Hi. Red John here. You think you know who I am, but you don’t. You have seen me, but you won’t know who I am until I want you to know. It was great to watch you all fall for my latest ruse at the end of last season. Did you really think I would be stupid or careless enough to show myself in that cluster of people at the end of last season?
I might have been there all along, but not as Red John. You will all know who I really am when I want you to, and not a second sooner. This season, I will continue to have fun tormenting Patrick Jane, both from within and from without. And I will be here, at this website, to laugh at all of you, to give you enough bread crumbs to think you have a trail, just like I do for Jane.
So, why do I enjoy tormenting Patrick Jane so much? It started long ago, when Jane was a two-bit “psychic” and grifter. Jane made the worst assumption that anyone could make: that he was more intelligent than I am. I made him pay for his insolence by taking away what he loved the most. So now, he hunts for me.
Patrick Jane already rues the day he decided to speak my name in public. And now, he relentlessly pursues me. But is Jane really the hunter, or is he just the hunted? Patrick Jane thinks he is smarter than I am; he is wrong. Patrick Jane thinks he is better than I am; he is wrong. Most of all, Patrick Jane thinks that he can control the evil within his soul better than I can; he is wrong.
Over the last four seasons, you have seen me bring out some of Patrick Jane’s innate evil. This season, you will see it happen even more. This brings me to another thing you are all probably wondering about: why the apparent fascination with William Blake?
In an irony that Blake himself would appreciate, Blake and his poetry are merely metaphors for my greatness. William Blake was the greatest of his era, but his greatness wasn’t truly acknowledged in his own lifetime. Blake is seen as a “pre-romantic era” poet, but his work foretold the romantic era and predated it. In other words, William Blake was ahead of his time.
Blake’s poetry was among the finest ever written, but he was also a painter and an engraver. His visual art was every bit as stunning as his poetry. William Blake was a genius, but the world at large thought he was crazy, because he didn’t see the same things everybody else did. In other words, William Blake was just like me.
I am ahead of my time, like Blake was. I am an artist, just like Blake was. And my aspiring contemporaries, like Patrick Jane, don’t recognize my greatness because, deep down, they are jealous of my talent. I won’t write poetry like Blake, nor will I ever be mistaken for being a great painter. But I have no true peers in the arts of murder and manipulation.
People are my words, my brush, and my etching tools. I exist alongside of them, on the fringes of their lives. Not only do they not notice me, but they don’t notice that they are doing my bidding, solely on the strength of my superior intellect. My art isn’t the crime scenes, or even the murders themselves; my art and my genius are my ability to manipulate the process.
So, why did I choose the poem “The Tyger” to torment Patrick Jane? I will talk about it more in later posts. For right now, let it suffice to say that I am going to bring out the “Tyger” in Patrick Jane this season. At the end of Season 3, you all saw what Patrick Jane is capable of doing. Before he made the mistake of engaging me in battle, Patrick Jane was weak and lazy. He was a person who was almost as good at manipulating others as I am, but he didn’t truly know the “Tyger” within.
Before Patrick Jane thought he met me in that mall at the end of Season 3, and pulled the trigger, he thought he could claim higher moral ground. Now, though, Jane knows, deep in his soul, that he is no more “moral” than I am.
This season, I am going to help Jane find the Tyger within his own soul. Patrick Jane has turned out to be a worthy adversary. He is not quite as intelligent as I am, but he has surprised me with his ability to find the clues I leave for him, and to follow up on them. In time, I could develop Jane into a worthy contemporary. The question is whether Jane will ever see that we have more in common than he thinks we do.
Consequently, Season 5 should be subtitled, “The Continuing Education of Patrick Jane,” because I am going to continue to show Jane his dark side this season. Sometimes I will use violence, but sometimes I will use seduction, as I did with Lorelei. Jane thinks he is getting closer to me, but in reality, he will only get as close as I allow him to.
After Lorelei made it out of FBI custody in Episode 1, it is obvious to Jane that I was telling the truth about having “friends” in the FBI. Soon, though, Jane will figure out that I have “friends” a lot closer to him than the FBI. When he does, I will strip him of any faith he may have in the “system,” and bring him one crucial step closer to fulfilling his true potential.
