The Mentalist Review: A Desperate Grief

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The one thing that The Mentalist never lets us forget is that Patrick Jane is a tortured soul. "Devil's Cherry" drove that point home.

At the start, I couldn't believe that Jane would make tea in the victim's kitchen. He's been at enough crime scenes to know better, but Jane wasn't himself here.  Lorelei's disappearance looked like it sent him spiraling into depression and, as Cho said, who could blame him? He went deep undercover for six months only to have his one lead to Red John stolen from him. 

After 10 years of chasing a mad man, Jane is no closer to finding him - and perhaps too close to going mad himself.

How Will Jane React?

The hallucination sequence was a lot of fun. Seeing the pot lid jump had me doing the same and I enjoyed the delay on revealing the contents. I knew something was up when Jane started chasing the bunny. When he passed the couple dressed as garden gnomes, I figured this was either a dream or a drug-induced hallucination.

Obviously, I was correct on the latter but I have one question: How could Jane have taken that walk if he passed out on the kitchen floor?

However, I'm willing to let that question go to get to the heart of the episode... and that heart was Charlotte.

I liked that Charlotte had sprung from Jane's subconscious and wasn't yet another Red John plot. Yet, at the same time, it made me ache for Patrick. He longed to see his daughter so badly that his mind conjured her the first chance it had.

Their father/daughter conversations were really fun, as she berated him with teenage snarkiness and he told her to stop rolling her eyes. But it was Charlotte shining a light on Jane's empty life that was the most touching, as she told him in this The Mentalist quote...

 I've been dead for 10 years and you're still stuck in neutral. | permalink

Deep down inside, Jane was questioning what's fueling his obsession with Red John and whether sacrificing his own life to catch the serial killer was really worth it.  Make no mistake, Jane has sacrificed his life for Red John. It's been a decade and this obsession has become his life. The image of Charlotte tried to show him how sad and unnecessary that is.

The look on Jane's face when Charlotte disappeared was heart shattering. It was as though someone had ripped open a barely healed wound. His overwhelming grief was there to consume him once again.

This episode had some other interesting moments. Like when Jane told his daughter that Lisbon was the one person that really knew him and soon after he told Teresa that she could call him Patrick. Both were small moments but telling ones of his awareness of his feelings for Lisbon.

And the killer was... evil doesn't seem to cover it.  She drugged a man and made him saw himself to death while she watched! Horrifying evil is the only term I can come up with to describe it.

This episode was filled with wacky tea, butterflies, bunnies, garden gnomes and eagle's claws. All of it was great fun and kept me guessing. Then the end came and I was left to wonder if Patrick added the bella donna to his tea. I couldn't blame him if he did because I don't want to imagine that kind of desperate, gnawing pain. 

But if he did add the drug, he won't be able to stop and that could lead to a very dark and dangerous season of The Mentalist.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (190 Votes)

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


very interesting thoughts about who RJ could be, it would be intriguing if he was an older half brother or something like that.There was a part of me that thought for a brief second that Jane was mentally ill and he was in fact red john in some inner turmoil sherlock/moriarty jekyll/hyde senario but i doubt that is the case. I think the show can only really go two ways, with either Red John dead or Jane dead. As much as I adore Jane I think a lot of shows choose the easy way out, it would be good if he was killed off saving Lisbon or even Rigby's son from Red John. But I guess we'll see.


Rationalgal, I don't think Jane is Red John. I think it's his father or someone else in his family. You could be right about the wedding ring. When you get divorced you take the ring off. When someone dies you uaually keep it on.


Good comment about Jane's father wearing a wedding ring but never a mention of Jane's mother. Could she have died is some way that makes Jane's father blame himself, as Jane does now? Did she die when Jane was born or later due to something Jane's father did or didn't do? But Jane's father didn't seem like the type to care that much. Very strange. We really need an episode that shows how Jane's mother fits into his background. I don't think Jane is also Red John altho I can imagine a truly tragic end to this series where he sees himself as just a bad. This series is getting increasingly mysterious. And addictive!


I love this show, Its like a Rubic's Qube!


