'Mentalist' ends Red John mystery, plans jump to the future
Since CBS drama “The Mentalist” began in 2008, California Bureau of Investigation consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) has been fixated on finding Red John, the serial killer who murdered his wife and daughter. On Nov. 24, he gets his wish.
Although the Red John story has been central to Jane's character and the series, creator Bruno Heller wanted to examine how its resolution would affect Jane before the series ends, a distinct possibility in May. In the Dec. 1 episode, the sixth-season drama will jump ahead two years.
The Red John story “has been the anchor of the show,” Heller says. “It's been an absolutely necessary (device for) stability, but it's also been something that has held Jane in thrall and made him a darker and more driven and more ambivalent character than he would be otherwise,” he says. “We wanted to see what Jane is like without this burden,” and he's definitely “happier.” Even love is a possibility.
Australian actor Simon Baker, who plays Jane, calls the decision to end the Red John story and jump ahead in time “a bold and risky thing to do,” especially midseason. “I think that makes it fun and interesting.”
Viewers have gotten to play along, as Jane has been whittling down a suspect list, which once stood at seven. Last week, the focus shifted to CBI Director Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston), the subject of an intense manhunt as the Nov. 24 episode opens.
“I thought the list was a great idea,” Baker says. “ It's just a process of elimination in some way. After vamping for so long and giving tidbits of information and then (having) fantastical theories all over the place, to then have something that tangible was very clever.”
That solution to the mystery comes as the CBI Sacramento office is dismantled, after the discovery that it has been infiltrated by a secret society of corrupt law-enforcement officials that includes the serial killer.
“It was really strange to shoot all of that stuff. It felt enormously like we were at the end,” Baker says. “It's very clear that we're striking the whole thing and starting again.”
Baker, who directs the Dec. 1 episode, says viewers will see changes in Jane. “It's a coming-of-age in a way,” he says. “It redefines the relationship between Jane and Lisbon (Robin Tunney) in a real and adult way.”
Baker says there are plenty of stories to tell, post-Red John. “I think that is going to fall on our writers, if they can come up with stuff that's interesting and if we continue to move forward. “We'll give it our best shot.”
Bill Keveney is a staff writer for USA Today.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Money in politics? Look for the union label
- Despres is relishing his regular role on Penguins’ blue line
- Rossi: Pirates plan to carry Hurdle deep into playoffs
- Knife-wielding man attacks 2 in Sheetz lot in Greensburg
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- Council considers regulating all adult business activities
- McKeesport man charged with sexually assaulting girl, 11
- State trooper shot and killed during training exercise
- Franklin Regional stabbing suspect could leave Pa. for treatment
- Coalition kicks off effort to revamp education funding
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy