Patrick Jane tells Lisbon in the season finale of “The Mentalist” that he’s going to tell her the seven suspects he thinks could be Red John.
And so he does — or rather, he confirms it. In a jaw-dropper of a final scene, he’s beaten to the punch. The twist is so well-executed that it almost renders the actual names secondary.
Enough with the vagaries: Red John’s latest killing is designed specifically to draw Jane in. The victim leads him and Lisbon back to a mobile home park that’s also a regular carny layover, and where Jane spent a lot of time when he was young.
The woman, it turns out, was also someone Jane knew as a boy, someone he has a particular fond memory of from a Fourth of July picnic a long time ago. Jane and Lisbon discuss how her death is like Red John reached into Jane’s head and stole a fond memory from him.
Which, we soon learn, is exactly the point. A fellow “psychic” involved in the murder case suggests Red John may have some actual extrasensory powers, and after the final scene it’s not hard to believe it.
Red John’s accomplice in this case (Laura San Giacomo, fairly easy to spot if you abide by the Most Famous Guest Star rule) hands him an envelope containing a DVD. On it, Lorelei Martins explains that she’s about to die for revealing that Jane shook Red John’s hand at one point, and then goes on to list the seven names Jane has: Bret Stiles, Gale Bertram, Ray Haffner, Reede Smith, Bob Kirkland, Sheriff Thomas McAllister (not seen since the second episode!) and Brett Partridge. He then promises to start killing again, frequently, “until you catch me or I catch you.”
Yikes. The fact that Red John has managed to keep in front of Jane so far, coupled with his ability to get so far inside Jane’s head, suggests the killer is someone who knows him, and that further suggests it’s someone with ties to the CBI. That, however, would mean John has managed to undermine Jane’s acute powers of perception all this time, which makes the idea even scarier.
Either way, though, it could be a long summer of speculation for “Mentalist” fans. What did you think of the season finale, the suspect list and that final scene?