“The Mentalist” Patrick Jane is clever, charming, and cocky. Some may even say he is arrogant and annoying; a narcissist, even. He’s known to wander off when told to stay put and pretty much does what he wants to. But Jane has a dark, not-so-happy past that is never out of mind, nor is the fact his actions could have consequences.
Patrick Jane and Red John’s Story Began With a Mocking Jane Would Soon Regret:
Through flashbacks given to us in bits and pieces, we know Jane appeared on a TV show where he supposedly contacted audience members’ dead loved ones. It was during this time he mocked someone named Red John. Angry and bent on revenge, Red John decided to strike back. When Jane returned home, he found his wife and daughter had been murdered. He felt responsible and shortly afterward, had a breakdown that landed him in a psychiatric ward.
Once he was released from the hospital, Jane admitted his fraud and decided to use his mad people-reading skills for good and started working for the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation).
Jane’s Motives for Working With the CBI May Not Be Purely Unselfish:
His motives aren’t completely unselfish. Sure, he helps the CBI solve some pretty wicked crimes – the man has a phenomenal insight into human nature no one understands – but he also aims to find Red John and exact his own brand of justice.
Jane seems to be driven by the deaths of his wife and daughter at the hands of their elusive killer. He doesn’t talk about them – their names weren’t revealed until Season 3 – but they are never far from his mind. True, the show itself has loads of silly, lighthearted moments brought to us by Jane, but justice for his family is paramount for our loveable mentalist.
Red John Surfaces, Taunts Jane:
Season One’s “Red John’s Footsteps” has Jane and the CBI team searching for Red John who has murdered a woman, painted her toenails in her own blood, and had left his signature smiley face via skywriting. Lisbon thinks the murder of Emma Plaskett was designed to trap Jane, something personal rather than random.
In the season two episode “Red Sky in the Morning,” Red John resurfaces when a copycat, Wesley Blankfein, is about to stab Jane. Red John shoots his copycat and tells Jane his life is his and that he lives only because it pleases RJ. With that, Red John disappears.
Finding Red John is the single most important thing in Jane’s life. The question isn’t so much ‘if’ he finds RJ but ‘when.’ Jane doesn’t care that by doing away with his family’s murderer he would most certainly spend the rest of his life in a prison cell.
“The Mentalist” can be seen at 10 pm Eastern on CBS.
The Mentalist Recap: Red John’s Footsteps – CBS.com
The Mentalist Recap: RED SKY IN THE MORNING – CBS.com