By the end of this season, Jane’s dark side will have many of you wondering about him. Most of all, though, Jane’s dark side will have him questioning himself.
The more questions he asks of himself, the closer he will get to finding his true essence: the” Tyger” within.
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Meet Red John?
It was one of the most iconic and idiosyncratic images to ever end a season: Patrick Jane sipping tea in the middle of a food court, gun laying on the table, raising his hands in the air as the police come to arrest him for shooting long-time nemesis Red John. If this had been the series finale, it would have been one of the best endings ever given to a series.
Until May of this year, after the season finale had long been filmed, neither the producers, writers, or cast of The Mentalist knew whether or not the series would be renewed for this season. One would think that renewing a series this good and this popular would be a slam dunk, but you never know what the network decision-makers are thinking.
That is quite fitting, because you never really know what the writers are thinking, either. Now that The Mentalist is indeed coming back for at least another year, the main question is whether the writers left themselves enough “wiggle room” to bring Red John back. The other question is whether or not they would want to.
The first thing this reminds me of is the “Miniature Killer” on CSI. They thought they had the “old man,” but it turned out later to be his foster daughter who was the real Miniature Killer. CBS has definitely set a precedent for teasing the capture of a nemesis, only to bring the nemesis back.
The death of Red John was a lot like the originally edited version of Stephen King’s book, “The Stand.” The story set up a battle of titanic proportions, only to have the antagonist self-destruct in the end.
Throughout the series so far, Red John has never made a mistake. Even when Jane has thought he was two steps ahead, he was really two steps behind. Are we to believe that a “genius” was not only stupid enough to show up at the meeting with Jane instead of sending a patsy or surrogate, but stupid enough to fall for Jane having a gun in his pocket?
Jane’s aversion to using guns is enough to justify falling for the trick, but one would still think that Red John himself would never actually go to the meeting.
In writing, from Horace to Dickens and Hemingway to Agatha Christie to first semester creative writing class to the popular culture of television and even professional wrestling, there is a concept that is always used. It is called “leading the reader.” To make a long story short, it consists of leaving a “bread crumb trail” for the reader or viewer to follow. Writers almost always adhere to this format.
If they introduce something that has no justification from what has transpired earlier in the script, it is called a deus ex machina. A deus ex machina is a term from ancient Roman poet Horace, who died in the year 8 AD. It means “God out of the machine” in Latin. When the Gods appeared in plays around his time, they were either lowered by a crane, or they appeared from a trapdoor in the stage, or “out of the machine.” Horace implored poets and playwrights not to used “God out of the machine” to resolve plots that couldn’t be resolved.
Red John’s uncharacteristic mistakes border on being a deus ex machina. This begs one last question. If the “Red John” that Jane shot was a surrogate or patsy, then who is Red John?
Patrick Jane Kills Red John?
There are plenty of reasons Kristina Frye could be Red John, too. First of all, she also has red hair. Her first appearance was in the episode called “Seeing Red.” That would be another obvious “clue” in retrospect if she turned out to be Red John.
Another reason is that Frye always seems to have the upper hand on Patrick Jane. Sound familiar? It’s sorta like his logic is rock but her faith is paper. Also, she volunteered to help Jane catch Red John. When he turned her down, she went on TV with her appeal to Red John, whereby she promptly disappeared.
When Jane subsequently met “Red John,” quotes used because we never know if it was really him, he told Jane that Kristina would want him to send her love.
Kristina Frye - A Red John Suspect
When Frye finally re-emerged, it was in a catatonic state. When Jane tries to snap her out of it with a séance, she says she is already dead and “talking to a ghost.” This could be a great double-entendre in retrospect.
When you add everything about Kristina Frye up, you get someone who has Jane’s number intellectually and who can disappear for long periods of time. Also, both criminals and heroes have a long history of using drugs in their storylines to feign catatonia or death.
