Post Mortem: Is The Mentalist's Red John Saga Truly Over? And 7 More Burning Qs Answered

The Mentalist Red John Sheriff McAllisterWarning: The following contains red-hot spoilers from this Sunday’s episode of The Mentalist.

The hunt is — at long last — over.

This Sunday on CBS’ The Mentalist, Patrick Jane (played by Simon Baker) got his man, and then some. Meaning: Red is dead.

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Heading into the pivotal hour, with Reede Smith having turned himself in and snitched on The Blake Association, there was only one living suspect left from Jane’s list: CBI boss Gale Bertram. But with his bureau involuntarily disbanded and the FBI watching the agent’s every move, Jane laid low — until Bertram reached out to set up a meet.

With some doing, Jane gave the Feds the slip and confronted Bertram (with his lackey Cordero) in the chapel at the cemetery where his wife and daughter, both victims of Red John, were buried. Thing is, Bertram isn’t actually the serial killer Jane has hunted all these years. After after being put down by Cordero, the real Red menace reared his head, approaching from the back of the sanctuary.

Sheriff Tom McAllister, whose death had been presumed-slash-faked in the explosion at Jane’s house.

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Jane seemed not surprised, nor was he — as he would explain, he knew that whatever “truth” was presented in the wake of the explosion had to be a misdirect. In fact, Jane was wholly prepared for McAllister, deftly depositing some bread crumbs in the sheriff’s palm before producing a pigeon from his coat pocket, siccing it on his ornithophobic adversary. Jane then whipped out a gun he had proactively strapped beneath the front pew and winged Red John, only to see him slip away when a femme follower (clumsily) charged at him from the back with a knife.

Jane would catch up to his wounded archenemy, pinning him down on the grass in broad daylight and asking if he was afraid to die (answer: yes), before proceeding to choke the life out of him, their decade-long dance ended. And as the hour closed, we saw Jane leave a message for Lisbon that he’s OK and will miss her, before fleeing the scene, running off to…?


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  1. What can I say after watching the most expected episone 6×08?
    I was absolutely disappointed and still can’t believe it was “a great end of a great Red John story”. And I don’t believe Heller has been planning this stupid ending for five years! It looks so torn apart from other seasons that I can’t imagine how it can be at all. I don’t even tell about loose ends, I tell about RJ’s personality. It’s absolutely out of character we’ve known for years. This begging for his life coward is RJ?? This genius, this mastermind was so terribly scared as if he never thought about this possible situation?? If Heller wanted to make me laugh he’s exceeded. I never laughed so hard in my life – especially when I saw RJ trying to call 911. So if it’s a funny joke then I can accept it, otherwise… I really think Heller just wanted to end this quickly because he couldn’t put all this ties together. He created too many clues and became confused himself. The most unprofessional thing is that there’s no clue leading to sheriff. It was one-ep character and nobody even remembered him. Now we are told “He was Red John! Just take it and be glad”. No. I’ve been expecting much more! I wanted to see the points and look back in the past for searching. But now I have NOTHING. It seems to me (like to many other fans) that at first it was Partridge for RJ. But when he became too popular as a suspect, Heller decided to change him. Well, maybe it was his vision of an “unexpected and exciting ending” but it looks like a clumsy and unsuitable patch to cover some big scenario holes. I refuse to take this as a part of Red John’s story.

    Rest in peace, great Red John. You died in unequal battle with the writers :((((

    I just can’t understand WHY Heller decided to show RJ this way?? Red John had all the opportunities to become the most incredible, remarkable villain ever – but now it’s the saddest and pitiful old man who’s afraid of pigeons. Heller just threw away an exciting, thrilling ending of a great 5-years long story, the final showdown between two equal rivals – and I can’t imagine why…

    • Adel says:

      well said!

    • Exactly, Red John as a villian had me hooked so badly more than any other villian in any other show and I thought it would be great because he wouldn’t be too cliche either he was a normal person but who is somewhat a mentalist like Patrick just observant and intelligent. He wasn’t a psychic. I know I was angry before but now I am just sad…. incredibly sad… about this wasted potential of a storyline. You’ll know what I mean when you go back and watch all the other RJ episodes before this season… they were masterpieces. I can’t understand why he would do this either. We as fans are very very hurt and betrayed. Plus, he lied to us in his interviews that’s the most unprofessional thing and he had the guts to make of other endings of other producers.

