Patrick Jane in the “Mentalist” once achieved a bit of fame as a psychic medium. As an entertainer, he claimed to talk to the other side. After the death of his wife and daughter, driven by anger and guilt he left the psychic medium business and joined the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He offered to use his powers of observation and skills at reading people to help solve cases, especially the case of Red John. His skills tend to unnerve the people he is observing, which he often uses to make the person he suspects uncomfortable. While Jane is intelligent, observant, curious and inquisitive, Patrick Jane also uses his good looks and charisma to help uncover clues. Can the skills Jane uses in the “Mentalist” be developed or used in real life? Is this the takeaway of the show that makes it intriguing and fun to watch?
The Face on the Wall
In the pilot episode, Jane points out that Red John is a showman or an artist. He then notes that Red John wants whoever discovers the bodies to see the smiling face drawn with blood first. This clearly demonstrates an old adage, “It takes one to know one.” Patrick Jane as the showman-the part of himself that he has denounced, knows a showman. Is it possible that the flaws or traits we see in others bother us, not so much, because they are wrong but because we see a reflection of ourselves and we don’t like what we see? Likewise, perhaps if we focus on seeing the good in others we will also see the good in ourselves.
Hiding something? Jane, in the episode, “Redline” carefully observes reactions to reveal a killer. Jane claims he is the killer because he led them right to the murder weapon. In the same episode, Jane proposes a theory that “number two always tries harder.” With this episode, we are challenged to consider the possibility that we don’t always know our own “tells”-the things that reveal what we don’t want others to know. It is also a challenge to consider what motivates us to do what we do.
On Being Charismatic
In every show, Patrick Jane exudes a charismatic personality when he wants to know something about someone. While he uses this charm to get answers, we can identify the things he does to help improve our own likeability. Of course, this is a television show with scripted responses, in real life to be more likeable you have to be authentic. To a certain degree however, the more you practice something the more it becomes a part of you. Therefore, to be more likeable in the Patrick Jane style you must smile, ask questions, show interest in the answers, don’t just agree with what they say-stand up for your beliefs and truly look for and be amused by the twists and turns of the stories in your own life. I might also add to be thankful for the blessings in your life, as you never know when they might disappear.
Pilot Transcript, The Mentalist Fan Site
Show Overview, Tv.com
Plot Summary for “The Mentalist”, IMDb
4 Things You Can Learn from Your Lizard Brain, Rowdy Kittens
Henrik Edberg, How to be Charismatic: 7 Powerful Tips from the Mentalist, The Positivity Blog
Synopsis for “The Mentalist” Redline (2010), IMDb