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'The Mentalist' - 'Red All Over' Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 30th 2010 8:29AM
The Mentalist
(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?

More thoughts:

- 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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Am I the only one who figured out that Jane planted the bomb, and it was a fake? If you remember when the grandfather got the second text, he said it came from the same phone number as the first, and the second text was sent by Jane when he was laying on the sofa in the CBI office. We see him send it. Lisbon was never in danger, because the bomb wasn't real to begin with, and he walked her right to it when she called to ask him where it was. This should have been revealed unless it ended up on the cutting room floor or will be revealed later, or the director figured everyone would be able to figure it out. I think Van Pelt was in on it too, because that would explain why she smiled so big to Rigsby when she told him the phone number had been traced to Elizabeth. Who knows, Lisbon could have been in on it too just to fool the family into thinking they were in danger.

I think Brett is a great candidate for Red John, don't you?

May 01 2010 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BHH's comment

"Am I the only one who figured out that Jane planted the bomb, and it was a fake? "

Jane used Elizabeth's phone that was being kept in the office in one of the evidence bags.

I didn't really get, though, why he needed to call the grandfather at all. Was it just a device to move the plot forward? To get us to the point of the grandfather asking for more police protection? I couldn't work out why Jane thought he needed to call him as part of the investigation.

May 01 2010 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ric Kaysen

I have noticed a trend to place African American actors in the role of a "boss" in quite a lot of shows lately and I wonder if it isn't actually calculated on the part of the shows producers. When a cast is overwhelmingly white, they leave themselves open to the obvious charge that it is intentional. Now, it becomes easy to say..."not only do we have a black actor in the cast, he's the BOSS".....even if it is an extremely minor character with hardly any screen time.

May 01 2010 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

malcom mcdowell has to be RJ. or at the very least, this is going to be an ongoing story arc with him and visualize. he wasnt even the main character in this episode and offered nothing to the central plot. he's too established of an actor to take a one-off part like that.

May 01 2010 at 6:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's what I think. Jane needs to be slapped down once in a while. Otherwise he'll get the wrong person sent to jail or killed.

April 30 2010 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We like the show enormously. BUT.....You have got to get rid if the obviously affirative action promoted figure Ms. Hightower. She is a total distraction to the show. Adding nothing and taking away from great story lines.

April 30 2010 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to viewer's comment
BC McKinney

"Affirmative action," seriously? She's a supervisor and quite competent at it. She sussed out that Rigsby and van Pelt were dating, and that Lisbon was deliberately ignoring it, almost immediately, and laid down the law. While it's not clear that Jane can be reined in when he thinks he's smarter than everyone, she made it clear to him that problems caused by him would have consequences for Lisbon, correctly assuming that's one of the few things he might pay attention to. She's willing to tolerate some violations of procedure if they produce results, but made clear there are limits. Now she needs to prove that she's serious about that, after wagging the finger the past few weeks.

April 30 2010 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While aff action may be a bit strong, it does seem as though the only roles in which African-American actors/actresses are being cast are as supervisors. Law & Order, Mentalist, Castle, FlashForward, NCIS, etc. all have African-American supervisors.

Disclaimer: I don't have a problem with it, it just seems odd.

May 01 2010 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Perhaps we'll "see" Red John again when Jane...

(If you're really fussy about SPOILERS, stop here.)

...goes on his date with what's-her-name, the supposedly psychic woman he met in S1. They'll start getting close, and then RJ will kill her almost immediately just to remind Jane that he's still there, still watching. Jane has been cockier than ever and he needs to be defeated in some way just to keep the character interesting.

April 30 2010 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to George's comment

I hope that they do get rid of the psychic right away. The actress says that she may come back next season though so they'll probably kill Hightower.

May 01 2010 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What ever happened to (S02E19) Recap

April 30 2010 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That religious group headed by the McDowell character was I think supposed to be like Scientologists. Comments?

April 30 2010 at 9:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Blackstone

Someone has to confront this new boss. Lisbon is the obvious choice, given the extreme tension between them. Let's have a blowout. Let it come to a head.

April 30 2010 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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