    • C. Ambrose says:

      I too think that it was ridiculous that Red John was such a coward. Someone who brutally killed so many people would have been prepared to die when he got caught. The episode was a big let down and so was the next episode. Did you know the actor who was Red John didn’t even know he was going to be Red John until just before they wrote the script or just after? No wonder the episodes are such a mess now. After 5 or 6 seasons it looks like they just threw the episode that revealed who Red John was together without giving it much thought. It kind of seems like the writers are “flying by the seats of their pants”. I like surprises but this surprise was just a big mess.

  2. mightymite says:

    I was a HUGE mentalist fan, never really a Red John storyline fan – I just liked the earlier seasons that focused on Patrick solving crimes in his quest to find Red John. This whole last season has been a bit of a disappointment to me. Insinuating that someone could take over the police force, CBi, FBI and every other law enforcement department is a different show and I was beginning to lose interest already before this ridiculous finale. Where to begin. CBI drawing guns on FBI; Patrick getting away with ridiculous stunt driving, some kooky lady coming in with a knife, a pigeon that stays in his pocket without ever being detected, the list goes on and on. I so thought Patrick would be a better man in the end and turn Red John in to the authorities. Where can a murderer go from here? How can I continue to watch a show that unrealistically allows him to walk free from that. I feel cheated and wish I had stopped watching this show last year before all the craziness began. Red John should have stayed a clever serial killer – not some ever powerful Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain

    • prish says:

      I agree with you in being disappointed that the plotting had Patrick kill RJ, instead of turning him. I envisioned the chase, with RJ screaming how he was so great (telling us the RJ name reason) but due to a realization that Patrick was a better person than RJ he turned him in, all done with cleverness and light black humor with back and forth between Lisbon and Patrick. Falling off a cliff was a second choice. That would have been fun, with him screaming how great he was as he fell. I was bummed about the killing, until the husband, muttering something about Dirty Harry, was accepting Jane had done it because RJ’s evil empire would continue if he went to jail. I saw the sense of the end of RJ, now. Also, the team had indicated they might turn their backs when they got RJ and let Jane do what he wanted. So, he had had some kind of legal validation. I am going along with the episode because he died in a secluded area with bird and nature sounds in the background. I can accept the metaphor of new beginnings and rebirth, using the nature setting. The Wizard of Oz insight is quite good. Thanks.

  3. Ric says:

    Maybe in My Blue Heaven Patrick will walk out of the shower and realise that this whole season has been a dream

  4. Adel says:

    RJ, bigger than life mysterious character with connections all over the FBI, CIA, government, etc…, is a little wimpy sheriff. It was an extremely lazy and almost thoughtless conclusion for a deceiving plot.

  5. “He confessed to murder Red John would never break like that not even as an act”. – Jane about Smithe not being Red John. What is the point of this dialogue if he ended up being like that in the final episode.

  6. Well he didn’t confess but he was shown as someone who would how should I say it… “break” and quite easily as well.”

    • prish says:

      He was just bursting to brag, then Jane cut him off. That was real life. Mysteries are not real life, they are stories. For the story to work, they need RJ to rant his bragging reveals.

  7. prish says:

    I, finally, figured out what went wrong and how they can make it up to the fans. Obviously, someone with mystery writing experience was not in a position of power. Mystery writing 101: the last scene always has the guilty person tell how it was done and why. That does not reflect real life. In real life this never happens. However, for a mystery story to work, it is a scene that has to be written and included for the audience. They need to rework and/or add to the church and flight scenes, then release the “extended” scenes in the DVD release.

