The Mentalist Post Mortem: Did Jane Really Just [Spoiler]? Plus: Red John Showdown Preview

The Mentalist CBI Shut DownWarning: The following contains spoilers from this Sunday’s episode of CBS’ The Mentalist.

This week on The Mentalist — in the penultimate episode of the long-running Red John storyline — the suspect list was narrowed down to two, and then one. And then… Patrick Jane decided to “let go” of the pursuit that dominated his life for years.

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Picking up after the big bang at Jane’s house, Lisbon ran inside to find bodies/body parts, including her unconscious partner. Later, it was revealed that three of the dead bodies had been ID’d as Stiles, Haffner and McAllister — leaving possi-Johns Bertram and Smith, both of whom had shoulder tattoos, on the lam. Bertram tried/failed to get to Jane at the hospital, while Smith nursed a hastily tended-to wound.

Before Bertram’s goon could snuff him, Smith turned himself into CBI and fessed up the details of the Blake Association aka a covert cabal of dirty cops/judges/etc. The CBI then attempts to stealthily grab Bertram, but the Blake Association instead floods the scene with SWAT team members, allowing the target to slip away. Before the CBI can plan their next move, FBI Supervisory Agent Dennis Abbott (new series regular Rockmond Dunbar) storms onto the scene and shuts their office down, claiming that if their boss was dirty, who’s to say they aren’t as well.

“Gale Bertram is being hunted, and he is the head of a law enforcement agency,” notes Mentalist co-producer Jordan Harper , who wrote the episode. “Because of that, actions have to be taken.”

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To drive home the seriousness of the CBI’s dismantling, Harper points out, “The scene opens with Jane’s couch being carted out, which was an idea from [director] Chris Long. That goes a tremendous distance towards underscoring that we’re not joking here.” Another telling touch came courtesy of series star Simon Baker. “During rehearsals, he had the idea of the teacup breaking. Again, these aren’t idle decisions. We are trying to send a message.”

And what about the message Jane sent Lisbon at the end, declaring his decision to give up the hunt? “He’s very clear that he’s not quitting. He’s letting go. And there’s a huge difference,” Harper stresses. Employing a martial arts analogy, the scribe says, “In Judo, there’s the idea not to always push, because while you may feel in control, you’re using your energy and that doesn’t mean you’re going to get your way. To ‘let go’ means to allow things to happen. To move with the flow.”

Meaning, maybe Red John will come to Jane, craving final closure as much as his longtime pursuer does? “I think that’s an interesting idea,” Harper allows.

Looking ahead to next Sunday’s episode, the grand finale of the CBS drama’s Red John storyline, Harper confirms that there’s “tremendous significance” to where where we last saw Jane, seated in a chapel. And as for the eventual face-off between serial killer and adversary, Harper promises it will be a battle of wits worthy of the two men.

“Both Jane and Red John have always fancied themselves as the ‘smartest guys in the room,'” he notes. “And one of them is right.”

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162 Comments
  1. Earnestine green says:

    I am glad they are finally moving on from Red John but I don’t get why they want to write out Rigsby and Van Pelt…I love those two. And dunbar? He’s a terrible actor…I wouldn’t mind seeing Hightower back…really like her.

  2. RJ says:

    Guys, it’s no-one on the list, that was a muse for PJ to keep RJ think that he doesn’t know, RJ is somebody from the FBI and someone Patrick has met once before , so go over all the episodes and you’ll find who he is.

  3. Dexter says:

    This season has been fantastic. Tyger, Tyger TM fans. I love Blake’s poem so much.

  4. MaireW says:

    I just hope the RJ story will finally end. I’m to the point that I don’t care who it is anymore; I just want it to be OVER. Tired of all the teasers. I too, thought Bradley Whitford would have been a great RJ, and felt like the show has been spinning its wheels on the RJ story ever since. I’m with an earlier poster who said they would like the show to get back to the crime of the week, with “Jane torturing the guilty.”

