Post Mortem: The Mentalist EP Says New Clue 'Is a Big Deal' -- But How Will Jane Possibly Use It?

The Mentalist Red John Has TattooMake no mistake, the new clue revealed at the end of this Sunday’s The Mentalist was an ink-redible development with regards to the hunt for Red John.

RELATED | The Mentalist Exclusive: Prison Break’s Rockmond Dunbar Promoted to Series Regular

As this week’s hour of the CBS drama came to a close, Jane learned from a pretty private eye (guest star Beth Riesgraf) who was hired by — and ultimately stabbed by — Red John that her employer has a tattoo of three dots on his shoulder.

And lest you question that reveal as perhaps a piece of misdirection, executive producer Eoghan Mahony, who wrote the episode “The Red Tattoo,” assures TVLine, “That is a legit clue, and it is a big deal. Now Jane’s got his leverage.”

Yes, but short of inviting the remaining suspects into a Turkish bath, how will Jane possibly get eyes on each of their bared shoulders? “That is the next step: Now that you know that information, how do you use it in a useful way?” says Mahony. For that answer, “You’re just going to have to watch the next episode,” he teases, “but you’re going to enjoy it a lot. Jane’s going to tell the team what he’s found, and they’re going to ask exactly that: How do we figure out [who has the tattoo]? But luckily you’ve got Patrick Jane to find the best way to make that work.”

Also of note in this week’s episode: Just as it was suggested that possi-John Sheriff McAllister is afraid of heights (but isn’t) and pigeons (he possibly is), we now know that Ray Haffner gets squirrely around spiders. But whether any of these disclosures synch up with the fact that RJ has a phobia remains to be seen.

Explaining the decision to scatter these bits of intel across recent weeks, Mahony reminds, “Whoever Red John is, we know that he is an incredibly brilliant mind. He’s a psychopath but a brilliant one, so he’s not to going to be easy to find. So how can we, using what tiny crumbs of information we have, force him out into the open? We saw that McAllister might have a fear of heights but clearly he doesn’t. And if you throw a bird into my face I’m probably going to scream, so is that reaction a phobia or just a reaction to having a bird fly in your face? That’s the challenge Jane and the team are faced with.”

Regardless of Jane’s specific next move, it will involve all of the remaining suspects, as Michael Gaston, Malcolm McDowell, Drew Powell, Reed Diamond and Xander Berkeley are set to appear in next Sunday’s episode (playing Gale Bertram, Bret Stiles, Reede Smith, Ray Haffner and Sheriff McAllister).

That episode, titled “Fire & Brimstone” and penned by Ken Woodruff, “moves the story forward in a way that going to be both surprising and will keep you on the edge of your seat,” Mahony promises. “It’s a good one.”

Want more scoop on The Mentalist, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. Slizabeth says:

    That promo was CRAZY. I can’t wait to see this unfold!

    • Kelly says:

      I think Grace is Red John (the “red” being her hair, not blood as everyone thinks). Since the “betrayal” of her fiancé she’s been off and cold – no warmth. I think the fiancé thing was a set up by Grace.

      • Zeus says:

        So you are okay with the idea that Grace started killing as a toddler?

      • Pickle8182 says:

        Ha ha. I said that from the beginning. I’vs been told no because it’s a man, she’s too young (both being said at the barn scene when they found the 3 bodies). I always thought it would be cool though.

      • WJ says:

        Red John killed Jared Renfrew. Nobody of the team, including Van Pelt, can possibly have killed Renfrew. So to me the whole team is out of suspicion…

  2. Ange says:

    I think Red John is Hightower

    • PJ says:

      Hightower isn’t on the suspect list.

      • JMill says:

        I have yet to see a quote that says THE Red John is on Jane’s list.

        We know that Red John is adept at manipulation, toying with the mind, perhaps even hypnosis, as we saw in what he did to Kristina Frye.

        Perhaps the list is legitimate, just not in the way we’re being led to believe.

        EW: So can we really trust that the list is accurate if Red John is so willing to confirm it?
        Bruno Heller: Yes, we can trust that list.

