The Mentalist, season 5, episode 9, was a fairly quiet episode, but it did thicken the overall serial plot, and careful viewers who were quick enough to do a screen capture got to see two pages of Jane’s list of people who have shaken hands with him.
To recap and review this week’s case, Jane was able to figure out who murdered a real estate agent who was once affiliated with a gang. It looked like it was one of his old gang cronies, and the gangster did perpetrate a crime, but the victim’s “friends” from work committed the murder to cover up an accidental shooting they did at their company retreat the week before.
Jane was on his game, drawing the killers into a trap that was worthy of the days when we first became acquainted, and Jane was still making his living as a con man. Before we get more into Jane’s search for me, and the time and energy he is spending on finding me, I would like to point out a pattern. This season, we have seen Jane becoming more like he was in his con man days than he has been since he “reformed” and joined the CBI as a consultant.
But I digress. What’s most important here is that Jane is now spending every minute of his spare time documenting everyone he has shaken hands with, and trying to figure out who they are. Thanks to Lorelei’s revelation last week, he is now fully convinced that we have met. Agent Lisbon, though, asked him one question that might confuse Patrick Jane: “What if you’ve never actually met Red John?”
I have manipulated a lot of the events around Patrick Jane, but even I couldn’t manipulate this one. Or could I?
It wouldn’t be any fun if I revealed the truth yet, but I am quite amused by Jane’s diligence, and the part of Jane’s list that made it onto your TV screen. The names on the list:
Ellis Mars, Psychic.
Dean Harken, agent at a biotech facility.
Jason Cooper, second-in-command at Visualize.
Walter Mashburn, “playboy.”
Vint Molinari, CBI.
Dr Linus Wagner, Red John copycat
Virgil Minelli, old CBI boss, retired
Dr Towlen Morning, family doctor
Osvaldo Andilles, DA’s office, “road block.”
Andilles will be an intriguing name to many. Not only is he on Jane’s list, but he is on LaRoche’s list of suspects from last season. He has been extremely antagonistic toward Jane, and has made no attempt to hide his contempt for Jane.
Next week’s eposide, Panama Red, will involve medical marijuana. I will be providing some mirrors to go with the smoke. Stay tuned.
In The Mentalist, Season 5, Episode 7, things have just gotten a lot more interesting for Patrick Jane. This, of course, is as I promised last week. So, how long did it take you to figure out that Lorelei Martins is in a maximum security prison, and not at large as everyone thought?
Jane solved yet another case for the CBI: the murder of TV reporter Cassie Flood. But you are going to have to ask yourself, is this connected to me? The person who is behind the murder and the “suicide” of his assistant is obscenely rich Tommy Volker. Volker is rich, connected, is great at manipulating people, and seems to have a sadistic streak in him, as verified by the look in his eyes as he watched while his assistant, Amanda Shaw, was murdered for “snitching” to Agent Lisbon.
Volker is so much like me that he becomes an automatic candidate in the “Who is Red John” sweepstakes. Speaking of which, did you notice the appearance of agent Bob Kirkland from the Office of Homeland Security? Kirkland showed up at the end of the show to tell Lisbon not to chase Tommy Volker. He also asked Lisbon if she wanted to go ”out for coffee sometime.” If you didn’t recognize Kirkland, you have seen him before. He was the male inside of the limousine in the Red Dawn episode.
So, am I Tommy Volker? Am I Bob Kirkland? Or are they just more pieces in the endless puzzle I perpetrate on Patrick Jane every day? As the Lorelei saga continues, expect another appearance from “Who is Red John” candidate Brett Stiles, as Jane negotiates an uneasy truce and seeks the aid of one of the few people he can’t get the upper hand on.
You may notice at the end that Tommy Volker has gotten away with two murders. Agent Lisbon tells him that he “won’t get away with this;” has she overplayed her hand? Volker may or may not be me, but Lisbon is now every bit as obsessed with Volker as Jane is with me.
So, this is where it stands: Bob Kirkland and Alexa Schultz are obsessed with both Lisbon and Jane. JJ LaRoche is obsessed with Jane. Jane is obsessed with both me and Lorelei, who hasn’t been ruled out of the “who is Red John” question. And Lisbon is obsessed with Tommy Volker. One thing is for sure: there is a lot of obsession going on here.
