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October 10, 2015

The Mentalist: Red John's Friends

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jan 7th 2009 1:42AM
The Mentalist

Finally, an episode of The Mentalist with a significant amount of story arc. We really got to see Jane's lust for revenge in this one, and the lengths he would go just to get a bit closer to finding out who Red John is.

The Mentalist
jumped out of its formula slightly this week, and it worked for me. We learned some new things about Jane, Red John and the team, and even though it could have been an extremely dark episode, it was just dark enough to get the point across while still being entertaining.

He comes off as a guy who plays by the rules, but when push came to shove, he proved that he believed in his team. He gave them the time they needed to help Jane find the real killer of Undine and free Jared Renfro. Sure, he let Jane quit (I wonder if he actually would have fired him), but he redeemed himself in the end. Plus, we got a great scene -- the team's "gross insubordination" -- and a great quote out of Minelli's actions:
"You should put a flashlight underneath your chin just to complete the effect." -- Lisbon to Minelli, as he tries to scare her into believing she's putting her career on the line for Jane

The Team
We've watched the team bond throughout the season, and the fact that they were willing to be suspended to help Jane was notable. When they were waiting for the call from the would-be blackmail-ee, they were all waiting quietly and still, except for Rigsby playing the Rubik's cube. A small detail like this is so telling about his personality, and about the quality of the writing and directing team we've got here, too.

Did we really learn much new about Jane? He's so purposely guarded that I cannot imagine we'll find out a whole lot more about him in just one episode. However, we did get some classic Jane:
  • He tried to get the police to believe that he was the homeowner, and got Muriel to publicly reprimand her son, Gardner, in the process. Take that, oh smarmy one!
  • While waiting for Mariska, the victim's mother, to answer the door, Jane puts Lisbon on the spot and tells her she needs to do the talking. In his defense, Jane does bail her out when she completely bombs. Funny stuff.
  • We find out later that Jane figured out the locked door problem on his first visit to the murder scene. Fun "party trick."
  • Nailed it! Love how Jane completely pegged Renfro's Mexico location through observation and intuition.
I'm left with some questions, though. Is it possible for Red John to be that far ahead of Jane? My guess is not for long, because they are bound to find out he's connected to the department somehow, with all the inside knowledge he seems to have. How could he be in the computer?

And really, what's with the evil laugh at the end of the episode? I know I was supposed to find Red John simply chilling, but it seemed a little cliche to me. If Red John is really so far ahead of Jane in the game, couldn't he have thought of something clever to say?

OK, just one funny anecdote with perhaps a slight prediction as to who Red John may be. I was unsure as to what was actually written in blood, which I think was intentional. They want it to be cryptic; after all, this is a series arc, not a season arc.

My husband grabbed a screenshot for me and popped it into my dropbox, and when I went to retrieve it, I asked him why he named it Mentalist_heisman -- not "he is man," but "Heisman," like a name. I totally missed that, but now I'm wondering if Red John's name is Heisman or if someone with the name Heisman will help Jane find a new clue.

Do I have something there, or should I just go to bed earlier?

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ohh i just thought of something! it looks more like "he is mad" doesn't it kind of??

February 28 2009 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of my favorite episodes--accept the ending was boring and predictable. we all knew he wasn't going to find Red John at the end of the episode. too much would have to happen. I figured that guy was going to get killed pretty early on, because if Red John is so far ahead of them then why wouldn't he be able to find that guy who got released from jail? My question is, if he's such an evil genious, as they've implied he is, why hasn't he done anything up until this point? I guess more still has to happen, i just wish they'd give more details about him. And as for the ending, "Heisman" is a really good guess...I wonder who that could be...

February 28 2009 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't think Minille is RJ. He was with Jane when Jared made the last call and then together they went to Mexico immediately. Perfect alibi. Let's say somehow it's still a possible explanation, but most unlikely.

And I don't think the words were written by Jared, not on the wall against his back. Review the scene and note the body position, you'll see what I mean.

Neither by RJ. First, judging by the last touch of the "e" and "S", it seems to me that they were done by a bare right thumb rather than a rubber glove. Secondly, after finished the last letter, probably a "n", the thumb dropped suddenly, hit the edge of the tub very hard, and left a stain. This is not something a person would do while he was standing on the ground and bending over from the other side of the tub, or he might risk throwing his face very near the dead bodies, very unpleasent even for RJ . And also we should've seen a left-hand print nearby to support his weight while leaning.

