Second verse, same as the first.
Though I should probably say twentieth, or thirtieth verse, same as the first. “There Will Be Blood” was just like every other Red John episode: Jane comes so very close to finding out who Red John is, only to be thwarted when the only person that knows RJ’s identity is killed. Lisbon threatens to kick Jane off the team before relenting and lying/bending the rules to protect Jane. A shady law enforcement officer inserts their team into the investigation. The viewer starts to suspect someone that’s been around for a while might be Red John or at least in league with him. It’s all very redundant and tedious and, just like every other RJ episode, it gets us nowhere.
The Mentalist is two shows in one. One is a standard CBS procedural with a unique premise and an engaging main character. That show could run for years and years on a network that has perfected the art of the weekly procedural. It’s fun to watch, everything is wrapped up in one episode, the central “will they/won’t they” is dragged out for years and years and there is just enough character development and dramatic personal story lines to fake the viewer into thinking the show is a lot deeper than it really is.
Then there is the dark mini-series about a man on a mission to avenge the death of his wife and child. This main character is a tortured, psychopathic anti-hero but is just sympathetic enough for the viewer to root for his success. Both anti-hero and serial killer are brilliant and engage in a test of intelligence and will until one or the other finally prevails. The story is compact, focused, intense and is wrapped up within six or eight episodes. Imagine The Killing, but the original Swedish version. Or the British series, Wire in the Blood, based on a series of novels, but which wraps up the mystery within each short series.
The problem with The Mentalist is it is trying to be both and failing. The lighter episodes seem out-of-place with the dark side of Jane – how can he turn off what drives and tortures him so easily? The Red John episodes go no where because Bruno Heller has long said when Jane catches RJ, the series will end. Though not as popular as it once was, The Mentalist is still solid in ratings. I doubt CBS wants it to end anytime soon. Since Heller and company have nowhere to go with the Red John story so they continually spin their wheels. Pretending to get Jane closer to his nemesis before yanking the rug out from under him and the viewer. Maybe some viewers don’t mind. Maybe they are happy to float along with nothing to show for five years of faithful viewing. I mind. I feel like I’m being played. And, yes, I will say it: as a faithful viewer, I think I deserve better.
A few episodes ago, Jane told Lisbon he had narrowed down the list of who Red John could be to a few people. At least I think he did. All the non-answers blend together at this point. So, when Jane has YET ANOTHER Red John minion in his grasp, and Red John’s lover as well, why didn’t he ask them specifically about those people? Because that would be too logical and it might actually move the story forward. I hope against hope Heller plans to reveal RJ’s identity at the end of this season. Why else have Jane spend so much of the season (off-screen, of course) remembering every man he’s ever shaken hands with and narrowing down the list to a few people?
But, you know what? I’ve said all of this before. My reviews of The Mentalist have become as redundant as the RJ story line. I say the same thing but nothing ever changes. I tell myself I won’t review the episodes unless something happens yet here I am, complaining about the same problems. I’ll end it the same way I end every review, skeptical about where The Mentalist is going but returning every Sunday night, hopeful this week will be different.
- With The Following’s explicit “serial killer training minions” storyline, I wonder if Heller, CBS and company are shooting themselves for not being a bit more direct about who Red John is and what his “powers” over people are, exactly. Unless Jane turns out to be Red John, any reveal in a similar vein of The Following is going to seem like a copy cat, even though The Mentalist has been coyly using the same idea for five seasons.
- I’ve not always been impressed with Robin Tunney’s portrayal as Teresa Lisbon but this season she has really cranked up the emotion to a 10. It is pretty obvious she is struggling with how she feels about Jane, about how she continually compromises her integrity to protect him, about her jealousy of Jane’s relationship with Lorelei. I’ve always been skeptical of a Jane/Lisbon pairing because I didn’t feel the attraction/chemistry between the two actors. This year, I buy it, in large part because of Tunney’s performance.
- Walking away from Lorelei’s mutilated body: “She had it coming.” Jane is a real SOB sometimes.
- OMG, enough with Rigsby pining for Van Pelt.
- So, why did the woman who Lorelei kill have a nanny cam? She was single and no one mentioned her baby. I must have missed something in the quick explanation of how they got the footage of Lorelei killing the woman. Sloppy story creation and writing.
- Are we supposed to suspect Lisbon’s boss is in concert with Red John, as well as the Homeland Security guy? At this point, who isn’t a minion of Red John?
- So, Lorelei’s sister wrote “Roy” on the ground, but from the explanation we got, it didn’t seem like her sister would have known him well enough to know her killer’s name.