Next week, we will see Patrick Jane align himself with someone who is even a better con man than he was: Brett Stiles. We might even see Kirkland have that “cup of coffee” with Lisbon. Remember Jane’s trip down the rabbit hole in “Devil’s Cherry?” Things are about to get, as Alice said, “curiouser and curiouser.”
In the Mentalist, Season 5, part 5, for the 100th episode of the show, you finally got a glimpse of the disheveled mess that Patrick Jane was after I took away his precious family. In the beginning, you see an insecure man with what Agent Lisbon called a “homeless vibe” about him. When Jane walked into the CBI station, he was just an ex-con man who had barely been out of the insane asylum long enough to make it to the CBI office to ask if any progress had been made on my case.
It is strange for those of you who don’t remember Jane like I do to have seen him when he wasn’t full of confidence, but I stripped him of his confidence for a solid year. Eventually, Jane starts to recover the vestiges of what he was and is, and helps solve a murder case for the CBI: but not without showing his roots as a con man.
When Jane manipulates Steve Hannigan into punching him, it was the first real action he had taken since being locked away. In this episode, one can almost see Jane, growing from an insecure victim into the brilliant grifter he used to be. Getting Hannigan to punch him was a stroke of genius, because it allowed Jane to worm his way into the CBI office.
Once he got near the officers and the case files, his instincts took over, and he ingratiated himself to those he needed to, and got to tag along with Lisbon on a case. His ruse to expose the killer was straight out of his favorite con, the fake psychic, and he worked it to perfection.
But it’s at the end of the episode, in the last minute, that you get to see something really important. After Jane has been officially hired to assist the CBI, Virgil Minelli gets a call from FBI agent Alexa Schultz. Schultz and Minelli agree to “cooperate,” with Minelli agreeing to keep Schultz “in the loop” on the Red John investigation. Schultz also informs Minelli that Jane spent the last year in an insane asylum.
After she hangs up, Schultz says, “Done,” and the camera pans to her and another, mysterious man in a limo, who says, “Thank you.” In the credits, that man is known as Robert Kirkland.
As usual, there are more questions than answers here. Am I Robert Kirkland, sitting across from Schultz, or is Kirkland just another one of my minions?
Is this whole show, as some very clever fans suggest, going to turn out to be a clever imitation of the “Tommy Westphall Universe,” named after a character in St Elsewhere, who imagined the entire series in his autistic mind, and whose series had and has connections to as many as 282 television series? Are there going to be links to the Tommy Westphall Universe in The Mentalist? Things like this have been done in the Wizard of Oz and Dallas. It was also done in the short-lived “Life on Mars.”
Am I a figment of Jane’s imagination? Is he still in the insane asylum imagining all of these events and people? Or am I an alternate Jane personality who killed his own family? Am I any of the many possibilities that have been explored on this website?
My identity will eventually be revealed on the show, but not before I’ve tormented Jane a lot more. Keep reading, and keep watching. The best is yet to come.
As we have seen, the likelihood of Bruno Heller bringing Red John in from left field is probably quite slim. The only chance of that happening is if we get to see more of Jane’s past. That has happened once this year when one of Jane’s old “clients” was a character on “Pretty Red Balloon.” Heller isn’t averse to bringing in past characters, as seen with Jane’s brother in law Danny Ruskin, or with Lisbon’s brother Tommy, who appears as a bounty hunter.
If Heller is going to bring someone outside the current cast in to be Red John, it will have to be someone from Jane’s past. If that happens, we can see two likely “candidates.” The first would be a victim of one of his scams in his life as a “psychic.” This would fit into the storylines, and Heller could claim of having left more than enough clues.
The first clue would be that it happened before he joined the CBI, and that he was a criminal at the time. Heller was quoted as saying that Jane is “not fighting the Green River Killer; he’s fighting Moriarity.” This, of course, is in reference to Sherlock Holmes’s supposed “nemesis.” Professor Moriarity, though, doesn’t appear in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books until what was supposed to be the last Sherlock Holmes book, called “The Final Solution.” In the book, both men fight and fall to their deaths, though the door was left slightly ajar.
Moriarity turned out to be a highly-educated person who runs a large international crime syndicate, while Holmes’ death turned out to have been faked. The reason the death was “faked,” was that Doyle either got bored, ran out of money, or probably both, and started writing Holmes books again.
