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The Mentalist Review: The Hunt for Volker

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The hunt for Volker intensified on The Mentalist this week... and who knew that a "Little Red Corvette" would take him down?

The murder of Horatio was all the more brutal with Volker standing there watching. The man enjoyed seeing someone die. It didn't even have to be by his hand. It just had to be on his order. That kind of power really seemed to get him off. This guy's a serious sociopath.

Jane & Lisbon On The Run

This was a man who took out entire indigenous tribes when they got in his way. So he had no qualms about killing a little boy. I found it interesting that even Volker's paid enforcers knew that murdering a child was a whole different level of evil. One in which Volker had no problem descending.

I spent the entire episode silently hoping that Marvin was really still alive. Having Jane visit his mother was heartbreaking. Not only does he relate to kids, but he has such intimate knowledge of what this distraught parent was going through that it almost hurt to watch.

The chess game between Lisbon and Volker was only made more intriguing by Jane's involvement. Volker was use to scaring people. Poor Anabelle was shaking as she backed away from him and he loved every tentative step.

But Volker couldn't scare Jane. Another psychopath already took everything he'd ever loved. What's left to be afraid of?

And Jane's one of the few people who could shake up Volker's calm exterior as he called him on his bluff. 

This entire episode had some stellar moments. Lisbon has never been so accepting of bending the rules. She actually used intimidation tactics against a deputy district attorney and out and out lied to a judge to get a warrant. The Teresa Lisbon from a year or two ago never would have done that. 

When Clyde took that phone call from Volker, I knew what he was about to do and it still made me jump when that bus hit him. Even hired killers are scared of somebody.

And what did Volker have on Brenda?!? Not only was she selling out her team at the CBI, but she handed over a little boy to be murdered. Who was he threatening to make her grovel at his feet like that? Will we ever find out?

A couple of side notes…

  • How funny was Rigsby stealing Cho's old soda from his car? That man has no self control around food, or drink.
  • Please let Amanda Righetti have a healthy, happy baby soon. I miss Grace and I'm tired of seeing her behind that desk.
  • Shouldn't Lisbon have had that toy car bagged for evidence? I know Jane isn't very good with those things but I expect more from Teresa.
  • You had to love Volker running through the zoo smacking kids on the back of the head as he searched for Marvin. Too funny.

I loved that Jane got to return Martin to his mother although witnessing such things must still be bittersweet for him.

I'm a little sorry Volker's story came to a close so soon. It was fun seeing Jane and Lisbon team up against someone other than Red John and Volker was equally creepy. Then again, with Volker's connections and influence, perhaps his rein of terror isn't over quite yet.

Review

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

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (151 Votes)

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

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@rationalgal i love your observation about all the red john jack & jills. a lot of fun to think about. if jane suspects brett stiles, i guess they'll have to start laying the pipe to make that work for the audience. which means they'll have to lay multiple pipes that lead us to other people to keep us guessing until the end. i haven't come up with one cohesive argument for who red john is. and i'm asking them to come up with several all woven together. hope they can pull it off. and once again, please don't let them have to. still have fingers and toes crossed for season six.

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@rationalgal: I love these theories your throwing out there, they are alot of fun and take a lot of time clearly and really make us think, and I'm not sure if your just creating deep theories for fun and excitement sake or if your trying to find the most likely candidates since you said your dying to find RJ. But if its the later, Jane's dad and Brett Stiles aren't Red John:) Jane's Dad is way too deep(its a great ex of fans like us looking way too much into the show and over thinking things which by the way is totally fine and the best) and Stiles is WAY to obvious(oh we bring the first guy on the show who says he knows something about RJ, lets just make him RJ). Really, Red John is going to be someone we have no evidence for right now, because that's how the show has set up the plot. Maybe in 2 months, we can make a more educated guess, but if theres one thing we know about this show, what you see isn't what you get.

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(continued) I think Jane suspects as much and is playing it cool to lead Stlles into a trap he can't escape. At least this seems to add up the sparse facts we do have. It's even believable, given that powerful criminal/religious/political organizations/cults do exist in the world and they do get their brainwashed/gullible/trusting memebers to do terrible things. Just not as fun to watch as on The Mentalist.

