Thursday, June 2, 2011

Season Finales – The Mentalist

For three years we've seen former psychic and con man Thomas Jane (Simon Baker) help the California Bureau of Investigation solve crimes while hunting down the serial killer responsible for the death of his wife and daughter. The Third Season two-part finale finally brought the pair face-to-face. Caution, spoilers follow.

After springing a trap leads to the identity of Red John's inside man (okay, it doesn't go quite that smoothly), the Third Season finale finds Jane in a food court sitting across the table talking with the man who murdered his family. It's an intriguing choice to cast The West Wing's Bradley Whitford as a very normal acting serial killer, but what's really surprising here is allowing Simon Baker's character to follow through on the only logical step once he's found Red John.

I'm interested to the reaction of fans when the show returns for its Fourth Season with its title character now a cold-blooded killer. How will the rest of the team deal with Jane's actions, most notable Lisbon (Robin Tunney)? I'm sure the first few episodes will deal with wrangling Jane out of prison, but what I'm curious whether audiences will accept his actions or condemn him.

Without making a personal judgement on Jane's actions, I applaud the choice which certainly stays true to the character. We knew there was only one way a meeting with Red John and Jane could end - with one, or both, of them dead.

The fallout from Grace's (Amanda Righetti) dashed wedding plans will also have to be explored as well. However it turns out, I have to say CBS has piqued my interest for the show's return in the Fall. The only thing I'm possibly worried about is an elaborate sleight of hand or plot twist which takes the compelling season cliffhanger off the table. For good or ill, let Jane's actions stand and let the show move into a post-Red John world.

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