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The Mentalist – Tiger, tiger burning bright

Some of you are wondering what Todd, the burned guy said at the end of the episode. Reach back to the second season finale and it might help solve that burning question. See what I did there?

- Season 3, Episode 9 - "Red Moon"

Yeah, we don’t always cover The Mentalist episodes here, but you know me — I’m a sucker for the Red John stuff. I mean, The Mentalist is a great show without Red John thrown in; I guess it’s just not my style to tap into stand-alone episodes all that much when it comes to this show.

I know I’m not the only one who digs the Red John story arc, even if the rumor (fact?) is that Red John is a series-long arc, not one that will end and be replaced by another. I can see it in what you all search for — you can’t hide from me!

Alright, so the Red John reference — maybe you missed it. At the end of the episode, when a severely burned Todd lay in the hospital bed, he looked over at Jane and mumbled something: “Tiger, tiger.” Remember where that’s from? Well, yeah, it’s from the William Blake poem, but as far as The Mentalist is concerned, it was said to Jane by none other than Red John in last season’s finale. Hence the horrified look of recollection on Janes face, pictured above.

What is really strange about these minions of Red John’s is how they truly do seem to hold up to the whole double-personality theme that the poem hints at. Take Todd, for example. He worked with the fire department and law enforcement, and on the other side he’s this monster. A well-hidden monster. This is why I have to believe that if the Red John story truly is series-long, then Red John will turn out to be someone mind-bogglingly close to Jane. Like Cho or Lisbon … or Jane himself. I’m NOT saying it’s one of them, but it just has to be someone to bowl us over when we find out.

And who was it who burned Todd? Either another of Red John’s flock or Red John himself, no doubt. But would Todd have told Jane what he wanted to know?

As for the rest of the episode, I really loved Jane’s trickery in not only getting Todd to fess up to the murders (in Jane’s own way), but in getting the phony psychic Ellis Mars (John Billingsly) run out of town with pee running down his leg.

Photo Credit: CBS

45 Responses to “The Mentalist – Tiger, tiger burning bright”

November 19, 2010 at 3:22 AM

For once, I guessed wrong. I thought it was Connor Trinneer, because… well… it’s always Connor Trinneer. Good to see the mini-Enterprise reunion, though.

Still hoping Red John is Lisbon, though, or at least her alternate personality. The actor they had playing Red John was awfully short…

November 19, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Because Tunney played the best 1990s psychos, I still secretly hope Red John is Lisbon, as well –

November 19, 2010 at 3:14 PM

I’m still fond of End of Days, myself. Hard to imagine a stranger matchup than Tunney and Schwarzenegger.

I thought Minelli was the frontrunner last season? The team and the audience were operating under the theory that Red John was inside the CBI, and could breeze through their security at will. It’s another reason I’m hoping it’s Lisbon, and think Kristina would be too random a choice.

Remembering Lisbon describing the team as Jane’s only family, or their tense discussion this week of how Jane will kill Red John and Lisbon won’t let him, only makes the possibility more enticing, as it would be the ultimate manipulation.

November 19, 2010 at 4:17 AM

Surely Red John is Kristina Frye?

November 19, 2010 at 6:43 AM

Red John is the lead forensics detective.

November 19, 2010 at 3:16 PM

i think its not red johns him self.
i think red johns already know the police will take revenge and take their on action. its like a death trap for the killer that red johns made after red johns already satisfied or the killer got caught.
more like a pawns. in a sense “kill for me and then you will get killed by them” will you still do it if you knew? only idiots doesnt knew. and the killer not exactly that dumb to pull that kind of plays. what makes me wonder, why the killer still do it?

November 19, 2010 at 3:32 PM

My thoughts on Red John, what about Van Pelt’s boyfriend? The FBI agent. It would be someone they have on the show semi-regularly but without it being one of the actual main cast. Just a thought.

November 19, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Agree that Red John is Kristina Frye.

November 19, 2010 at 9:07 PM

OK THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!!!!! SPOILER ALERT!!!!! for all you fans of the show THE MENTALIST i figured out who RED JOHN really is and have PROOF first a variant of the name patrick is PINK def. softer LESS VIOLENT color then RED!! JANE is the female version of the name JOHN!! RED JOHN??? and PATRICK is PINK JOHN ok thats nuttin but heres the biggy my fav movie is fight club the sign they burned into the buildin in that movie was a big smiley face…the sign of RED JOHN and in this movie the villian and hero where one in the same!!!!!hmmmmhmmm so that means PATRICK JANE IS RED JOHN lolol too easy CBS try harder next time lmao also the poem tiger tiger talks alot about creatin perfect symmetry….sry cant spell lolol but the definition is two perfect halfs OF THE SAME FIGURE!!!!! the figure is PATRICK JANE and obviously hes Schizophrenic

November 19, 2010 at 9:56 PM

I think that’s a fine theory, if this was a film and not a TV show on CBS. This is a highly successful show in its third season, and likely to go to syndication in a few years. If the show ended up with Patrick Jane being the evil Red John, I think it would kill the audience for the syndication of the show. He’d no longer be a likeable character. So I just don’t think they would dare go in that direction.

