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The Mentalist – Jane’s been this close to Red John before

For two seasons fans of 'The Mentalist' have been toyed with the mystery of who the elusive Red John is, and Patrick Jane got as close as he's ever been to finding out who it is ... but he's been closer, before, than he may think.

- Season 2, Episode 23 - "Red Sky in the Morning"

Here’s the thing about Kristina and her “gift.” Jane is clearly irritated and perhaps somehow jealous that she’s able to keep this facade up, that she refuses to admit she’s just very observant. What if she is hearing voices of a sort, but they aren’t of those who have passed — they are from her own alter ego? It’s much more likely that she’s extremely observant, but it’s entirely subconscious. So, to her, she’s hearing voices from the ether or getting “feelings” about certain things, when in fact she’s hearing and feeling them from her subconscious … her alter-ego.

And this is also why it’s not Kristina who is Red John, but it’s her alter-ego. And Kristina doesn’t know it.

Yes, you heard me. Kristina Frye, in a way, is Red John. Then again, it’s possible we’re supposed to simply believe that, given the overly-obvious clues put in place: the womanly boots, the “roll tide,” and Kristina conveniently disappearing. But I don’t believe it’s that cut and dry, because it’s this multiple personality of hers that will continue to throw everyone a loop, including Jane and us, the viewers.

Another big clue was what I consider a very nondescript voice from Red John. That could have easily been a woman disguising her voice to sound like a nasally, dweeby man. But here’s the thing: is Patrick Jane observant enough under pressure to have picked up on these obvious clues that a simple viewer like me can pick up from afar? Isn’t the “roll tide” clue enough? Or is that why Jane is smiling at the conclusion to this episode: he finally has Kristina figured out, and next season he’s going to make it his mission to find her, dig into that ill mind of hers and put the mystery of Red John to rest once and for all.

I’m wondering — with all that’s happened — if Jane will start packing heat in the new season. I believe he’s already noted that he doesn’t like carrying guns, but with getting himself put in danger like this? Sometimes his smart mouth isn’t going to be enough to get him out of it.

What do you think? Am I onto something with that theory?

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/CBS

45 Responses to “The Mentalist – Jane’s been this close to Red John before”

May 21, 2010 at 2:36 AM

I saw last week’s episode yesterday and haven’t seen this week’s yet but that is exactly what I thought when they made that coffee/tea date at the end. End of the season, Red John, she’s either “him” or she’s another lackey.

May 21, 2010 at 7:22 AM

Exactly. I also think Christina has two personalities and Red John is the alter-ego.
1-Christina in the previous episode told that Patrick’s daughter had been sleeping at the time of murder
2-Roll Tide dialog was only between Patrick and Christina and Red John repeated it besides telling that Christina liked Patrick.
3-Poem at the end of season 2 finale had the clue of symmetry (double personality)
4-Voice was suitable to be considered as a woman talking from the throat.
(I was even expecting that the book Patrick was reading at the end would have a title like “Multiple Personality Disorder” and we would have a glimpse of it)

May 21, 2010 at 9:31 AM

but what about Bosco’s secretary who fell in love with Red John..and killed the whole team to give the case back to Jayne? There have been many other clues to suggest RJ is a man. He also had a relationship with that blind woman….I don’t know. I agree yours is a good theory..but not all the pieces fit. Krystina is definitely involved somehow though.

May 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

It’s possible Bosco’s secretary was gay, but I’m pretty sure Red John has always been referred to as “he.” Then again, who’s to say Red John ever takes that mask off, even to “his” loyal subjects?

May 21, 2010 at 9:48 AM

By making that episode, by always saying “he” in every referance, they have entirely removed the possiblity of it BEING a woman from peoples mind… I think that they can go either way with this, but I am still QUITE sure that Kristina IS Red John. If it’s a split personality or not we can’t be sure of but it would definalty make sense.
I thought she was Red John in the first episode I saw her in, when we noticed her high intelligence and so forth, then I was downhearted after they seemed to move on from her. After the two last episodes, I have very little doubt she is our red little candyman.

A vey well made episode, and it leaves you speculating and dying to see more.

June 16, 2010 at 7:39 PM

I have other clues that tell us he is a man. The episode jane helps jared out of prison, he wrote with his blood “he is man”. The crazy lady that kills boscow agents, she refers to him as a man and last, the episode she kills boscow team is called “his red right hand”, the hand he uses to poison the lady to death.

May 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Remember the last scene when RJ poisoned Bosco’s secretary? She had an emotionless look on her face and suddenly started smiling when she saw RJ, who then proceeded to rub the poision on her (if you watched carefully, you would have seen this). They showed the back of the person and it was a guy. Possibly, Krystina has some freak alter ego but there is definitely someone else involved (a man) if that is the case. Maybe no one has seen the real RJ…it’s possible than a man is under Krytina’s (self or alter-ego) influence and does what she says…..

