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The Mentalist kept me guessing … and still does

After three seasons of wondering and guessing, the third season finale of 'The Mentalist' finally revealed Red John to be ... Bradley Whitford? Not likely, I say.

- Season 3, Episode 23/24 - "Strawberries and Cream"

The Mentalist kept me guessing ... and still does [100498 WB 00634b 425x282] (IMAGE)Let me ask you this: Did you call who Red John’s minion was going to be? Alright, that’s not really a fair question … for me. Did you call who Red John’s accomplice was, and then never waver from that choice throughout this episode? Because, if you did, then my hat’s off you you my friend. Though three of the possible suspects were on my own list, my strongest suspicion was with Gale Bertram and Craig O’Loughlin. First I thought it had to be Bertram (I thought this long ago, actually), but then I thought it could be Craig or LaRoche. Honestly, I was ping-ponging along so many times I lost count.

In the end, though, it made the most sense that Craig would turn out gone from the show one way or another. I first thought he was going to show up at the hotel in an attempt to surprise Van Pelt, then having the team wrongly suspect him and everything falling apart, possibly getting him killed. After Rigsby’s talk with Van Pelt recently, regarding not attending the wedding because of his love for her, it was obvious he wasn’t moving on and that O’Loughlin had to go.

When Bertram was pegged, I just couldn’t figure out how it could not be him with the evidence at hand. I’m still not convinced that he’s completely innocent, though, even though Red John is apparently dead.

Now, on to Red John. I guess we’ll have to wait until next season to find his true identity — the man’s actual name — but for now we all know him as Bradley Whitford. Here’s a theory I’m going to throw out there, since I’m still convinced Red John is Patrick Jane. I believe that Whitford’s Red John was simply another minion of Red John, sent into the fray to take the fall for him. Whitford’s Red John was sent by none other than Patrick Jane himself in hopes of ridding himself of his endless pursuit of … himself. Fed with detailed information and ironclad evidence suggesting he truly is Red John, there would be little doubt Patrick Jane would kill him. If not right then and there, then some other day. With that done, Patrick Jane’s alter-ego can go about the business of being Red John while Patrick — his other self — stops obsessing over him.

Take these bits of dialog from Patrick Jane’s meeting with Red John, for example:

“How do I know you are who you say you are?” – Patrick
“That’s a deep question. How does anyone know who anyone is? Who are you?” – Red John

“Get myself a new face, a new identity. Start a new life. I have skills and resources I can use, to really make a positive change in this world. For other people. Y’know, for children. I guess I’ve been pursuing my own dreams for so long that I lost sight of what’s truly important in this world. I think that happens to a lot of people, don’t you?” – Red John

Read those lines or watch them again from your DVR recording, with the thought in mind that Patrick Jane really is Red John. I’m not saying he’s conscious of the fact he takes on another persona in the night. I’m also not saying these minions of Red John’s are even conscious that Patrick Jane is actually their boss. He could keep disguised or — as the quotes above noted — uses his “skills and resources” of mind trickery to allow these followers of his to do, say and think whatever he wants them to.

Obviously I can’t prove I’m right about the Patrick Jane as Red John theory until this show is no longer. Since the creator has said Red John is a series-long arc, doesn’t it make sense it’s something that big, though?

Next season’s opener has shaped up into one I can’t miss. How long with Jane be jailed, if at all? Could we find out very quickly that this Red John was simply another pawn? What things will we learn about this man Jane shot and will there be evidence there to show he was rightly killed?

Last note: Did you catch the Wilhelm scream during the gas station bombing?

The Mentalist kept me guessing ... and still does [51CMaoLaKKL. SL160 ] (IMAGE)The Mentalist kept me guessing ... and still does [51uY9nKOtKL. SL160 ] (IMAGE)The Mentalist kept me guessing ... and still does [51JbGT9wDEL. SL160 ] (IMAGE)

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.

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Categories: | Episode Reviews | Features | General | The Mentalist | News | TV Shows |

57 Responses to “The Mentalist kept me guessing … and still does”

May 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM

This was a very good season finale, though I think it was lame that the bad guy turned out to be Van Pelt’s boyfriend yet again. Didn’t they do that a season or two ago, with the big twist being that her boyfriend was a killer and he knocked out Rigsby in the men’s room of CBI?

I like the way they handled the suspects, with the room numbers and cameras, but it’s obvious they had to have the boyfriend be the mole so we can have Van Pelt/Rigsby together in the future. I felt it was an easy way out.

I think your over-thinking Red John. I really like this show, but I don’t think things are that intricate, heh. I really do think it was Whitford. Heller promised we’d see Red John this season, Whitford knew what Jane’s wife and daughter smelled like, and I doubt they’d get Whitford for a non-important cameo.

If it does turn out Whitford wasn’t Red John, I’m done with the show. It would be too, too much.

May 20, 2011 at 1:26 AM

If you remember, Red John was behind Jane when he was tied to the chair. This was when those two freaks were going to video his murder. Red John shot them, then whispered the Poem into janes ear.

