There's a fairly simple answer to this question and I think you answered it: nobody ever watched this show for its writing and wit and creativity, we watched it for the characters. If you really want an answer to this question and willing to look at this through an open mind I really suggest this article. It sums up alot of what critics on here have been saying. http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/11/24/the-mentalist-red-john-mystery/
If you want to talk specifics about the writing we can do that, but this article tells you about alot of people's problems. I won't comment on that but ultimately it comes down to this; nobody ever praised this show for its writing like you seem to suggest. If you want to watch a show with good unpredictable deep writing, there are many other shows for you not this one. This was always about the characters. But regardless, there's your answer to the question; not many threw wild praise at these writers for 6 years like your saying. Rather people praised this show because of how great the characters were and the writing was good enough to not take away from them. Well that didn't keep up the past 1.5 years or so from the middle of season 4 or so. And it only got worse and worse; honestly the best indicator to me is the non RJ case of the week fillers. Season 2-3 had wild episodes like Ball of Fire. Season 5 was loaded with episodes like Red Lacquer Polish and Red White and Blue. Rather than combine a dramatic revealing storyline with Jane's wit, the show just focused on cliche ways to show Jane outsmarting people with his wit.
I'll pose this question to many on here religiously defending the show and its ending; weren't many of you the same ones who came up with the deepest wildest theories about RJ? Stiles is RJ's father? Michael Kirkland is RJ? Jane's alternate personality is RJ? RJ is a group of many people? All these wild theories came about on this site the past couple years and I'm not going to go back and see who specifically said what but you know what you said and many of the people on here who are now defending this show were the ones who were coming up with the craziest theories. By coming up with that, you're obviously thinking deep about the show and expecting the show to deliever something far deeper than what they did. If we're being honest no one here a year ago would have been coming up with these deep theories if they just expected a shallow ending and they didn't want some kind of deep ending answering at least a few of these questions they posed. To now say, oh this is a perfect ending for the show, it's an allegory, I don't care about all those unanswered questions now, everything is beautiful, something's off here? If you really felt this way, you wouldn't have spent so much time going so in depth with RJ theories would you have? Something's off and I don't just buy everyone here had a change of heart and feel way differently all of a sudden, like they had some grand realization.
I agree with this response. And I highly recommend you read this article. It's basically an extended in depth analysis of some points you bring up and brings up some different ideas. I recommend anybody with an open mind to read this actually. http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/11/24/the-mentalist-red-john-mystery/
2 things have really interested me this past week looking back
1) I think what's most interesting about this series is there's no doubt the quality declined from say calendar year 2012 on. I went back and watch some episodes from Season 3 and some from early 4 and 2 and there is no comparison to what we saw with the "case of the week" filler episodes of season 5 and even though so much more was revealed in these red john episodes this year than previous ones I still saw better writing in earlier versions. And yes, to refer to your point yes, RJ was way different from his previous behavior, the pt of the show was to simplify RJ but I agree they took the "evil being simpler than expected" too far and almost used it as a scapegoat. Oh, fans are upset, well we'll just throw that line out to them. Everything solved! Now, why did this happen? Is it pressure from CBS? Is it the writers realizing: it's easy to create a monster and create mystery, but it's much harder to tie up that mystery and simplify and capture that monster in a process that's nearly as elegent? In other words, its easy to hype up something, not so easy to live up to that hype? I think there's a combination of multiple things here but what I think speaks to this not going necessairly as smoothly as hoped is the idea that a) season 4 was a repeat in many ways of season 3 b) season 5 outside of some RJ bits revealed next to nothing and was loaded with filler episodes c) the quality of filler episodes declined from jane getting kidnapped, fugue in red to just plain average episodes of Jane capturing a killer in ways that repeated themselves every week. I don't think this was intentional, quality doesn't just erode like this, clearly the writers were capable of more than they showed the last 2 seasons. Something changed and it;s very interesting to think about what.
2) The response to immediately defend this show at all costs by some fans has also fascinated me. A number of fans on here are acting like "oh it's beautiful writing that so much doesn't make sense. It's an allegory! Think deeper, you're missing the point". I don't agree with this at all but that's not why I'm mentioning it. What's interesting is that many of these people are the one's who for years spewed red john theories like "Red John is many " "Michael Kirkland is really Red John" "Patrick Jane's split personality is Red John" "McAllister isn't really Red John(even though Bruno has said RJ is done for good) suggesting they were thinking very deeply(overthinking probably) this show. It's ok to admit this wasn't great writing that satisfied what you wanted for years without using the rather childish come back "oh good thing we aren't writers, we couldn't do any better". Go compare this writing to what you'll see with other more acclaimed shows, you'll realize this excuse of "evil being simpler" and "details not fascinating an audience" aren't what are used by other shows. Not in the slightest. Now, what was this change in storywriting from after say midseason 4 to now due to? I have no idea but I just don't get this need to vigorously defend this ending when many of these same fans spend so much time hypothesizing the wildest deepest endings they could fathom for years. The loyalty fans have to shows is always something that interests me, just shows to what degree some invest into a show.