November 19, 2010 at 9:25 PM

I’ve theorized for a long time that Red John is Riggsby. Don’t know if there’s anything to it, but he’d be my first choice of the main cast. Cho, we’ve seen his background in quite a bit of detail, and I just don’t see it as a possibility. But I was on board with the whole “Red John is Christina Frye” thing, so it’s hard to know at this point.

I think that the villain here was indeed set on fire by one of the police as revenge. I don’t think he was going to spill much about Red John.

November 19, 2010 at 11:29 PM

Ok, didn’t last season’s finale show the masked Red John in the same scenes with Jane? IIRC, then no way Red John is Jane’s alter.

I suspected Kristina after S2, but we barely saw her in S3, so maybe the show is having scheduling problems with the actress, which might affect who they choose to be Red John.

Since the masked Red John was shorter, I can see it being Lisbon, or maybe even Hightower — who could have used her position to place herself closer to her prey, but I just can’t accept it being Cho.

I don’t think could it be Van Pelt or Grigsby, since they’re both taller than the masked Red John in S2’s finale.

November 20, 2010 at 6:38 AM

At this point it could be anybody.

And after “Lost” I’m not betting anymore, nor guessing. The writers can just retcon everything and say they planned it all along.

November 20, 2010 at 3:28 PM

“At this point it could be anybody.” …. It`s true, or nobody at that date.

November 21, 2010 at 9:07 AM

look you guys RED JOHN being PATRICK JANE is the only thing that explains the poem Tiger Tiger it explains the smiley face signs and the name red john itself (see my last post)….them being in the same room means nothing only us viewers and jane saw that brad pitt was in the entire movie of fight club and didnt exist lololololol if u think im wrong fine but dont jus throw names prove it the best prove i heard so far is that its a good show and jane makes the show so they cant end it like that which is 100% true

November 23, 2010 at 3:26 AM

not that I totally disagree with the logic, but ” a variant of the name patrick is PINK ” …I’ve had a hard time finding proof of that variant, other than the fact that they both have a P, I, and a K. otherwise I could totally see Jane being John.

November 24, 2010 at 12:19 PM

wow the whole variant thing… umm… and multiple personalities, i dont think that jane would kill his family and then admit himself into rehab– and what about when red john kidnaped jane in the final episode of last season? there are alot of holes in your theory. but i kind agree with jane’s father being red john– he was against jane marrying and leaving the carnie life. that makes more sense

December 17, 2010 at 3:06 PM

I totally agree with you. I had thought about it before but the Red Moon episode (I hope that is the right episode title) really made me look harder at that possibility. I didn’t watch the episode until last night (I had tivo’d it). I googled it and found your post linked to an article. Frankly I’m not crazy about the show…seems a little too “Murder She Wrote” for my taste but if there is something to this theory it makes the show a lot more interesting.

November 24, 2010 at 7:08 PM

i disagree red john is jane. I don’t think so he is Riggsby or Cho. He should be someone more wise therefore someone elder , like middle 40s. Also the poem is bit religious ,so we are looking someone older then jane and has strong believes.

Designer mirrors

November 25, 2010 at 1:27 AM

well wouldn’t you all like to know …

lol but seriously RJ is not Patrick, there were two distinct people interacting with other people present at the same time, and they recognized both as separate individuals in the season 2 finale, it’s impossible.

I think Lisbon as RJ would be awesome, but I’m not sure about it, they’ve done some back story with her as well as Cho.

I would agree with Sebastian, the writers have given nothing away so far. Guess we’ll have to wait till the series finale…

November 26, 2010 at 7:32 AM

If RJ is someone ‘close’ to Jane and is religious look no further than Van Pelt…

November 26, 2010 at 8:49 PM

last episode of season 2, Jane cant move and Red John kill the two kidnappers.. Red John is not Jane

November 29, 2010 at 10:31 PM

In france, they say that RED John like cold environment. Does anyone have an idea about this clue ?

