The Mentalist Season Finale Review: Tea with Red John

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Wow! The Mentalist season finale gave us some serious closure on Red John with twists, turns - and an ending I didn't see coming.

I spent most of the episode wondering where the title "Strawberries & Cream" was going to come into play. When it finally did, it all became clear.

It's Red John!

But let's start from the beginning. The episode began with a bang, literally, as an innocent man was blown up by a bomb vest. It was a terrifying scene, as we witnessed the horror on Dinkler's face as the cops approached. He knew he wouldn't survive.

Jane worrying about Lisbon's safety and going to join her at the abandoned high school was sweet. We don't normally see that kind of concern from him.

And the setting of the closed down school at night was very creepy, with its sounds echoing through the hallways, but Lisbon didn't respond to Jane's pleas. Still, I never expected to find her with a bomb strapped to her chest.

I liked that Lisbon's Catholicism was brought into play as she whispered Hail Marys as Patrick drove. She was truly frightened and it was nice to see Jane take control in those moments, letting her know she wasn't alone.

I wondered if La Roche was our mole when he shot Gupta. How did that man get his cuff off and what gun was he going for? I guess we'll never know. The scene was left ambiguous enough for us to question it either way.

And what the heck is in that damn tupperware container in La Roche's safe that he was so willing to hand Jane his suspect list? How bad could it be? If I were Jane, I might break in again just to find out and relieve the curiosity.

The suspect list was not a surprise. I was wondering if they'd throw in someone from our core CBI team, but it didn't happen. The whole set up with the different rooms was a nice bit of suspense but I never really doubted that it was O'Loughlin. I figured he would either be a bad guy in the finale or end up dead. Turned out it was both.

Poor Grace. Confusion and horror crossed her face as her fiance told her he was sorry and he'd grown genuinely fond of her. Ouch. I can only imagine how this will effect her going into next season.  Will it send her into Rigsby's arms or will it leave her closed off from all romantic relationships after being so blatantly betrayed by someone she loved?

I couldn't believe O'Loughlin pulled the locket from her neck just before he died. That was cold. And what's worse was that with Craig dead, she'll never get any answers as to why he targeted her.

The final confrontation between Jane and Red John was well played. Jane finally met the devil, face to face, and there were no horns. I was surprised when I saw Bradley Whitford in the role but pleasantly so. Red John didn't look like the big bad wolf. He was a guy who could be your next door neighbor - and wasn't that what made him so scary? That such evil could appear so completely innocuous?

In the end, I had the same thoughts as Jane. Was this really Red John? But when he told Jane his daughter smelled of "Strawberries & Cream," probably from her shampoo, well, they say that scent is a powerful trigger for memories. You could see those memories play out over Jane's expression. This was the man, the monster that had viciously murdered his family.

As Red John watched Jane's face crumble in grief and sadness, he almost smirked as he turned to walk away. But not so fast. With a "Please, wait" Jane looked Red John in the eye one more time before he shot him three times with the gun hidden in his pocket. Then he calmly sat back down at his table and finished his tea. Vengeance delivered.

Patrick Jane did exactly what he said he'd always do and I was happy to see it.

Where will next season take us? Has the Red John arc completely played out? I don't have the answers but I look forward to the fall out, lamenting the long summer until season four begins. 


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (860 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


((BJ May 20th, 2011 4:18 PM Anyone know the name of the actor who played Gupta and where we have seen him before? Just can't remember)) His name is Ravi kapoor in Croosing jordan (as Dr. Mahesh "Bug" Vijay), (2001-2007)


RJ was played on way to long. Anything new is better!


@ Chief Inspector. I agree that without RJ ther is no Show, but that doesn'mean that this one coldn't be the real RJ. We already knew this is a sort of evil cult, he could have decided to get killed by Jane for some fanatic reason and now the church will regard him as a god and follow his legacy, or maybe he wasn't RJ, but for me RJ wants Jane to become him, he wants that Jane become evile and follows his footsteps.


First, i'd like to say that i'm french so my english is quite bad. In my opinion i think that Red John is not dead, it can't be because it would be too easy, John has been so clever and so brilliant (i don't mean that i like what he has done) and would never has put his/her/self in danger like this. He can't be dead because that means that the serie is over so i think he/she/ is still alive and maybe like some people have said, maybe it's an organisation or many people.