May 22, 2011 at 8:00 PM

I don’t see why Whitford is all that big of a name to use that he *should* be THE Red John. I wouldn’t say being in the season finale as the “supposed” Red John isn’t a big enough role for a guest star.

May 20, 2011 at 12:07 AM

I kind of thought the point of the episode was that in killing Red John, Patrick Jane becomes indistinguishable from him. The whole going back to his espresso bit was kind of chilling (if also a little over the top).

May 20, 2011 at 1:31 AM

Over the top? That is the exact kind of understatement that fits Jane’s character. I’m still debating whether I’m glad that Red John is dead, but the kill scene was perfect. Jane’s emotions leading up to the shots, and then the shock of it actually happening, were incredible. His contentedness as he sat down with his tea was palpable at the end.

Who knows where this show goes after tonight, but they deserve credit for ending Red John in perfect fashion.

May 20, 2011 at 12:13 AM

…he drinks tea.

May 20, 2011 at 12:14 AM

How did Red John know to be at the food court? How did he know about the trap set for Bertram?

Bob: Even if this isn’t Red John, this is hardly a non-important cameo.

Also, Whitford could have known what Jane’s family smelled like from Jane himself (his alter-ego).

May 20, 2011 at 1:54 AM

He didn’t know about the Bertram trap – he was following Jane so he could be there to watch him when he heard his whole team was killed.

May 20, 2011 at 2:17 AM

Actually, if you watched the episode at all you’d have remembered the part where he told Jane that O’Laughlin told him about the trap being laid AFTER the hotel bit. :) So he knew to be at the mall because he knew, O’Laughlin was following Grace to Hightower and he had no need to be there. :)

May 20, 2011 at 12:25 AM

Truly an amazing finale. Didn’t see it coming for a mile. Although I don’t agree with your theory that Jane is Red John (too out there for this series, IMO), I’m not 100% convinced that guy was Red John since anyone close to Red John could have had that info. But, a big part of me thinks that was Red John. I can’t wait to see how they handle the repercussions next season, will Jane plead guilty or go the self defense method? Will Red John’s minions lash out?

Wrote a review on the episode myself with some pics of Red John, if anyone is interested: http://reviews.tvtacular.com/?p=52

May 20, 2011 at 12:35 AM

I’d hate it if Patrick is Red John. Those sorts of twists are so cliched by now. I’ve seen Fight Club, lots of M. Night Shyamalan movies, and plenty of season finales.

How’d Red John know about the food court trap?

Red John knew Patrick was up to something, and he has plenty of accomplices. All he had to do was watch Patrick. I’m not convinced that the other suspects aren’t also accomplices in some way. Who’d Bertram call after Jane left his office?

Next season will certainly be interesting with Patrick possibly behind bars or possibly on the lam.

May 20, 2011 at 5:21 PM

How’d Red John know about the food court trap?

Van Pelt’s BF gave her a necklace with a microphone in it. The one he tore off her neck at the end.

June 1, 2011 at 4:44 PM

jane will be not in jail. remember that red john has a big gun in the newspaper

May 20, 2011 at 12:45 AM

I do not think Jane is Red John…but I do think that LaRoche and Bertram is still mixed up in this mess. Think Red John is now dead, but repercussions will be coming next season with these two in particular. What about the girl that jumped to her death, hired apparently by Bertram? No, Patrick Jane got his man, but there’s more involved than ‘just’ Red John at this point!

May 20, 2011 at 12:45 AM

I actually called Craig being Red John’s inside man quite awhile ago. He always felt fishy and poked her for info. My hunch was confirmed when he gave Grace the necklace. Perhaps I’ve watched NCIS way too many times, but I figured that was a microphone that Craig used to hear everything that was going on. He then at the end of the show takes it off her neck. I may be wrong, but it may have been contrition? I don’t know if I can give him that credit.

May 20, 2011 at 12:48 AM

Personally, I dont believe that Whitford is Red John. I see next season being pretty ho-hum until the season finale when BOOM, Red John shows up again.

I’ve also got a theory on the real identity of Red John. Brett Partridge is the characters name. I guess I would call him a CSI. He’s been in two episodes, the pilot and S2E23. In both epidsodes we saw murders that were staged to look like Red John murders.

I just feel like it can’t be coincidence that the same small character has been in two episodes that have that in common. Plus Brett is a bit “off” if you will, Jane calls him “a ghoul”.

May 20, 2011 at 12:54 AM

I`ve suspected that Patrick Jane is Red John for a while. Although I`m mostly basing this on the fact that Jane and the happy faces eyes are the same.

May 20, 2011 at 12:57 AM

The Jane is Red John theory is new to me. Interesting but I agree with the second comment that it’s a little to over the top for the show. As for overweight Bradley Whitford being Red John I say B.S. The whole arc drives the show, it’s the kind that endues until the end. They will most likely lay off the R.J. plot for awhile then when the shows seems to be running out they’ll revive it. Probably with the copycat theme then turning it out to really be R.J. If Jane is in jail next season that will be disappointing. A cell trace from Loughlin to “R.J.’s” phone and the gun he had on him would be enough to justify Jane’s shooting. I also foresee a conscience crisis for Jane when finds out it isn’t R.J. he killed. But who really knows they can spin it any way they want to from now until the end of the show. Killing the R.J. plot line the way they did would certainly be less than satisfying.