    • BETTYBOO says:

      They do that every week apart from this season. It’s the whole basis of the show. The amount of fans that love the red John story arc is huge. Heller is a genius and has us all guessing and sitting on the edge of our seats.

  5. Dag says:

    Red John is Michael Kirkland; They shook hands at one of PJ’s “readings” for his mother. His deception created anger in Michael, and thus, created Red John.
    I’m still wondering about the employee at the CBI; the one who said “Hello Boss” to Bertram as he was leaving the hospital. Who is he? What does he know?

    • That “employee” is CBI Ron, played by John Troy Donovan.

      He has been in the background for many episodes, like CBI Karl.

      CBI Karl’s actor, Karl Sonnenberg, also provides technical advice to the show whereas CBI Ron’s actor doesn’t.

  6. Dude from NJ says:

    It is Lisbon. The only person attacked by red john and lives.

  7. DenverDean says:

    Early, I thought it’d be a great twist if RJ was Van Pelt (hello, RED hair). The whole thing that RJ is a man, blah, blah, blah. Plus we know that Righetti is leaving the series. Hmmm.I know she’s quite young, but perhaps there is more to the story….

  8. barbara says:

    it better not be cho but who nos at this point. just because vanpelt is young she could still be a follower of rj and rigsby too.

  9. DarkDefender says:

    Lotsa great theories in these comments. My only hope (aside from RJ being Bertram) would be to not kill off Rigsby or Van Pelt. Let her be pregnant and they take over Sheriff McAllister’s position/department. Then we can get guest appearances from them and have them in the series finale when ever that happens.

  10. JMill says:

    All i know for sure is, I’m going to have my noise canceling earphones ready.

    With the amount of ‘It HAS to be X’ and ‘It can’t POSSIBLY be Y’ talk going on, the level of Mentalist geek rage is going to be epic no matter how it plays out. ;)

    i think one big mistake people are making is assuming the Red John ever had the Tiger Tiger tattoo. He’s had minions playing his role before, there’s no reason to assume he might not have had a stand in who dealt with the PI saw the tattoo. There is very little that is known about Red John for sure.

    Having RJ turn out to be Partridge will take some fancy footwork. He was a member of law enforcement who was murdered by a notorious serial killer who also assaulted another LEO in the process and who is the subject of an intense manhunt.

    Forensics teams would have been all over the crime scene documenting every last mote of dust and taking a gazillion pictures of the crime scene including the entirely recognizable (or not) body of Brett Partridge.

    And of course Jane and the CBI team would also have gone over every page of the subsequent crime scene and autopsy reports with a magnifying glass and even the slightest irregularity would have jumped out, not to mention anything indicating that Partridge’s death was faked.

    But with all that, I’m definitely in agreement Bertram is not Red John.

  11. JMill says:

    Oh, and the bomb?

    That was all Jane.

    He knew he was going to have at least two law enforcement people on the scene who might try and stop him from taking down Red John.

    So, single out RJ, shoo away the innocents, at least as far as outside the guest house, and BOOM. Red John is taken care of beyond anyone’s attempts to stop Jane or any attempts by EMTs or anybody else to save RJ after the fact.

    McAllister probably did himself in, panicking and diving for one of the guns on the floor and putting himself near the bomb again after Jane had taken the three Tiger Tiger members to the other side of the room while he tried to sort things out.

    McAllister goes for the gun, Jane (That was Jane shouting, “No!”) figures that it’s become now or never,and triggers the bomb.

    Jane probably had little compunction about going out with Red John. There’s no way he’d skate on a murder charge a second time.

