly it was so she would have plausible deniability, they can't prove she knew that Jane was going to kill RJ. This way she was not aiding and abetting a murderer. This was Classic Jane, keeping her out to protect her.

Donnamour1969: He has always tried to give her deniability, in order to protect her. No doubt he was doing this again.  I like that Lisbon let him basically go (twice) and kill Red John with her blessing, even though until that point it was unclear she really would. I think she finally understood his need and let him fulfill his quest on his own.

Katempw:  Jane had more than one reason to shut out Lisbon but his overreaching motivation was that this was his personal mission. It was something he had to do himself. He didn’t want her, of all people, anywhere near when it went down. He wanted to shield her physically, professionally and emotionally. Especially the latter.

Christine: His goal was to kill the man and despite what Lisbon said on the way to Malibu, he knew if she was involved she'd pay a price both professionally and personally. He didn't want to lay that burden on her. This was his personal vendetta and he needed to carry it out alone. 

What was your favorite scene?

Nerwin_Aldarion: Oh gosh. Jane and Lisbon's talk at the park was amazing, Lisbon at the empty CBI had me in tears but Jane killing RJ was indescribable so I have to go with that

Donnamour1969: There were many. The best was the scene of Jane killing Red John with his bare hands. No matter what his identity, THIS is what the series was all about--Jane finally getting closure, getting a chance to avenge his family as he promised them, not having him chicken out at the last moment and show mercy, not having someone else take that right from him. Simon Baker gave an Emmy-winning performance here, and I hope he is recognized for it. The scene where Jane asked for Lisbon's gun is a close second. Lots of emotion there, and excellent performance by both actors.

Katempw:  There were several outstanding scenes: I loved Lisbon and Jane in the garden, the team standing up to the FBI for Jane, Lisbon standing up to Abbott in the empty CBI bullpen, Jane and the baddies in the chapel, but my favorite — and it was superb, compelling television — was the killing of Red John until my TV screen faded to black. I was spellbound. It was fantastic. Kudos to Mr. Baker and the team for giving us that. I am still reeling.

Christine: Definitely Jane killing Red John with his bare hands. I know some fans took issue with the killing. That either Jane shouldn't have done it or that we should have seen more of McAllister's reaction but I thought it was great as is. Jane did exactly what he said he'd do from the beginning of the show and I don't blame him a bit. And we got to see all of the emotion that ran through Jane as he squeezed the life out of the man. It's not a scene I'll soon forget. 

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

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Mental-geoff

I am completely satisfied.
The whole show is about the terribly clever and rule-breaking showman Jane. But in the end Heller showed us it was one man and one final chase and one visceral throttling. Bravo Mr H!
When Heller said fans will be disappointed I guessed it would be Kirkland's evil twin; I (unlike the "please, man, let it be Bret" brigade) was still very happy.
Our Patrick has crossed the boundaries of acceptable good-taste so often that he's worn a groove but still surprises. Well done Heller and his writers, Baker and all the team.

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No way the Sheriff is the real deal! He lets Patrick meet him at a venue of their choosing and with Patrick knowing his phobia ??
He's a genius not an Idiot...he wouldn't do this unless someone ordered him to..........
LIKE Reede Smith

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anyone justify this trainwreck of an episode? Everything is so poorly plotted and paced, dialogue is awful, the rich Red John mythology built up over the years isn't woven in, barely any questions answered, and most of it wastes time with that FBI guy. Then there's that silly chase where a shot old man is outrunning somebody a decade younger than he is, jumping through a sliding glass door... then the amazing, brilliant, confident Red John CALLS THE COPS ON HIS PHONE. It's so silly and garish, it's like watching an episode of the 60s Batman TV series. I half expected a few BIFFs and POWs, maybe Patrick dancing the Batusi.

Entwife
@ penguintruth

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Fortyseven

1. I never put too much thought into it.
2. No. I don't believe that he is Red John.
3. EVERYTHING
5. The promo for the next episode.

Marisa1983

I only started thinking McCallister as Red John when they got the list down to 7. Then when I thought he was dead, I thought it was Bertram, but I was disppointed with him as Red John. So, I am glad it was McCallister, he's charismatic yet creepy at the same time. And Xander Berkley was amazing which made it more believable. My favorite scene was actually the reveal, I didn't expect it and I felt chills. Now I am only disappointed we didn't get a backstory, I would hae been nice to find out before Jane does, so we could connect the dots. And I would like for Bruno Heller to explain how RJ figured the list out. He told Lorelei before Jane knew himself...

Stu-b

Simon Baker showed some serious acting chops in that kill scene.

Katempw

Mashburn would definitely have been a cool Red John. He's charming enough to pull off the legions of devoted followers aspect. Thinking Lorelei here. I would have both loved and hated him as RJ because I really liked his character. Plus, the thought of Lisbon unknowingly sleeping with Red John is vile.

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@ katempw

Yes, I can't picture a beautiful woman like Lorelei Martins as Sheriff McAllister's mistress, but could definitely picture her as Walter Mashburn's mistress. He would have been great, because the audience would have been torn about disliking him, and about Patrick killing him. Someone who was an authentic dual personality would have been more interesting. J.J. La Roche would also have been a good choice.

Entwife

Did I pick RJ? MacAllister was my third choice. So out of the two remaining suspects and a 50/50 chance of being right, yeah. Satisfied MacAllister is RJ? Yes, kinda creepy and unexpected, but I'm okay with it. RJ has never been my focus in the show except for how it affected Jane over time. Patrick Jane was really the focus, The Mentalist is the show's name after all, not The Serial Killer. One unanswered question? How did Visualize really fit in? We may yet find out since Bret Stiles said he would return! ;) Why Jane didn't want Lisbon involved? It was ultimately his quest and his kill, and he didn't want to take her down with him, minimize the damage to her and the team. And, he wouldn't want her to have the image of him for what he was about to do. Or for her to get hurt or killed. Favorite scene? The kill scene, no contest. Simon Baker should get an Emmy for that! Never seen the like of it on broadcast television in my life!

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I always hoped Walter Mashburn would turn out to be Red John. He could have had a dual personality, one as the charming playboy who hooked up with Lisbon and really liked Patrick, and the other, as an evil serial killer. He would have been a fantastic choice, and he would have had the money to pull it off.

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