        Perhaps all the people on the list have been manipulated at one time or another to believe they are, and act as, “Red John”. Post hypnotic suggestion, perhaps. They have been the tools the actual Red John uses to carry out some of his acts.

        This would explain how Red John was able to compile his list before Jane concocted his. It would explain the “He is man(y?)”. It would explain Timothy Carter presenting himself as “Red John” to Jane at the end of season 3. It would even lend double meaning to the title of the show itself, “The Mentalist”.

        Jane gathers all the remaining suspects together next episode. Will we see him try to bring “Red John” out in each of them, confirming that the actual Red John is not among them?

        • Weezy says:

          Maybe I”m way off here, but couldn’t he have simply gotten the list by bugging/setting up a camera in Jane’s “red john” office? We saw the Homeland Security guy have his team break in, so isn’t it plausible that Red John is simply manipulating Jane here?

          • Castle Lover says:

            Not possible because the video was made long before Jane came up with the list. Keep in mind that Lorelai has been dead for a long time.

        • Crystal Bast says:

          Or perhaps the “He is man” was written to simply say that RJ is human, not a God.

        • Sebastian says:

          please research a little in the internet and you’ll exactly find this beeing said by the authors of the show. (that red john is on the list of suspects)

          • JMill says:

            Oh I’ve researched more than a little, and I’ve yet to come across a quote that says, flat out, no weasel wording,, no shaded answers, THE Red John is on the list.

            Care to provide a link to such a quote?

        • Hope says:

          Wow, excellent possibility! It’s nice to read something a little different from the rest of the pack of theories — if you know what I mean. I agree with you on the list — there’s no definitive answer on that, and I wondered about a “network” aspect with RJ for a long time [which turned out to be Tiger Tiger — but might not necessarily be related to RJ]. Of course, I knew RJ was going to be someone who used hypnosis, like Jane– STILL, I hadn’t fully explored the point that you make here — that suspects have been used by RJ through hypnosis TO ACT LIKE RJ. Perfect! And especially since the 7 male suspects are basically all corrupt anyway — how funny that RJ turns them into unwitting victims.

          IN Season One, Ep. 18 — a woman who works for Dr. Royston Daniels, master hypnotist, uses hypnosis to make men do her bidding, even kill for her — she even had Rigsby under her spell about to kill Jane. I’ve always thought that one of the early episodes symbolized RJ — and now after reading your post — I’m thinking this is it: RJ is a woman who has sent out different men to kill.

  3. Lindsey says:

    I can’t wait!

  4. prish says:

    They killed off the ones I wanted to be Red John. The only one left is Reede Smith. Let it be he. The others would bum me out. I don’t want to think of those actors as Red John. The turnaround not to be a dufus FBI escort, but a cold killer in charge was clever acting. I could live with him being RJ.

    • Mentalista says:

      I strongly agree! What’s reassuring even more is that in the episode to come entitled “Red John” — the episode where RJ is presumably caught/killed, only Smith and Bertram are on the cast list. Taking from the earlier episode this season where Smith is ordering Bertram to “take care of it”, I think it’s more likely Smith is RJ since RJ wouldn’t be taking orders — he’d be giving them.

      • Bettyboo says:

        Nooooooo worst Red John Ever. He acts like a spoilt child with a bad temper than a mastermind. Anybody but him would be fine. Anyone but him. Hate him as red John. He doesn’t match up with any of the clues either.

  5. George says:

    That was ridiculous. Why would Cho not ask the Private Investigator for a description of the man? There are 5 suspects that all look entirely different. Any other time he would say can you tell me what he looks like but he didn’t. How convenient and really unbelievable.

    • Gio Vanni says:

      Oops I did not see your post before I posted the same thought below. I totally agree.

    • hayy says:

      Cho didn’t even know that Red John was the one that hired her. For all he knew and was concerned, the man who hired her was involved with Visualize and therefore was interested in the investigation. He probably expected either Haffner or Cooper. He didn’t know RJ was trying to tap into Lisbon’s team.

    • Slizabeth says:

      I agree! Also, if I knew one of the worst serial killers of my generation was one of six people, I’d have a collection of photos in my pocket. Jane could have been showing that dying woman the photos in her last seconds and we’d be done!