May 20, 2011 at 1:26 AM

Has nobody picked up on the brilliance of Patrick keeping his hands in his pockets. I’ve thought it strange from the beginning that he did that. Also think about how “gun shy” he has always been.. almost cowardly around guns. Even in this episode when he smugly refers to “you people and your guns”. How ironic that he shoots the supposed Red John with a gun hidden In his pocket… kind of a play to the ole’ “I’ve got a gun in my pocket” gag.

May 20, 2011 at 1:26 AM

This episode wasn’t satisfying for you guys? The six people I watched with all jumped for joy when he shot Whitford.

Whether or not this is Red John, the point is we’re being told a story and we should be letting loose and enjoying the ride. If they’re done with Red John, then there’s a million ways they can take it – personally, I believe Jane would struggle without a purpose in life.

If they do continue on and have Red John resurface, enjoy it! That’s what television is for! Ride the roller coaster, people!

May 20, 2011 at 1:56 AM

Whether killing Red John is good for the long-term health of the series is definitely up for debate, but I think this episode was a work of art, at least as far as network television goes.

The little touches, like Jane keeping his hands in his pocket throughout the entire final scene, as Katriel noted, really made the episode special. When Red John told Jane that he couldn’t do anything because his colleagues weren’t with him, it was another nice touch. Throughout the series, Lisbon has reminded Jane that she won’t let him kill Red John because Red John needs to “face justice.” The team’s absence should have been a signal to all of us that Red John was going to die. (There’s also an interesting parallel to Osama Bin Laden’s death in here.)

I give credit to the writers for ending this episode in this manner. It wasn’t in Jane’s character to let Red John walk when he finally came face-to-face with him. If he didn’t have a gun, he’d scratch and claw him across the table. I would have been so disappointed if RJ walked out of there or escaped in some other contrived fashion.

I will be very upset with the series if this turned out to be a hoax of some sort. The kill scene was too tense, too perfect to be undone with some “RJ isn’t dead!” unveiling next season. The writers would be unraveling their own good work with that trite conspiracy theory.

Where this series goes from here, I do not know. I’m sure, now that there’s a body, more will be made known to us about Red John’s life, including how he amassed such a large circle of followers (cult leader?). But that’s for the writers to figure out, and I’ll enjoy, or disapprove, of their work next year. Right now I’m going to soak up the partial end of a surprisingly engaging show. Network television has a lot of trash associated with it, but The Mentalist has turned out to be an engaging, well-written show that avoids many traps that other procedurals stumble upon. Whether the series ends as strong as it began is yet to be seen, but it’s been a fun three years.

May 20, 2011 at 2:02 AM

Those who think Jane is Red John – I just think you’re all way off base. That would basically ruin the show. Why would he kill his wife and daughter anyway?

This episode was brilliant, and great entertainment to boot. Best show on Television, and it will continue to be next year, as well. Enjoy it, fans!

May 23, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Because he is crazy!!!

May 20, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Think about this, what if Red John isn’t a person, but an organization? This would certainly answer a lot of lingering questions and cover some fairly gaping holes in the story so far.

Bradley Whitford’s RJ certainly did kill Patrick’s family, but the organization is the one who marked them in order to punish Patrick for his impurtenance.

May 20, 2011 at 3:35 AM

I like the idea of Red John (RJ) being an organization and not simply one person. But that raises lots of questions too. Like why would an organization go to the trouble of killing Jane’s family simply because Jane went on TV? It makes sense if RJ is one person…a crazy egoistical psychopathic serial killer. It doesn’t make as much sense if RJ is an organization. As an organization they would have to have a common purpose beyond random killing. So what is that purpose? And why would they want to draw attention to themselves by killing Jane’s family? Why bother? Why bother killing any of the people they have killed? What is their goal?

May 20, 2011 at 4:08 AM

That would be WAY cliche. I think EVERYONE’s mind went to that point (since Red John is dead, what if he’s not and it’s a whole organization?).

Besides, if it was a whole organization, it would make no sense to target Jane. Targeting Jane was a more personal vendetta. And you can’t say it was just Bradley Whitford acting alone on that. He had so many accomplices and moles—that’s A LOT of time and financial investment. No organization would approve of that for a personal vendetta.

May 20, 2011 at 2:11 AM

The episode was great, perfectly written but when they saw the women had rope I knew she was going to repel and thought someone as smart as Jane would realize that. And to those who asked how “Red John” knew Jane would be at the mall it was most likely O’Laughlin who told him based on what Van Pelt told him. I am 50-50 on if that was Red John because i’m 70-30 on Red John being a man or even one person. My biggest question about the series and why I don’t think Red John is dead is because it was to easy. Well it was well written for sure, the murder was so easy. No struggle, after all the games Red John has done and how he played with Jane he expects to just walk away? All in all it was a great episode and a great show and I cannot wait until September.