  8. mrsdp says:

    Frankly, I liked the Mentalist when it was Jane being clever solving crimes in his unconventional little way. When the episodes began to focus more on RJ and less on the individual crime investigations I got bored. I found the initial catalyst of Red John prompting Jane’s introspection and life change (con man to crime solver) intriguing. However, the focus on finding RJ and the more and preposterous, almost super-villian quality to him became just eye-rolling for me. I found myself watching less and less as the story line focused more and more on Red John and Jane’s bloodthirst. I get his desire to ID the killer and bring him down – I just didn’t enjoy those focused episodes. I’d have rather they got that mess of RJ out of the way much sooner. REgardless of how it ended, I’m just relieved it did. I’m hoping to go back to the ‘good’ old shows now and see what made the whole thing worth watching.

    Further, I’m glad RJ wasn’t Stilles (spelled right?) That was just too “neat” of a fit. Too expected. Of course the whack-a-doodle running a cult is nuts. But being a cult leading nutjob doesn’t mean you’re also a blood thirsty, cold-hearted murderer. Nor do I take issue with RJ being a sniveling, coward in the end. I’m wondering if those seeking more – more genius, more charming, more whatever – weren’t spoiled by a world with Hannibal Lector’s stories in it. Clarice is the rare bird to get herself such a true, psychopath. All too often the murdering freak is really just the guy/girl next door that you’d never have guessed.

    • jack says:

      I agree. When Jane killed the guy he thought was RJ, I was totally happy to have the show go back to focusing on Jane and gang solving murders. It seems many shows have to have this back story running at the same time the main characters are solving crimes every week. Same theme in Burn Notice, Person of Interest, and even A-team if you want to go that far back.

  9. Redtrees says:

    “Pigeons are very friendly, amendable creatures,” Heller says. “It’s quite easy to kidnap one from a park, if you want to try it!”

    What. This is the man writing the script for Gotham? No. Please no. Nooooooooo.

  10. barbara says:

    after all the seasons of rj i think we were shortchanged. the acting was good but too many unanswered questions. the ending too easy. the pigeon it was like watching penn and teller. i mean really i no patrick did this stuff befor but ridiculous. the lady in the church who didn’t see that coming

  11. Orion says:

    Episodes 6/6 through 6/8 led to the demise of the Red John finale. It may be a fictional crime drama. However, right up until 6/6 Heller managed to keep it more or less realistic. Then the show completely started to become unhinged, and flying beyond our own solar system. If Victoria Princpal can spend an entire season of “Dallas” engaged in a dream, the least Heller could have done is put Jane in a belladonna (season five) relapse until he got his writing act rationally together, and took it to the only suspect everything prior to that fit, including the brief descriptions of Sopie and Rosalind. By the beginning of season four the exact suspect was already becoming so obvious though still managing to hide in plain sight very easily. The saga was not only about Jane. Jane didn’t enter the saga until 5 years after Red John started his serial killing, plus, at least murders as far back as 1988. The saga was about both of the. Heller uses the analogy of Ahab vs. the whale, then completely ignored what started Ahab’s revenge against the whale. Heller blew his own saga, and has no one else to blame.

  12. Jamie says:

    How about something even goofier- have 5 different endings when the DVD comes out- 1 for each suspected RJ- then we can choose which ending we like best. One of them would have to be better than Sunday’s crapola.

  13. susan stevens says:

    I thought the ending was good! Satisfied that he finally killed red John. I wasn’t disappointed in the ending at all. I love all the actor’s in this programme and thought they were all really enjoyable to watch especially jane! The fact that there are more episodes is even better and I look forward to watching them. Everyone on here is leaving a negative review and i don’t understand why. Love The Mentalist, great show, great ending sad to see it all end. :D

    • Well, speaking only for myself, the reason *I’M* leaving a negative review is because Bruno Heller took us on a 5+ season ride, filled with excitement and intrigue about Red John, and gave the story line one of the most lackluster conclusions possible. It was well acted but very poorly written.

  14. Bruno Heller cheated and he does not even seem to care. NONE of the clues we were given about Red John fit McAllister at all. NOTHING was given to make it even remotely believable that McAllister had the charisma and capability to pull off creating a nationwide secret society. To add FURTHER insult to it, Heller has now gone on record as saying it was only in the past couple of seasons that he picked McAllister to be Red John. WHAT????????????? Going into this series he had not already worked out who he would make Red John??? Seriously????
    I for one do not reward bad behavior (or in this case, bad writing) so I will join the many who have also chosen to stop watching the show.
    Welcome to dramatically decreased ratings, Mr. Heller, you definitely earned it!