    • Crystal Bast says:

      And if I were Jane, I would be carrying a photo array of all the suspects. It certainly would’ve come in handy at the end of the Tattoo episode. But that would take the fun of the show. This is entertainment, not the real world. Just enjoy the story while it unfolds.

    • Crystal Bast says:

      In addition: someone at CBI should have been calling the PI’s home phone. Warning her on voicemail, or at least try to scare RJ off by saying the cops are only seconds away. Perhaps some other tactic to distract RJ…anything to save the victim.

      • Mentalist Miss says:

        CBI did try to warn her but she was too busy painting her nails while on the phone with the cable company complaining that they hadn’t yet sent out a technician and that she had paid her cleaning lady to stay all day for that purpose. When RJ appeared at the door, she did not disconnect but rather said “hold on” while she answered the door. A VM message would not have helped to distract RJ – it was too late by the time Jane realized that she was doomed.

        • GODZILLA1 says:

          When she opened the door didn’t she look down? I got the impression she was at least as tall as Jane. Soooooo, is RJ relatively short in height?

  6. Dennis says:

    I know it’s not possible but I kind of always hoped Jane was Red John like a dual personality deal that you didn’t find out until the series ended, that’s why he could never catch him

    • Fan says:

      For awhile this is exactly what I suspected. Not any longer though. The producer has already said that they want to take Jane beyond the Red John thing.

  7. Brendan says:

    Beth Riesgraf gives Jane his “Leverage.” HA!

    • Alex Kingston says:

      that was an excellent catch of phrase. i totally missed it.

    • barbara says:

      brendan loved your comment i miss that show. the ratings for mentalist have been lower because of football overflow at least some weeks but i like the dual personality of patrick or if someone else from team involved in redjohn mystery. would be an interesting ending if show were to end. especially since rigsby and vanpelt leaving anyway they would be good suspects

  8. Gio Vanni says:

    An experienced detective would never supply an answer to a person being questioned to avoid hearing what he wants to hear. So Cho made a mistake by volunteering the name of Visualize as the possible client instead of getting the PI to reveal the name on her own. Also how did the PI come to see Red John’s tattoo? It’s ludicrous to think that he would be that careless, unless they were lovers, which we have no cause to assume…yet.

    • Bettyboo says:

      No it’s not, they struggled while he was strangling her. She tried to push him away so she saw the tattoo. If he was wearing a T-shirt then yes it’s possible.

  9. marina says:

    With the RJ thing aside – where is the elastic used by the killer (coach) to throw the gun away. Wouldn’t they have found it if he bled out right after.

    • Mentalist Miss says:

      Parkman had gym equipment scattered on the floor around his body. The green resistance band probably snapped off and flung back into the room as the gun flung into the alleyway. It wasn’t remarkable as evidence because it was strewn on the floor with his other stuff. A better question is how did both Parkman and Jane (in his demo) attach the bands solidly to the door frame so quickly? Another question is why no mention of the prison van in Kirkland’s murder on the road by the driver – instead they gloss over the incident saying a prison guard shot him trying to escape from prison? How was the police report allowed to be so fraudulent?

  10. George says:

    I still think RJ is Walter Mashburn!

    • Jack Sweeney says:

      Was always my belief, too.

    • The Four Winds says:

      agreed; Mashburn & Brett Stiles are the only ones who have seemed to have the savvy, Jane-like hypnosis/deception/observation powers, time, resources, extensive connections, zest for the cat-and-mouse, chutzpah, & mutual admiration society with Jane to pull off being/directing Red John; since Mashborn “has a thing” for Lisbon he would spare her;

  11. spotteddog says:

    I also was wondering how the PI would see a tattoo on RJ. It would almost have to involve RJ doing something to allow the PI to see his shoulder. So my guess? RJ put a fake tattoo on his shoulder and allowed the PI to see it during the struggle. I think the tattoo is a red herring.