May 20, 2011 at 2:19 AM

One thing disappointing was how many different positions RJ’s hands were at the table – watch the scene again and I assure you that you won’t be able to not notice. Clasped, on the gun, separated, fingers locked…Not that I don’t love this show – makes my heart beat like the last couple of seasons (or all of them) of the shield.

May 20, 2011 at 2:23 AM

I think the show can stand on its own without RJ. If this was the real RJ and he’s dead, I’m glad for it, just like I’m glad Bone’s is finally pregnant with Booth’s baby. Sometimes you just have to finish something up and move on. If this show cannot stand on it’s own without the RJ always lurking in the background, then it’s not worth it’s salt. There are a lot of good crime shows that do not have a constant bogie man hiding in the closet rearing it’s ugly head every season. NCIS finally got rid of its deep dark secret, the drug lord Gibb’s killed. Anyway, the show doesn’t need RJ, it was a good cliff hanger but it gets old after a while, find him, kill him, get it over with already and move on to something else. I hate it when a show hangs on to this kind of stuff season after season. There’s plenty of material for the show to go on.

May 20, 2011 at 2:23 AM

Some of you also mentioned Jane starting the season in jail. Why? They have a direct phone call (Caller ID) from the guy (O’Laughlin) who just killed two cops and tried to kill Lisbon and Hightower and Van Pelt. Plus the conversation with Lisbon when she hit redial. There’s enough there to convict him. Plus he threatened Jane with a gun. And they were face to face when Jane killed him.

It will be interesting to see where the series picks up from next year, and how deeply they unravel the entire story for us. Also – it will be interesting to see whether this whole thing is really over or not.

May 20, 2011 at 2:29 AM

All I can say is WOW!!! , that was a great episode!!! I would think a good place to go next would be the trial of Patrick Jane for killing a monster, plus the planned revenge of Red John’s minions for his death.

i think we all have wondered whether Jane had the guts to follow through on his plans for Red John. You really set yourself up for a murder charge though if you announce to anyone that you plan to kill someone if you find them and then you do. The only way I see out for PJ is some sort of self-defense argument since RJ had a gun.

May 20, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Bruno Heller has confirmed that a trial will begin the season.

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Mentalist-Season-Finale-1033336.aspx

May 20, 2011 at 2:32 AM

Salsa, I can believe it was RJ because Jane hates guns, always refused to carry one. What caught my attention was, through the whole scene, from when Jane got up from the table to walk over to RJ he had his hand in his pocket. I’m usually pretty good at figuring out mysteries, guessed the 6th sense less than halfway through. My gut instinct was that Jane had a gun in his pocket even though I know his intense dislike for guns. I think RJ was counting on that and that was the big surprise.

Allistair, I don’t know why the hands thing was bothersome. It caught my attention yes, but it comforted me that he took his hand off the gun. I knew at that point he hadn’t intended to shoot Jane, that he thought he was going to walk away and let Jane live with his torment. His mistake was describing the scent of Jane’s wife and daughter. So, it was a comfort that Jane wouldn’t get wounded, we know he wouldn’t die because then the show would end. But we didn’t have to live with the intensity of that kind of season finally, LOL.

All I’m saying is, PUHLEEZE let this part of Jane’s life be over. Remember too, RJ had a gun so Jane can always claim self defense. Once RJ fell there’s no evidence that he didn’t have the gun in his hand pointed at Jane. My guess is that’s how Jane will get out of going to jail, self defense, he saw a gun and was in fear of his life.

May 20, 2011 at 3:15 AM

Simply amazing. I have rarely in all my years of watching film and television been so tense as watching this episode. The way they’ve built Red John up just really gets under my skin. I have no idea what they have planned for next year, but I can’t wait to find out.

I was a little disappointed that neither Jane nor Lisbon realized that the assassin at the hotel didn’t seem surprised to find the hotel room abandoned and had brought a climbing rope – I realized as soon as she set the rope on the bed that the killer had to be targeting the room below, meaning it was the fiance. But Jane was pretty strung out at that point, and Lisbon and Cho have both gotten to trust Jane’s instincts so much, I could see them missing the flaw in the plan in the heat of the moment.

Seriously though, VanPelt is going to need serious therapy. Every time she finds a nice guy he turns out to be a murderer. What the heck?

Oh, and for those wondering why Red John turned up at the food court – you apparently missed that Craig discussed the plan with VanPelt and that the boss was supposedly the inside man and they had a trap set for him. It would take nothing for him to make a call to RJ before they headed up to the ranch to join Lisbon and Hightower.

As to RJ being Jane – if they did do that, it’d be bad writing. There are certainly cases of effective split-personality writing with a similar storyline, but there is absolutely no way that Jane’s personality and behaviour would cross over. RJ is not the kind of second persona that could go undetected, and Jane had no reason to snap in such a way that he could have killed his own wife and child way back when. Multiple Personality Disorder is a pretty bizarre mental problem, but it has never manifested in the way it would have to for Jane and RJ to be the same person. RJ and Jane have far too much in common in the Holmes/Moriarty vein for them to be a split – split personalities are always more varied in behaviour and attitudes and such, like one side being outgoing while the other is reserved.