Yeah, I agree on the idea, it would be stupid for Jane to just stay back and get arrested, just to "be there for the team" and "be there for Lisbon". What's he going to do, provide emotional support to them behind bars? You do what's best for yourself.
The reason I am commenting on this though is because I completely disagree with everything else which shows just how differently people perceive things and the idea that even though this show lacks alot in its writing, just simple things can be perceived so differently which is why shows get away with leaving such huge gaps. I also want to really emphasize this idea that someone we "like" and admire should never be confused with them being a "hero" or good person even though we like to think people we like have good intentions(no one wants to admit to themselves they like someone who they know is doing bad things).
Jane as some kind of hero to me is the exact opposite of what I think.
Not at all. Everything in his life is about him. Ditching the team in season 4, hiding all kinds of information(and I'm not just talking RJ info), blatantly breaking regulations, life in the CBI is a big joke and game to him. Like Haffner said, solving cases is just a game to him. He often knows who's innocent and guilty at first glance(S3E1 was a good ex amongst many others at this) but he likes to play games, keep the center of attention around him(ie throw around the word memory palace and talk about it knowing no one else knows what it is). It's not through hard work that he solves these cases, it's just through incredible gifts he's born with. He could make much much better use of them, he just cares not to. Rather he cares to use those gifts to manipulate others and get the greatest satisfaction he can(Lorelei even talked about his manipulative skills even last year) So the argument that he's solved 100's of cases for the CBI doesn't work for me, to him its the bare minimum he has to do to get by and get away with living the lifestyle he does. His life and being part of the CBI never ever had to do with solving cases as a primary motive; he's not "giving up" anything or sacrificing anything for the good of the team by going after RJ. This lifestyle was always a means to an ends and like Jane said in season 4 finale to Wainwright "a way to kill time". Nothing more.
I also have never bought him "protecting" Lisbon. He doesn't want her involved because to be frank, she's not an asset she's a liability. We saw this with Dennis Abbott, he wanted them involved because he knew they'd screw up. Jane is so much smarter than them, and yet he needed six seasons himself to take down RJ. Drag in these others who don't know nearly as much about RJ, aren't so subtle and wise, and you still think RJ gets caught? Please
Finally, what I mentioned before and really want to emphasize is the idea of someone we like, admire, many adore, root for, females think is amazing looking, and has an off the charts charisma to many also then having to be a good person is flawed. We tend to think the people we like the most are also good people and I think that's what happened here. We assume positive intentions with everything they do and I think the admiration of Jane has taken that to an extreme. Jane blatantly and wrecklessly killed Timothy Carter. People talk about all he did to "protect" the team without mentioning all he did to endanger them earlier in the series. Trying to bury someone alive if need be to make a point. An even worse action to show his intentions is that he has basically decided he wants people dead and makes it happen. James Panzer, the people on the list Kirkland killed, this is a god awful person. These are all things he's done in his quest to capture RJ. And now people are trying to make it seem like he's some kind of hero, someone who had good intentions for others? I couldn't possibly disagree more and I think people liking everything about Jane and his charisma blinds some's perception of what kind of person he really is.Maybe there's an element of fans hoping so hard for Jisbon and really wanting to believe that Jane cares for Lisbon and is willing to risk himself for her and protect her at all costs. But as someone who's always found Jisbon ridiculous, I don't see that at all. I don't know, lots to think about but you can see here how 2 people who watch the show regularly and think alot about it come to 2 COMPLETELY different viewpoints.
You know when I think about it, my biggest problem with the writers might not be these gaps they never explained. It's that we never got a good idea as to how RJ gets all these followers. We certainly couldn't tell by how McAllister was acting, from what we saw of him he awkwardly tried to hit on Van Pelt in a way somebody who seduced so many women to work for him never would. This is the one thing there's absolutely no excuse for. At the end of the day, you can get past these individual things like not knowing how RJ got the list, who pulled the shotgun at the house, why Wainwright was killed etc(although all taken together is a bit egregious) but there's no way a show should ever get by without giving a good idea of his magic. And no it's not just a serial killer's nonsense like Bruno called it in an interview, no it's what his followers got to believe in, how he came so powerful, how he worked. That is at the very heart of what this storyline is about; there is nothing more relevant than that. At least RJ told Jane about some of his tricks for their brief encounter, he never mentioned anything about HOW he can so powerful and had so many followers. And that is not acceptable no matter what anybody who defends the writers on this site will say.