  12. Sergio Massa says:

    What always pisses me off is how Jane keeps getting sidetracked. The mentalist would have been a much better show without these cases of the week…

    Even now when hes really close they keep trying to fit these cases in that somehow end up being related just as fillers, because 5 seasons weren’t enough to tease the red john enigma, they still need to run around the issue again and again and again… Also, amazing how all the suspects just keep popping into the show now, considering some of them it had been years since we even saw mention of them,. now their suddenly all appearing in jane’s cases…

  13. Danimal says:

    Tiger or Tyger
    Stiles or Styles
    1 letter is different in Blake’s poem, 1 letter is different in Bret’s name.
    It makes you think that Bret Stiles may indeed be Red John.
    This is so simple and has been easily seen since Bret’s first appearance.

  14. zarathoustra says:

    who let Jane entered the CBI ans became instant friend with him, who let him did whatever he wanted in the beginning of the show? come on…tiger, tiger

  15. DJ says:

    This is probably one of the brilliant TV shows that has been aired in recent times (around a decade). Bruno Heller has done an impressive job by keeping all the audience love the show despite them all being in need for the suspense to reveal. That is definitely not a easy thing to do for 6 Seasons where you do not reveal the suspense but still keep the viewers in the edge of the seat every week.

    Now coming to Red John, My theory is that he could be either

    1.) Robert Kirkland’s twin brother (Or)

    2.) Patrick Jane himself.

    Regarding the latter, there is only one reason for me to believe is that, I dont think there are many people as clever as him who has got such trmendous skills in reading the mind.

    Even if Red John could have been intelligent than Jane, the other accomplices/acquiaintance of his are definitely not that clever, by which it is just a piece of cake for Jane to know from them more about Red John from all his acquaintances whom he has caught so far.

    Now about Bob Kirkland, the reason I believe his twin could be Red John is because he himself told Jane that he has not seen his brothers body yet, but he believes he is dead.

    Also, the time when Bob Kirkland’s brother went missing coincides with the time of Visualize’s farms’ killing and Bret Stiles’ agricultural project.

    We also know that Kirkland said that his brother was an addict and that he had him attend lot of centers for him to come clean out of his addiction. Visualize is one such type of cult that acts as a Rehabilitation center. So it could be possible that after joining Visualize Kirkland’s twin could have become a psychopath and started killing people. It is also possible that Kirkland’s twin after the first killing could have thought him to be a different/new person and named the new person Red John. After that he could have told his brother Bob Kirkland that he met a new guy Red John who has changed his life and he is going to follow his footsteps. That is how Kirkland should have thought that his twin is with some one named Red John and Red John killed his brother. If Bob Kirkland himself would have found the connection of his twin with Red John, he should have definitely known a lot more about Red John than just his name.

    When Kristina Frye was abducted, Bret stiles gave Jane the address of a house where Kristina was found. During handing over the address when Jane questions Stiles on his knowledge about Red John, Bret Stiles with arrogance saays that his knowledge is much more than Jane or Red John himself. The only reason Stiles could have known Red John is from the cult, So he could be the one who possibly brain washed Red John into doing his first murder and since Stiles was the man who was the firstt one to bring out Red John from Bob Kirkland’s twin (who I think is Red John), Red John should have accepted him as a sort of mentor and hence Stiles could have known a lot about Red John (if what Bret Stiles told Jane was true.)

    This is just my theory, Please let me know if there is any reason as not to think why Bob Kirkland’s twin to be “RED JOHN”

  16. Fan says:

    Everyone is making a big deal about the tatoo. What about the other clue? What clue you ask? Red John needed to hire someone to plant a bug @ CBI headquarters. What does that reveal about Red John’s access to CBI headquarters? Or perhaps that’s exactly what Red John wants Jane to think…except that to our knowledge, Jane isn’t thinking that way. Which makes me think Red John actually doesn’t have easy access to CBI headquarters. Personally, I’m thinking Stiles, and the others are involved in the secret law enforcement organization. I also suspect that there’s a strong connection between Red John and the other suspects. Perhaps they’ve murdered others like Kirkland and pinned them on Red John. Or perhaps Red John used to be one of them.

