An existing although unlikely possibility is that Red John is an outsider or fringe character we haven’t seen much of. Of the fringe characters, Brett Partridge is one who a lot of observers seem to think has potential. His name hasn’t even been mentioned on screen, and Jane characterized him as a ghoul and someone who likes his job too much.
Partridge would be a viable candidate, because he is into gore and is apparently a loner. Both of these would set up nicely for Red John. The main problem is that he would appear to have the least resources of all of the candidates, so I would put his chances as 1 out of 20.
As for an outsider, that is how everyone else would do it. It would be an easy plotline. Some corrupt and powerful outsider who has the resources to pay off whoever he wants and hide behind his money ultimately turns out to be Red John. Somehow, though, this just doesn’t sound right. Rich people usually aren’t serial killers because they can’t be bothered with all of the dirty work. We will put the chances of it being a rich outsider at 1 out of 10.
It could be a standard generic psychopath, too, but this also seems too easy for the creative staff of this series. The Mentalist is no ordinary series, and Red John is no ordinary killer. As we should soon find out, he was able to make the gun of the person Jane shot vanish in the middle of the chaos of his arrest. I would put the chances of a traditional psychopath being responsible at 1 out of 20.
We can probably deduce that Red John had a serious trauma in his or her life that made him or her start killing. We can also deduce that Red John is extremely intelligent, extremely motivated, and that he or she has a compulsive personality that would make that person stand out. The standard profile of the movie or TV serial killer who goes home to his parents’ basement and never talks to anyone doesn’t apply here.
I think it is someone who is in the cast as a regular or a recurring character. We will eventually find out, but when that happens probably depends on how long CBS keeps renewing them. The last episode of season 3 was perfect. If the show had ended, Red John was dead. Since they got renewed, Red John can be alive again. But a gambit like this one only works once, and Bruno Heller knows it.
Grab your popcorn and make sure you’re home on September 22. The ride is just beginning.
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