The Mentalist: Red Menace
by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 16th 2009 11:43AM
(S02E04) "Everybody is. I am." - Jane, on people who are geeks
Is Patrick Jane really, really brave or just clueless?
I've been wondering that the entire series. He's not a fighter. He's not even one of these "strong, silent" types who acts wimpy but is secretly a karate master or former Navy Seal or whatever. He honestly doesn't have any physical skills but he insists on interrogating people who could turn his bones into mulch. Like tonight's confrontation with bikers in a dive bar. Or maybe he was comfortable because Lisbon was there with a badge and a gun. I think he's done it in the past with no backup though, so I'm not sure if he's brave or just oblivious or doesn't care.
It's also interesting to keep track of how little Jane seems to do in a lot of these cases but it turns out he was doing a lot. For example, tonight Cho and Rigsby faced off against a dozen bikers and Lisbon and Van Pelt got into a car chase with a woman on a bike. Meanwhile, Jane was on his couch reading about promotional mugs and t-shirts in a magazine. Maybe they can have Jane stay on that couch all the time and he can solve crimes from there. Patrick Jane: Couch Detective.
He's sort of like Jessica Fletcher, only Jessica got more physical during her investigations. But he's the one who always comes up with the solution, so I guess it's better if you can do that without wrinkling your suit or getting out of breath. Plus he gets to things in clever way, like taking the kid out for his driving lesson. The killer was too obvious though (that's often this show's downfall - can you imagine how great this show would be with more ingenious plots?). This show is more about the journey (the investigation, the banter between the characters, Jane's quirks, etc) than the actual mystery.
But the mystery was...meh. I was strangely uninvolved in the case, and I'm sure other viewers were too. I did love the security camera footage from across the street. The picture was better than the one I have on my 52" Sony HDTV. And while I quite enjoyed Jane getting together with the woman at the end and giving the sleazy bar guy his comeuppance, it was awfully convenient that the guy actually came outside without backup and then his gang just happened to come outside at the perfect time to see him suspiciously meeting a guy in a hat in the dark and holding a envelope filled with money. I guess we're supposed to think that the gang...killed him? Boy, Jane can be cold.
No Red John in this episode, which means no office intrigue. I miss that.