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.


I'm starting to get tired of Jane underestimating Red John: Jane is always several steps behind. Jane needs to start facing up to the fact that Red John seriously outclasses him. Jane has no hope of catching Red John using his current techniques. The writers, therefore, need to have Jane up his game. Jane could starting collecting useful IOUs and "friends," like he did with Brett Stiles.


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It was a wonderful episode. Jane was so carefree and happy while he was tripping.Thescenes were fun where he was talking to Lisbon and his dead daughter at the same time.Simon Baker is very talented.I hope he wasn't drinking Belladonna tea at the end. That's a slippery slope. I love the show.


Just have to figure out how to get it offered on On Demand! With the schedule changes for both Mentalist & Person Of Interest, I missed them bith but can't watch until reruns. And, Mentalist will always be running of schedulw due to football games...uggh.


Great episode... one of the best of the series. Noted that staying with the red theme.. that Belladonna plant has dark red/purple flowers.


@black white and red -- Because it says you're a new user, you might not know there's a character limit (like near 1000 including spaces). Everyone just divides their thoughts and multi-posts to deal with it. a) I was curious about Lorelei's disappearance, too -- because I thought she disappeared, dead or alive, into Red John's hands, but how they said it makes me wonder if the FBI doesn't have her??? b) the thing about the hallucination was that everything his daughter says and is comes out of his mind -- meaning to me that it's only now he's beginning to question his quest, which makes sense, doesn't it, that he would only start wondering over long enough time??


Solid episode but I think how good this episode ends up being will be a result of how they go from here in terms of the ideas they built up.
a) so what about the whole "lorelei's case is back in the FBI's hands" that Cho mentioned in the beginning? We never got any elaboration on that. Weird cliffhanger.
b) The hallucination was a bit chaotic. The questions raised were of odd timing. Why in season 5 are we finally seeing Jane meet his family and this idea coming across that as Charlotte says "we don't give a damn what happens to Red John, we're dead anyway" or "what happened to you?" "why are you making this your whole life? Your wife would not be happy"? These are things the show should have spent more time expounding upon much earlier. It shouldn't be in season five that we finally see some legitimate doubt that what he's doing isn't what's best for his family. It was only late last season that the idea finally came across that this chase might not be worth it(in terms of Jane showing that he was giving up-----which of course was a ruse but still the idea of it). I wish more ideas like this had been portrayed earlier, and by that I mean hallucinations and shows focused on it, not just conversations with Lisbon or random victims or criminals.
c) Where do they go from here based on the questions raised in this episode? That's why I'm reserving judgment on this episode to an extent. The trend with the Mentalist we see are these emotional episodes that raise questions about his chase for Red John followed by nothing. It's basically thrown under the rug(We never heard another word about the Fugue after the episode last year which is one of many examples). At some point it's not just enough to ask the question of why are you chasing red john, why are you doing what you do in your life, and see Jane emotionally distraught and sitting in his chair in his room by himself, depressed and thinking as the camera fades off. There has to be a next step.


@anitraward! I think he didn't say it with more conviction because part of him wanted it to be true, even if that defies all logic and common sense, hes still a father and will always hope is daughter is not really dead even though he buried her.


Amazing episode! Agree with everything the reviewer had to say!
The tragically torn expression on his face when Charlotte disappeared was indeed heart-breaking. Reminded me of the pain on his face when he saw Rigsby's son's picture, Simon Baker is an exceptional gifted actor and his portrayal of a damaged man in a never-ending cycle of pain is perfectly nuanced.


The show was very good. It did remind me immediately of Alice I'm wonder land. The show was good all the way through. I watched it a few times and only had one problem. It was with Simon baker when he was having the hallucination in the work shop. When baker says no, no charlotte is dead, he said it with a question mark as if charlotte was not dead. I thought he was off his mark here. I thought he should have said it with more conviction. Don't get me wrong, baker is a superb actor. This show is getting better and better. It's starting to have movie like qualities. I'm hoping for one.

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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.