May 20, 2011 at 3:51 AM

It is not clear that jane is in any trouble.

From a writers viewpoint, there are many ways out of this one. here is one of several, others are more plausible, but this one is just an example.

Based on the last scene, I do think think that was red john, but I don’t think he is dead.

The producer said that was red john. So it must be, despite events that might support the opposite. There were some things in the beginning about people doing bad things because they are forced to. One person does so because of the bomb under his coat. I also take what the producer said to mean that red john is red john, he is not working for someone, and he does not have an accomplice. …

I did not think three shots to the stomach is fatal. John would have lost consciousness, but objectively, to the cops on the scene it would appear that on person shot another person so the other person would need medical assistance. Within minutes emt would be there and a hospital is likely close by.

If john lives, all jane needs to do is claim he chose that particular weapon because he knew would not be fatal and that he shot john in his stomach to stop him from getting away.

A real shock of next season might be that not only does john live, but there is not enough evidence to charge him. He might even say he does not want to press charges and that it was a misunderstanding. He might then say that he was going to retire, but since he was shot, he would carry on.

May 20, 2011 at 2:31 PM

That would be an awful twist, destroying the good work of the season finale.

May 20, 2011 at 3:56 AM

Can Red John really be dead? It doesn’t seem like the show can have this truly be the end of Red John. There are also too many questions left unanswered.

If Bradley Whitford really is Red John, his death feels too messy…too careless. Unless RJ wanted to die (or didn’t think Jane would actually kill him), RJ would never have carelessly exposed himself. RJ is meticulous and smart. I really don’t think he would just reveal himself that casually…or fail to notice that Jane never took his hand out of his pocket. RJ has always been way smarter than that. Perhaps, the whole thing was a test created by Red John. It would be a great way to mess with Jane. Have a “fake” RJ confront Jane, vowing to create positive change in the world. Thus Jane either becomes a “cold blooded” killer (a Tiger, if you will) and must suffer the consequences…or Jane lets RJ walk free…
I can see the real RJ smiling as he watches Jane shoot the wrong man.

Also, why is RJ still after Hightower? RJ wanted Hightower to take the blame for burning that man. If she is “on the run,” she looks even more guilty. Mission accomplished. Why bother going after her? Why not just let her remain missing and presumed guilty?

I also noticed the weird shot of the bald security guard in the end. Suspicious. It seems likely that Red John was shown to us but not revealed to us. I just don’t see how Red John can truly be dead. There have to be more plot twists coming.

May 20, 2011 at 4:00 AM

People keep doubting whether or not B. Whitford was really Red John.

I KNOW he is the one and only Red John. Why? Let me break it down.

In the season 2 finale, when Red John appeared before Patrick and cited that poem, his voice pitch was high, slightly gay (not in a homosexual sense). But it sounded like it could be a pedophile voice, hell, even Herbert from Family Guy.

In this finale, when Bradley Whitford answers Lisbon’s call and says “you win some you lose some”, that was the SAME high pitched voice. Granted, I’m sure it wasn’t B. Whitford’s voice in season 2, and this high pitch is INTENTIONAL from the writers. Why else would the writers have both Red John appearances have high frail voices?

And Red John is a serial killer. But he is no ordinary killer. He is a complete sociopath. He plays games with Patrick and is usually one step ahead. And being ahead of Patrick Jane is a RARE and nearly IMPOSSIBLE thing. Take a look at Bradley Whitford—didn’t he seem like a very intelligent man who was filthy rich?

Which brings up another point. Red John has so many moles and people working for him. How could an ordinary man pull this off? That requires money and PULL. Big friends in high places. How else can he have such things unless he was in a high place himself? Red John is your classic American Psycho. Rich, successful, but also a raging sociopath that kills for fun. And again, look at Bradley Whitford in the episode—he looked like he owns a boat or two in the marina.

May 20, 2011 at 4:11 AM

Let’s say Whitford is Red John. Shots to the stomach leave room for survival. Do you think he is really dead? Is Red John dead and gone?

May 20, 2011 at 4:37 AM

That was 3 shots to the gut at point blank range. No way is he gonna survive that. He’d lose too much blood before the EMTs could even save him. And even then, I think he died right then and there.

But I feel like they haven’t finished on the Red John thing. Either a legacy or an organization of some sort may surface (if the writers decide to pursue more arcs involving Red John).

July 3, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I completely agree with you. I really hope that was Red John because he was just how Red John should be. I met a ex police officer who had worked on the case of a very horrible serial killer and he said that when you sat in a room with him he seemed very pleasant and charming. Because sociopaths are very good at manipulating other peoples emotions.