  12. Betty O'Brian says:

    Ray Haffner is RJ. He didn’t kill Lisbon because he has a thing for her. He also likes or admires PJ in a way. There have been subtle clues. He is afraid of spiders but Lisbon didn’t even react to that because she thought the phobia had to be heights. He has tried to have an association with Lisbon many times. He also asked PJ if he was going to solve the case with the exercise band in a kind of light, joking way. He likes to see what PJ will do. He also asked him how the RJ investigation was going and when PJ told them to show their shoulders, he was the first to do it. Haffner was also the first to stand up to attempt to leave when PJ first told them to show their shoulders. And there has always been something just a little bit off about Haffner’s character. He’s just shy of normal, somehow. We’ve seen that from the beginning. RJ would never want people to think he was too important or in control. He is smart enough to hang back and watch from the sidelines. Haffner has also been associated with Visualize for a long time. You can bet he plays a much bigger role than we have seen. RJ would not have a tattoo or any identifying mark on his body. It’s not a wise thing to do. He could have killed PJ many times or just let him die. He has actually saved him, don’t forget. He views him as interesting and a possibly worthy adversary. He likes to play with him. And in the end, RJ is a seriously twisted serial killer, so of course he is not going to act completely normal. As I said, he is just a little off–like Ray Haffner– who also happens to be fairly fit and the best looking and the most likely to get women to do his bidding of the original hand-shakers. Let’s face it–does any one of the others do it for you? Bertram? Stiles? etc, etc?

    • Belladonna says:

      I totally agree with you. It has to be Haffner. I’m not sure everyone thinks it’s Partridge, he doesn’t have the money, power, charisma or intelligence to be Red John.

  13. kelly says:

    I think that it would be awesome if Jane is Red John. He use to be a bad seed back in the day. Who knows

    • Morgan says:

      But don’t you think Lorelei would have killed him then? She knew who Red John was and was on her way to kill him, but left Patrick unharmed.

  14. Pangie says:

    Lisbon is red john..

    • Morgan says:

      You’re entitled to your opinion but why do you think that? You have got to have some good reasons. The writers have stated Red John is a man. Aside from that, I personally don’t think Lisbon’s got the brains to pull of RJ caliber murders. Still love her, just don’t think she’s that smart.

  15. Kat says:

    The Kirkland brothers could be a good option for red John. If you all remember Kirkland was in the 100 episode of patricks first day at cbi when the women called Menile and asked for updates on the red John case and then it pans to the front seat and there sits Kirkland. Also the scene where he says something to Patrick and Patrick says have I met you and he shakes his hand.

    People keep saying partridge because he was always going after Patrick on crime scenes like he is comparing his knowledge to Patrick’s. also in the show where Patrick is rescued from the college red John impersonators the build of the person and the walk (heavy steps) are both characteristics of partridge. Just because partridge was kind of nerdy at times doesn’t mean his personality could not be evil like red johns. Also the voice is very similar to red johns.

  16. Kat says:

    Definitely think Bertram is not RJ he is head if tyger tyger. Also think one or more of the RJ suspects we think are dead or not really dead. Also think Haffner could be a good candidate because he has always seemed to be sweet on Lisbon. Maybe why RJ didn’t kill her when she showed up at Partridges murder. There are so many things and little twists in each show viewers don’t really know what to read into and what not to read into.

  17. Joshua Hawrylak says:

    I vote for McAllister mostly because he was around in Season 1. Most tv shows barely last one year. If cancelled early, they could have wrapped it all up then. McAllister seems to have the smarts to be more than a small town sheriff, but this position allows him the power, connections & time to accomplish his crimes. But now I think his back story has extended because of the number of seasons. Also, Grace’s character never felt right. Very first scene shows her walking, red hair flowing. Eerie. And all the weird instances were the camrea pans to her. And her backstory is questionable. And lastly, I loved to have known more about Jane’s childhood and moveover his relationship with his father. Question to all, how many more seasons can this show go for?

  18. Tetleys says:

    Does anyone (other than me) feel that Jane himself is Red John? I am comparing this to the Johnny Depp character in Secret Window. No one has actually seen Red John that we know of, so a Schizophrenic with multiple personalities would work here. Recently they feel that Red John is Psychic because he knows too much of Janes background…plus they thought he was achrophobic, but it was Jane that was afraid of heights. Small, but important signs seem to be pointing to Jane having multiple personalities and he is trying to “catch” himself.

