Popstar.com published an episode review for the “The Mentalist” season four finale, 4×24 “The Crimson Hat”. To all Jisbon/Jello fans out there, the author appears to be a huge Jisbon fan either, so it’s definitely worth reading it.
To say that things have been going down-hill for Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) is probably the understatement of the season. And while Red John saturated episode are usually the more intriguing ones of the season, this one didn’t deliver anything new. Well, Jane does get to finally have a sex life, so I guess that’s new. But everything else went so predictably, I’m starting to pray they wrap up the Rd John story line very soon.
This show doesn’t do time jumps often, but it has apparently been 6 months since Jane got fired from the CBI. Now he’s had 6 months to drink, con and basically go back to his Lord of Lies ways. Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and the others haven’t seen nor heard from him, but apparently they also can’t solve too many cases without him either.
The murder of some poor schmuck with no face is hardly relevant to the plot, other than we get to see Lisbon employ a Jane technique to aid a witness’s memory, but at least he’ll be useful later. And it’s nice to see that Lisbon is consumed with worrying for Jane, although we’d expect nothing less.
Jane, meanwhile, has been slumming around Vegas, conning rich guys with his “speak to the dead” act and it comes back to punch him in the face later. Even though we know this is all a ruse because Jane never changes so you have to know that this is all part of his evil plan to lure Red John out) it’s nice to see some consequences come back and hit Jane in the face.
And hey, he manages to get the attention of a busty, cute waitress named Lorelei (Emmanuella Chriqui) who takes an interest in his man!pain and wants to help. And she does help. She helps Jane’s sex life. I don’t know whether to grin or be a little creeped out seeing Jane in post-coital bliss with someone, but at least it’s new. It’s something different from Jane’s character.
Predictably, the bliss doesn’t last because Lorelei is a Red John minion. He wants to welcome little lost sheep, Jane, into The Fold of friendship. And we have to give Jane props for taking the long-con to this extreme to draw Red John out. And of course, he finally lets Lisbon in on the gag. I will say, one of the high points of this episode was the scene in che church. I very much like seeing bits of Lisbon’s character reflected through her faith. And Lisbon calling Jane a “son of a bitch” in a church was very amusing.
I was also happy to see that Red John finally wants Lisbon’s head on a platter. For several seasons now, I’ve been wondering when the Dark Lord would decide to go after the person who arguably means the most to Jane. Now he wants Jane to bring him a piece of Lisbon as a present.
And the drama of that would have been so cool, if the execution of getting the rest of the team involved wasn’t so predictable. Faking Rigsby’s (Owain Yeoman) death was almost funny. Who doesn’t notice that the body is five inches shorter than Rigsby? At least Agent Darcy (Catherine Dent) is paying attention.
If you were expecting any further information on Red John or even, perhaps, a glimpse of the Dark Lord himself, you are in for a disappointment. Because we may never see him. Jane may never catch him. He will forever be hidden behind endless minions.
But the best scene, I’m sorry to say, was the reveal that Agent Wainwright was dead in the back seat of the limo, strapped to a phone through which Red John spoke. Seriously, the CBI has worse luck keeping a SAC agent in charge than Hogwarts’ Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher! It’s a cursed position, and it’s almost getting hilarious.
The sad thing is, I don’t expect anything different next season. Lorelei probably won’t live long. Jane won’t have any measurable change. Lisbon will still be making excuses for him, and Red John will never be resolved. It would have been neat if Jane actually went off his rocker. But they’ve made it so you can pretty much always believe that Jane’s got a plan and little is a surprise.
One bright spot: Jane telLing Lisbon “love you” just before the fake shooting and Lisbon trying to ask about it later. Jane deflected, but Lisbon seemed rattled. Can we please have some confirmation that he does, in fact, care? You can do that without making it a romance show.
All in all, a predictably finale with a few interesting points. Jane’s no closer to redemption than he was 2 seasons ago, and the Red John arc is getting tiresome. Will the show surprise me next season? One can only hope.