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The Mentalist – What’s Patrick Jane’s game?

After quite a dry spell of Red John goings-on on 'The Mentalist', "Red Rover, Red Rover" brings him back into the fold, and Jane's reaction takes an unusual turn.

- Season 4, Episode 23 - "Red Rover, Red Rover"

We’ve seen Patrick Jane react in different ways when the subject of Red John comes up. Sometimes he’ll have a sudden burst of determination to hunt down the mysterious killer, then on another occasion he’ll do nothing at all. Yet another time Jane went the distance to shooting the supposed Red John in cold blood, in the middle of a mall — something a bit surprising for the usually peaceful, somewhat jovial guy. And now Jane’s gone another step into the darkness, this time taking out his emotions on what turned out to be a guilty man, though via means that ultimately got him fired from the CBI.

Something doesn’t sit quite right with me with regards to the girl approaching Jane in the cemetery, and I’m wondering if Jane’s actions were partly his feelings about it “not feeling right” as well. One theory that comes to mind relates to Wainwright. We’ve been teased for some time that Wainwright is keeping a close eye on Jane and his connections with Red John, and Jane’s aware of that. His actions in pretty much solidifying a situation where he’d get Wainwright to fire him in front of everyone was no accident; Jane intended for that to happen.

It doesn’t make much sense that Jane would so spectacularly screw himself out of his job. For some reason he needed to be out of CBI, though outright quitting was out of the question. It could be that he needed to use this to cause Wainwright to lose his cool very publicly in front of his team, though I imagine there were easier ways for that to happen than torturing someone first. What’s a mystery to me is why Jane burned all of the Red John files. Perhaps he knows them so well that there’s nothing to be gained from having them around anymore? Or perhaps he’s just helping himself. …

Then there was Jane’s odd ritual at the restaurant, downing bloody marys and sitting alone. Was this the restaurant and situation that occurred before he lost is wife and daughter? Could it be that Jane was plastered that night his family was taken from him, and this was a way of both showing us a glimmer of the past and a glimpse of reveals to come? I’ve often thought Patrick to actually be Red John, whether he knows it or not, and him having been responsible for their fates somewhat leads in that direction.

Patrick being fired from the CBI felt very much like a season finale, though there’s still the finale to go. Will he stay out of CBI from now on, working only on the sly to help his team? Or will Wainwright be ousted somehow, clearly paving the way for the CBI consultant to come back to the office/couch?

Photo Credit: Michael Ansell/Warner Bros.

13 Responses to “The Mentalist – What’s Patrick Jane’s game?”

May 11, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Keith, you’ve got to let go of this “Patrick is Red John” nonsense. You really think his “other half” wrote him a card, talked a girl into delivering a message TO HIM and wiped her memory of who he really was? It’s just way, WAY too contrived.

The first time I read about your theory, I really tried to see it your way. I played with the idea because it was so tantalizing…so twisted. But since then they’ve gone out of their way to show that Patrick and Red John are totally separate people – when Patrick was tied up and Red John killed his captors, the fact that the blind girl (Rosalind) didn’t recognize Patrick as her “Roy” when she felt his face, and again with the little girl who obviously identified Patrick as a different man than Red John.

It’s time to stop looking for the “twist” and enjoy the show for what it is – a slow motion cat and mouse game between the smartest, most diabolical serial killer in the history of man and the one man capable of possibly outsmarting him…plus a bunch of fun procedural cases in between.

May 11, 2012 at 6:00 AM

I know of a few people who were upset that Bradley Whitford didn’t turn out to be Red John because it, too, was contrived … or so they said. I still wouldn’t put it past this show to do it, HOWEVER I can also see the show coming to an end some day and we never find out the truth.

I’m just throwing the theory out there when I feel it’s got some support. Hell I even interviewed the guy who plays Brett Partridge to see if I could get clues there.

Theorizing about who Red John is is another layer that makes me enjoy the show. I’m not sure I’m able to let that go.

May 11, 2012 at 2:14 AM

I am so sad after this episode… and then the teaser for next week showing that Jane joins Red John… I am so depressed… I am too much of an optimist to take a blow like this… I can’t handle the thought of losing Jane to the dark side. On the other hand, if Jane does, in fact, turn out to BE Red John, that might be psychotically twisted enough that I could accept it. That said, my heart hurts at the moment and I hope Jane isn’t really losing it… HEAR ME NOW– I will stop watching if Patrick Jane becomes a bad guy!!!

