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The Mentalist Review: A Whole New World

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Two years.

It's been two years since the end of Red John and as The Mentalist Season 6 Episode 9 opens it looks as though Patrick Jane is living in paradise.

And who can blame him for becoming a beach bum after a decade of chasing a serial killer? Everything about Jane looks relaxed. He's smiling. He's conversing, as best he can with the locals. He's entertaining the kids with his magic tricks and enjoying his tea. 

A Walk On the Beach

Two years after Red John, this is the life of Patrick Jane…but it's not quite paradise. 

Because as he tells Kim in this The Mentalist quote

Turns out being understood is an underrated pleasure.

Jane

Despite the sun and the surf and the peace, Jane is lonely. He misses having companionship. He misses speaking English. He doesn't necessarily miss murder mysteries but he definitely misses Teresa. 

As a matter of fact, he's written her letters. Two years worth of letters that he's had his carnie friends sneak to her. And no doubt I'll be going back and pausing those scenes to try and decipher exactly what he wrote. 

Fortunately or unfortunately - I'm still not sure which - Jane's friends weren't as stealthy as he'd hoped and the FBI traced those letter back to him. 

Unfortunately because who wants to get dragged out of paradise. Fortunately because it brings him back to Lisbon.

Back in the US, Lisbon looks good. Gorgeous in fact. Her hair is probably the best I've ever seen it. But the job…well it's quiet. And she's telling herself she wants quiet. Maybe it's not such a bad thing. 

As for the rest of the team, Wayne and Grace couldn't look happier. They're running their own digital surveillance business and they now have a baby daughter named Maggie. At least it appears they'll be getting their happy ending. 

Cho finished his training at Quantico five months ago and he's now an official Fed. Loved it when Jane asked him if they put a chip in his neck because he did seem even more robotic than usual…and that's saying something when it comes to Cho.

As for the girl Jane met on the beach, I suspected she was with the FBI as soon as I saw Abbott hit the island. It was just too much of a coincidence for two people from the US to cross Jane's path on the same day. 

At least she makes an excellent cup of tea.

One of my great disappointments of the episode was that we never got to hear Jane's list of terms for returning to the US. Once again I'll be going back and trying to decipher exactly what he wrote. 

But I don't think any shipper could be disappointed in the reunion between Patrick and Teresa. That hug was a long time coming. Finally there was no ulterior motive and no pretense. Just two old friends who were bursting with joy to see one another again. 

Just friends? For now, but Patrick was positively beaming. He couldn't take his eyes off of her. 

Although I'm sure the road ahead won't be easy, I believe that Jane finally taking off his wedding ring was a huge sign that he's ready to begin moving forward in his personal life. I can't wait to see where that leads.

Of course some things won't change and we probably wouldn't want them to…

Lisbon: I've got a job. I'm not going to drop everything just because you suddenly decided to come back.
Jane: We'll talk.

 

Yes, Jane expected Lisbon to follow him to the FBI.  Was that presumptuous? Definitely but I simply don't think he can do this without her. Hopefully she feels the same way.

I know that while some fans couldn't wait for the Red John story line to be over, others lamented that the show would die along with the serial killer. If anything "My Blue Heaven" has me more excited to watch The Mentalist than I was before it started.

It's a whole new world and I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (217 Votes)

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

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Ani raises an interesting question about how well Jane lives as a fugitive. I would love to have the writers give us an episode where Jane reveals how he does this. He seems to be good at planning ahead. Perhaps he has always kept a passport on hand with a false ID in a quickly available safe deposit box in case one of his unorthodox plans requires him to make a fast getaway. Does he have an offshore bank account where he keeps his blackjack/poker winnings? Does he have a property management company on automatic online payment schedule to handle the maintenance, insurance & taxes on his Malibu house? Does he have someone authorized to take care of his Citroen and put it in storage? He may keep up a whole other identity through which he manages these things. Maybe this will come out in bits and pieces, just as we found out he had got a mail order ordination just in case he ever needed to perform a marriage ceremony.

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OK, here's one behavioral change we've already seen: Jane writing letters to Lisbon, opening up to her with his thoughts, and about how she would enjoy seeing those dolphins. There's the beginning of an openness we've never seen before. And no more vests. I always saw that vest as a symbol of closing himself off from any emotional attachments - kind of like a suit of armor. And he's open to hugging people - Lisbon, his friend at the hotel, even trying to hug Cho. Now THAT was different! I think we can expect more of this expansive behavior.

