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Is The Mentalist’s Red John forensics investigator Brett Partridge?

If you compare scenes of recurring character Brett Partridge of 'The Mentalist' against who we assume to be a disguised Red John, there's an unmistakable resemblance. So I asked the actor about it.

Sometime last week I happened upon a video (or someone told me about it — sorry if that was you and I forgot) that supposedly proves that The Mentalist‘s Red John is none other than forensic investigator Brett Partridge (Jack Plotnick). Partridge appeared in only two episodes, one being the pivotal second season finale, titled “Red Sky in the Morning,” and the other the pilot. He’s not exactly in Patrick Jane’s good graces. For a character who’s only shown up in two episodes, one could argue that being given a full name (rather than simply “Partridge”) means he’s of some significance.

Here’s the video in question. It shows some scenes with Partridge, and then with the disguised Red John, from “Red Sky in the Morning.” The proof — the creator of the video notes — is in the similarity of their voices (sorry, looks like the publisher turned off embedding ability, so just click through to see it):

Pretty compelling, right? So how can we know for sure? Leave it to me to put the actor on the spot and try to rouse some info out of him.

I emailed the cordial Jack Plotnick to see what, if anything, he’d have to say. I had to carefully craft my question so as to get the most out of it. So my question went like this:

In the ‘Mentalist’ episode titled “Red Sky in the Morning,” did you provide the voice of the masked person who confronted Patrick Jane toward the end of the episode?

Note that I had to ask Plotnick if he provided the voice of that person, not if he actually was that person. What’s in question here isn’t whether or not he’s actually Red John, and of course I wouldn’t expect him to answer that outright. At least here I had a chance.

Here’s what he had to say:

I have loved being a part of The Mentalist. I think it’s a terrific show, and am proud to be even a small part of it’s storyline.
Therefore, I would never want to say anything to spoil the mystery behind the true identity of Red John.

Hey, I didn’t ask if he was Red John! I believe the way I phrased my question leaves it very open for him to answer in the negative. Instead, he basically says he can’t tell me. As always, take from that what you will.

When I asked him if his character would be coming back to the show, here’s what he had to say:

I’m being honest when I say I have no idea when OR whether I will be back at all….
But I am keeping my fingers crossed

That’s probably the most interesting part of this. You’d think that if he was put in the shoes of Red John he’d at least assume he’d be back, right? Hey, he says he’s being honest here, right?

So what do you think? Is Brett Partridge Red John? My thinking is that he is either Red John or at least one of his highest minions. I still want to hold onto the theory that Red John is a more significant character than a two-episode recurring character. However, if we see Partridge appear again, I might change my mind. Then again, who’s to say he’s just not one of Red John’s disciples?

Man, it’s fun to try to figure this stuff out.

Photo Credit: CTV

19 Responses to “Is The Mentalist’s Red John forensics investigator Brett Partridge?”

February 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM

I have been getting a more and more nagging feeling that Craig O’Laughlin is somehow involved with Red John.

No good reason other his interest in the team in general, and Van Pelt (a redhead) specifically … Like I said, nothing solid, just a nagging feeling.

March 2, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I think that Khristina Frye is Red John… let me show you why…

1) She, as we all know, is a mentalist herself, the perfect archenemy for Jane.
2) Red John quoted, “If there’s one thing I can’t tolerate, it’s cheap imitations of my work.”
what does Christina do for a living? And what did Jane used to do?… yeah
3) When she was “found” after being abducted by Red John, she wasn’t “there” mentally. AKA she’s Red John and is playing a victim to avoid suspicions.
4) Last, but definitely not least… She has natural, gorgeous, RED hair.
I know this doesn’t sound like the end-all of clues but it’s not without note
5) “He is man” has something to do with it but i’m not sure what yet… let’s find out together :)

March 2, 2011 at 4:39 PM

oh, and Kristina told Jane how is family died… as if she was channelling the event/… she killed them.

April 13, 2011 at 12:36 AM

i also have a bad feeling about craig o’laughlin.