The tea Jane was drinking at the end of the Devil's Cherry looked like the same tea he drank in the kitchen. They showed the tea close up in both scenes. If this is true, I believe Jane was trying to see his wife and/or daughter. This episode speaks the loudest, its what's what not being said that begs the question. What about Jane's biologicial family? In the episode Throwing Fire, While young Jane and his father were on the Ferris Wheel, you can see in this scene that Jane's father is wearing a wedding ring. Where is Jane's mother and/or sibbings? Could Jane possibly have a evil twin? Has Jane had contact with his father since that episode and what is their relationship now. Red John and Jane show the same attributes, one light and one dark. The writter's of this show can not keep avoiding this question or scenario.


I found the episode where Jane meets up with Charlotte so heartbreaking. I could only think that Jane was using the Belladonna again at the end of the show so he could bring Charlotte back and see her again. So sad. Even though Jane is an absolute wizard at crime solving he is also quite fragile.. at least his mind is. I hope that the writers put Jane and Lisbon together at the end. They definitely belong together.. but then again, I thought Grace and Rigsby belonged together and look how that turned out.


"The Mentalist" is certainly the best version of the Sherlock Holmes story I've ever seen. I watched the latest iteration, "Elementary," one time and may not go back. The Sherlock character drove me nuts with his nervous jerky behavior and rapid-fire talking. It pretty much ruined what seemed otherwise to be a good show for me. And the relationship between Jane and Lisbon has been so engaging and fun to watch with their clever banter. No need for sex here but I'm sure it will come in the end because the two characters seem made for each other and a lot of viewers want to see it. Besides, Jane needs to get his family back and end his loneliness. However, I expect that "sexy" end to be loving hugs and stepped up banter, not the icky groping and clothes removing we are usually subjected to.


People keep asking why there is a need for another Sherlock Holmes-inspired procedural in CBS' lineup. After watching this episode, I'm inclined to agree because MENTALIST continues to find more intriguing ways to explore its Sherlock, Patrick Jane. Lisbon is truly Holmes to Jane's Sherlock. They don't need to be romantically involved to complete each other. Can't they just be platonic best friends? Jane seems to need that more than any sexual relationship. BTW, I think his Irene Adler was the woman from last season who escaped to an island paradise. She was played by Morena Baccarin. I don't think Jane will monkey around with belladonna any more, even if it was implied by the final scene, because it's poisonous. A less toxic hallucinogen, like marijuana, perhaps.


While I REALLY don't hope this is the last season of the Mentalist, it very well could be. Mr. Heller is saying that we will get huge clues in the Red John case and come very close to solving him. If they don't solve him this year, then what? You have all these huge clues and you have to go through another whole year before finally catching him the last episode of the series in season 6? Doesn't seem plausible. It's pretty telling how much they've leaked with this whole big Red John clues this year and kept it all vague. I get the idea of the hallucinations, I just think you shouldn't be waiting until near the end of the series to start asking these questions. This idea of what's the point in doing all this and would it really make his family happy should have been posed much earlier. There were so many episodes the first 4 years that were just random cases that were forgotten about after they were done, they definitely had the time and room to go into this, but they didn't. Like I said though, my rating of this episode will hinge on how they develop(or don't) these ideas in coming episodes.


It seems fairly clear that CBS intends this to be the last season for The Mentalist. The shift to Sunday night was possibly OK but with the start time depending on when that f---ing baseball or football game or whatever it is ends has screwed things up royally. Obviously CBS doesn't care. As for this absolutely superior series, things should crank up dramatically from now on. Lots of loose ends to wrap up. Yes, RJ has outsmarted Jane every time and Jane's hallucinations are telling him he needs to come to terms with this. His family is lost to him permanently and all the belladonna in the world won't bring them back. As soon as they do another episode with Brett Stiles, it should become clear where the show is heading. Stiles is either RJ or his 1st in command. There are many "Red Johns" who do the killing. It may be that Timothy Carter is the particular "Red John" who killed Jane's family. That should help Jane keep his sanity. Right now, he's losing it.

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The Mentalist Season 5 Episode 2 Quotes

How can I know what I know will help you?


Same as it ever was, more bodies, more death.