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@ rationalgal

I agree! it will be so interesting to see jane work in an environment with lisbon and the others where he doesnt have to hide behind his armour as you say. I was trying to read the letter he wrote to lisbon at the start… 'ive found a tailor…explain what I want, he doesn’t …(like it)… then does it anyway. Despite his sometimes poor taste, his…is excellent. I think you may be surprised at the look. Maybe one day youll get to see it. leo(?) just way. iv gone native. 'Ive been meaning to apoligize for leaving you at the beach that night. You being absent is the one thing (...) this new chapter, (strange and ...?). miss you.'

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@ handig

"You being absent is the one thing that's made this new chapter strange and sad". I loved that.

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@ Wagurl36

ahh thank you!

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I suppose Jane's complexity comes from him being a full-fledged character, as real people are. Real people have behaviors that some interpret as charming or thoughtful etc. and others interpret as childish or disengaged etc. So it seems to be with the Jane character. What makes TM so interesting is that you really can see Jane in different ways. I have watched a lot of TV over the years but I can't think of any characters that would generate much discussions about their behavior and its motivation. They can all be described in one short paragraph. With Jane it takes a whole page just to get a running start. His whole background and why he does what he does is a story in itself, then you have to play that out against what is happening to him in the present. There's a lot of stuff going on there. It will be interesting to see how Jane's behavior changes with Red John gone as well as the emotional straitjacket that obsession kept him in.

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@ rationalgal

I've read some interesting comments from Simon B. regarding his life minus RJ. He shares that it will be quite an experience for him to go to that place. I know he will be up to it. As I remember, part of the comment was likening it to jumping off a cliff; ok.....he is gone now.....what next? Also so interesting to me was him explaining how the role of PJ was two roles combined with him having to do the dance to bring it to the screen......the vengeance seeking, self-loathing sad man and the other PJ, lighthearted and getting on with life and using his special gifts to get the bad guys. This is all paraphrasing on my part. I agree with you, Rationalgal. It will be so interesting!

Anitraward1

Jane is living petty darn good as a fugitive. He should have been hold up in a shabby room with long hair and a beard. Eating cold pork -n-beans out of the can, writing Lisbon letters on used teabags!

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Thing that bothered me is that no one bothered to remind Abbott that Lisbon and her team were cleared of any involvement in the Red John/Blake Association business. They must have been, because Lisbon is still a cop, Cho is in the FBI,. and Rigsby and Grace are out and happy. They, along with Jane, rid the world of a serial killer and brought down the most corrupt organization ever seen in American law enforcement. They should have all been promoted and given medals.

Rihanna
@ Joe

lol...
I thought they were going to promote them all, as well... but they pointed their guns at federal agents... so some kind of punishment was in the way for them... But they could be an asset to law enforcement in Sacramento... Heller could have put in a good word for them... lol! It took them 2 years to catch Jane... that was amazingly a long time! hehehe

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We didn't see a significantly new Jane is this episode because, as he said re his past, he isn't ready. He needs to feel comfortable taking off his ring and keeping it off. I expect that will come soon and we will see the effects of a Jane free of guilt, self-loathing, rage and an obsession with vengeance. Perhaps he will be more fun-loving, eager to socialize, outgoing and secretive only when necessary to screw over the bad guys. I expect he will find that to be his purpose rather than a means to find Red John, and he will love doing that and it will show. He was born and raised to be a carney entertainer and he may start being that person in a joyful way that will be fun to watch. Simon Baker is very good at doing a lovable type of comedy. No more angst, no more heartbreaking memories, no more insomnia and no more morose planning in an attic hideaway. Sounds like a new Jane to me.

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I watched Psyche a few times but stopped because it seemed so pointless and silly. Even tho it and TM follow the same theme, TM is so much more entertaining. If if a case could be made that TM is also pointless and silly, there's the style in which this is carried out. TM just does it right, mainly because the Patrick Jane character all by itself is so engaging. And it IS a complex character as evidenced by the differing views of him here - a great guy vs a jerk; an honorable man vs a cold blooded criminal. Complexity comes in Jane's weaknesses as well as his strengths - supremely confident and self-serving yet secretive and also compassionate, generous and understanding. Only characteristics that are stable are that he loves kids and dogs, is protective of women - especially young girls - but not of murderesses, hasn't a macho or sexist bone in his body, and gives evil people the treatment they deserve regardless of how the law wants them treated. That last one puts him in the edgy gray area category a bit, and some viewers aren't comfortable with that, while others (like me) find that intriguing. Jane also has that interesting carney background that helps explain his behavior. Most other shows tell us nothing significant about a character. CSI did with their original leads, Grissom and Sara Sidle, and the show suffered when they left because the rest of the cast were cardboard cutouts.