On the negative side, of the four “candidates,” she is the only one who hasn’t overtly demonstrated the ability to lie, manipulate, or kill. She doesn’t show any background of dysfunction or any current traits of past dysfunction. When the show’s main character is as flawed and dysfunctional as Patrick Jane, it would be quite different to have the main antagonist not show dysfunction.
However, her unknown quantities and qualities give the writers a lot more wiggle room, and there are tons of ways this could be worked into the storylines.
Chances of being Red John: 4 out of 10.
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Could it possibly be that the great enigma of The Mentalist TV series is that the protagonist and the antagonist are actually the same human being?
Is Patrick Jane the very criminal mastermind he is so obsessed with hunting? A split personality?
How do we explain the second season finale “Red Sky In The Morning”? This episode shows the first time Patrick Jane and Red John actually come face-to-face, and Red John cites a few lines from William Blake’s poem “The Tyger”
Patrick Jane Faces Red John For The First Time
The first verse of the poem, the words cited by Red John were:
|TYGER, tyger, burning bright
|In the forests of the night,
|What immortal hand or eye
|Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
What does this mean? It’s definitely a big clue, and in the context of the “Patrick Jane is Red John” theory, the events in the video and the poem could mean at least some of the following:
1) The masked person is an accomplice that may or may not know that Patrick Jane is Red John and is simply acting on orders.
2) Everything the audience sees in this scene is only the way it plays out in Patrick’s mind, and in reality he is not hopelessly tied to the chair and he’s the one that is really the masked man killing the students and inspiring fear.
3) The poem is Patrick’s darker self’s vision of himself, (Red John) or even of the good side, Patrick. The poem is a partner to “The Lamb” and the poet sits in awe of how the same God that created the innocent little lamb could have created the sleek, lethal tiger. Which side of Patrick is the Tiger? Maybe not even Patrick himself knows. The dark side may see the good side as dangerously as the good side may see the bad. This kind of confusion helps explain the fearful obsession between Red John and Patrick Jane.
Is this theory any good? Well, there are a lot of things wrong with it.
First of all, it’s pretty brutal to cast Patrick Jane as secretly a deranged killer capable of viciously murdering his own wife and daughter, not to mention the long list of other victims.
Second of all, it’s near impossible to explain events that transpire simultaneously in which Patrick Jane is in the company of Teresa Lisbon or another CBI agent as Red John acts. Could these all be accomplices? Yes. Is is likely? Not in this author’s opinion.
Thirdly, people connected to Red John don’t seem to behave in a way that indicates that RJ is Patrick Jane while they are in his presence. Rebecca, Agent Bosco’s secretary inside the CBI in the second season, for example, has no emotional connection with Jane but apparently does with the unidentified man that poisons her. The blind woman that was in love with “Roy” who is suspected to be Red John also seems to have no emotional connection with Jane.
Fourthly, the third season finale puts Jane physically in front of a man who has intimate knowledge of Red John’s crimes and provokes Jane into violent action.
Some fans have brought up some slight facts that could maybe possibly suggest a hint that Patrick Jane is Red John, however, the evidence against the case is much larger (in this author’s opinion) than any possible evidence presented in defense of this theory.
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Red John the ‘nickname’ of the serial killer and principal antagonist from the prime time television show The Mentalist. He (or she) has been linked to the murders of sixteen women and eight men as of the time of this writing. The victims include the television show’s protagonist’s (Patrick Jane) wife and daughter, a crime set five years before the television show’s pilot episode. It is unknown exactly how many victims Red John is guilty of or exactly when the killing spree began, but it is suspected to begin sometime around the year 1998. Click Here To See Latest Red John Theories
‘Red John‘ is known not to work alone, although the accomplices have a tendency to end up dead as soon as they become liabilities. The oldest known sidekick is Orville Tanner, the father of Dumar Tanner. The ‘famed’ psychic Patrick Jane was enlisted by the California police to try to get a profile of Red John to help track the killer down and bring the guilty party to justice, but Jane made the mistake of belittling the killer on television and paid for his ‘disrespect’ with the loss of his wife and daughter. His search for Red John has become his obsession, and he makes no claims that he will arrest the killer when discovered, as we can see in this conversation with Agent Teresa Lisbon:
Patrick Jane Declares Intentions Against Red John
Red John remains unseen, his face is always hidden in shadows, under hoods, hats or masks. In the first season finale Red John is seen escaping from an abondoned home that served as a prison to a young woman while Jane and Lisbon struggled against one of RJ’s accomplices. Red John also appeared in the second season finale dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt as he executed the film students Jane and Carter Peake in the presence of Patrick Jane, whom Red John ‘technically’ rescued.
