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.
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.
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.
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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