There are many TV shows I have watched over the years where applying lists of 30+ reasons for each character being a suspect, carefully scrutinizing them and analyzing the most minute differences could be quite fruitful and there would be a closure to the story when it was done that all made sense and tied up things satisfactorily. That's not The Mentalist's MO, creative story writing, we see it every week with every case being an inside job where fans can often guess the killer far away, how inconsistent the RJ storyline developments have been(the random Timothy Carter as RJ sequel which I'm still convinced was some botched effort of something more the writers tried but then didn't pursue, how RJ clues went from nowhere to Jane narrowing down a list mid season to us getting nothing about it till the season finale). Look, we all obviously like this show alot, but it's not because of deep, authentic story lines where events far beyond what we casually see are where we should look for explanations of events in the RJ sequel. Rather, the RJ storyline is simply at the writer's impulse, it's a testament to the rest of the show it has lasted so long and been as successful as it has in spite of that.
@anitrawrd1: I like all the effort your putting in trying to tie everything together, I just happen to disagree with you on the approach of looking at RJ. To me it all comes back to what is this show, really what is it's DNA, and frankly it's not at all something about having the clues tie together and make sense, not in the slightest way. We can say alot of good things about this show, but continuity and tying loose ends and using subtle clues and having them all add up is not one of them to put it politely. The list of loose ends adds up exponentially every year while the aspect of tying those up is ignored(what made the 5.21 episode so memorable this year was this was the such rare occasion where we finally had some continuity that stretched beyond just a few episodes and answered a legitimately deep question fans had---but even that just turned out into a fascinating subplot but one which brought no aspect to the RJ storyline).
Jane's antagonist(Which i think is a HUGE point to be able to establish that). The point is to make him seemingly powerless, someone you'd never expect. Having said all that, I just think the evidence adds up too much in too many ways for it not to be Brett Partridge. I think alot of these pieces of evidence unlike they are for the others are subtle, the symmetry, the key episodes, establishing Jane's antagonist from episode 1, where as for other characters everything seems like a red herring(reports are early on Lisbon is going to be very suspicious of Bertram and the spotlight will be on him which spells red herring, same with Kirkland and him oddly appearing and killing Lennon, just too much of a red herring and making it seem too obviously that it would be him). So that's that, let me know what you think).
1) I really think RJ was someone that has been seen very early in the show. The way the show has hyped up RJ from the start, made him so omnipotent, I have a really really hard time believing we didn't see RJ until a couple years in. 2) I really do buy into what a writer once tweeted "that you have to look at RJ as Waldo". He is supposed to be behind the scenes, someone we don't see but is always there. Not someone with a prominent role or power position that ordinary people would recognize. Bruno has always seem to give that vibe about him in interviews as well, saying RJ is "just another man" and trying to demystify him really. That's part of why I think there would be perfect symmetry to have him so early as that guy behind the scenes that's always there that no one notices. With those two ideas, there's just no one else other than Brett Partridge. It just makes sense in every way, the guy who oddly shows up in all the key episodes, who from the very beginning is Jane's antagonist(Which i think is a HUGE point to be able to establish that). The point is to make him seemingly powerless, someone you'd never expect. Having said all that, I just think the evidence adds up too much in too many ways for it not to be Brett Partridge.
So I have spent a while thinking about the RJ list and which of the seven it is (and yes RJ is 1 of the 7 on the list it's just not in the show's DNA to go against the list, especially with everything Bruno has come out and said since the finale). To me, out of all the clues there are, both in terms of what the show has given us, the subtle things, things such as contracts of TV characters, there are two thoughts in my head that just seem to override everything else that I can't get out of my mind: 1) I really think RJ was someone that has been seen very early in the show. It just makes sense, they had no idea back in season 1 how successful they would be, to put off showing RJ until a later season is far too risky. It brings about a certain symmetry to the show, it brings about the other key idea I'll discuss next. Also the way Bruno leaked a couple years ago that we "may" have already seen RJ was pretty telling to me, as soon as he said it the way he did red flags went up. The way the show has hyped up RJ from the start, made him so omnipotent, I have a really really hard time believing we didn't see RJ until a couple years in.