It should be the hooker. See the blood stain over her right shoulder? Imaging her left hand was there pushing against the wall, and right hand writing the "n", then she used up all her strength, right hand dropping down while whole body falling left. It would perfectly match her death position.

If it's the hooker, who shouldn't have known RJ, then "He IS Man" probably is not about RJ's id or a well-designed puzzle. It's more likely something descriptive, about facial or body feature, or something he is wearing or using. It's also reasonable to presume the words were in Spanish or mis-translated English, although I have no idea what it means so far.

January 25 2009 at 4:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Odd- I thought the "a" looked more like a smudged "o" in the final word. Did anyone else find the mom weird? She had a very male voice, talked a lot about her son not "controlling" his impulses and collected that vial of blood. Hardly a crime of passion. As far as the DOJ database I'll assume that Red John has connections on the inside.

January 15 2009 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to S's comment
Michael Jensen

We taped it, and it looks like He Is Man, altho it's certainly open to interpretation. Anyway, taking a clue from the Dr Joe NH, I started trying to unscramble He Is Man, and came up with a few possibilities. The 3 that made most sense were:
In shame
his name
I m shane

Not that any of them blow the case wide open or anything, but I'm sure the clue will make obvious sense once it's pointed out to everyone. :)

January 17 2009 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The "he is man" is telling who it is. Red John is Minille (Manilli as it is always pronounced). He is the boss, in the computers, has all security access, clearance, and even took off to Hawaii when Jane was close to setting him a trap. That is how he is one step ahead. Minilli is single, divorced and mentions his ex-wife infrequently. I'm thinking maybe Jane conned his wife in his previous TV Psychic gig and maybe took away his love/life and this is Minilli's revenge. Watch the show and Red John and even that episode if you have it taped. It is all right there!

January 14 2009 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dark Angel

Yes, it's Jane's reflection. Anyway, Minelli is too old to be a killer. It doesn't fit the criminological profile of a standard serial killer to be in his 60s. They are usually white males, between 25 and 35.

I thought about Renfrew writing "He is mar..." and put "martial" to it - could be, giving RJ's talents (he's an excellent hacker, doesn't leave any leads, not even a single hair), that he was once in martial intelligence.

(Yes, I'm a lawyer and I love criminology ;))

January 11 2009 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think it is Minelli, but of the 13 episodes listed for the show on IMDB, he is in 5 of them, and all 5 of them have the word "red" in the title. Which may not mean anything at all.


January 11 2009 at 2:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My wife and I TIVOed the final episode and just finished watching it... When Jane and the gang were IMing with "DR. JOE - N.H.", aka Red John, there were two shots that showed Red John's reflection in the computer screen. We froze the image, compared the image to a scene a few minutes earlier of Mr. Minelli, and WALAAA!!! The reflection matched perfectly, right down to the mole along the bottom crease of his puffy eyes.

I think a previous blogger was correct in saying if you put the "lle is man" into the google Spanish to English translator, you get "is leading man". The murder occurred in Tijuana , MX , thus the use of Spanish. Minelli is the "leading man" of the CBI.

Also, how would the civilian "DR. JOE N.H." have access to a federal database that was highly secure.

We are real curious how long the writers of this series will keep this "Red John" thing going.

January 10 2009 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BlackToe's comment
Debra McDuffee

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I just went back and looked at this, and we never see Red John's computer. The reflection you saw was Jane, both times. The reflection even had the same outfit on as Jane, was typing when Jane was, and it was the same computer screen as Jane's.

January 11 2009 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought that "He is MAD" was written on the wall, with the D half finished.
probably wrong.

January 10 2009 at 6:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

At this point, I'm leaning toward Minelli.

Who cares that his name isn't spelled "MANelli"? Renfro may have only known him by name. Or maybe he couldn't spell.

In any case, I hope this one gets cleaned up by the end of the season. Seriously, does anyone really believe that catching him will help Jane to feel better? No mission to accomplish, no family, all the pain. There's a whole season worth of angst there.

January 09 2009 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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