The Mentalist: Season 6 catch-up

Lots of spoilers for the opening 4 episodes of season six - read something else if you don't want em!

The end of season five left us with the knowledge that Patrick Jane had whittled down the possible identity of Red John to seven men after Lorelei had revealed to him that not only had he met him, but that he had shaken hands with the man who murdered his family. Jane, who has undergone a nervous breakdown, exile, incarceration and been in constant mortal fear for himself and the ones he cares for, was that close to revealing the monster.imageJane reveals the list of names to Lisbon but tells her not to share it with her team. Of course, it slips out first to Grace, then to boyfriend Wayne and finally to Kimball Cho. Scarily, Red John himself gets in touch to demonstrate his reach and outlines the whole list: the cult leader Brett Stiles, CBI director Gale Bertram, cult security guy Ray Haffner, FBI agent Reede Smith, Homeland Security Chief Robert Kirkland, Sheriff Thomas McAllister and CSI forensics investigator Brett Partridge.

By the end of episode 1 of this new season, the last name is dead, Lisbon has Red John's signature painted on her unconscious face and the gauntlet is thrown down to Jane. Red John will start killing again and Jane won't stop him until he finally catches him. Into Episode two and Jane starts to unravel how his nemesis has kept ahead of him by inveigling his way into Jane's ex-therapists life. After her murder, Jane discovers her audio tapes recording her thoughts on her sessions with Red John where it is suggested that he has a phobia.imageIn the third episode, Thomas McAllister is under Jane's microscope as a case pops up in his jurisdiction and the team probe his alleged fear of heights. Meanwhile Wayne and Grace tie the knot and their happiness rather worries you given where the hunt for Red John is going - getting married at this point is a bit like wearing a red jersey in the original Star Trek. Interestingly, it's McAllister who saves Jane's hide in the conclusion on the church roof....

Episode 4 which is all we have got to in the UK, turns our attention to Robert Kirkland and Reede Smith who loom large as a false Red John suspect list completed by Jane falls into the wrong hands. Soon members of the list, including previous villains from the series, are dropping off like flies showing signs of mutilation and torture and Smith, in charge of the case, is looking to pin it all on Jane. The truth is that Kirkland is making his own search for Red John and when Jane tries to stop him, he will start to torture him for all he knows as well. Kirkland is caught and then under Smiths watch, murdered.imageAnd then there were 5 and episode 5 will yield information that leads Jane to believe that he has finally got his man.....

Obviously, this final bringing of matters to a head is rendering the murder of the week format rather redundant, and it's not before time. It's been suggested this will be the last season of The Mentalist and the writers seem keen to pull the story to pieces and throw characters to the wolves, and after 5 seasons of pussyfooting this is so welcome. The carnage as Jane bulldozes to a conclusion is likely to be more entertaining than the final resolution of the Red John mystery and I have to say it's a shot in the arm for a tired network programme that once ruled the ratings....



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