May 21, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Ah, you’re right Paula. Good catch. I’d have to go back and see for sure how much it looked like a man, but I do remember thinking it was definitely a man.

May 21, 2010 at 9:34 PM

It could be her, but I think the voice may be a man’s though, then again when Red John says ‘I think Krystina would want me to send you her love’ could mean either she’s captured by Red John, is a subordinate of Red John, or -is- Red John. What do you think? :)

May 21, 2010 at 11:23 PM

Red John is not Kristina (or some alter-ego). If so, she has a hell of a big figure, and can easily life a 180lb man upright in a chair. I think Kristina is another minion, and Red John is actually the annoying forensics guy who irks Patrick. He was in the Pilot, and magically, shows up in this episode for seemingly no reason. Their voices are extremely similar. Problem is, if it is one of those characters, then the writers really let down the audience with a completely obvious identity.

May 25, 2010 at 9:47 PM

“Their voices are extremely similar.”

Yep, 100% match. :/

May 30, 2010 at 8:23 PM

that was my immediate jump when we saw him again, but I think that his sudden reappearance would make it a bit too obvious, no?

May 23, 2010 at 9:51 AM

I think it’s one of 3 people: 1) the forensics guy (but also believe they want us to think that). 2) Krystina, and maybe not even an alter-ego. She has the “touch” that Jane has, he’s had many suspects, etc. “hypnotized” by saying a key phrase and tapping them on the shoulder. I fear the “Roll Tide” and subsequent tap was her doing her magic on Jane, and HE may now be one of Red John’s pawns. As for lifting him from the chair, she’s not a dainty, petit woman and if is healthy and works out, could probably have liften Jane’s chair. RJ did struggle with the chair a bit. As for the affiars, Krystina could be gay, the blind lady really may not have known exactly what she was involved with. Also, as for RJ’s pawns, the hypnotic skills would be handy. And about the secretary: yes, she was in love with RJ, but it might not have been a romantic love. It could have been a hypnosis thing, or could have been romantic love.

My 3rd theory is that RJ is Jane himself and the other people are his pawns. He may have killed his family (certainly not the only serial killer to do so), or one of his pawns did it without him knowing/authorizing and that’s why he’s so mad. I get this idea from the movie “Fight Club”, where the two lead characters (one pretty rough/gruff the other geeky and nice) were actually the same person. It could be Jane’s not even aware of his alter ego. I won’t get into the psychology of multiple personality disorders (anxiety disorder) and the trauma the typically preceds it, as it would all be conjecture in regards to Jane. We don’t know of abuse or trauma, but do know he wasn’t raised in the most nurturing of environments: he was a psychic for a traveling carnevial… really nice guy on one hand (and sometimes his conscience won over), but a swindler on the other… same person, “perfect symmetry”. As for the ending of the episode where Jane “meets” Red John? The other guy could have been a pawn, or all imagined in Jane’s mind… the whole last scene could have been imagined. If you’ve seen “Fight Club”, or worked with patients with really complex psychological disorders, you’ll know what I’m saying.

May 24, 2010 at 9:23 AM

I’ve had the theory of Jane being RJ before, but the only problem there would be that the show would essentially be over once that was revealed to us. Maybe that’s the plan, but I sorta doubt it.

June 18, 2010 at 5:07 AM

How can rj be jane if they were both in the same room and he told the poem to jane? They saw themselves face to face, unless you are saying that guy wasn’t actually rj

May 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Great guesses and detective work on all of the above. The only one I don’t buy is Jane as a dual personality. I won’t even guess who RJ is, but I just find it a great show! I really love watching it. I am even coming around to liking the new supervisor–who I had a few problems with the first couple of shows.

May 23, 2010 at 4:50 PM

If it’s the forensics guy who’s played a minor role, they’re really taking their cues from the movie “Se7en”. What happened to the theory that Red John was the redheaded, androgynous reporter at the press conference at one point this season?

May 25, 2010 at 9:37 PM

His voice was a bit campy, but maybe he used a voice distorter under the mask.

I don’t think, Red John is a woman, because his profile and MO is not typical of female serial killers:

May 26, 2010 at 12:51 AM

I checked the voices of the forensic guy and Red John. Sounds the same. On the other hand though, Jane did call Lisbon before he went in the hotel and told her where he was. She is a loner and has all the resources. What irony if it were.