And to me, Red John risking everything to come out and meet Jane face to face was very realistic. Sociopaths take giant risks for kicks. The idea of taunting Jane and giving Jane a chance to fail at his revenge would appeal strongly to RJs thrillseeking nature. He didn’t think he could do it. If in fact, it does turn out to be a decoy I would be very disappointed.

I think there is huge potential for the next series. Because a mistake so many dramas do is make the characters stuck in the same situation for a long time, and their personalities become stilted and cliched. With Red John dead the characters HAVE to change.

Jane’s life has had a single motivation – revenge – ever since his life was torn apart. Will he cope without this? What will he do next? He needs new drive but where will he find it?

Lisbon is a Clarice Starling kind of character (film not book). Justice is a strong part of her character and vigilante revenge goes against everything she believes in. Her next choices will change her character forever.

And finally, Van Pelt. She has always been the most innocent and trusting of everyone in CBI. She is the complete opposite of Jane – believes in psychics, ghosts and God. Once it hits home to her that she was so completely naive and taken in by O’Loughlin she is bound to change. Are we going to see a tougher, wiser Van Pelt or will she turn into cynical damaged goods?

One thing that Van Pelt ought to take as comfort is that Jane didn’t smell a rat with O’Loughlin either. And that is slightly hard to believe. How many times have we seen Jane pick the liar out of a crowded room? Did he just never bother observing O’Loughlin?

I am really looking forward to the next series. And I want more Cho! He’s an awesome character.

May 20, 2011 at 7:37 AM

There are a lot of issues unresolved and unmentioned here yet:

1) Lisbon has known all along that Jane has been planning on murdering Red John in cold-blood. Will she lie for him in court? I don’t know. That’s going to be very problematic and require some great writing. Jane also has made many, many enemies in the CBI, FBI, well, every organization. There are dozens of powerful people who would love to get rid of him, do everything they can to make sure that he gets slammed for Murder One. Also, Jane completed his mission. He has nothing else now. And he is an ethical man. And is it that hard to see Jane accepting a life imprisonment in a cell where he can spend the rest of his days reading and meditating? At this point, that’s probably what he wants. There was a finality to the closing scene when he sat down and waiting to be captured, not in a “Hey, I’m with CBI, I know you need to arrest me” but rather in a “I’m going to be dead silent and accept the fate I chose years ago. I knew that if I would kill him and I accept the punishment. I took away an evil from this world. And I committed evil. I deserve nothing less.” Jane won’t stand up for himself. Lisbon will be stuck trying to decide whether to protect Jane, even if Jane tells her not to do so.

2) We know that Red John is an organization. Has everyone forgotten Malcolm McDowell’s recurring character? How did he know so much, and why did he hide so much from Jane? That character is an incredibly powerful, wealthy cult leader who sent his brain-washed disciples off to murder and death. And McDowell’s character is just one big, unanswered question regarding Red John. There is simply way too much evidence that this one not some sort of simple RJ picking disciples. Whoever RJ is, if he was the character portrayed by Bradley Whitford (what a great job, btw), then there is no indication that he was anyone more than what I shall call “Patrick Jane’s personal Red John.” Whether Whitford was the top Red John (given that there are multiple people that either worked for him or with him, far more than we or CBI knows, e.g. Malcolm McDowell’s character), is completely unknown.

3) That brings me to the third point: How in the heck did one man turn so many people from all walks of life, many unknown, into single-minded homicidal, psychopathic sleeper agents? And why? Seriously? Why? The only clue we have to that is that there are veiled references concerning that these people utterly believe in something that Jane, CBI, and the viewers don’t really understand: there are references by the RJ disciples to believing in some sort of God or higher plan. So what the heck were they really doing this whole time? Why? What was the point? We know it’s way to complex to just be a couple of murderous serial killers. The infiltration of CBI, the utter and peaceful willingness for the assassin to commit suicide as if she knew were going to a better place… It’s all to complex, with too many unanswered questions that don’t make sense yet. There simply has to be more to this; either that or bad writing, and it’s not the writing.

4) The death of RJ leaves a whole system in place. All of RJ’s disciples, his network, are all going to still be active. And do any of you think that RJ is the type of guy to intentionally place himself in a position in which he knew that he had a reasonable chance of Jane murdering him without an insanely huge back-up plan? RJ (and his network) will continue whatever the heck his mission was without him. And do you know what insane, murderous, secret cults do? They don’t stop.

5) Red John said he was retiring. Whether or not Jane was going to kill him didn’t matter. Red John said that he was done with that part of his life. There aren’t going to be “copy-cat” murders. No, this was RJ’s way of saying that he was done, that he had done his job, and this is whether or not he lived or died. When terrorists do that very thing, they always hand select their best acolyte to take over the leadership role. By killing the B. Whitford Red John, all Jane really did was cut off one head of the Hydra. There are many other heads still out there. It may seem like this season wrapped up neatly, but there are way too many clues that people like Malcolm McDowell’s character, with his wealth and influence are still out there. While we viewers got the satisfaction of seeing Jane murder Red John, everything else on the show implies that there is still much, much more going on than Jane, the CBI, and we viewers know. At least for now.

