While he uses his unique skills to help the police bring other killers to justice, former celebrity psychic Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) continues to seek elusive serial killer Red John, who brutally murdered his wife and child. In this season, it becomes apparent that Red John has a mole somewhere in the CBI unit and Jane is determined, by fair means or foul, to weed him (or her) out.
Indeed, characters are not who they first appear to be in this third season, which concludes with a shocking face-to-face confrontation between Jane and his arch nemesis.
CAUTION: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Overall, Season 3 of The Mentalist is the most entertaining season thus far. The various mysteries that Patrick Jane and the CBI team are called in to solve are quite intriguing and, unlike the first season and much of the second, for the vast majority of the episodes I was unable to spot the murderer during the first 5-10 minutes of the show.
I guess the writers got wise to my “Why else would that character be there?” method of solving cases.
On the other hand, I do think that, in some of the episodes (e.g. “Rhapsody in Red”), the writer’s choice of who the killer would be was rather random. Yes, Jane “solved” the case, but his process of doing so was rather weak.
Among the more interesting episodes this season are “Red Alert,” in which Jane is among a group of hostages, “The Red Mile,” in which a corpse is stolen and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” in which Jane identifies the killer within the first minutes of the investigation, but then has to prove it.
Simon Baker continues to be very likable as the emotionally tortured Patrick Jane, and a more than competent cast of supporting players and fine production values supports him.
I had hoped that, with the exception of some scenes of resolution, the Red John had ended with the final episode of Season Three. Apparently, from I have gleaned from watching the initial episode of Season Four, that is not the case.
Not only has this storyline become tiring, but with the exception of one particular scene (i.e. the well-written and played final confrontation between Jane and the killer), these episodes are the least appealing of the season.
Years ago, there was a television series, Profiler, which dealt with a crack FBI unit. By and large, it was a well-done series with a good cast, and it ran for four years. Unfortunately, this show also had a “super” serial killer, not unlike Red John, who had moles in the department and was impossible to catch. By the end of the second season, when they still hadn’t captured this culprit, I’d had enough. I stopped watching the show and I have absolutely no idea (or interest) whether they caught him or not.
Perhaps the producers of The Mentalist should think about that. Certainly there are other story arcs out there for them to adopt.
This current season contains 23 episodes (including a 2-hour one) on 5 discs.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture is broadcast sharp. There are no noticeable flaws.
The English Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 Sound is excellent.
Portrait of a Serial Killer – Red John: A half-hour featurette in which an expert panel of world-class criminologists come up with an offender profile of Red John.
“Red Moon” Directed by Simon Baker: A ten-minute featurette in which star Simon Baker discusses his experience directing an episode of the series.
Deleted Scenes: Available on selected episodes.
The Mentalist has many more intriguing (and surprising) stories than it did it its first two seasons. It’s an enjoyable, not thought-provoking, way to spend an hour.