Television
Sep 29, 2011

THE MENTALIST’S PATRICK JANE PASSES GO

From the beginning of The Mentalist, there has always been Red John- the serial killer that murdered Patrick Jane’s (Simon Baker) wife and child and remains at large…at least until the cliffhanger episode that capped off last season. Patrick Jane ended up face to face with the man that killed his family and shot him dead… Or did he?

I am big fan of Simon Baker, in fact, he’s the reason I first started watching The Mentalist and in my opinion the reason the show has remained a success.  But the far-fetched premiere episode this season has left me questioning the fate of Season 4. The show focuses on the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation) and Patrick Jane is a consultant for them- a job he began after his family was murdered by Red John. Each episode, there is almost always a crime for the team to solve and Jane is almost always the one who comes up with who did it and why, using his deductive abilities.

The Season 4 premiere finds Jane in jail but then he conveniently manages to win a million dollars (wish this would happen to me!) allowing him to get out on bail to help his fellow team members prove the man Jane shot was truly nemesis Red John. To make matters more difficult, hiis team has been suspended because they “allowed” Jane to seek personal vengeance.  In effect, the episode is all about finding out the true identity of the man Jane shot and the goal is to prove that Jane had reasonable cause to shoot him… and that he did it in self-defense.

Long story short, SPOILER ALERT, Jane goes to trial and is found not guilty of all charges.  They prove in the trial that the man Jane shot was indeed a very bad man- he had kidnapped a woman and kept her locked in his basement (his wife even knew all about it! Weird.) But was he indeed Red John? Was Jane right in killing an unknown man? In any case, the team gets their suspension lifted and Jane gets his “get out of jail free card”. As he passes go, Jane will be left to deal with one of two scenarios: Either he has finally found justice (and the show now needs a new antagonist) or he has killed the wrong man (bad or otherwise). Either way, Jane will certainly have to deal with effects of having pulled the trigger.

To conclude, the very end of the premiere leaves us with Jane being driven away from the courthouse by his boss Theresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney).  She asks him if “it’s all over” and he responds that “a bad man is gone, but no, this man was not Red John.”

I guess the chase continues! Something tells me the next episode will be a good one and once again Baker has me coming back for more.