  17. DarkDefender says:

    All good predictions above.. But I think the need to “bug” the CBI rules out Betram, (plus he was way too obvious in the season opener) but the bugging does include Haffner.. Who didn’t need a bug in the past, but now he is no longer working with them.. He needs one. I bet I the episode (possibly end of last season or early this season) where Haffner is seen working out in some home gym place (I think he was talking to Lisbon) He is shirtless.. If they showed the tattoo… There ya have it. Case cracked.

    Besides, Stiles is WAY too old, Reed Smith is an doofus – and per last week obviously a follower and not a leader- and the a Sheriff McAllister.. Well.. Never a good suspect.

  18. Sheldon W. says:

    Can’t wait!

  19. DC says:

    Red John is the Twin of the agent killed last week.

  20. arial2 says:

    Given what we’ve seen of RJ’s disciples, he is also highly charismatic to both women and strong men. Frankly, I don’t see any of the remaining suspects other that Stiles having that kind of charisma. Am I missing something? Of course, I’m still hoping for a Walter Mashburn tie-in…

  21. Michael says:

    I think that whoever RJ is he is not on the list. RJ would be much more scared to know that Jane has a list of 5 people and he (rj) is one of them. Love this show. I hope it gets good ratings and hopefully it gets to be renewed.

  22. Opal says:

    I think Jane has a duel personality and is Red John. Like Jane kinda knows he is but in a way sometimes forgets, like he has a duel personality. It also explains why he did not kill Lisbon, because he loves her. I think Jane being Red John would be such a good ending to the show. The more I watch it the more it becomes obvious that it is him, I mean if you think about it all the clues point straight to Jane!

    • Mentalist Miss says:

      Impossible as Jane was driving in the car with Lisbon on the way to the scene as the PI was being killed by RJ. How do you explain that?

  23. Opal says:


  24. J says:

    That was an excellent ep! The next three promise to be killer.. Excuse the pun. It is going to be interesting to see how Jane will reveal Red John.

  25. Crystal Bast says:

    While an unforeseen twist might be exciting, there doesn’t always need to be one. Sometimes it’s best to just follow the evidence and draw the simplest and perhaps the most obvious of conclusions. Nothing wrong with that. In Star Wars, it was quite obvious from the start that Darth Sidious and Palpatine were one and the same. But some people just couldn’t accept that and there were all sorts of theories thrown around, believing that George Lucas had to have some special twist up his sleeve. Lo and behold…

    Getting back to Mentalist: ever since the 2nd episode of this season, I’m fairly certain who Red John is. Just going with the evidence. With each passing week, I have more confidence in my conclusion. If the clues/evidence start going in another direction, and there’s some jaw-dropping twist to the end of this storyline, so be it. Hopefully it’s not too ridiculous either.

    • Bettyboo says:


    • Jeff B says:

      Star Wars was only obvious because the same actor played the Emperor in 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

    • BK says:

      Don’t get me started on this Star Wars thing. The proper way to watch the episodes are 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3. And if you happen to miss Ep1, you’re not really hurting yourself that much.

      I’m still convinced Bertram is our man. Height and hair aside (RHarker), I think he’s the guy. Now, if we have to consider height and hair, then it’s Reede Smith, but I would be so much more satisfied with a Bertram ending, and it certainly would explain a lot for the events of 609.

  26. Debbie says:

    What about Van Pelt or Rigsby, since they are leaving? Might be a good twist….

    • barbara says:

      i agree. if anything they are working for rj. more so vanpelt. she was engaged to that guy she shot and she’s been a bit strange ever since

    • Bettyboo says:

      would be amazing if its won’t though but what a cracker of an episode it would be if it was all him

  27. Romasurus says:

    I am baffled, When Jane displayed how the gun was disposed of using the green elastic band. No one explained what THEN happened to the green elastic band, that if it had been left attached to the window, would have been discovered by the hotel security, police investigators when they entered the room.

  28. barbara says:

    i like the rigsby being rj that would be something. there is some reason they are being written off. you could see one leaving but both. i no other shows will let actors go to make a storyline but there is something up with these two

  29. Debbie says:

    Rigsby kills Van Pelt then Jane kills Rigsby – Maybe??