May 26, 2010 at 11:47 PM

The mentalist rly is amazing… But we must remember that one more season is coming… the obvious is probably wrong !
I liked all theories.. But in my opinion Frye isn’r RJ because she showed herself on TV, aparently she has a good mental health and “she” lifted a guy with at least 75kg… no way she can be the bad GUY. There’s a big odd of she just be one more of RJ’s puppets… RJ IS a guy, the episode of poisoning clearly showned it…
But I a 104.239th theory… “Being RJ” is just a estate of spirit, like a cult or a religion. In this line of thinking RJ could be more than 1 person… male or famale…

Sry by the english

Ale from Brasil =)

May 30, 2010 at 1:12 AM

I also reckon its Kristina… Anybody else notice that all the episodes she’s been in have the word Red in them?

– Red Sky in the Morning
– Red Letter
– Seeing Red

June 1, 2010 at 6:53 PM

actually, all the episodes have “red” or a red item in the title

June 6, 2010 at 4:42 PM

What about 1st season, last episode? A friend of RJ definitely refers to him as “he”. So as Bosco‚Äôs secretary (“he’s a good man”) There are also other characters, who say ‘he’ talking about him: accomplice of RJ, who died in jail, and his friend who was killed after getting out of jail with Janes help. Hard to believe that it’s a woman. I think it would be nonsense if it’s kristina. It is also disappointing, that she’s involved anyhow, cause he likes her.
Jane is Red John – that’s too much. I hope it’s not that kind of show.

June 7, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Hell, you have think about it before me.

June 16, 2010 at 11:38 PM

What about the waiter in the restaurant where Jane and Kristina went on their date? What about him being Red John and her his accomplice?? She grabs his arm and tells the “Roll Tide” story, which he quickly verifies to be true. He, therefore, is a 3rd person who had hear the words “Roll Tide” spoken. Obviously, he is a man and could easily have picked up Jane in the chair. The voices don’t match well, but maybe he was disguising his.
A long shot, maybe, but it was the first thing I thought of when Red John uttered “Roll Tide.” I went back to the scene in the restaurant and it made some sense to me.
Jane may have been smiling in the end when he realized he had been right next to him.

June 18, 2010 at 5:14 AM

it is possible, but the man jane saw face to face wearing a mask, was thing, and this guy is a little chubby to be that guy. A curious thing is the reappearance of the forensics guy and Kristina in the end of the season that lacked red john episodes. i think we can infer that red john is linked to these to two characters

June 28, 2010 at 1:24 AM

I think the writers were having a bit of fun there and tossed them into the same episode to throw us off track. I firmly believe neither of them is Red John.

June 18, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Or, maybe, red john is sitting at the next table at the restaurant, or he plugged some device on Kristina or Jane to hear what they were talking about)))

June 21, 2010 at 9:18 AM

RJ is Kristina’s twin (and could be male).

which may mean he is also psychic/connected to kristina.

why I think this?
– “fearful symmetry” & “mirror” in the Blake poem
– the comedy/tragedy masks of theatre – RJ uses ONE (ergo…there is a balance/opposite to him?)
– kristina seems to know RJ will not kill her & has compassion for her
– RJ was with the blind redhaired woman who reminded him of his sister kristina (‘blind’ also could represent having ‘sight’ i.e psychic ability)
– because RJ has killed ONE of a twin before – which may be significant

June 28, 2010 at 1:15 AM

I think, perhaps, the symmetry might have been a comparison between Red John and Jane. Both are mentalists in their own right. Each is endowed with a sharp mind and the ability to manipulate others, Red John in his evasion of the police (and the awkward ‘hypnosis’ of his ‘tools’) and Jane in his work as a consultant for the CBI.

June 21, 2010 at 10:55 PM

Maybe it’s too obvious . . . but the waiter points out that “roll tide” refers to the Univ. of Alabama “crimson tide” which totally goes along with the whole red/blood theme. The rivals of the “tide” are the the auburn tigers . . . more red, and tigers like the poem.

how about “roll tide” as a hypnotist’s cue word to set off a trance in the future? There is a lot of contact between Kristina and the waiter and then with Jane and RJ (along with eye contact) . . . Jane often uses touch to initiate his hypno then follows with deep staring.

I hope its not Kristina or the forensics guy . . . it would be too easy . . . i hope they are “red herrings”

great thoughts, guys!

June 28, 2010 at 1:12 AM

My sentiments exactly. :) I’m glad someone else doesn’t figure Kristina or Brett to be the killer.

June 23, 2010 at 6:51 AM

In “Red John’s Friends” Jared writes “He is mar” on the wall, “mar” meaning “flaw, injure; blot” ( In “Red Sky in the Morning” Jane looks at the faces of the victims when deciding if it’s RJ’s work or not (are they cut up?). Add the RJ Smiley Face and I think it’s possible that RJ has a disfigured, scarred or burnt face, meaning we haven’t met him yet (or at least I can’t remember a disfigured character).