    • C. Ambrose says:

      I agree with Michael Bishop Emery. Unfortunately, I still want to watch it to see if the show can get better. However, I suspect I will lose interest and stop watching also.

  15. Rena Kramer says:

    Creators want us to believe that such interesting people like Lorelei, or this blind woman, or many other women would gladly do anything, die happy with shining eyes for such a dull, boring man? His eyes don’t promise anything at all, except being chained to stove making dinners for all Blake society. And these women show, btw, that RJ had some kind of sick-intimate, body or soul, relation with all of them, so RJ can’t be a woman, unfortunately. this Visualize man would be ok, he was interesting, secretive, but the sheriff… two huge fails in one year, Dexter ending and this. you shouldn’t go on if you have nothing to say. also unfortunately in my head are imbedded now Jane with pigeon (pockets patted before, and yes, i’ve had a pigeon in my hands) and Dexter burying sister in water. writers should feel ashamed. And really, cops reading Blake? What next, Genji Monogatari Association?

  16. Jessy says:

    As much as I adore Patrick Jane and the writing on the show up until the last two episodes, all of the back story, clues, implications, etc, even the smiley face for pete’s sakes…..say that RedJohn could only have been Patrick Jane. He has multiple personalities, has been confirmed as a psychopath and has all the skills, seduction, charisma and traits to be him.
    You can actually see him change personalities before your eyes sometimes….look at what happened to him when his favorite blue cup shattered…..I mean, come on!!! I’m a writer and in my mind Jane has always been Red John. I don’t think he knew it. Look at all the personas he has exited on the show. Deep inside he’s been helping the police and getting rid of his enemies and the people who have been investigating him at the same time as well as trying to do penance for the evil that he is realizing lives inside him. His childhood, the fraud his dad made him do, etc, it all warped him. Not only that, but it’s pretty obvious that Jane actually does have physic powers as well as being a genius with an incredible memory. Jane is the only answer. The sheriff is just another RedJohn wannabe. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!! lol

    • Jessy says:

      Sorry, found two typos……….the word should be exhibited and the other…psychic sorry…

    • Rena Kramer says:

      agree, Jane could have been best RJ (RJ likes tea from nice cup, I remember from old episodes) but too many clues we were given later are wrong then… many of them could be explained probably, except one – there was an episode, when RJ killed smb, and Jane spent all that time laying on couch. Only one thing worse than it is now would be Jane and Lisbon in bed.

  17. Rumzt says:

    I just want to say that if Bruno Heller had written for the series Lost then the world would be a much better place today!

  18. Mikias says:

    It is a nice film but I think patrick jane(simon baker) is red jhon

  19. Bruce K says:

    Not a single person has noted how VanPelt paid no attention whatsoever to her injured husband, bursting onto the scene with the sole intention of finishing the killing that had been botched. Why on earth would this story line of VanPelt becoming a computer whiz be drawn?
    VanPelt’s and her TV husband’s character will be leaving the show at the end of the season? That will be the true end, when VanPelt returns to kill Jane and her husband will return the favor which VanPelt visited upon her last boyfriend by killing her, his wife. THAT would be an ending.

  20. IdahoFallsGirl says:

    Still confused about McAllister aka Red John. Re-watched Red hair and silver tape just yesterday. Jane and him were never seen shaking hands in that episode…..But didn’t Lorelei mention just that? That they didn’t get friends from the moment they shook hands? Leaves me thinking,,,,is it truly over?

