Finally the new season of THE MENTALIST has arrived. It was a long wait, especially with all the spoilers we were teased with over the summer – and the promise that this season will be a breathtaking rollercoaster. Well, looking at the season premiere, they once again seem to keep their promises.
One of the things that was obvious already last season, and is now said, is that the video was of course made pre Lorelei’s death – which was two months before Jane and Lisbon got to see the DVD. Consequently, that means that Red John knew which names Jane would come up with before Jane himself.
Woah. Before Jane? Then how did he know?
Bruno Heller has clearly stated that Jane is NOT RJ. Okay, so Jane could have schizophrenia, multiple personalities or anything, making Patrick Jane as such innocent, whereas another one of his personas could be Red John. But I assume that someone, at some point would have realized that something’s really not right with Jane. Usually you can’t control MPD; you can’t decide which persona is active.
The only other thing I can think of is that RJ somehow managed to plant the idea – the names – in Jane’s head. It sounds improbable, what with Jane being one for mind games himself, but it’s still not entirely impossible. It’s nothing new that RJ is playing games with Jane; this killer is obsessive and a manic, and this is about so much more than simply killing people.
Jane’s behavior throughout the episode is very different from what we’ve seen the past five years; even different from the last year, though here already were changes apparent. His acting around the suspect appeared to me as if he has a death wish since he even provoked him. This is the man who used to run and hide as soon as a situation became even slightly dangerous.
Is he giving up? Does he believe that when he isn’t around anymore RJ will stop what he is doing? It does have a feel of SHERLOCK’s “Reichenbachfall”; only that here it would – could – resolve the issue because suddenly the killer doesn’t have no one to taunt anymore. And I doubt RJ would just find himself a new victim.
And then there is Jane’s behavior towards Lisbon. After the hostage-thing Bertram basically attacks her, and Jane defends her, vehemently. Where usually she always takes the fall for Jane so that he’ll be kept around (or for whatever reason), now he is the one standing in front of her to protect her. And especially the latter seems to become some sort of theme for those two; just as Jane promised a few seasons ago. He would always protect her.
When Lisbon wants to tell the rest of the team, Jane once again forbids it by telling her that everyone who knows about the list with the seven suspect names will be in danger – “I shouldn’t even have told you.” He’s now regretting he kept her in, let her know everything. Not because he doesn’t trust her, but because he’s honestly scared something could happen to her.
His changed attitude towards Lisbon – more… clingy, for the lack of a better word – furthermore becomes clear when they argue about Lisbon’s revelation of the names to Grace. I think this may just have been their first real, emotionally loaded argument. They’ve never been this close before, and suddenly what they say and do appears different and so much more important. Lisbon’s anger leads her to leave Jane behind. More curious though, this leads Jane to follow her. Actually follow by running to her car, yelling in hopes she would stop. Afterwards, we see him calling her several times, obviously with the intention of apologizing, and really, that wouldn’t even have surprised me.
It comes down to one simple fact: Jane needs Lisbon. He doesn’t want her to know what she does now, because she is in danger because of it and he cares too much to face the possibility of losing her. And she is his only true confidant; the only one he knows he can trust and rely on, as much as the team seems to be on his side as well. I think if anyone else, including the team, would betray him it would shock him, but he could live with it. Lisbon though… for a moment, when he learns she told Grace the names, he is sincerely disappointed. It shows how much he has come to think of her as a partner, and not the boss anymore she used to be. A partner, and a friend, a very close friend. And one day maybe more.
And then comes the ending. Oh dear. For those who had seen the trailers and read spoilers it wasn’t really news that RJ would have Lisbon at the end of the episode. Still… how he called Jane to tell him what has happened, and the horror on Jane’s face… And then there is RJ – or one of his minions? – painting Lisbon’s face with Partridge’s with his trademark, so to speak.
And of course Lisbon’s reason for going alone: Partridge, one of the Seven, had been located there by one of Grace’s bugs, and afraid that RJ could be gone before back up arrives, she went in alone into the run-down house. Partridge was there, almost dead, and whispered only the by now well-known words “Tyger, Tyger”.
I think it was then when it became clear that not one of the Seven is Red John. They are all RJ, or at least part of the killer’s network. I still think that there is either a powerful ruler of a big criminal network who will be identified as RJ, or it is some kind of organization. However, both theories make me wonder why they then kill random people, and that with a certain ritual murder? That doesn’t make sense to me yet.
On a side note, Rigsby/Van Pelt is continued, and when Grace became all secretive about the list, I knew that some conflict would arise. I was actually expecting some jealousy; that she instead just right away told Wayne surprised me a bit, but I assume they need that for the further story development.
Also, I laughed when Rigsby said that he had to tell Cho because he couldn’t leave him to be the only one to not know 😀 I also loved Jane’s resignation when he asked if Cho knows as well, already knowing the answer. The whole scene was brilliant and so funny despite the general dark mood of the episode.
Well, what a start into a new season. This will kill us all, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to it – because this season will be bloody awesome.

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Tags: Grace Van Pelt, Jane/Lisbon, Patrick Jane, Red John, Teresa Lisbon, The Mentalist, Van Pelt/Rigsby, Wayne Rigsby
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