The Mentalist, Season Four, and one Vile Possibility for Red John’s Identity
It’s been a great season for Mentalist fans so far. Patrick Jane started out September in jail and ended December recovering from temporary amnesia. When Bruno Heller was interviewed about the Mentalist between seasons three and four, he said: “Every season, you kind of take a chance to reset things. … Last season was almost serialized. There was a great deal of plot and story that you could follow through the whole season. We’re going to need less of that this season.”
So far, Heller has kept his word. The episodes have been less serial and more episode-specific. At the same time, we have seen some more character development, and the relationship between Jane and Lisbon has been developed to a point where it borders genuine friendship, and occasionally teases toward sparks eventually flying between the two.
Epidode one: The shooting of “Red John” is seen from the POV of an unbiased observer instead of through Jane’s eyes. Jane ends up in jail, and finds that “Red John’s” gun has been stolen, while his boss at CBI, Director Bertram, instructs the DA to keep Jane “locked up as long as possible” for “damage control.”
Bertram then suspends Jane’s team, and tries to prevent them from clearing Jane of murder. The team, of course, investigates, and eventually clears Jane of wrongdoing, but they are all “reassigned” and the team is broken up.
The one thing that is obvious to Jane, though, is that the person he shot was working for Red John, and that Red John is still out there. Curiously, while Lisbon believes Jane was set up, she still wants to believe that the man Jane killed really was Red John.
Episode two: Jane manipulates almost everyone in the bureau to get his old team back together. It is quite humorous and it works.
One thing we see that episodes one and two have in common are that Jane’s influence is seen in the actions of Cho, Rigsby, Van Pelt, and Lisbon, as they all break rules to get the job done. If you contrast this with the first season, when almost every character was there to be a foil or “straight man” for Jane, they have loosened up considerably coming into season four.
The rulebreaking isn’t unethical, as the rulebreaking in “The Sheild” was, but it definitely helps develop all of the characters.
Episode three: We get to see a rare glimpse into the past of Patrick Jane when he runs into an old client during an investigation. We also get to see Jane do what he used to do when it becomes obvious that his former client still thinks he has psychic abilities.
Episode seven: Jane and the team search for a serial killer. Jane figures out it is a blogger who “knows everything about the case,” and a battle of wits ensues, complete with a Red John tease.
Episode ten: One of the best of the series and the year-ender, with the season to continue in January. Jane is almost killed and wakes up with amnesia. Jane is in his full con-man character. He remembers nothing about his family or Red John and is still pretending to be a psychic. As the episode ends, Lisbon takes him to his old house, where he finally remembers his past. In an instant, he goes from carefree con man to tortured Patrick Jane.
So, the next question is “where is the series going from here?”
It’s obvious that Red John and Patrick Jane aren’t finished with each other quite yet. Also, while it looks likely that The Mentalist will be renewed for 2012-2013, it isn’t official yet. The official status is “more likely to be renewed than cancelled.” So, it looks like another season-ender that can be interpreted two different ways.
We see a number of possible storylines. First of all, it’s almost a cliché that the lead male and female in a police drama eventually have to eventually develop a romantic interest with each other once they have been on television long enough. We expect to see this continue teasing toward next year, with the possibility of a full-blown romance if the show is renewed for another season.
As for Red John, we expect to see more of him in the last episodes of this season, but because Bruno Heller didn’t want this year to seem like such a serial or soap opera year, Red John hasn’t really been as much of a storyline. But we do see a disturbing possibility, first mentioned here last summer.
Patrick Jane is looking more and more like Red John
This is an intriguing possibility. Remember that this is television, where anything can and does happen. If Patrick Jane is schizophrenic and is both Red John and Patrick Jane, it would open up a rather large box of Freudian and Jungian speculation, and would be an entertaining series finale. We have an even juicier possibility, though: what if Patrick Jane is Red John and has been conning the CBI all along?
What greater shock could there possibly be for The Mentalist’s loyal audience than to find out that the tortured Patrick Jane is really the inexorably disturbed Red John? That is perpetually pained expression is only there to hide an evil grin?
Most good fiction employs a technique called “leading the reader,” or in this case the viewer. We are seeing more of Jane’s “con man” side this season; it could be part of the “bread crumb trail” to which we alluded elsewhere on the site. The ultimate extension of Jane’s “con man” persona could be for him to be conning his friends at the CBI.
Is it likely this will be the ending? No, but it certainly would be one of the most memorable endings ever to a series, and possibly the greatest “swerve” of all time. It still isn’t likely, but it is beginning to look a lot more so than it did this summer.
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