  21. Savannah says:

    Yeah i thought i would know where he would run off to hes so gorge i love him hes great i thought lisbon and jane had a chance together

  22. Savannah says:

    I love your website ive watched every episode of the mentalist but not the last one now i know what to expect
    Dont ever stop doing it thank you

  23. StJohn the grate speller says:

    Out of all the 7 RJ suspects, I would confidently say that McAllister was the least charismatic and least likely to be RJ, what a disappointment. Brett Partridge would have been the best RJ, I mean he LOOKS evil + sadistic and he would have been the criminal profiler for himself! That would be an awesome twist

    • Hope says:

      There is no twist in Partridge being RJ — he was obvious, the 21st century equivalent of “the Butler did it” which basically means that the writer isn’t creative enough to choose someone other than the person who was there from the start looking and acting obviously “creepy” [a writing technique that’s not a technique called the “ass pull,” you know, like pulling one out of your ass]

  24. Hope says:

    Heller says you can’t just go killing people “willy nilly?” Seriously? That’s all they DO on this show…people die and no one cares! Has ANYONE said one word about Partridge, Kirkland, Haffner or Stiles? No! Jane killed Timothy Carter [just IN CASE he was RJ] — and he was a sleaze bag, yes, but Jane’s a little trigger and throat squeezing happy for a guy who is NOT a trained cop.

    AND PLEASE HELLER — Jane strangling McAllister WAS NOT SATISFYING at all — it looked like he was ejaculating over the guy — I would rather McAllister LIVED and we got some damn answers to all the years of clues we the audience want closure, too!!

    But therein lies the rub, right? McAllister wasn’t really Red John..

  25. gilou says:

    watch redjohn the final chapter at 36 min and find bret stiles.

  26. Michele says:

    It would have been fantastic to see the final episode, but for some reason it was not shown here.after watching the rest of the episodes, it was very disappointing, I hope in future we see all through to the end.

  27. jack says:

    I thought RJ had a fear of heights? ‘Earlier PJ was rescued on the high roof by the sheriff, thus supposedly proving he wasn’t RJ?

  28. Miriam says:

    Thank heaven they have killed of Red John. I don’t know why they think that they need an ongoing story-line to keep people interested. I find it a very contrived device and I had been on the verge of giving up on the Mentalist. The stories for each episode are good enough to hold the interest of the viewer. Why not just develop the stories in each episode a bit more and leave the rest out of it. I just hope that they don’t turn to the next contrived device and turn it into another soap opera. I will definitely turn it off it they do that which would be a shame because it is a good cast and concept.

  29. Jimmy long massive shlong says:

    The sheriff is not red john!!! Think guys, think! The real Red John is Ron Jeremy. Reason is he bangs so much babes til his John goes raw red, hence the name red john. Hope this answers your questions guys.

  30. Jimmy long massive shlong says:

    Type ‘YES’ if you agree!!

  31. netty says:

    I somewhat like the sheriff being Red John. However i would have LOVED it if Jane got ot wrong again. I wish it was the woman with the knife, makes it interesting if the serial killer was a woman, plus the Red John hunt could keep going on for the next season since its what most people loved about. But Heller says the new season is The Mentalist minus RJ, let down!! I can’t see how interesting the new season be unless another serial killer maybe RJ’s evil twin brother kills someone close to Jane…

  32. VIKAS says:

    The way Red John chapter has been ended. It reminds me the way LOST last season gets end.

    Expected lots from both TV series but disappointed.

  33. Qasim says:

    Well, Excellent show….
    The only men that can be Red John was Bret Stiles………his people followed him blindly………
    All the description of Red John matches Bret Stiles………………
    But nevertheless, Jane got his revenge…he saved the day, killed the bad guy and got the girl in the end…….

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  35. Adarsh Nair says:

    I dont think McAllister fits as RED JOHN at all,, RED JOHN should be one who is always with Jane and the odds leads to only one person TERESA LISBON. She would be perfect as RED JOHN . Jane always thinks he know Lisbon and trusts her,, Lisbon always acts dumb as she has no skills at all to solve a case . But she is too clever. I think that the fitting end would be that Lisbon hypnotised McAallister of being thinking himself as RED JOHN and finally in season 7 Lisbon kills Jane to end the RED JOHN saga and of course The Mentalist.

  36. redjohn0678 says:

    Should of brought Red John back for series finale. Patrick’s long lost half brother trained by his pissed off dad and Thomas McAllister was just a good right hand man. The real Red John just pulled off another am dead until am Lazarus re-creating the beautiful past once created and then dieing a legend in your memory of suffering especially with the pregnancy.

  37. André Jansen Van Vuuren says:

    In which season did this take place?