6) Finally, we have not delved nearly deeply enough into the significance of the Blake poem, and the concept that for there to be light/good in the world, there also has to be dark/evil. From what Bradley Whitford said, it seems rather clear that Red John was committing evil acts, and had recruited an invisible army for a fairly singular (insane) purpose. In order for there to be heroes, in order for there to people of “light” doing good in the world, RJ and his invisible army believed that they were carrying out “dark” acts, committing evil, specifically to push people like Jane to become “good” people. RJ expressed quite clearly that he believed that he was doing this for the good of the world! He believed that he had to bring the darkness, so to speak, in order to bring out the light in other people. He was on some sort of crazy mission to make the world a better place by forcing Jane and others to become paragons of virtue. That also explains why he said he was done with killing and violence. He felt like he pulled his duty for humanity, and acted like he never really wanted to do it necessarily, but that it had to be done for the betterment of humanity as a whole.

7) And that leaves behind an invisible, well-funded, well-trained group of Red John’s other believers in this coda to continue this mission. He retired. And now there’s a shadow group of killers who have nothing less than a martyr to continue his work, surely now determined to carry on his “there must be evil for there to be good” mission. And besides the untouchable, super-wealthy, out-of-country McDowell character, who’s certainly an evil person and capable of funding anything and supplying drones from his cult of thousands upon thousands, we know absolutely nothing about what comes next. All we know is that there is a religious-like bunch of individuals at best (and at worst a full-blown organization) that is still out there.

So, yeah, there’s a lot of possibilities. And Red John having set up whatever post-death plans he has to screw with Jane even after his death is both a disturbing and exciting (as a viewer) prospect. He’s already going to be dealing with a lot what with the fact that he is well aware that he just crossed from the side of the light to that of the dark by committing the murder. That and, you know, prison.

May 20, 2011 at 8:16 AM

There are an awful lot of Blake quoting people walking around. Remember Larouche and Bertram quoting him in one episode? Cho knew Blake in last night’s show. What ever happended to Walter? The possibilities are endless. That’s why I love this show. It’s so smart it’s sexy.

May 20, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Good interview with Baker: http://www.tvguide.com/News/Mentalist-Season-Finale-1033336.aspx

I’m really pissed that CBS is not airing this online today. I had to miss part 1 and wanted to watch it all the way through today and I cannot find a website anywhere, that I trust, that is airing either of this 2 hour season finale. GRRRRR!!!!

Okay, need to read a book anyway, before it’s due back at the library.

May 20, 2011 at 8:33 PM

I’ve always suspected O’Laughin:

http://cliqueclack.com/tv/2011/02/16/mentalist-red-john-brett-partridge/#comment-51645

Did that hold through the entire episode? Yeah, it truly did. The way the iPads were setup with pictures, I figured that Jane switched the pictures so that everyone else would think it was Betram. I didn’t really know why, but you often see Jane things do things you don’t get, and figure out the why later.

However, I’m not sure what to think about Red John at this point. Whitford gave a hell of a performance in such a short time period, but if Red John really is a series arc, then it doesn’t make sense for him to die so soon.

May 21, 2011 at 2:41 AM

Great season finale. A screenplay and direction lesson. Apart from RJ’s hands positioning mistake already mentioned, a true television masterpiece!

I really liked Bradley Whitford’s Red John and wish he is the real deal. Just two things makes me a little suspicious: 1) Why was it so easy? I mean, Red John is always a step in front of everything/everyone. Im not saying that the scene wasn’t good, but it was just too easy. Maybe Red John underestimated Jane’s capability of killing? 2) Why was Jane so dubious? He’s a human crime radar, spotted the assassin in the hotel without looking twice in an iPad transformed camera! And in the mall he kept asking Red John if he was the real one. I always thought that once Jane saw and talked to his nemesis, he would have no doubts.

Those two things apart, the episode was phenomenal. Bradley Whitford was a genuine psychopath murmuring “lose some win some” when talking to Lisbon on the phone (best part of the episode, in my opinion). If he is the real deal, he made an excellent RJ. Which makes me feel a little empty inside: what now? That’s probably Jane’s feeling during the next season. Will he lose interest for everything else?

May 21, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Trying to find some theories about Red John I stumbled upon this image:

http://imageshack.us/f/101/redjohn.jpg/

This is an image of Red John who appears to be standing in front of the Seal of the President of the United States. Obviously this has been accidently leaked (or maybe intentionally!) by the producers of The Mentalist but the implications of this image are huge. It confirms that Red John is indeed powerful and well connected but who could have imagined that his reach extends to the President of the United States?

This new twist will no doubt be revealed in the next season, I can’t wait!

May 22, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Alright that’s pretty funny!