I completely forgot about Red Rover Red Rover, good call there. The burying was epic, but there were other fantastic scenes like the red john happy birthday message and Patrick having lunch with his family and ordering food for them.
Most people I know loved Devil's Cherry, for some reason I just didn't, didn't feel it was anywhere near as good as Fugue In Red which was a similar idea.
Code Red is another very good addition, that definitely showed different sides of the characters and had the type of storyline we never see anymore with this show. Dramatic, thought provoking, challenging the audience.
So I had two questions I'm interested in getting feedback from people from
1) How many of you are truly going to be invested in this show after this debacle in the eyes of many of you? Will you still watch? Will you still be invested, think about the show and come on sites like this to post? We say we are disgusted but does that really mean anything----if the writers get away from the plot there sick of while maintaining views, why wouldn't they?
2) I was thinking of the top 10 mentalist episodes over 5.5 years with this Red John saga. Here are my top 10. Feel free to comment or post yours.
1) 3.24 Strawberries and Cream
2) 4.10 Fugue in Red
3) 2.8 His Red Right Hand
4) 3.8 Ball of Fire
5) 4.24 Crimson Hat
6) 2.23 Red Sky in the Morning
7) 1.11 Red John's Friends
8) 6.6 Fire and Brimstone
9) 4.1 Scarlett Ribbons
10) 5.8 Red Sails in the Sunset
1.24 Red John's Footsteps
3.9 Red Moon
4.7 Blinking Red Light
5.8 Red Sails in the Sunset
6.7 The Great Red Dragon
1) INot sure I buy that Jane was content going to jail the first time even though he said so and regardless, in that set up he had no choice, he killed him in public around cops. Keep in mind with jail the first time he had a cop out, he had already pulled the I have the right to kill the man who killed my wife and daughter card and it worked. You can't really use that get out of jail free card twice and any lawyer would know its coming also and destroy it(again this is too deep for the show but I'm just trying to use rudimentary logic). Also Jane's antics have grown alot thinner on people over these past couple years, that would play into it as well.
2) Name one thing that Jane has done that really is selfless for the team? Shoot Todd Harvey 5 years ago? He's done small thing like last year helping Grace go to that program but there's just nothing in 6 years to suggest when push comes to shove he'll put his team over others.
3) Most importantly, how he's going to "be there" for the team when he's in jail? You really think he's helping Lisbon emotionally behind bars?
"Jane is a really selfish s.o.b"------Does this come as any surprise to anybody? Jane is the hero of the show, the guy we all are so fascinated in and who so many worship and adore, but people confuse that with him being some kind of good guy with good character. There's no correlation whatsoever. Jane openly murdered Timothy Carter. He basically decided he wanted James Panzer dead and made it happen. There are millions of other things I've missed that even the most deceitful scumbags wouldn't do. He left the team once for 6 months without a word(and honestly much less of a reason than he does now). He's a horrible person, this should not come as news to anybody. What I think hurts people is the Jisbon aspect. The Jisbon worshippers. People always had this assumption that Jane really did care for Lisbon at anywhere near the level he cared about himself and RJ. Well if it wasn't clear enough before it sure is now once and forever; Jane is about Jane and Jane only. Lisbon is a friend, a good one who he cares enough about not to put in danger, but not someone to change the direction of his life over. Why that's upsetting so many people now after 6 years I don't get. If you had the opportunity to escape a life of prison and torture and near death probably, is it that crazy to say you would? Especially when the only people you are betraying aren't even family or lovers( and we can say once and for all Jane and Lisbon aren't lovers).
Can someone answer a couple questions for me though
1) Did we ever find out why Partridge died first?
2) Did we ever find out why or who the shotgun at his house was fired at?
3) Did we ever find out that good friend in the FBI he was referring to in the season 4 finale?
I honestly don't know the answer to these questions, wondering if someone else does.
His ditching of the team(which is indicative of what he's been doing this entire show----this isn't even his first ditch dating back to season 4) is exactly why I've never taken Jisbon seriously. It's just not realistic in anyway. But I'm not sure what people expect; a) he's about to be arrested and go to jail by some guy in the FBI with a rod up his ass looking to be tough and scare people and set examples b) the CBI is done. For those who always argued he was there for Lisbon and the team and for RJ, well neither of those are there now. What do you want him to do? Stay? Well that's not at all in his character from what we've seen for 6 years.
Read this interview: http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/11/24/the-mentalist-red-john-interview/2/
Hate to break it to you, but yeah it really is over. Forget about Red John stories, the show doesn't even plan on mentioning his name anymore.
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