'The Mentalist' - 'Red All Over' Recap
by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 30th 2010 8:29AM
(S02E20) "Do you have a gift shop? I'd love an eyeball mug or something." - Jane
We need another Red John episode. We've had several weeks now where 'The Mentalist' has given us a "murder case of the week" episode and that's fine, but it's time for the mythology arc to come back. This is episode 20 of the season so we're almost at the season finale (there are 23 episodes this season), which means a Red John episode is coming up. I can't wait for that, actually.
Malcolm McDowell would have made an interesting (if obvious) actor to play Red John, if indeed RJ is a man. But instead he's playing a enigmatic cult leader involved in this week's murder mystery. Of course, I don't think that McDowell can play a character who isn't enigmatic or weird or dangerous, with that white hair, accent, and intense stare.
Didn't they use a bomb scare in a previous episode? A bomb that was planted to throw the CBI gang off the track? They used it in this episode too, and it was actually an irritating scene. I liked the banter between Jane and Lisbon on the phone and how Jane blew off action movie cliches by saying he didn't want to get involved with one of those "which wire should we cut" scenarios, but couldn't Lisbon had acted a bit quicker and just grabbed the little girl and ran out of the room instead of grabbing at her feet under the couch. I mean, pick up the couch, throw it to the side and run out with the girl!
But McDowell was good as usual. I liked how his character brought up Red John and the murders of Jane's wife and child. I like episodes where Jane is confronted with a suspect (or just some adversary) who is not only Jane's equal in intelligence but also uses the same tricks that utilize observation, emotion, and deception. If Red John is caught at some point maybe McDowell can become the new bad guy that comes back every now and then to give Jane and the CBI team headaches, though the ending showed him to be not quite as powerful as he seemed to be earlier.
The mystery this week wasn't all that engaging. Wasn't it just sort of cookie cutter? Or maybe the case of the week episodes just wander into that same old, same old territory after a while. I think what made it more interesting than it could have been was the addition of McDowell and setting the crimes in the worlds of the media business and a cult.
The last 20 minutes of this episode was like most 'Mentalist' episodes, the time when Jane starts to put things together and puts a plan in motion quietly. But tonight's resolution was contrived, not to mention cruel. The discovery that the girl was the other son's kid and that the dad killed the wrong son was a neat twist, but I didn't like how they got to that moment. Getting the grandfather and his granddaughter into the safe room by lying about what the girl saw and then having Cho jump out from behind the stacks and arrest the guy in front of the little girl?
- This episode was directed by Roxann Dawson, who played Torres on 'Star Trek: Voyager.' She has also directed episodes of 'Heroes,' 'Cold Case,' 'The Closer,' 'Lost,' 'Crossing Jordan,' and many other shows.
- I wonder if McDowell gets to keep the giant six foot long picture from this episode. I mean, why not? I doubt the producers or art department have a reason to keep it. It would make for a nice memento of the episode. Or maybe it's on ebay right now.
- Speaking of mementos, mugs with a giant eyeball on them would be a good product for the CBS online store.
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