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@ rationalgal

When I compare The "new" Mentalist to Psych, I am referring to the lead characters. The series themselves are not the same type of show. I love them both but for totally different reasons. Psych is a total comedy with touches of drama. The Mentalist is a drama with touches of comedy.

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@ rationalgal

Viewers differing opinions about Jane don't necessarily mean the character is complex. It simply points out the complexity of the human race. All see the same Jane - the clever, manipulative, caring yet selfish conman. I don't think anyone on this site has ever disavowed Jane's sensitive, generous, caring side. Nor can anyone deny his judgmental, selfish, often cruel side. He is what he is. We all see that. The only difference is in what some viewers see as intriguing versus deplorable. The trait is the same. The only difference is in OUR personal attitudes toward those behavioral traits. It doesn't make HIM complex. It makes US (human viewers) complex. And that has never changed. From episode one to 121, all those same traits have always been evident, and they are still evident. Now that Red John is gone, Jane may be less depressed and guilt-ridden, but he is still Jane. His family being killed did not make him distrustful and cynical. That's part of that carney upbringing. And meeting Lisbon did not suddenly make him start caring about people. He loved his family and still has other friends he has kept in contact with from his carney days. I guess what I am trying to say is that for the past five and a half seasons we have not really seen any real character development. And from what I have seen at the end of My Blue Heaven and the upcoming episode previews, it looks like just more of the same Jane. Which I am okay with; I like the "old" Jane.

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Sorry, the previous post was supposed to be a reply to rationalgal below. On a side note, I have only seen one other show try to switch gears so completely and that was the A-Team back in the late 80’s. The popular show had always been these guys who were wanted by the government, who worked to help people in unconventional ways and were based out of L.A. At the end of season four, they were caught, court martialed, and “executed”. Only they were able to escape because a shadowy CIA guy arranged it so, once they escaped they were relocated to Langley, VA, where they worked under-cover and off the books for the CIA, carrying out missions the US could never overtly be involved in. They didn’t even lose any cast members. Needless to say, the show did not get renewed the next season.

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Actually, although The Mentalist was a kind of take-off from Monk, they were in many ways opposites. Monk was already a detective whose wife had been killed, but not by a serial killer. She was a journalist who had been targeted because of a story she had been working on. It was the one case Monk could not solve. He had always had OCD but it was not severe enough to keep him from performing his job until his wife’s murder caused a breakdown. He wanted to return to work but simply was not functional enough to do so, but his extraordinary attention to detail still made him the best detective around. So, he worked as a consultant with the help of his nurse/assistant. Monk never played tricks or mind games; he simply noticed things average people missed. He also only worked on the case of his wife’s murder when there was nothing else to occupy him. Jane on the other hand, obsessed on his family’s murder, seeing the other cases as interruptions. He was also only with the CBI, at least initially, to find Red John. The Jane family murder was the driving force behind Jane. Monk’s wife’s death was more of a side story than a driving force. She wasn’t killed by a serial killer, so there weren’t more gruesome murders to add to the mystery and hunt; just an occasional lead/connection that would pop up maybe once a season. The “new” Mentalist, however, is exactly like taking Shawn from Psych, who also uses mind games and childish tricks to solve crimes (driving everyone around him crazy) because he doesn’t have the patience to follow the rules and be a real detective; and putting him in the place of Neil from White Collar, who is a suave conman, avoiding serving prison time by serving as a consultant with the FBI. Neil also uses tricks, sometimes not-so-legal to catch the bad guys. Yes, all shows are a bit like things that have come before it because Hollywood can’t come up with anything original anymore. But these similarities are a tad on the nose. I also agree with Rihanna that Jane is not that complex. If you go back and watch the pilot episode, he really hasn’t changed at all. The onus of Red John is gone, but as we saw at the end of My Blue Heaven, he’s the same old Patrick Jane he’s always been. I’m not saying that is a bad thing. I like the character or I would have never watched the show. I just don’t see where everyone is seeing this “new” Jane.

Rihanna
@ euterpe

I agree!

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The only thing I have seen was on mediamas where they say the story is probably not true (is Robbin Tunney expecting?)The story said she had a baby bump and toasted with water instead of wine while at dinner. Somebody starting rumors?

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@ Wagurl36

Maybe she's quitting drinking alcohol. Those are empty calories and she's not getting any younger -- it gets harder to keep the weight off as we get older.

Angie-lavoie
@ RM

No kidding, eh?? LOL

The Mentalist Season 6 Episode 9 Quotes

Lisbon: When are you guys going to give up chasing him?
Abbott: We're the FBI. We don't give up.

Sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do so worse things don't happen.

Lisbon
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