May 11, 2012 at 2:22 AM

I agree with ‘Dave.’ I’m sorry but there’s no way this show, which is on CBS not HBO, and which is not on par with Lost or American Idol (aka an ‘event’ show with huge ratings), is going to have some highly controversial twist ending. It’d be completely out of character with the show as it has been, and make it about something it has not been about. It would be a sick and unwanted ending that screws up everything we’ve enjoyed about the show forever, rendering the first few seasons moot.
I enjoyed this episode though because we got to see a snappier Jane. The episodes from this season seemed to be placing the characters on autopilot. Really boring. Jane was better in the earlier episodes when he had an edge…And When are Jane and Lisbon gonna hook up? This is taking forever.

I wish it was a little

May 11, 2012 at 10:34 AM

@sad There’s no way Jane is becoming a bad guy they might show it like that in the teaser, or maybe the whole finale but it’s just going to be a phase and somehow he’s going to end up back in the CBI. I just know it. Btw, the whole thing with Jane BEING Red John is just not going to happen, and if it did even though it’s a really low chance I think we’ve seen endings to shows or movies like that enough times to just be annoyed by stuff like that.

May 12, 2012 at 6:43 AM

I just realized something. What if Jane didn’t hit rock bottom, but he’s just pretending to hit rock bottom to seem like easier prey for RJ?

May 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Is Wainwright Red John? Remember, Red John has contacts in CBI. Did Jane set him off for a reason?

May 16, 2012 at 6:44 AM

I Agree with An and Ron…The smile at the end of the episode shows that there is more going on and the idea that wainwright is RJ is a theory which has been floating out there since his introduction to the show… and its looking more and more like it to me.. plus where did all that mamas boy stuff come from – I get that Jane is distressed but that seemed like too much of an exaggerated reaction to be taken at face value… And I think Jane is maybe taking a new approach.. make it look like hes giving up, like hes broken, RJ wants to take him on and the closer he can get to him the easier it would be to kill him?!? oohh its making my head hurt… I need the conclusion now please! :)

May 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I don’t buy Wainwright as Red John. When he came to the cemetery, he seemed upset that Jane wiped the little girl’s mind of who she saw. It could be that the girl saw one of RJ’s minions, but if we’re to believe she actually saw RJ, then why would Wainwright risk being there?

I believe the creator of Mentalist has stated that the RJ story is a series-long one, meaning we won’t know who RJ is likely until the series finale some day. So, as far as people tuning out because of that, I don’t see why it’d matter. I do think, though, that such a reveal would be done in a way that made Jane out to be sick rather than a bad guy.

May 16, 2012 at 8:16 AM

Last Thursday’s show was perplexing and distressing. Torture and keeping the inhaler away from the broker was too much. He did appear to snap, but then came back and then lost it again. Mentalist fans will certainly want to see the finale on 05-17, but if the outcome is too shocking, fans such as my wife and I will not return – we will “fire” the show.

Jane got himself fired in public for a reason. He can work on the outside, away from whomever may be on the inside. The team can continue to work on their cases for a while while Jane works his side of the tracks, coming into contact with CBI from time to time.

Until reading this content, I had not considered even remotely the possibility that Jane was Red John. For someone with such a charismatic personality which draws so many to Jane, why would that plot keep viewers tuning in – rather I believe we would tune the show out.

I have to believe that either RJ works for CBI or has close ties to CBI. I actually wish the RJ issue was resolved and the plot would move to a new villain.

May 16, 2012 at 8:21 AM

I think Jane found out some crucial info from the girl in the cemetery before anyone arrived, and it led him to believe that Wainwright is connected with RJ. I think he tested this by waiting to see if Wainwright would grill the girl about whether she could identify RJ – not only would this be evidence to Jane that Ww was connected to RJ, but at the same time Jane figured he could save the girl’s life by blanking her memory, meaning RJ wouldn’t have to kill her. Jane then made it appear to Wainwright (and his CBI teammates) that he’d given up chasing RJ by burning the file. Jane has been racking his brain for ways to get an advantage over RJ and perhaps he’s trying the approach of pretending to have lost his moral compass and his drive to pursue RJ any further, in the hope that it makes RJ do something reckless to regain Jane’s interest. Maybe this would force him into taking a risk that would allow Jane in the door. This would also explain him acting out the sadistic means of catching the killer and the taunting of Ww – both extreme behaviours intended to give the impression of someone to the outside world (in particular RJ) of completely losing their s##t. It’s almost definitely a ruse. And Jane almost definitely will never stop until he catches RJ. FWIW I think one day he’ll eventually catch RJ but not kill him… either that or he’ll find him, and RJ will commit suicide before Jane can finish him off himself.

May 16, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Why not think of Wainwright being the Red John? I agree with Kendra despite what you said in response.

May 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

How can Patric Jane when he met Red John remember ? when he saved him and killed his imitators.!! Season 2 i believe ?

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