December 10, 2010 at 6:54 PM

what if mr Mars (the red planet) was actually a hint at redjohn?

December 11, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Hey guy i read this entire page and all the theory’s that you guys have come up with and this is what i think red john aint close to jane what so ever and the poem with the words tiger tiger actually mean absolutely nothing i believe that you all want to know so badly that your mind has taken the time to think about the poem and the show and fill in the blanks with a whole bunch of wack like Patrick himself being red john or even Lisbon being red john i mean come on get serious here

Although there will most definitely be some kind of twist because there is always one i think you guys are so far off you would have a better chance finding a needle in a hay stack but please do continue to come up with theory’s because its ever so interesting to see what some people are thinking off the show

December 11, 2010 at 3:35 PM

I think it might be the leader of that cult Visualise.

He’s creepy, manipulative and knows way too much about Jane. He also says “I know more about Red John that you can imagine.”

December 17, 2010 at 10:47 PM

I am convinced that it is Van Pelt. She is sociopathic and she has great hacking skills. Plus, red hair. Grace is Red John….

December 20, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Points to remember:

1.That blind woman Harker said red john was a man.

2.In that same ep jane was in the basement with lisbon and that cop when the trap door shut from above and a shadow was seen running out of that building.

3. Jane interacted with red john via a message link in s1 ep 11 while trying to track Jared Renfrew who jane help free but later escaped. It would have been near impossible for jane if he was red john to kill Jared Renfrew and the hooker and maintain his cover and also make a taunting phone call to himself.

4.That fat guy that red john shot in the leg before killing the two film students and left alive would have seen him.

I think red john is not jane or lisbon. Although that jane and red john split personality was intriguing. I think that red john will make an actual appearance again before this seasons end.

The show has too many red herrings which hopefully will be reduced.

December 22, 2010 at 1:31 AM

I have a theory that Red John might not be a singular person, but rather a collection of serial killers.

December 27, 2010 at 7:04 PM

have a look at the episode 11 in season 1, there red john gets into the system of the CBI and writes with patrick jane, and lisbon is with them. so, in my opinion it can´t be lisbon!

brett partridge. in 2×23 he is very scared when Patrick Jane is analysing the crimescene. Is he scared, that Jane could find something, which Red John (he) did wrong?

The other possibility: Kristina Frye: the one and only person not killed be Red John, and she could have hypnotice all the persons, AND, Red John HAS to be a Mentalist, otherwise he couldn´t find out what Jane is going to do, to be there before him, AND she is the only one who could possibly know that Jane’s daughter never woke up unless she REALLY is a psychic…we all know that “there is no such thing as psychics”;)So, Frye could use her “abilities” as a mask, to hide a fact like the one i mentioned recently! AND, that also proves that it can´t be Lisbon, because he(Jane) doesn´t tell her anything since 2×23, so? how should it be Lisbon?

December 28, 2010 at 5:14 AM

Seriously, what about that visualise guru?
“I know more about Red John that you can imagine.”

December 31, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Whoawhoa… I’ve been thinking bout that frase of Stiles (“I Know more about Red John than you or him can imagine”) and he really could be RJ because his mental power and his charakter are likely to that of such a killer. BUT: he’s quite old already and I don’t think that he’d be able to rise a chair so easily as he did in EP2,S2 (same reason I don’t think it’s a woman). And the voice of RJ sounds young and clear, Stiles’ is broky-like and hoarse, though still strong.

I keep suspecting Bret Partridge… He seemed really upset in both S1, EP1 and S2, last EP as Jane shows up and says things he wouldn’t have expected. If you go.ogle William Blake, the one who wrote the Tiger tiger poem, you find a painting of his called “Brace of Partridge”. And the only reason the writers could have to give us such a clear hint is whether that he really IS Red John or that we think a wrong person to be him. I’m just saying that he surely has something to do with RJ because unintended or without knowledge that lead certainly’s NOT.

February 6, 2011 at 9:41 PM

If you want to see who it is cut and paste this link on You

if the link doesn’t work, search for: (The Mentalist: Red John Revealed! JoshuaLee434)

February 11, 2011 at 9:39 AM

I wanted Jane to be Red John, but I don’t think it can be. And I think Red John has to be a man. My main reson for this comes when The assistant (that killed all the CBI agents) is being walked to her jail cell she looks at the person walking toward her and smiles. She knows this is Red John and thinks that everything will now be fine, but of course, he poisons her (wearing those same heavey rubber gloves as you see when he delivers the Tiger, tiger poem to Jane). You only see him from behind, but he’s shorter and has dark hair and a pretty sturdy build. The sight of him does not alert any suspicion or recognition by the guards escorting her. Which, if he was able to walk freely around the holding cells, would explain how he could get to the Serial Killer from Red Moon and light him on fire.