was becasue they know we have a good handle on who he might be and there really only a few possibitiles of who RJ could be. What I'm interested in is a) what @huisclothes talked about "until you catch me or I catch you by RJ" it really is a question mark about what "I catch you" means but my guess is that RJ's plan is to attack Jane in some way, through taking a person he cares about or if necessary hurting Jane directly. But there is alot more to be written about this. b) how the show goes about finding RJ, those clues @rationalgal and how they add up and fit together. Because most questions we have won't be answered, that's just how it is, we as fans over think so much but really only a few issues the show will truely address and bring closure to. I'm interested in seeing what those issues in teh storylines they choose are. c) If the show really addresses Post RJ life for Jane and if so how. My guess is they won't significantly, it's just not what this show is about.
there are valid arguments for multiple characters and obviously not all will hold true once RJ is revealed as someone. At the end of the day the things about RJ clues that strike with me the most are the types of descriptions the writers have given "that RJ is waldo like, that at the end of the day he is just another person" and that "we will be dissapointed by the ending as RJ is just another guy". really every indication for years has been of RJ being a behind the scenes character and a part of the reason why at the end of the day I'd bet alot that RJ is Partridge. That's really what this show is, every case every week is some kind of inside job, someone we aren't supposed to suspect being the murderer, that's the identity and DNA of this show. In many ways that's what I expect the RJ case to be like when it's solved. What I'm really interested in isn't who RJ is(I feel confident his identity is a known and the reason the show narrowed it down to 7 for us was because they know there arent that many RJ possibilities) but how the storyline goes to uncover him and whether or not the show really addresses post RJ life for Jane and if so how.
@anitraward1: Bruno said in an interview published the day after the finale RJ was one of the seven on the list, "to trust the list", so to me there's no pt speculating about some of the other seven being on the list. Say what you want about what Bruno and the writers say, but there's a difference between misleading and twisting things and out right lying. Bruno and the writers have never out right lied. It might be a fun game for some, but it's not reality. We could come up with a list of evidence that is convincing for multiple characters, that makes it a game of which do you think is more telling "Patridge's voice and how Jane pretended to leave and then return right back to him and say something in the season 2 finale only for RJ to do the same to Jane in the later episode vs. any 1 of the pieces of evidence for Kirkland". And frankly it's a pretty impossible game. There's really no way for us to know what the writers hold as bigger clues because whomever RJ is, there are valid arguments for other characters that obviously wont hold true once RJ is revealed.
@rationalgal: There a couple things about that line of reasoning. Your assuming all 7 of those people work for RJ or are someone he is interested in or someone interested in his crimes. But what if these are people who have nothing to do with him, say Reede Smith? How is he supposed to know Reede Smith's schedule and whereabouts during his murder nights? For your theory to work they all basically have to be moles and even then, how does RJ know the exact logic Jane came to in saying someone like Smith could have been at all the crime scenes? It is possible that the writers have it so all 7 of those are connected to RJ in some way(stretching beyond the realms of realism but wouldn't shock me) but even then what tips Jane off that those are the 7 RJ possibilities and at the same time how can RJ figure out those are Jane's final 7? Lots of loose ends here, the writers often leave alot open but I feel by the end of next season there will be incomplete satisfaction.
So I'm wondering what else RJ could have here that could make this list; how could he access that information(through his moles or how) and what is that information that allows him to get to that list of 7 so much easier than Jane? Because it again, it requires a big background about all these people for RJ to be able to narrow it down to 7 out of 2000 people Jane shook hands with. Obviously he had first hand knowledge of all the murders and his friends, but I'm wondering specifically how that could help him get to this list? Interested to hear your thoughts, because the process of how they find RJ and what they do to me is alot more interesting than who it itself(and I'd bet alot of money that RJ is Brett Partridge, just seems to fit everything really well like no other character on the list, and I am against betting in all forms).
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