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July 24, 2014

Review: The Mentalist - His Right Red Hand

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 20th 2009 12:02AM
The Mentalist
(S02E08) "God, you're a cold bastard." - Lisbon, to Jane

Wow. Just... wow. I have to hand it to The Mentalist. The previews showed several agents dying and lots of tension and upheaval at CBI. But really, I thought there would be some trick to it. Agents we've never met would be killed or something similar. But they actually killed off regulars! Another agent quits! Two people professed love for one another!

This was like a season finale, really, which makes me really excited to see how this season is going to end.

Really, they could have just killed off several people at CBI and it would have affected the team. But killing people we've seen on the show before (albeit in minor parts -- Dyson and Hicks) was a great idea. I thought it was going to be one of those situations where Bosco -- the one agent injured that is a big part of the show -- would actually end up surviving (especially after Rebecca's second attempt to kill him was foiled). But they actually killed him off. And to have Bosco and Lisbon actually saying that they love each other, that was a nice touch. I wonder what Bosco really said to Jane before he died.

And what about Rebecca? She's been on a few episodes, too. Was there any indication that she was a crazy killer in cahoots with Red John? I was knocked out by her being the killer, especially since she was the one who walked into the office with the team and the coffee and acted shocked by the bodies on the floor. We knew she had to die, of course. Red John just uses people and then kills them when he's done with them (or let's them get killed by someone else). I don't think a person ever gets a gold watch at the end of 25 years working for this guy.

This was a great episode, but it's also one of those episodes where you don't know how the rest of the people can just go on and investigate other cases when something earth-shattering just happened. It's like Mulder and Scully going back to monster-of-the-week cases after learning about the aliens. If I was Jane I'd make finding Red John a full-time job, though he's not a cop so working with CBI on individual cases is sort of like looking for Red John full-time. Plus he needs the team's help.

More thoughts

- I have a feeling that CBI isn't going to be the same place, or at least it shouldn't be the same place. Red John gets one of the workers there to kill four agents? Minelli quits? It's going to be a different place for sure. I wonder who the next boss will be? I'd say they should hire from within to make sure Red John isn't their new boss. But he has helpers everywhere so anyone could be on his payroll.

- This episode was another good example of how weird Jane is. He takes Bosco off of the morphine so he can feel pain and stay alive long enough to tell them what he knows. Logical, like he said, but also cold (as Lisbon said).

- So I guess Bosco isn't Red John, as some fans have speculated.



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Patrick

What an amaing show! This eposide really did make a statement with Red John continuing to disrupt the life of the Patrick Jane character. I can't wait to see this storyline unfold going forward.

For some fun, vote for your favorite Mentalist character, quote and more here: http://www.squidoo.com/The-Mentalist.

November 24 2009 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William

The identity of Red John? Look at
Jane, Patrick
John, Red
One possibility is Red John killed Jane's wife and child so they could be together. Meaning Red John is female (Alicia Witt) and a master hypnotist (to make Rebecca think she was in love with a man named Red John.) Alicia arranged for Jane to follow a stuffed elephant to her, and he never tumbled onto her secret. He sat and listened to her play piano.... Hard to believe no one caught the face of a cop walking toward a guard escorting a prisoner in a hallway. There wasn't anything else to look at.

November 23 2009 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick

Did anyone besides me see Jane at the very end leafing through the Red John file, now filled with what appeared to be BLANK SHEETS OF PAPER (at least the first two pages)? In other words, Red John somehow got the real files and replaced them with BLANK PAPERS for Jane to start his "investigation"?

November 23 2009 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jffm

One of the best episodes of any show I've seen this season.

The pacing was great, the suspense just kept building and the pervading sense of dread and fear kept me on the edge of my seat. The way Jane was almost completely unsettled until he made the connection to Red John. The white hot rage you could feel coming off of Lisbon when they catch Rebecca in the hospital room trying to finish off Bosco. What had me nervous there was the balloons. I was worried there might be some kind of poison in them, slowly leaking out, perhaps as a 'play B' of some sort or something. Little things like the flowers left on the chair propping open the door to the doctor's office where Hick's was found. Just a terrific episode.

On some points mentioned above. The phony(?) officer that poisoned Rebecca was in fact wearing gloves. And I'm fairly sure that a little googling would turn up references to skin contact poisons that in proper concentrations could take effect that quickly.

As for the two vs. four coffees, there was no inconsistency. She's shown carrying four coffees when Jane meets her, they're in a carrier and you can clearly see all four when she drops them when the bodies are found in the office, and she's seen carrying four coffees in the tapes of her arriving. One might ask why she has four coffees when there are only three agents present, but the easy out there is that the fourth coffee was for her.