February 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Jane is a psychopath and he is red Jonh

February 25, 2011 at 5:32 AM

I’m not really sure who Red John is, but my theory is that he is Van Pelt’s FBI boyfriend. Reasons:
He is young enough to produce the voice we heard from Jane’s savior in the episode where Red John saves Patrick.

As a FBI agent he certainly has the skills and clearance that Red John has been shown to have

He could be Van Pelt’s boyfriend only in order to gain information on cases and the team, which, I think, would be essential to Red John being steps ahead.

In one episode he is seen inside the CBI. A theory is that Red John is someone inside the CBI. Well, Van Pelt’s boyfriend was technically inside the CBI and as I remember, RJ was shown to be in the CBI at least once (as the mystery man with the cap on) and seemed to know where to go to get where he wanted to and where the cameras were. He could only know this if he had been in the CBI building before, which Grace’s boyfriend has albeit many times.

These are only speculations, though. I don’t remember when Van Pelt started dating the FBI guy or when Red John entered the CBI building. However, I know that RJ is Lisbon, Van Pelt, or any other woman on the show because the voice of Jane’s savior in the episode where Jane is held hostage to Red John imposters is weak, but clearly male. I say RJ is a young male in his 20s or 30s. Also, did anyone notice at the end of Red Queen that the attorney general quoted a line from a poem or something by William Blake? Red John did the same thing when he rescued Jane, leading me to belief that the attorney general has some connection to Red John and may be the other mole in CBI. I do not believe the attorney general is RJ because the attorney general is too old and doesn’t have a weak voice, and a weak voice would be impossible to fake even for Red John. Finally, LaRoche could have ties to Red John, too since he knew that the line uttered by the attorney general was by William Blake. However, that could just mean he’s familiar with William Blake and has no connection to RJ whatsoever. He couldn’t be RJ because he is to heavy set and as we say in the episode where RJ rescues Jane, Red John is a man of slender to average weight who is about medium to semi-medium height. And to get something out of the way, Brett Patridge is not Red John. People who believe that theory say that Brett is RJ because Brett gets scared when Jane’s around, but Red John is a narcisstic sociopathic superintelligent manipulative cold-hearted murderer who is completely sure of himself and always does an excellent job of covering his tracks or making false ones, so he would have no reason to be scared at any time. This thus crushes the theory that Patridge is Red John.

February 25, 2011 at 4:59 PM

All this makes for interesting reading, I started suspecting Jane at the beginning of this season. The show gives little hints like when Lisbon thinks Mr Mars is a killer she says something about it being classic for psychopaths to want to be a part of the investigation…. i.e JANE! I cant explain the way the film students were killed and I agree that it would change the way people viewed the show and the character Jane; however it seems the most logical answer right now. I hope I am wrong coz I love Jane and the show. On a seperate point when is Lisbon going to tell Jane she has feelings for him???? x

February 28, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Red John is the head of CBI… He recited part of the Blake poem.

March 2, 2011 at 6:10 PM

yes your right the director did recite a William Blake verse but i think he is to tall and just a (red johns tool) and he set hightower up with help from the guy in finger prints office (red johns tool)
the forensic guy from the 2 episodes were there were copycats he shows up could be him but he could just be a tool

red john has to be some one with money and a lot of power and possibly some one that only been had his title mentioned and it is some one in the justice system

March 1, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Interesting thoughts everyone! I’m sure that, as earlier stated, Patride has somewhat connection to RJ, however i doubt that it is him. He’s just another pond on RJ’s board. I think RJ is a old, mighty, lovable characther, so both Stiles and the head of CBI are suspects. However, i just saw that Stiles first name is Bret, and Patride’s is Brett.
Coincidence or just a tricky way of showing that they are both connected to RJ? That they both are ponds?
Cant wait for the next episode!


March 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Regarding “Tiger, Tiger…”, I just want to point out that in the
2/24/2011 Mentalist episode, Lisbon’s obnoxious boss uttered another segment of that poem. This is a clue that maybe he’s Red John, or maybe it’s misdirection to make us think he’s Red John. Either way, it is a clue purposely inserted into the dialogue.

March 3, 2011 at 11:35 AM

escuse me, it was Hightower’s obnoxious boss who uttered the poem segment, not Lisbon’s boss (who is Hightower.) Sorry.

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