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The Mentalist 4x01: Scarlet Ribbons

Posted on the 28 September 2011 by Tvgeek @TVGeek_blog

The Mentalist 4x01: Scarlet Ribbons

Original Air Date: 22 September 2011

Storyline: In prison for killing his nemesis, Patrick Jane must prove that the man he shot really was Red John. Meanwhile, Lisbon urges Van Pelt to seek counseling in the aftermath of the death of her fiancé, Detective O'Laughlin.Best Quote:

Lisbon: Well, you've done what you set out to do. You got your vengeance. Do you feel different? Feel better?
Jane: No. I feel guilty.
Lisbon: Guilty? Why?
Jane: For deceiving the jury. I mean, I had no choice. Going to prison for murder would have been a victory for Red John.
Lisbon: What do you mean? Red John's dead.
Jane: Timothy Carter's dead. He was an evil man, but he wasn't Red John. Red John... is still alive.

Review: First up, let me just say one thing again: if this show keeps up deceiving us about Red John, it will go down the drain so fast not even Simon Baker's boyish charm will be able to save it. It happened with Profiler and it will happen with The Mentalist as well. We've heard the entire summer from the producers that Jane killed Red John and now I feel profoundly deceived. No one likes to be misled. Given, Profiler had a lot more weak points than The Mentalist does, but the core plot is the same and this is-it-or-isn't-it-Red-John game will wear down eventually. 

The episode picked up two days after the events that led to Jane's arrest - and let me tell you, that was one quick trial! No matter how clear the evidence against a suspect is, there's no way a trial would have started so soon after the person was apprehended. It's like they don't even try to keep things believable anymore.
Now in jail, Patrick has to prove that it was really Red John that he killed. Not at all surprisingly, he counts on the team to break each and every rule to help him out, despite their suspension. The suspension itself seemed like a personal vendetta from Bertram for being considered a suspect - and I'm not entirely convinced that, despite O'Laughlin being revealed as the mole, Bertram is not himself involved somehow. I haven't forgotten about the William Blake poem he recited in "Red Queen" and I found his involvement in Jane's case - taking into account the media coverage and all - too much from someone in his position.
After winning $1 million in a card game in prison, Jane posts bail and goes to talk to his victim's wife personally. As it turns out, he was right about her: despite her innocent appearance, she was a psychopath herself, having kidnapped, along with her dead husband, a local teenage girl.
I didn't find Jane's court performance all that compelling. I would have thought he would hypnotize his way through with the jury but he didn't seem to do that, he barely made eye contact with them. Instead, he argued his right to kill the person who killed his family. Only a TV jury would have acquitted him. This was yet another detail that made this episode stray from reality.
As for his confession to Lisbon - that Timothy Carter was not Red John - I somehow saw that coming, given the American viewers' hunger for drama, but it was completely unnecessary, this show would have still be interesting, and even more so, without the Red John plot. I'm just hoping it doesn't get boring before time, I'm a big fan of Patrick Jane as a character and would like to see this series go on for a long time, but, given this season premiere, I somehow doubt it will.
The Mentalist 3x23: Strawberries and CreamBack to Season 4

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