May 22, 2011 at 7:56 AM

As for Patrick Jane’s reaction -that is how some sh*t goe’s down,, – people react differently to all sorts of things, but come one, about time he got Red John out of the way and started to grow the character in some other way, I for one am glad if Red John really is gone, let’s see him now become obsessed with being even more of a puzzle solver – Maybe see him root out some full on corrupt organisation or something a bit less directly focused on him that let’s his character enjoy the trapping’s of life a little more and stops him from laying around on the couch in the office between cases, – time for a better back story – Red John was good but needed to change – / – I have a funny feeling Rigsby will now be back on the Van Pelt scent – lets be honest she is attractive and they could really grow her character and other fine actors in the series as back stories – like to see the supporting characters maybve be more of the back story even,- still I think it is a great show – and hopefully this breathes some even better stories into the series,. True the recipe has worked but I have been waiting for it to shift gear for a while now and this is a great opprtunity for the story writers to really inject something special into the series — Cheers J — an avid Mentalist fan

May 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Jane wasn’t alone at the mall…Rigsby and Cho were both there…Cho was right above the food court and Rigsby was in the security office.

…if Jane could have a radio in his ear, so could Whitford…the “real” Red John could have told him what to say about Jane’s family.

McDowell’s character of the cult leader is a much more likely Red John…he has a large number of followers with religious fanaticism…like the assassin, and the convenience store clerk.

May 24, 2011 at 2:22 AM

Bertram is RJ. There was no need to frame hightower to get rid of her. It was done as cruel irony. Something she did or was exposed to made her capable of catching RJ (Bertram) so Bertram frames her for sport. La Roche figures this out and is worried Jane will too. La Roche steals Bertrams lunch in tupperware to have his dna to prove Bertram is RJ at the righht time. The false RJ is too dispassionate to be believable. Bertram expects a challenge question and simply tells false RJ about shampoo smells to tell PJ. PJ wants it to be the real RJ, but he knows its not. He kills anyways to send message he’s got the guts for it. And he knows this false RJ doesn’t know the real RJ too well.

May 25, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Jane might end up being Red John if The Mentalist was a cable show, but never, ever on CBS. The show would flop in syndication if hero Jane turned out to be an evil murderer. Besides, The Mentalist isn’t all that deep. Every week Jane figures out who the murderer is before everyone else and every week he tricks said murderer into revealing their guilt. Quite simple, really. Simon Baker’s performance is what makes the show worth watching. They’ll have a trial next year, Jane will be acquitted by the jury – justifiable homicide or extenuating circumstances – and he will get back to tricking killers every week. Maybe there are other Red Johns or RJ followers out there – maybe not. Maybe the shows producers are just tired of the whole RJ thing and wanted to end it. And yes, that was Red John Jane killed. CBS isn’t going to have their hero kill an imposter.

May 29, 2011 at 10:16 AM

My theory is we met RJ this season and it was the other female psychic supposedly captured and let go by RJ. PJ’s wife and daughter were killed after he commented on RJ publicly on TV. I think this angered and brought the attention of her down on his family. I think they are the flip side of each other – both do the same thing but PJ no longer tries to mis-represent it. I know the organization makes more sense in many ways. However you have people willing to die and I think this is accomplished by having another hypnotist/mentalist who can convince people they talk to dead people and that it will be great to die and see people they miss. Remember Craig spoke of his dead mom as he gave the locket – what if he tore it off as we was going to see her – at least that is what he believed. I have always thought RJ is a woman who may never actually commit the crimes but has it done for her. I think PJ may have actually killed the killer of his wife and daughter but not who ordered it….

June 1, 2011 at 4:47 PM

this is the best telemovie i’ve ever seen. Heller is a genius

June 2, 2011 at 6:38 AM

What about Kristina? they havent explained what happened to her!!!

June 8, 2011 at 1:58 AM

How many times can van pelt screw up and conceivable bring down her team, eg in the last episode where she, w/o authorization, or clearance, brings her boyfriend into an important crime scene risking everyone’s life, esp. Lisbon, who was shot in the chest more than once. After Van Pelt’s traitorous fiancee was killed, van pelt stayed at his side rather than grabbing her cell phone and calling for emergency help for Lisbon. Van Pelt is a loose cannon and should at the very least have a year or two suspension or be fired permanently. This was not the first time that her rookie/poor judgment could have caused more CVI lives to be lost. I say fire her. She’s too much of a liabilty to have around.

August 2, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Bradley Whitford is not Red John, it doesn’t make any sence if you look at the show as a whole.

Throughout the show, in every single episode, the perpetrator has been someone, that has been seen early in the episode. The perpetrator is never someone that is found in the end of the episode.

That way it doesn’t make sence that Red John (the main thread that ties the show together, and the ultimate perpetrator) is seen for the first time, in the very last minutes of the last episode of season 3. It is just too unlikely that the very concept and structure of the show doesn’t apply to the revealing of Red John.

Red John has to be someone that is known, someone that we meet in one of the very fist episodes.

My personal guess would be Bret Partridge, because he is seen in the very first epsiode of the show (early appearance as it is usual for the structure of the show) and besides that appears in a lot of important episodes (the pilot, the season 2 final). Furthermore he matches the discription of Red John that Rosalind Harker gives and his voice sounds a bit like Red Johns.