During the season 3 finale, Patrick Jane has agent Teresa Lisbon redial the last number on one of Red John’s accomplices’ telephones and tell the person that answers that the accomplice is dead. A gentleman with a very plain, ordinary appearance (played by Bradley Whitford) reading a newspaper in the food court seated near Patrick answers his phone. Jane has Lisbon confirm the conversation, which matches what Jane saw the man say into his phone, so Patrick confronts him.
Initially, the man denies the situation, but drops some interesting hints that he really is indeed Red John. The man reveals details about the murders of Patrick’s wife and daughter, more specifically, the smell. This information spurs Jane into violent action and Patrick shoots the man with a gun that was hidden in his jacket pocket.
There has yet to be confirmation that the man was Red John, but since RJ is such an important element of the series which is set to go for seven seasons, it is most probably that the man was simply another accomplice, a tool by Red John possibly to test what Jane’s reaction would be to his revelation.
The identity of Red John remains a carefully guarded secret by the writers, and is completely unknown to the viewers, thus has become a topic of much debate. Red John is nearly always referred to as a “he” but there has yet been no evidence completely disproving that Red John could be a woman that simply uses many male accomplices.
All of Red John’s known accomplices refer to the killer as a ‘him’ and to this point none have given any appearance of lying about that fact, or to have expressed even the slightest doubt. The few moments where the audience has been shown what is believed to be Red John have been definitely given a masculine tone. All theories are plausible at this point, however, since very little conclusive evidence currently exists.
We have done exhaustive analyses of this elsewhere on the site, but the mystery is still as strong as it has been in at any time during the series. Writers of screenplays usually like to follow the elements of classical literature. These and some newer elements have been combined into a sort of de facto “rulebook” for writing. One of the most important elements is “leading the reader.”
In any creative writing class, writers are taught that everything that happens in a story must have precedent that leads the reader to a logical conclusion. In other words, everything has to make sense. At the end of pretty much any good murder mystery, one can go back and find clues that were well-hidden, but definitely there.
It is “against the rules” for a writer to bring something in from “left field.” There is even a name for it: Deus ex machina, or “God out of the machine.” This was introduced in Horace’s Ars Poetica, and is loosely taught as bringing in a solution to a problem that is totally outside of what has previously appeared in the story. This is great for Creative Writing 101, but what does it mean to us concerning Red John?
It means that, in all likelihood, the groundwork and clues are already present in previous episodes, or the clues will appear before Red John’s identity is revealed. In other words, we have already seen Red John, and there are plenty of clues that will all fit together in retrospect.
For better or worse, though, Heller has left so many clues that there is a body of “evidence” for just about anyone in the series being Red John. It would take a Red John clues spreadsheet covering where everyone was at the exact time of every Red John murder, thus eliminating suspects, to get a closer idea of who he really is.
How serious is Bruno Heller when he compares Red John to Moriarity?
There is a sub-question here: is Heller comparing Red John to the literary description of Moriarity or the versions of Moriarity that weren’t in Doyle’s original writings? Though Doyle only had Moriarity appear in one book, his “final one,” Moriarity is ubiquitous in all of the TV shows, movies, and cartoons based upon the Holmes series.
There is one thing common to all versions of Moriarity, though: he is always a step ahead of Holmes, but Holmes outsmarts him in the end. Another thing they all have in common is that they aren’t anyone already in Holmes’ life.
So, it comes down to this: if Heller is serious about Red John being Patrick Jane’s Moriarity, then he won’t be anyone who has appeared as a character so far.
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