1) What was RJ doing at the mall when O'Laughlin was the mole?...How would he know about the Betram meetup?..Why does RJ even appear anywhere to begin with?...He's been incognito throughout the series...I'm all for tying up a story arc but this was sloppy, IMO 2) When the team saw the assassin in the hotel and apprehended her, how did the rope & pulley harness not suggest that it might not have been the room the killer was targeting?...Seemed pretty elementary that it was going to be a different room 3) We're supposed to believe that RJ would have the Indian gas station attendant pose as the recipient for the CDs from the first bombing victim in this episode?...A bit too 'out in the open' for RJ, isn't it?...Found it very confusing 4) Van Pelt clearly hears something when O'Laughlin kills the police officers but a detective like her (Knowing a killer is out and that he is on the list) doesn't even think twice about it?...Inconsistent 5) A LOT of loose ends were left unaddressed...Not the least of which was the motivation behind O'Laughlin being with RJ and this apparently infinite group he has in employ but what was the point?...And we learn nothing about RJ's network either?...Or why he killed Patrick's wife & child? 6) And we're supposed to accept that Patrick somehow figured out where the Indian gas station attendant was hiding when a bomb was going to go off on Lisbon?...A bit too 'tv' for me 7) What about LaRoach conveniently killing the Indian gas station attendant after being handcuffed and put in the back of a police car?...And somehow he had access to a gun?...Implausible 8) The pillow as a way to distract O'Laughlin (Trained by the FBI) long enough to be shot despite being in control?...Again, implausible I realize many are excited at the possibiity that RJ is indeed done & dusted but I found the eppy very uneven and frankly not up to the standards the show & writers had set earlier in the series...Felt awfully lazy to me


I can't wait to find out next season:
1) What happens to Jane?
2) What is in La Rouche's tupperware?
3) Grace and Rigsby getting back together?
4) Hightower returns or retires
5) What happens to Kristina Frye (psychic). She is currently catatonic and thinks she is dead.
6) Who is Red John after finger[rints identify who he really is and a search of his house. Great show.


Great Reviews and thoughts. COnisider the following: 1)If the heart pendant was indeed a tracking device, than there is no need for O'laughling to go with Grace, since he would already know where she is. 2) Bertram came with Patrick Jane to the mall. Patrick announced "ill drive" 3) Patrick had a listening device on him which Cho could hear. In addition, to many cameras. 4) Red John will have phone call records with Olaughlin. 5) CAn't rule out more than one "mole" 6)Bertram quoted Blake which makes him suspect. 7) Who did Bertram call after Patrick said hightower wanted to turn herself in? 5)


I'm with cheif inspector allll the way. He's got great points and a true mentalist fan see's how the story will play out and how it won't. Of course it wasn't red John,or the show would die with him.


I can't believe some of these people that posted here are mentalist fans . How the hell can you be pleased with that ending ? Are you a real mentalist fan ? The story is dragged ? What is really wrong with you people ? :) The show woulnd't exist without Red John , as Patrick Jane wouldnt hang with the CBI , after he had his revenge . Simple as that ! There would be no interest in watching the show , with Red John gone . RJ is more important than PJ in this show . And by the way , you dont have to be a sound engineer to notest that the voice from the second season's finale [ cold , calm - Real RJ ] , is totally different from this warm deluded fake RJ voice from the third season's finale . Go ahead and compare them ! Besides , Red John wouldnt risk capture like that ... He is as obsessed as Patrick ! He likes to test Patrick , as he did in this last episode , to see if he'd really kill him , but he likes having the advantage , he wouldnt be near Patrick , as he knows Patrick would made him . There are too many loose ends also like The William Blake Poem , Kristina Frye , Brett Stiles , Etc . Besides , Bruno Heller knows he'd have NO SHOW without Red John ! It would be just a plain old cop show ... canceled half a season later . The only advantage this show has over others , is the PJ-RJ sick chemistry .
Peace !


anybody wonder how red john knew jane would be at the food court?

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The Mentalist Season 3 Episode 23 Quotes

Frankly, this is less thrilling than you advertised and possibly wrong.


Jane: If Director Bertram wanted a CBi presence to jump off a cliff would you and your CBI presence jump off that cliff?
Lisbon: If there was overtime, sure.