TV and Film

The Mentalist: Charisma and Crime

Intertitle from season 2 of the television pro...

Intertitle from season 2 of the television program The Mentalist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Season 5 of ‘The Mentalist’ is in full swing and the ever charismatic Patrick Jane, continues to have me hooked on the show, ever since it began back in 2008. For those who know very little about this drama, let me give you a quick run through. Patrick Jane is a CBI consultant. He uses his great observation skills (used in the past as a fake psychic medium) to aid the CBI team in solving cases. The reason for joining the force, however, is to track down serial killer ‘Red John’ who as result of being mocked by Patrick Jane on television, murdered his wife and daughter. So the drama consists of  the sharp wittiness and intelligence with which Jane solves day to day crimes, interwoven with his own dark journey, in seeking some sort of ‘revenge’ by hunting Red John. What ensues is a ‘cat and mouse’ game – something that has been running for 5 seasons. I’m not going to lie. Without the Red John storyline, The Mentalist would crumble and shut shop.

The season has started off with a bang. Unlike the previous seasons where there have been peaks and troughs of generating viewer satisfaction, three episodes in, and I am quite content. The crime solving has been neat and interesting, and there has been light shed upon Jane’s mental state. After all, the disappearance of Lorelei Martins in FBI custody – a waitress sent by Red John to seduce Jane – leaves Jane with no leads. Aired two weeks ago, the episode titled ‘Devil’s Cherry’ raised more questions about Jane and his downward spiral. Shot beautifully with a mystical vibe, it’s one of my favourite episodes of the show so far.

At a crime scene of the murder of a diamond cutter, Jane decides to make himself tea while his team leader, Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon, talks to a possible witness. Yep, there are plenty of times, where Jane does his own thing and defies orders. Nevertheless, he still comes up with the goods. An avid tea drinker (like moi), he searches for the basics : a teabag and cup. In his desperation to taste the beverage, he spots a used tea bag in the sink, drains it with a tea strainer and makes himself a cuppa. Little does he know, that the tea bag contains a hallucinogen (later identified as key evidence in finding the perpetrator). Jane collapses and after waking up, he begins to have hallucinations of seeing his daughter Charlotte.

In a drugged up stage, Jane solves the crime with the assistance of his ‘daughter’ fully well knowing that once the effects wear off, he will never see her again. In the end we find Jane back at CBI offices, draining a teabag, closing his eyes and sipping his tea – clearly in the need to ‘see’ his daughter again, even if it is through hallucinations.

Has Jane now completely lost it, so much so, that he feels the need to be drugged up to ‘be’ with his family?

Episode 3 showed no effects of this latest development, but it could make for a dark watch if it crops up later on the show. Might I just add, it’s high time Jane and Lisbon got together. The waiting is killing me.

Catch The Mentalist, however you can.