The Mentalist Review: Blowing Red Smoke
Could Bret Stiles be Red John? Or just one giant red herring? "His Thoughts Were Red Thoughts" had Patrick Jane and his favorite cult leader circling one another yet again and what fun it was.
Stiles and Jane took shots at one another like a couple of prize fighters. Stiles certainly made it his business to know a lot about Patrick Jane. He knew that Jane had used Red John to take down the San Joaquin killer. He knew Rosalind was under protective custody with the FBI and, of course, he knew that Jane had shot a man he had claimed was Red John.
Stiles poked and prodded at Jane mercilessly, even comparing him to the Sorcerer's Apprentice who had woken up a power he could not control. On that count he might just be right.
He even took a shot at Lisbon and tried to turn her against Jane. It didn't work. As a matter of fact Lisbon trusted Jane so much that she didn't even tell him not to cause trouble when he went to the Visualize campus alone. She simply accepted that he had a plan. It wasn't all that long ago she would have insisted on baby sitting her consultant. These two have come a long way over the past year.
Lisbon saw right through Stiles tactics but I was beginning to worry about Grace.
The Visualize cult leader compared her to a little bird who had fallen out of a nest. Grace has been floundering all season and seemed vulnerable to Stile's advances. I was proud of her that she didn't fall for his charms, despite the kiss.
Grace was definitely playing on the edge with Stiles in a way she never would have had the guts to in seasons past. How strong she's become, or how far she'll push that edge, are in question - but I look forward to finding the answers. Grace Van Pelt just got a whole lot more interesting.
As for the murderer, I knew it had to be one of two people based on the actors who played them. I'm a big fan of Robert Picardo (Jason Cooper) and was a little surprised his role was so small. When it became obvious that Jason was far too weak to commit murder that left only one other viable option.
Nora Hill - played by Louise Lombard, formerly of CSI - certainly had more backbone than Cooper. Anyone who carries a hammer around in her purse in case of trouble shouldn't be messed with.
Guilty or no, Stiles kept things interesting. Besides knowing an awful lot about Red John's interactions with Jane, he also threw out a lot of red references throughout the episode. Grace's red cloud of anger. Picturing the red smoke leaving your body. Were these meant to be clues to his true identity or just another Red John red herring?
Once again, Bret Stiles walked out the doors of the CBI and back to lead his crazy cult, but this time he owes Patrick Jane for his freedom. How do you think Jane will collect?
The Mentalist: "His Thoughts Were Red Thoughts"
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.