Minelli as Red John. Wow. Up to now, I hadn't really started on figuring out the Red John puzzle. I was more or less assuming up to now that he is a figure apart from anyone known, and I haven't entirely abandoned that assumption. Minelli is now gone, so that greatly limits the opportunities to play on that idea further. But, watching this episode with Minelli as Red John in mind, the theory is *very* persuasive.

There are numerous little, and not so little, red flags (no pun intended) that pop up. Enough that, if they were all enumerated, it would feel almost like a spoiler or one heck of a red herring (again, no pun...). I will point out one in particular. In the scene where Minelli dresses down the reporter during a press conference, afterwards when Lisbon finishes talking to him, not only is he wearing a red tie throughout this scene, but he is now framed very prominently by a bright, red door and we can hear a reporter in the background quite clearly ask, "How close are you?". How close are we/Lisbon/CBI at that moment to Red John? Standing right next to him perhaps? Thinking of Minelli as Red John puts a very interesting spin on many of his remarks and reactions in this episode.

Tonight's episode gets a standing ovation.

November 22 2009 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jffm's comment
Drayman

Minelli is Red John, yeah.

A series of good points as to the little clues the show throws at you. One excellent hint? Watch again the scenes shot in his office. The large, large painting he hangs (I think over his desk) portrays a fishing trawler about to capsize and surrounded by hungry sharks.

If this isn't indicative of what we've learned of the character's whole philosophy, I don't know what is. What's more, the director's careful to include it in frame without ever drawing attention to it, in precisely the manner this program uses to denote the Holmesian clues before the big reveal.

November 24 2009 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

Sorry for the double, similar post. I didn't think the first one went through.

November 22 2009 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

Yeah, I thought about that too, but we know Red John has had many "helpers" before, couldn't he have had someone dressed in a cop uniform down there to take out the secretary? What I did wonder, though, is if that poison was enough to kill her that fast, wouldn't the killer have it on his hand/finger & die also? He wasn't wearing gloves or something, I don't think? Weird.

November 22 2009 at 12:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

Yeah, I thought that also but remember Red John has had quite a few "helpers" so I don't think it would be out of the question to have an accomplice dressed as a cop take out the secretary. I did wonder though if that poison was enough to kill her that fast, wouldn't the cop have it on his hand/finger & be poisoned also? It's not like he was wearing gloves or something? Weird.

November 22 2009 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tri

Rebecca was killed by a cop (or someone in a cop uniform), I doubt the people escorting her wouldn't have recognized Minelli and wonder what he was doing dressed as a cop.

Bosco's death could have been handled better. I mean, seriously, after having been stabilized, he dies of having lost too much blood?!? Um, no, to have stabilized him, they would have had to profuse him, so his blood level would have been fine by then. Just sloppy writing...

Other than that though, I agree, a very strong episode.

November 21 2009 at 5:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

I agree with the previous posters in that I still think Minelli is Red John. But, having said that, this episode made me doubt that theory just a bit, it didn't make it stronger, just because of how broken up Minelli acted. Maybe Greg Itzin is just that good of an actor, could be. But him resigning gives him the perfect alibi, so to speak, for when Jane figures out it's him. Not sure how he'll collect his pension once that happens, but I doubt he's too concerned about that. I think Bosco was getting close but just didn't know yet, or he obviously would have acted on the info, he wouldn't have just called Jane in "whenever". I think Jane will figure it out, maybe with info Bosco gave him before dying. While this show takes a lot of liberties in realism, what show doesn't these days? I still really enjoy it, even if I question that things could actually go down like they do.

November 21 2009 at 3:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chibi

Hm.. I don't know if it's just me but I didn't quite catch it as Lisbon's saying she loved him back like he loved her, I mean.. it seemed more like she loved him in a not romantic way but still understood what he meant when he said it. Maybe it's just me.

And about Bosco's being in the hospital and all, in Black Gold and Red Blood, Lisbon stated that Bosco was a "happily married man", well... all that happily or not, shouldn't his wife come at least visit him -if not stay with him? I know it wouldn't have been relevant for the case, but still it's a loose end.

I do too wonder about what Bosco really said to Jane in the hospital (funny that we don't buy what Jane said to Lisbon when she asked.. not completely at least).

Loved the chapter and was anxious to see it since the previews, although as every Red John related episode, it just left me more anxious than before watching it.

November 20 2009 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chibi's comment
Brian

"...Bosco was a "happily married man", well... all that happily or not, shouldn't his wife come at least visit him -if not stay with him?"

They explained it when (Lisbon?) said that she was out of town and on her way back, but her flight had been delayed.

November 20 2009 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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