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.
At the beginning of The Mentalist, Season 5, Episode 3, it looks like everything is back to normal for Patrick Jane. He is back to being himself, and solves a case in his usual manner. So, did I decide to give Jane a break for this week, or am I busy behind the scenes? The short answer: both.
You may think Patrick Jane is back to normal. There was no mention of him using a hallucinogen on this show. Then again, it started in the morning and ended before one could see him at night. So, what things happened here that could be seen as extremely important?
The case was a typical one. Jane happened to be across the street from a bank robbery and murder as they happened. He made his usual entrance, and created his own, special brand of chaos. As he watched everyone react, he was able to peel away the obvious, layer by layer, until he figured out the truth: the murder and the bank robbery were two different crimes. He used his typical con to bluff the perpetrator into admitting her guilt. Jane is intelligent, and he knew she was guilty, but also knew a confession was necessary to make an arrest.
Remember how I have said that I have friends in the FBI? Do you think it was an accident that agent Lisbon was invited to a high-powered poker game by Agent Mancini? Remember that anything can happen at a poker game. People reveal themselves by their gambling habits. If anyone in that game, from judges to FBI agents to Lisbon’s boss, have any personality flaws, someone with access to the games can exploit them: someone like Red John.
Jane will figure out where Lisbon went, and then he is going to try and use Lisbon to help him eavesdrop on the poker games, but he isn’t going to hear anything I don’t want him to hear. Meanwhile, Mancini will keep working on Lisbon every chance he gets. The question to ask is, exactly who is watching who here?
Jane has no idea what is in store for him. And he has no idea that almost every crime he will be solving from now until the end is going to be something I had a hand in. I will be keeping Patrick Jane very busy this season, and he won’t realize that it is I who am pulling the strings.
Tune in next week, when I will hit Jane where it hurts again: through those close to him.
Before season four of The Mentalist, producer Bruno Heller promised surprises, and a “reset.” He felt that last season was “almost serialized,” and wanted to make the individual episodes at least as important as the overall plotline. While he has done that to some extent, the introduction of Agent Darcy of the FBI has reestablished the serialization factor, and the Red John plotline is heating up going into the last part of season four.
One thing we can guess is that, with the renewal of the show for yet another season, the Red John saga won’t be ending anytime soon. Since CBS never seemed to renew The Mentalist until the current season has finished production, Heller is usually faced with three options. He can continue as though he is confident they will be renewed, and have a typical season-ender. He can also do what he did last year: come up with an ending that would work just great as a series finale, but leave himself “wiggle room” for a following season.
The only other option would be to produce two endings for the last show, and go with whatever is appropriate by the end of the season: a cliffhanger or a series finale. If we were to hazard a guess, it would be another “death of Red John” kind of episode with wiggle room, just like last year, but Heller did allude to some swerves this year.
So, we are once again left with speculation about who is really Red John, and where the show is going with storylines. Here are some observations, questions, and possibilities.
1. Agent Darcy (Catherine Dent) will probably get killed.
FBI Agent Darcy
As we saw in the episode “Blinking Red Light,” Red John doesn’t suffer insults wisely, nor does he allow anyone who really fixates on him to live, with the notable exception of Patrick Jane (Simon Baker). He demonstrated to Jane that he was capable of killing Darcy whenever he wants, but for some reason he didn’t. As the show progresses, though, and Darcy is inserting herself firmly into the middle, something has got to give.
Our guess is that, as Darcy gets closer to the truth, Red John sees her as a liability and gets rid of her. There is a possibility that he makes it look like Jane did it, but it is more likely that she dies a signature Red John death. We are guessing it happens in the last or second-to-last episode of the season.
2. Is Red John getting help from high places?
In the first episode, we saw that every potential witness who could expose the framing of Patrick Jane died, and that the deaths were not signature Red John killings. One of the immediate suspects is Director Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston). Bertram went to great lengths to try and take Jane down for the killing of the fake Red John, and broke up Lisbon’s (Robin Tunney)team out of spite after he was suspected as possibly being Red John.
Also, Red John’s resources seem endless, and he seems to know everything about everyone. Our guess is that he has a lot of people in his “debt” through the usual crime drama essentials such as blackmail and the threat of killing their relatives. Since he did have an FBI agent doing his bidding in season three, it isn’t out of the question for anyone to be on his “payroll” at this point.
There are some reasons Grace Van Pelt could end up being Red John that would look obvious in retrospect. First of all, she has red hair. Wouldn’t it be the face-palm of all face-palms for someone to realize they had been given the first clue in the pilot, when she appeared as a rookie?
In one episode, Patrick Jane told here the following: ”… you’re deeply repressed and emotionally shutdown… because of a trauma in your past that you’ve never spoken of to anyone… ever… even yourself…”
This is a classic trait of dysfunction, and can easily apply to serial killers.
When Van Pelt told a woman who was trying to commit suicide about how her sister had committed suicide and how it had hurt her so much, it worked. Afterward, she told Rigsby that she had made it up and didn’t even have a sister. This showed that when she wants to, Grace Van Pelt can be convincingly deceptive.
Speaking of Rigsby, she did a great job of hiding their relationship. It was Rigsby whose demeanor made everyone on the team know about it before they announced it. Last but not least, it was Van Pelt who shot and killed FBI agent, fiance, and Red John mole Craig O’Laughlin.
All in all, a pretty good case could be made for her being Red John.
There are some good reasons why she isn’t Red John, too. Her emotional reactions to many of the situations in the office, such as the breakup of the romance, and the look on her face when she found out her fiance was the mole would indicate that she isn’t cold-hearted enough to be Red John.
Also, there was the episode where she was researching and had a short chat with Red John through the Police network.
If she does turn out to be Red John, it will be one of the all-time shockers in TV drama.
Chances of Van Pelt being Red John: 3 out of 10.
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