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The Mentalist Review: Who Is Patrick Jane?

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Cho's statement below is at the crux of "Fugue in Red." Is Patrick Jane a better man because his family was brutally murdered? Certainly Cho believes it's true and it's hard to argue. 

Cho: Don't take this the wrong way but the death of Jane's family made him a better person. | permalink

Prior to those tragic events, Jane was an egotistical conman. He took people's money under the ruse of speaking to their dead loved ones. He duped desperate lonely folks by telling them the lies they wanted to hear and Jane was good at it.

How good? As Teresa said, he did a cold read on her that would have been very convincing if Lisbon hadn't known better and it was based on only vague memories and her minute body language. Patrick Jane has a talent for reading people and before his family was killed, he certainly wasn't using it for good.

Jane on the Mic

Does that make him a bad man? It definitely gives him some seriously unlikable qualities, but I'm with Lisbon. I believe there's a better part to Jane, that he is more than his many flaws. That he's also the man his wife and daughter knew and loved. 

As much as the murder of his family pushed Jane out of his corrupt lifestyle, it also pushed him into a darkness that haunts him to this day. The only people he probably ever truly loved are dead. His driving force is to kill the man who made that happen and Patrick Jane has killed once trying to attain that goal.

But in the middle of all of that darkness he found an unexpected friend.

Lisbon: Jane needs something to hold on to and we're going to give it to him. | permalink

Teresa Lisbon believes the best in Patrick Jane. That doesn't mean she's naive. She knows he's a conman. She knows what he's capable of but she sees the good with the bad and she's not about to give up on him. Lisbon has hope that someday, Jane will find some peace and in that hope she's given him a home at the CBI and a far superior way of using his talents.

The other intriguing question that comes from Cho and Jane's conversation concerns Jane's feelings about his CBI colleagues. Does he like them? 

I'm with Cho on this one. I don't think he dislikes them but I also think he could walk away from the team in a minute and never look back. All but Lisbon.

Jane can walk away from Lisbon but she's left her mark. She may be his one true friend. That's why he teases her, pushes her buttons, and subtlety looks after her. 

Jane needs a friend and Lisbon isn't walking away, even when he asks her to. Even when he pleads "I'm happy now.  Just let me be happy." Ouch. How that must have hurt.

That's what made that final scene so difficult to watch. It's the pain on Teresa's face as she walks her friend through the house full of ghosts, knowing that once he walks through that door his imaginary happiness will disappear forever.

But she knows that when those horrible images come rushing back, he shouldn't be alone and that he'll never find true happiness living a lie.

Who is Patrick Jane? Teresa Lisbon believes he's a better man. Do you?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (167 Votes)

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

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Best show ever

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I want lisbon and jane to fall in love. who else knows him better tha she does? Besides bringing in a new love intrest would ruin the magic between them.You let the fans think they will get together because of their interaction with each other.That would not only ruin the series. But also the reruns. So think about that. Wbo wants to watch reuns knowing they will not get together. I know I wouldn't.

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The writing for season 4 seems a whole lot better than the previous seasons. I like that the types of cases are more varied. I thought season 3 was a little too heavy. About this particular episode-wonderful analysis btw, Well caught and very nuanced - The part that really gets me though is that Jane is finally happy! Why would Lisbon take that away from him? Even if it is a false happiness, after 3 seasons of seeing Patrick berate himself for his wife's killing, I would think he deserves this respite from the past...

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Hi everyone, just signed up to the site. Normally my favorites are the Red John episodes, but this one was awesome. I don't feel like Patrick was really a bad person before, he was only doing what his father had taught him. The scene at the end was well done, and I liked seing Jane not have a melancholy outlook.

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In any case I really enjoyed the surreal touch of the episode and the inside in Jane's twisted past and mind. That makes clear that he's looking, not really for revenge, but redemption from what he's done and from who he was. And, again in any case, This redemption I feel it relies in the journey chasing Red John, but, above all, relies in Lisbon. The woman who Saves him and Opens his eyes (both in this episode). I think she, in particular, will represent his newfound family, and this time he will save this family from Red John, whoever he is :)

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I agree with the punctual analysis. Completely. But what really intrigues me is the question intriducing this discussion: Who is Patrick Jane?
Now..maybe I'm allucinating, but when I read the question, I found that this is the real core of the story and the mistery. And the immediate answer was that Patrick Jane IS Red John. Am I the only one who sees the connection between those two? Beginning in episode 1 with the paper frog, to the resemblance of the smiley with patrick face, till the story of the journalist obsessed with the capture of his personal serial killer just to find out in the the end that he himself is that said serial killer...I could go on..In this light I can explain in a bit the two sides of Jane. He is a good man and he is also an amoral sociopath. I don't know, maybe they are hinting at it, and I'm following clues, just to find out that Red John is in fact someone strictly related to Jane (in this case I would guess a woman), or it's really him.

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Great review despite the oopsies. Going back to the R.J. arc, the often use of W.Blake's poetry is quite true in this episode, the lamb and the tiger, without good there is evil and in life there is death is quite obvious in Jane's double personality. Both sides came together and Baker once again proved to be in perfect control, from the underwater death to grabbing Lisbon's derriere, and the quiet angst at the open door. Notice too how his house has begun to show the sadness that also lurks in Jane's life, nice touch. The writing is getting better. Keep it up.

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I'm not so sure the first "read" of Jane was just a con...

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Well, in this episode, Jane is traumatized by an attempt on his life, so it won't do to say this is the "old Jane." It might be, or it might be a worse version. Even in his old life, he cared deeply for his family, so perhaps he wasn't as thoroughly disreputable as this episode suggests, and he certainly wouldn't have bought an expensive bracelet for a bimbo he'd just met. But I do agree about Lisbon: she's grown. She obviously cares about Jane - witness her reaction when she found him in the pond - and knowing him has certainly made her more skeptical. If he had done the same cold reading on her when they first met, she would have wondered if he really had psychic powers. Now she sees it for what it is.

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Patrick Jane is probably a nicer person since his family was killed; however, I still don't like him. He gets too much pleasure out of humiliating and embarrassing people, whether suspects or victims. I like the main characters in the show at CBI, and the plots are interesting, but I just wish Jane's character was more caring about people's feelings. There is a fine line between joking and hurting people, and I think Jane's character hurts people because he likes it. Whether that is the interpretation of the actor or the writer, I don't know.