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A clever clue for Red John’s identity … or just something really cool

A commenter to a recent review of 'The Mentalist' here brings up some interesting insight into the identity of 'The Mentalist's' Red John. It's got some legs to it, but we may never know before the series concludes some day.

Back a couple of episode reviews ago, we got more action in the Red John story arc of The Mentalist. Most people arriving at that post simply wanted to know what the hell the burned man — Todd Johnson — said on his deathbed to Patrick Jane. The answer was “tiger, tiger,” taken from a William Blake poem, one recited to Jane by Red John during last season’s finale episode.

One commenter going by the name of “MIKE” came up with a theory that at first seemed crazy and unlikely, especially with the ALL CAPS portion of his comment and the frequent overuse of punctuation(!!!). However, once I did some digging into what he said, it doesn’t seem so crazy after all. In fact, he may have stumbled onto something that could potentially be a huge freakin’ spoiler to the identity of Red John.

In MIKE’s comment, he points out that an alternate form of the name “Patrick” is the name “Pink.” Given that a) who the hell would name their son Pink, and b) the only person named Pink I’ve ever heard of is a female musician, I thought this was bullshit. Since I don’t want to call someone out for being crazy without a little research, I did a search for the name Pink and — wouldn’t you know it — MIKE is right. Pink is, apparently, an alternate form of the name Patrick. I found more evidence at another source as well.

So, what does that mean? Well, next MIKE goes on to point out that Jane — Patrick’s last name — is the feminine equivalent to the name John. Consider for a moment that feminine can be considered more gentle than masculine, and that pink is a more gentle or softer version of the color red.

Pink Jane

Red John

Might just be a neat coincidence, right? Maybe it’s just something cool they did, just as they title all of their episodes after the color red? However, if you consider the William Blake poem, and that it has to do with perfect symmetry — the existence of duality — then this could support the theory that Patrick Jane has a dual personality; that Patrick Jane is, in fact, Red John.

At least with last season’s finale, the theory of Jane and John being the same person doesn’t make sense. How could Red John talk to Patrick Jane as he was tied in his chair? To that I say it could easily be explained away as figment of Jane’s mind, and if it were to be revealed that they are the same person, a flashback could illustrate this. The fact that Red John’s “disciples” never point the finger at Jane as being Red John could be explained away as him being in disguise all the time or has simply and quite easily altered their minds to think he’s someone else. It’s not as if Jane doesn’t have the capability to do so.

One last thing regarding this theory, before you throw it aside as hogwash. I emailed through my contacts at CBS to get some sort of response on this matter from The Mentalist creator,  Bruno Heller. In that email I asked if this Pink Jane/Red John thing was just a fun play on words of if it was something more significant. What the CBS rep said of the answer back: no comment. Take that for what it’s worth.

Photo Credit: CBS

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14 Responses to “A clever clue for Red John’s identity … or just something really cool”

December 13, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I hope that Patrick is not Red John. That would be just terrible. I hate hate hate the thought of it.

I prefer to think that Red John picked this name because of Patrick Jane, if there is a connection.

How did Red John become known as Red John, anyways?

December 13, 2010 at 10:19 PM

I said the same thing, Carla!

December 13, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Seems like a strange idea, and for now I’m classifying it as a cool thing that the creators did to show the dichotomy between our hero and villain (which might indicate that Red John is a woman – Christina Frye perhaps? – since our “Pink Jane” is a man). Jane hasn’t been hinted at as having sanity issues, at least not any that weren’t caused by the murder of his wife and daughter. This theory presumes that he, as a successful “psychic”, just snapped one day and started covertly killing people (Red John was at large well before he became involved with Jane). Why? I don’t see it. Plus he obviously would’ve been investigated heavily as the spouse of a murder victim. Interesting idea, but I think it’s nothing but a cool coincidence.

December 13, 2010 at 7:53 PM

le hitting each other and without Meat Loaf, it’s just not the same.

And the music isn’t as good either ;-)

December 13, 2010 at 10:49 PM

That is actually a great theory, and i’m totally buying it. Jane isn’t very healthy in the mind department (have you guys seen the show??? :), and don’t forget that jane was the one that named red john that way (that’s why he killed his family, because he was disrespectful to him, naming him that way).

I always thought that Jane had a litle doble personality, and these theory fits right into that, i think that Mike totally called it (and it would be very cool that the hero of a series turns out to be the bad guy after all). Make totally sense, if the “powers that be” ley it happen. :)

December 14, 2010 at 1:05 AM

With Jane being such a likeable and fun character I would almost hate it if he were Red John. Of course, the fact that the reveal of this baddie is not supposed to come until the end of the series lends credence to Patrick Jane being Red John. That would be the reason why the reveal can’t be brought to light until the end of the series. Who would want to watch knowing our lead character is also a sadistic murderer?

I would still hate it if our lovable, playful Patrick was a sick puppy.

December 19, 2010 at 7:25 AM

Jane wasn’t the one who gave Red John his name. Red John killed long before he killed Jane’s family. Jane actually helped the police when his wife and child were still alive.
It was also said there were books written about the serial killer.

December 14, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Would that make this a network version of Dexter? Granted Dexter typically kills only bad people and certainly not children as Red John has done.

What do we know about Patrick’s family?

December 14, 2010 at 11:54 AM

that his father was a con artist, and that they work in a circus as mentalist…

December 16, 2010 at 5:35 PM

The theory dont explain (in part because is still something left in the air) how if Patrick was Red John, he escape the people who wanted to harm him. It is posible that a disciples help him, but that not explain Bret Stiles conection with Red John…
The part of CBS in saying no comment is most likely to related to, for example, why Red John is so obsessed with Patrick and the way the to related to each other.

Just the 2 cent left in my pocket

December 16, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Interesting discussion, but does not follow the evidence. I’m reminded of 2 situations which clearly indicate that Jane is not Red. Jane and company interview a blind woman that spent time with Red. If that were true, she would have known Jane was Red by his smell, voice tone and manner of speaking. She didn’t. The office assistant at the police station who killed the department officers, was sighted and supposed to have spent time with Red. She talked back to Jane, something like… you will never find Red. So, while interesting, no I don’t think Jane is Red. Red is also likely to be a male.
My guess so far; its the rich successful gray haired evangalist. He’s smart, ruthless and has political connections. Plus, he has played evil people in the past. Or maybe he’s gray John and Red is his brother.

February 15, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Patrick cannot be Red John because in season 2 finale, when jane is tied up, there is still another man alive in that room. The guy that got shot in the leg survived and if that discussion was only in patrick’s mind that guy would know.

March 5, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Well, if we are talking about profiling RJ, wouldn’t Stiles be the perfect fit?

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