    • Morgan says:

      I used to really like this theory. And then I realized something. Lorelei. She went looking for Red John. She went looking for him to kill him. She knew who RJ was, and she was going to kill him. If it was Patrick, she would have killed him when they met, but she didn’t. That ruined the whole “Jane is Red John” thing for me. That and Bruno Heller explicitly stating that Red John is not Patrick Jane. I also feel like if this were true, Jane would probably kill himself. He already hates himself for letting Angela and Charlotte be killed. If he found out he did it, I don’t think he could live with himself.

  19. Jack says:

    Many viewers are talking about the RJ identity, eagerly and wildly, going through even the smallest possibility, but with no success.
    Does this situation look familiar to you?

    It reminds me of TV show ‘LOST’, a show with a sucky ending!

    I figure we can stop guessing who RJ is, because there doesn’t exist a logical answer!
    The writers have been making RJ such a “kind-of-superman” character that no one in the story fits into it.

  20. LilyBarlow says:

    Who is RJ?
    1) The only one Timothy Carter :D
    When Cho goes to check Partridge tattoo, he finds the same forensic of the episode 4×01 (Carter post-mortem episode!!!)

    2) Thomas McAllister. In “Red Moon” Jane meet a deer with Lisbon and in “The Great Red Dragon” McAllister try to kill the deer (The Man in Bambi, the Hunter).

    3) Sean Barlow. When RJ kills Lorelei there are clues about the circus.

    4) Jared Renfrew just for his name.

    5) Patrick Jane, because is really similar to Jay Roth.

    Good luck The Mentalist love you!

  21. barbara says:

    well is patrick going to get redjohn in the upcoming episode????? i just hope after all these seasons of redjohn the showdown and if killed not a big letdown it needs to be dramatic. bones killing of pelant was not at all dramatic. i just want it to be overwith and move the show on

  22. Kevin Scott says:

    Red john is obviously Mcallister its very simple.Jane told McAllister,Bertram & Smith to get up against the wall ‘while Ray Haffner and Bret Stiles are still sitting on the couch and then you hear the gunshot and then the house explodes.. sit there and think about how did Mcallister die when jane bertram and smith survived when they’re all standing next to eachother? He faked his death to avoid any suspicion and i believe jane already know that red john is mcallister

  23. sharon franti says:

    i thought for sure robert kirkland was red john, when reede smith shot him i was like forget kenny- omg they killed kirkland!!! i was stunned! would love to see him or his twin turn out to be red john!! the actor kevin corrigan that played kirkland should win an award!! amazing acting!! super creepy and intense!! love him!! reede smith is great too!! i call it the kevin james factor, something sexy there!! : )

  24. kkong01 says:

    Something is going on with the cleaning guy at CBI. We have been seeing him go by more frequently and not seeing his face

  25. Cathy says:

    I think it’s Stiles or the sherriff. I think everyone we have proof of as being dead, is. However I think not everyone died in that explosion…definitely Red John didn’t, he made it out.

  26. Cathy says:

    Left handed, afraid of heights…McAllister. When he rescued Jane from falling, he looked scared to death to be up there. Red John draws the faces from a left handed angle also. If you saw the episode, don’t tell me if I am right or wrong. lol

  27. Vojeto says:

    Surprise twist

    Lisbon was a man AND Red John the whole time :O

  28. bigblueswami says:

    My official guess is… Red John is ..Timothy Carter. Jane killed the right man… but he was vested and Tyger Tyger cleaned it up and he’s been free to roam and torture Jane at will.
    Hey.. probably not but would be a great twist…plus murders of dead men never get arrested

  29. Nancy says:

    it’s lisbon!!!
    she is close to everything he does and she knows almost every move.

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