Warning: This post contains MAJOR spoilers about Sunday’s The Mentalist.
Is this it? Do we know, at last? Sunday night’s The Mentalist, “The Great Red Dragon,” featured Patrick Jane exposing Red John to the world. Red John is revealed to be …
CBI Director Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston)!
The case against Bertram seems pretty conclusive. He was on Jane’s list, he’s one of the law enforcement officers with the three-dots tattoo, survived last week’s explosion and even tried to kill Jane in the hospital.
So Bertram is Red John … right?
Once again, tonight’s action-packed hour ditched the show’s bill-paying murder-of-the-week format to focus exclusively on the Red John storyline. The CBI team scrambled to track down the remaining suspects in the wake of last week’s explosion. One, Agent Reede Smith (Drew Powell), was captured and is apparently not Red John. Another, Bertram, is on the run and now wearing sinister black sunglasses (whaaaat, no farewell moment for Malcolm McDowell’s Scientology-esque cult leader Bret Stiles? He was the interesting one!). We also learned the corrupt three-dots cops are all members of a group called “The Blake Association.” Then the FBI moved in and shut down the CBI, with Agent Dennis Abbott (Rockmund Dundar) taking charge of the Bertram hunt and literally cleaning house.
Highlights: Jane interviewing a corrupt cop and getting all his answers non-verbally, gut-shot Agent Smith’s “Having Fun in Sacramento” T-shirt, Bertram coolly murdering a bartender, and Jane getting depressed over losing his favorite tea cup. Also: This week’s title, “The Great Red Dragon,” is a reference to the Blake Association’s mascot, artist William Blake (which itself is a nod to one of The Mentalist’s likely influences, Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon).
The stretches: How were half the people in a confined space “burnt to a crisp” beyond recognition by a big explosion while the other half survived largely unscathed? Why would crafty law enforcement members of a secret criminal conspiracy all get incriminating matching tattoos? Should Jane trust his instincts that Reede is being truthful about not being Red John when he has no clue which of his suspects has been deceiving him this whole time? Is the easiest way to escape the city really by calling SWAT teams to your location? And most of all: Why does shutting down the CBI involve immediately confiscating its office furniture (surely that couch doesn’t solve crimes on its own)?
What did you think of this week’s hour? Is Bertram really Red John? Take the poll below.
Teasing up next week: The episode is titled, simply, “Red John.” It contains a scene that is, I kid you not, the most searing and memorable in the show’s history. If you’ve ever been a Mentalist fan, this is an episode you need to watch. After next week’s hour, we’ll post an interview with both creator Bruno Heller and star Simon Baker talking about the episode.
UPDATE: Here’s CBS’ preview for next week. Watch this if you want, but it gives away far too much IMO. Do you really want to have nearly everything but the last five minutes of the episode revealed in a promo?