  30. flo88 says:

    a brilliant psychpath?… mmmh… perhaps Michael C. Hall will be a guest in a next episode, and… tadam! RJ is Dexter :D

  31. barbara says:

    debbie it would be awesome. they said rj would be found out by years end so we will all have to wait and see.

  32. Alessandro says:

    Red John is Patrck Jane. Saint patrick’s color is green or blue, blue is a quiet color while red is strong, green is the opposte of red in the chromatic circle. Jane is the female version of john. Have you ever seen patrick without his clothes? Have you ever seen his shoulder? In the episode with the sheriff on the rooftop Who suffered for the height? Patrick!
    Patrick is mad, totally mad and maybe he doesn’t even know.

    • Phyllis says:

      I think Red John is Patrick Jane’s twin sister (whom he either doesn’t know about, because we don’t know anything about his mother or possible siblings, or has blocked from his memory), for the reason you say (the names are opposites). Also, the Blake poem that the “Tiger, tiger” code word comes from is about, among other things, symmetry, including good and evil, and what is more symmetrical than equal opposites, fraternal twins?

  33. barbara says:

    well thanks to football overflow again have to mmwait extra half hour for goodwife and mentalist but can’t wait!!!!!!!

  34. James T Johnson Jr says:

    why was the mentalist Nov 3 sunday episode a rerun what happen to episode that was to be on

    • Teri says:

      I know…what the heck…..I’m ticked….I’m trying to find it to watch on the computer…but so far no luck….this was the brimstone & fire episode…Help…

    • Roger says:

      The football game lead in took took extra time, pushing The Mentalist out of prime time. CBS didn’t want to waste a new episode in the later time slot, so they showed a rerun instead. Presumably they’ll show Fire and Brimstone next Sunday in the regular prime time slot.

  35. farshid says:

    i think that red john is ROBERT KIRKLAND`s BROTHER that he thought had killed by red john.

  36. asd says:

    RJ is Bertram…they have to choose someone that was more close to Jane than Reed, that looked dumb but is in fact brilliant, that is a show off man, he is also the only one that matched Sophie mental profile. Besides, they said there was a clue at the end of the first episode, the clue was the number 666 on the wall (the beast number), Gale Bertram is the only name that can be converted to that number, that’s way the name Carmen Lee appeared at the end of the episode, because is also converted to 666.

  37. as tempting as it was to assume that VanPelt is RJ (the red hair, etc.) it somehow was a too obvious choice. i might be in for a longshot here but what if someone we all know is RJ ? Besides the obvious choices of Jane himself and someone from the team. Yes, the creator allegedly said that RJ is on the list and the RJ is not Jane, but what if only one of those statements (the Jane one) is true ? Since RJ “kidnapped” Lisbon, I couldn’t help but think: who did BOTH, JANE and LISBON meet and shook hands ? Who else has money/wealth and influence ? MY alternative guess: what if RJ is a collective of like-minded individuals. I was first going with this one, but then dropped because I am sure that BH thought of exactly this too. I think we’re going to be in for a surprise. Also I am curious about the next villains (Green Jim and Blue Paul, etc.)

  38. Chuckie says:

    I believe that there are lots of surprises in the mentalist. because this is a mystery and suspense movies the writer will definitely unfold things that will keep viewers off their seats. I’m still not convinced that the sheriff is red john…
    this is my theory:
    red john knew the list of suspects before jane…
    he knew about the secret meeting that jane had plan and was abled to set bomb in the building…
    he could look into jane’s mind and kill his happy memory…but the sheriff could not possibly know that jane had planted a gun in the chapel…
    he could not have known jane had a planned trick with a bird…
    could not prove himself to be the man that people will die to protect.

    he did not mention that he’s red john and at he point of death he was trying to tell jane how he got to know about the list…overall jane did not give him chance to say much cuz he was finally relieved and thought that it should all come to an end…

    van pelt knows more about red john if she’s not red john. she was a very anxious lockout in cuffs in the car with the remaining cbi agents. she and rigsby was not at ease…
    I think there is more to the story and more surprises…

    The kirkland story could mean something…
    The list of encrypted names on betram’s flash drive could also mean something…

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  40. Now I am going away to do my breakfast, later than having
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