February 16, 2011 at 12:25 PM

. . . . .

<—– believes Keith’s theme song for the week should be “She’s Crafty” by The Beastie Boys

February 16, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Usually when an actor says they have no idea if they’ll be back (or that they have no plans to come back), they’ll more than likely be back. If Plotnick is indeed the Red John character, he may be contractually forbidden from revealing any future appearances on the show so as not to give away his identity.

February 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Well he does say he’s being “honest” in not knowing, so I guess he could be lying or skirting the truth.

February 16, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Michael Rosenbaum was quite adamant that he would not reprise his Lex Luthor role on Smallville as late as midweek last week. Guess who was announced as returning for the series finale by the end of the week. Plotnick could just be saying he “honestly” doesn’t know, because he can’t or just doesn’t want to ruin the surprise. I never put much stock in these declarations.

February 16, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Ooh, I like it. The voices do sound similar, and I would kind of enjoy it being a guy who shows up every now and then – especially a guy who has a direct involvement with the CBI.

February 16, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Still hoping it’s Riggsby.

February 16, 2011 at 4:03 PM

He’s too young to be Red John I think. Red John has been killing for like 12 years and this guy looks like he’s about 26,27? I suppose it’s possible his first kills were as a teen, but it seems unlikely. It is possible he works for Red John though.

May 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

He does look young, but Jack Plotnick is currently 42!

February 23, 2011 at 11:50 PM

I think Lisbon is Red John. For example, in episode 8 of season 3, Lisbon is the last person in the interview room with the serial killer who has been lit on fire before Patrick gets into the room to talk to him. This serial killer, on his death bed, then makes the “tiger tiger” Red John comment to Jane in the hospital before he dies.

Also in this episode, Lisbon and Jane are discussing vengeance and Jane says to Lisbon that when the moment comes he will be seeking vengeance from Red John. Lisbon says that that won’t happen because she will be there with Jane to make sure it doesn’t etc. Will she be there because she is in fact Red John?

I know that Red John is always referred to as a man and that the blind woman had a relationship with him and this does cast doubt on my theory. However, Lisbon is smart, strong, fast and knows how to use a gun. We always see her chasing people down and kicking doors in etc.

I suggest that everyone watches episode 8 of season 3 and let me know what they think. Red John has to be a regular character and someone we least expect. Her closeness to Jane may also prevent Jane from seeing the truth.

May 18, 2011 at 8:30 AM

it sure as heck better NOT be Lisbon!!!!!!!!!!!! He actually loves Lisbon, & she him, they just have never admitted it to each other, but they have left subtle hints to one another!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 18, 2011 at 8:34 AM

the show will seriously lose followers if its lisbon.. cause i will make sure of that! Unless they can make it sound intriguing.. honestly, i don’t think Lisbon has the guts. She is a recovering alcoholic, she loves Jane, and not to mention she’s the boss!!!!!!!!!!

February 26, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I thought maybe La Roche is Red John. Here’s why. This actor is good at playing creepy characters, like he has in several movies, and would be perfect as Red John. He is the one in charge of the investigation to find out who set the dude on fire, and notice that he targeted Hightower and now she’s on the run. He gets under everybody’s skin. He knows about everyone’s skeletons in the closet and I think this is his way of manipulating Jane. This next theory is far fetched: His name is J. J. La Roche. One of those J’s could be Jon, or John. I looked up La Roche and it’s French in origin, meaning from the Rock. I kept digging, because I really want to be right about La Roche. La Roche is associated with a family place of origin or the “rock” or most notable area a family comes from. I looked up the family La Roche, and the original La Roche family was from Burgundy France. Burgundy being known as the origin of fine Red Wine. And no coincidence that Burgundy means dark red in French, for which we use the word Burgundy in English, the origin of the word from Burgundy France, named after red wine.

February 26, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Way out there, dude. I’m talking to myself.

February 27, 2011 at 11:27 AM

I think he was the one who poisoned that woman at the end of “His Red Right Hand” in season 2.

February 27, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Here’s a good question how many seasons total will there be in this show?

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