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.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.