I think RJ has had a traumatic experience and I think it’s somehow relevant, for the sake of drama, to Jane. I think we’ll have to learn more about Jane’s past to figure it out, it would be somewhat disappointing if it was just a random character with no real connection.

June 24, 2010 at 12:27 AM

Good ideas. I agree that we will have to learn more about Jane to figure out who rj is. It would be interesting if rj turned out to be someone in his team (Cho, Lisbon, or the other two). They know exactly what is happeneing inside the CBI (rj is always one step ahead). Another interesting twist could be that RJ isnt just one person, it is many. This would fit in well as rj seems to have had many accomplices. We have to keep in mind that there are many more episodes to come, a whole season in fact, that could unravel more clues as to the real identity of Red John.

June 28, 2010 at 1:10 AM

I don’t mind the idea of a woman being the arch-nemesis of a show’s protagonist (even better since they’re so rare in the serial killer genre) but the suggestion that Kristina is in fact Red John makes everything we learned about the killer in “Red John’s Footsteps” just about moot—something I don’t think the writers planned. Red John was Rosalind’s lover (and she made it very clear that he was a man), and a longtime ‘friend’ of the Tanner family (the father, Orville Tanner, having once been his accomplice). Tanner’s son also made it very clear that Red John was a man.

Now, having said all that, I do believe Kristina is another accomplice (or, to be more accurate, another ‘pawn’). Her demeanor was far too calm—bordering on creepy, in fact. Either she really is working with Red John and doesn’t believe he will hurt her, or she’s actually a nut.

July 2, 2010 at 9:09 PM

I also believe that RJ is male, as many references in previous episodes make him out to be a “he”.
About the “Red John’s Friends” episode where Jared writes on the wall: I have wondered ever since that episode if it wasn’t supposed to be “married”, with Jared dying before being able to finish the word. If this is the case, then Kristina may be his wife, although I like the idea of her possibly being his twin. Her insight and knowledge about RJ was just too much to be by chance or “good observational skills”. The “roll tide” bit and the poem will have me wondering and speculating untill next season, where I sincerely hope they clear them up.

July 20, 2010 at 6:41 AM

Anyone else notice a big clue in every episode she’s been in?

…the title!

‘Red Sky in the Morning’
‘Red Letter’
‘Seeing Red’

Hmmmmm … might just be a ‘red’ herring (if you excuse the pun).

July 20, 2010 at 6:46 AM

… sorry, my bad. Just realised ALL episodes have ‘red’ in the title.


July 28, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Did anyone else consider that Red John maybe a red herring and that the killer may indeed be female. Also something ive just noticed an unknown dead man is a JOHN Doe while an unknown female is a JANE Doe. Probably has nothing to do with the series just thought id bring it up.

July 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Just noticed something else is it possible that Red John is a football player In the episode “red johns friends” the words HE IS MAN were wrote above the bath tub. I took this as HEISMAN (the trophy) then at the end of thelatest episode” red sky in the morning” Red John says “roll tide” this is a chant used by the supporters of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

July 28, 2010 at 4:17 PM

I was just saying whilst watching the season finale that Kristina Frye was Red John, for one she disappears and also she knows that she won’t get hurt by him and that is why she spoke to him through the tv and also she has RED hair! Like one of the most obvious clues.
But one thing that makes me doubt her being Red John is that the real one murdered the lady who interviewed Kristina, whilst Kristina was with Jane and Lisbon, but then again she could have gotten one of her people to do it through text message.

August 3, 2010 at 11:00 PM

i just watched the finale and i thought the exact same thing, she is red john, there is no doubt in my mind that she is, there the same jane and her hence the attraction, her mental illness went unnoticed but jane got help for his, can’t wait for season 3

August 26, 2010 at 8:43 PM

No one has mentioned the book forests of the night which starts with Blake’s poem….I think it has all the answers ;-)

September 4, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Very interesting theory and one that could be very plausible. As it stands, I don’t know if I think Kristina is Red John, or is simply another one of his accomplices sent to toy with Jane. In both cases is seems too ideal that they met, the circumstances where to chanced.

September 14, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Kristina isn’t red john
red john was kinda big, and tall.
it wasn’t her for sure
besides, it was a man voice
probably he got the “roll tide” from Kristina

red john didn’t kill jane cuz he loves to play games
Kristina & patric are important to him
i don’t think Kristina will be killed
he knew that they will protect Kristina, so he killed the lady who interviewed Kristina

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