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.
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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