The Mentalist offered up a "Black-winged Redbird" this week, as a key character survived but yet another important person from Jane's past was brutally murdered.
Below, TV Fanatic Christine Orlando is joined by The Mentalist fans, Kate, @MentalistProbs from Twitter and anitraward1 to debate why Red John decapitated Sophie Miller and whether the famous serial killer could be more than one person.
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Kate: Though the oven scene made my stomach drop to the floor, the hospital scene was my favorite. A lot happened there, some things obvious, some more subtle and raising questions: Jane's concern and tenderness for Lisbon (loved that), her oddly unfazed reaction (what did happen to her?), Lisbon sharing with Jane Partridge's words 'tyger, tyger' and admitting she'd been so easily hooked by RJ (nice touch, issue over), the nurse looking for Carmen Lee (significant surely?) Honourable mention to Cho and Rigsby trying to figure out who RJ is. Just like all of us.
@MentalistProbs: My favorite scene was when Jane was desperately looking for water to wipe off Lisbon's face and when he actually wiped off the blood. Simon did a really great job of conveying Jane's emotions through his actions. Plus, I'm a total shipper, so that just made my heart melt.
anitraward1: Partridge biting the dust.
Christine: I've got to agree with @MentalistProbs. Jane was so frantic to find that water and wash Red John's mark off of Lisbon. It was the one time he clearly showed his panic and distress over the entire situation.
Do you think Red John could be multiple people working together instead of one mad man?
Kate: I think there is one man at the head of the beast. Clearly he has acolytes, people who do his bidding and are willing to die for him, but I think there is one person directing all of this. There has always been something about RJ's relationship and dealings with Jane that is very personal, almost intimate. A many headed dragon does not fit with that. I would feel cheated if RJ turns out to be a committee. [However, there is likely an organization comprised of the law enforcement suspects we saw last week (and others) but my sense is that they are engaged in something else, something likely related to Red John, that will reverberate through CBI and other agencies when Red John is taken down.
@MentalistProbs: I definitely think Red John is more than one person. There were two main hints for me in last nights episode: the fact that Lisbon dreamt about more than one man being Red John (perhaps her subconscious is telling her something about the attack?) and the interaction between Reede, Bertram, and McAllister. It seemed like they were all in on it, plus all the suspects have that creep factor.
anitraward1: I think Red John is an organization with a killer in it.
Christine: Lisbon's dream and the meeting between 3 of the suspects leads to the theory that Red John could be more than one person, but like Kate I'd be very disappointed if there is more than one man at the head. Although I like the theory that sources within CBI have been protecting RJ all of these years for their own gain.
Did you expect Jane to shut Teresa out after Red John targeted her?
Kate: I didn't think Jane would shut Teresa out simply as a result of her being a target. She's had a bull's eye on her back for a long time now and will continue to have one no matter what Jane hides from her. However, if Jane suspects that RJ did more to Lisbon than taser and leave his mark on her (like hypnotize her so that she somehow betrays Jane when the going gets tough), that could cause Jane to keep things from her.
@MentalistProbs: I didn't expect Jane to shut Lisbon out at all. If anything I think this is going to bring them closer. Jane realizes his feelings for Lisbon and he doesn't want to lose her, so he will do anything to keep her close and safe.
anitraward1: No, I think he cares deeply for Lisbon.
Christine: I did wonder. If he felt it would keep her safe, he might. But really she's as far into this as he is and I think they are much safer working together. This was just a good example of what can happen when there's a rift between them. Red John was ready and waiting to take advantage of it.
Why did Red John change his methods when killing Sophie Miller?
Kate: My theory is that RJ did what he did to Sophie as a terror tactic to push and keep Jane off his game. In reality, it may show that it is RJ who is derailing, becoming even less stable, in his efforts to avoid Jane catching him. Either way, Sophie's head in the oven is a horrifying bookend to RJ's request for Lisbon's head in season 4. Bottom line: I liked the Sophie character and her relationship with Jane and was hoping to see her again. But not in this way.
@MentalistProbs: Jane is a whole other category when it comes to Red John- I am never surprised when he breaks MO when dealing with something personal to Jane. I think Red John is trying to break Jane before he gets caught. That and he really wanted to make a statement.
anitraward1: Red John heard the recording, didn't like what she said and he got a little hot headed about it.
Christine: I'd almost forgotten that Red John had asked for Lisbon's head. So there is a precedent set then. But it does feel that RJ is becoming more desperate to break Jane, perhaps because he feels the walls closing in as Lisbon and Jane get closer to finding him.
If you can only pick one person to be Red John, who is your pick?
Kate: I haven't played the who is RJ game much. I stink at it and would prefer to be surprised and amazed by the reveal. That said, I have variously thought Stiles, Kirkland or Haffner would be viable Red Johns. I never liked Partridge or Bertram as RJ and for me McAllister and Smith are ludicrous candidates. Since that creepy discussion he had with Lisbon in her office about Elliston Farms (and her odd demeanor at the time), I've been leaning towards Haffner. I will probably be wrong.I think that Visualise figures into it, perhaps with Brett Stiles as RJ's reluctant or willing enabler.
@MentalistProbs: This is tough because there are clues pointing to many of them! If I had to guess, I would pick Haffner. I don't know, he's always struck me as being off in some way.
anitraward1: Bret Stiles.
Christine: Once again, I'm going with Haffner. He's smart and very creepy and in Lisbon's nightmare he was the one to actually kill her. But we all know that with this show Red John's true identity is anyone's guess.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.