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The Mentalist – Jane finds the key to Red John (almost)


(Season 1, Episode 11 – “Red John’s Friends”)

“He is Man.” - bloody scrawl on victim’s wall

Well, you knew that they weren’t going to catch Red John tonight, right?

Here we are, halfway through the season and the first new episode of 2009, and it’s a big Red John story. Most of the episodes of The Mentalist have centered around a murder case that has nothing to do with the murders of Jane’s wife and child, but this one had a murder case that was related. Not only did we get a murder mystery that Jane had to solve, we also got a classic locked room puzzle. How was the girl murdered from a locked room with windows on the bars if the guy next to her in bed didn’t do it? And how is this murder connected to Red John?

I actually figured out how the murderer got into the room and relocked the door. It’s not because I’m a mentalist or a magician or even a locksmith. It’s because I saw the same knock-the-key-onto-the-paper-trick on another show years ago. I think it was MacGyver. Or maybe it was Ellery Queen. Can’t remember, but it’s a cool trick nonetheless.

I didn’t really guess that the lady did it though. She seemed to be the “cool” member of the family who didn’t mind talking to and cooperating with Jane. But Jeez … she kills the girl and saves her blood in a very mysterious-looking vial so she could use it as evidence years later? Weird.

The last 15 minutes of this episode seemed rushed to me. They had to solve the girl’s murder, free the innocent (yet still sleazy) guy in prison, transport him to a safehouse, and then get the info from him to get Red John. Seems like they really rushed to get all of that in. You knew they wouldn’t catch Red John of course, so it was all a matter of how the sleazy guy was going to get away, how Red John would find him and kill him (though I thought there was going to be an odd twist and this guy was going to turn out to be Red John — but they haven’t cast him yet, I guess). And you knew the final scene would be a taunting cell phone call. What would modern TV shows be without cell phones?

Good episode. I liked the team work and loyalty that Lisbon and the rest of the team showed. They aren’t just office mates, they’re family. And having the chief reprimand the team but only for appearances while they secretly helped Jane … OK, predictable but a nice touch.

This is probably the last we’ll see of Red John for a while. They’ve gotten the big Red John story in and now they’ll settle back into case-of-the-week episodes, which is fine. We don’t want to dilute the Red John story by showcasing it too much. I’m sure we’ll have another big Red John story at the end of the season for the cliffhanger. As for next week, Jane has to deal with witches.

Photo Credit: CBS

4 Responses to “The Mentalist – Jane finds the key to Red John (almost)”

January 7, 2009 at 3:48 PM

The word may not be “man” but “mar” and the second word may be 15 and not is.

Questions about this site: why does this not show under the review page? I have seen this alot recently.

January 7, 2009 at 5:55 PM

It is there now. My bookmark must be wrong. I’ll have to reset it. Thanks for getting back to me.

April 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Hey guys I was just wondering if any of you had noticed that it was Virgil (Lisbon’s boss) who was posing as Dr. Joe NH and IMing Van Pelt and Jane. When Red John was typing his reply a face can clearly be seen in the reflection on the monitor and it looks a lot like Virgil. I was checking the other online reviews and there was no mention of it so I was wondering if any of you guys had caught it.

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