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Did we see Red John on The Mentalist?

- Season 2, Episode 8 - "His Right Red Hand"

The Mentalist Red John reporter?

Curse you, CBS! Curse you for moving The Mentalist to a 10:00 time slot this season … don’t you people know I turn into a pumpkin much, much earlier than Cinderella’s coach? It pains me not to watch this show live this season, and in particular, this episode. Holy moly!

“His Right Red Hand” was loaded with goodies for us. I’m still cursing you, CBS, but hooray for November sweeps and pulling out all the stops.

I was loving The Mentalist this season. It was great in season one, but they have really stepped up their game. I love that Jane had a nemesis within the department and that Lisbon and Jane have become partners in Jane’s little schemes. The team really gelled when juxtaposed next to Bosco’s team.

Now we’ve got some changes coming up: no more rival team within the CBI and no more Minelli. What’s a new boss going to do for the team, and to Jane?

More importantly, there were some CBI badge shenanigans going on in this episode that I think were giant clues. With a little help from Brett, here’s what we came up with: Did Red John show his face at Minelli’s press conference? Let’s break it down:

  • The red-haired reporter pictured above could easily be Red John. The scarf is covering his Adam’s apple, and hello? Red hair. Really, really sorry in advance to the actress playing this role if I’m wrong, but perhaps consider this a wake-up call and consult a stylist immediately.
  • Keith contacted CBS for a cast list from this episode, and the actor is uncredited … suspicious? You be the judge.
  • In HD, that white badge the redheaded reporter is wearing appears to be a CBI badge. If so, it is very Red John-like to flaunt something like that, especially if it belonged to Hicks, which is likely. And, it explains how he got in at the end to poison Rebecca, the assistant.
  • When Cho was watching Virgil’s speech, I think it was a shout-out to us viewers to pay attention to that scene … because if you did, you just might see Red John.
  • Jane flashing the CBI badge — with his finger over it — was another plant to get us to pay attention to the badges.

I’m anxious to see how all the changes in The Mentalist play out over the rest of the season. Do you think we’ll see much of Red John?

Photo Credit: CBS

7 Responses to “Did we see Red John on The Mentalist?”

November 21, 2009 at 2:48 PM

It is hard to tell whether the badge was a CBI Visitor badge or a real one … I must say though that it is not the norm to literally wipe out 5 characters in one swoop …

The murder of the cops was kinda raw for those of us in Seattle, where we just went through the senseless murder of a police officer … it was way too familiar to see.

November 23, 2009 at 10:14 AM

I’m SUPER impressed with your skills of observation! Bruno Heller’s tag line for the show is “Watch Closely” and even though this tag line is a direct reference to Jane’s skills, I also think that he has hinted that the audience can pick up on a lot of things as well, if we are paying close attention.

After reading this post, I re-watched the Minelli press conference. The first thing that jumps out at me is the way the camera is positioned when we first join the press conference. It’s a shot of Minelli from in-between the backs of the blond reporter, Meredith, and the redhead. Then, after Minelli begins responding to Meredith’s question, we get a clear shot of the redhead, which is the shot that you pointed out. What jumps out at me here is how masculine her face looks! Also, I have always felt like whenever the camera is on someone that we haven’t been introduced to, it could be images used for a flashback scene later when the killer is introduced. ESPECIALLY since you point out that the actress is uncredited!! I feel that she was definitely on camera long enough for “reporter in red scarf” to be credited.

I have a theory that we have already seen Red John in the Season One Finale. Remember the scene where Cho and Rigsby go to the convenience store to find surveillance footage of a man buying a stuffed animal as Rosalind described? After Cho and Rigsby enter the store, there is a man that is walking behind them to enter the store. The camera is on him for WAY too long for him to have never been introduced in the episode.

I definitely foresee a series finale years down the road where we are shown a collage of shots from over the seasons that points out specific instances where Red John has been among them all along. I’m so impressed with the things you observed, and will be keeping them in mind as we watch future episodes. This makes watching even more fun!

November 23, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Did the reporter in question actually say anything? If not, it wouldn’t be odd for her to be uncredited.

I watched most of Season 1 pretending that Lisbon was Red John, which was fun in the finale when she never met the witness face-to-face, and all her flirting with Jane. That’s probably already been disproved this year, although with the endless supply of RJ minions, I suppose it could still be almost anyone.

November 25, 2009 at 12:44 PM

This is a great show! Great post. There is also a lot of talk around the internet about Minelli being Red John. Interesting timimg with him leaving the CBI during this episode. He also showed a dark side to him during the press conference. Time will tell but I agree the show is on too late!

If you get a chance vote for your favorite Mentalist character here:

November 25, 2009 at 4:12 PM

You know, Keith and I tossed around the idea of Minelli as Red John last season, but I just don’t think it will be so. He’s too “human” and relatable, and I do think there’s something to the Red John sightings. Although I did notice that Red John made his mistake 9 years ago, and Minelli had been in his position for 8 years, so … red herring?

December 9, 2009 at 10:52 PM

We once saw RedJohns reflection in his screen on Season 1
Episode 11. And “she” doesn’t look like RedJohn.

December 10, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Nope! I remember there was some talk that that was Red John’s reflection, but Keith and I watched that scene about a gazillion times, and after about a million times, it was very clear that it was Jane’s reflection we were seeing, not Red John. Same outfit and everything. But it was quite a tease!

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