The Mentalist: Red John's Friends
by Debra McDuffee, posted Jan 7th 2009 1:42AM
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 JaneThe 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.
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?