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@b&w&r thanks for that.

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Continued from below). Now for the accomplices - the many Red Johns. Every one has a woman companion for what it's worth. Rosalind Harker had RJ Roy Tagliaferro, who killed the morgue attendant, after which Rosalind was shown playing the piano with bloody hands. Sally Carter had RJ Timothy Carter and would have helped him kill that girl on the bed if Jane hadn't shot him at the mall. Rebecca had RJ Anonymous CBI Security Guard, whom she greeted with big smiles as he approached and poisoned her. Kristina Frye had RJ Killer of Film Makers sending Kristina's fond "Roll Tide" greetings when Jane was Saran-wrapped to the chair. Lorelei had RJ Limo voice at end of season 4. Did I forget any? I doubt that Stiles was any one of them. He doesn't weild the knife. He's the man behind the curtain, pulling the strings. Why? Like all such killers, just because he can and it make him feel powerful. The Red Johns we see are all brainwashed minions playing their assigned parts. I think Jane suspects as much and is playing it cool to lead Stlles into a trap he can't escape.

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back to lorelei and how the writers have taken us (or at least me) on an emotional ride showing her different dimensions. it would be amazing if they embarked on the same path with red john and started to dimensionalize him more. we know he's a prideful man. literate. accomplished. can display self-control. sexually active. soft-spoken. charismatic. playful. craves attention. enjoys games. if they started to do more with him. my head would explode. and that would be excellent. i think that's the journey the red barn will begin to take us on. doesn't mean i don't want patrick to boil him in oil in the end.
but if i were bruno, i'd challenge the writers to make us feel more conflicted about him. great assignment. has to be something better than "the fuhrer loved children." but that's just me. i always vote for maximum head explosions.

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Since I am obsessed with figuring out who Red John is and especially how he operates, I will try again with this scenario: Red John is Bret Stiles and he has accomplices who act for him. He denies knowing who RJ is but he's dissembling because he means RJ could be many people. An operation like RJ's needs to be large, wealthy, and influential to do all the controlling and infiltrating. That is Visualize, a global network, a brainwashing cult with a smarmy philosophy that appeals to people needing some transcendental comfort even though it's pure b.s. Jane said Stiles never wields the knife himself but has others do his dirty work. Stiles has a history of very likely arranging a murder. The woman on his board who committed murder slapped Stiles and cursed him for making her the person she had become. (continued)

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@huisclothes nailed everything, everything I was thinking and then some was said by her so I'll spare the ramble but basically she showed everything about Lorelei and why it's more complicated with her and not just an issue of being a serial killer. She is a master manipulator, you can literally SEE the Red John influence on her. You couldn't see that with other friends, thats why they concealed their identities. She goes through the pendelum of emotions with Jane, and yes, there's something there with him and her and Bruno acknowledged that. It won't be a relationship, there both there to manipulate each other, but they enjoy each other's company. Its a more complicated friends with benefits kind of thing. And the thing is, we don't even know the half of it, there's going to be alot more twists and turns with it and her, that law enforcement mole and Visualize are the three keys to the Red John storyline. Lorelei is signed on for 3 more episodes, thats alot.

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This discussion shows what's so exceptional about the series. In none other that I know of can the characters be analyzed like this. There just is never enough to go on to even start. I watched Throwing Fire again for a closer look at Jane's father. Yes, he wears his wedding ring, although his wife is long gone (assumed dead - maybe died in childbirth, since Jane never mentions her). He reminds Boy Wonder Jane that he raised him. He seemed like a man who deeply missed his wife, wanted to do right by his son but didn't know how other than to teach him in a clumsy well meaning way to face the reality of what life offers whether one likes it or not. (The year for the episode was, I think, 1986. Isn't that what The Red Barn goes back to? Hmmmm.) Jane seemed to like learning to be a con artist except for scamming a dying young girl. That was over the line for him and has defined his character a lot since then.

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interesting little tidbit. zuleika robinson, who was on homeland with guest star on the mentalist as a scientist studying murderers from a biological point of view.