Mentalist: Expectations for 2011 (spoilers)

Mentalist is on hiatus until the new year so there won’t be any new episodes this month. I’ve come across some spoilers which state that team members Cho, Rigsby, and Van pelt will be investigated for the death of Todd Johnson. Accordin to executive producer Tom Szentgyrorgyi, this results in the uncovering of secrets about each member and a dramatic change to the team. So it looks like my worst fears are confirmed; the writers are messing with the team dynamic.

I’m now looking forward to the new episodes with equal parts eagerness and trepidition. I don’t like that. I miss fun Mentalist, and I’m all for more backstory for these characters but if it turns out that one of them is a Red John accomplice…ayayay… I’m just afraid the series will be written into a corner. I mean, if the writers have been considering this for a while and that’s why we hardly know anything about these characters (Cho-ex gangmember, Rigsby- son of criminal biker, Van pelt- messed up by sister’s suicide) then good for them. But if it was a spontaneous decision and they’re risking characters viewers have come to love just for cheap shock value ( which is NOT what the show is about) then they risk losing what makes the series special and unique. Also, they’ll have to go through the trouble of casting a new character-not always a successful process. Just ask the “House” people. They also messed with the original cast in, oddly enough season three, and the series never recovered.

Beside’s, a team member turning out to be a villian accomplice is hardly a new plot device. “Bones” comes to mind, and there are many others. I’m just saying I hope for a more satisfying, (which will therefore be a more ‘shocking’ ) revelation than Grace having joined CBI because she’s a heroine in Red John’s network. Or that Rigsby’s brutal streak is his true nature; his love for rules and the comfort they give him was a facade all along; or even that Cho’s close mouthed nature is because he is a cold blooded Red John operative with his own sense of justice. I’d rather the writers build on what we already know and flesh out the characters more. As to whose Red John’s mole? I havae the perfect solution to that. FBI Agent O’Loughlin’s lady boss. We’ve only had a mention of her, but in episode “The Blood on His Hands”, she told him to follow Rigsby and Van Pelt because she suspected CBI agents were involved with Visualize. It could be that she actually wants to monitor them cause she’s a Red John operative. And she can easily enter the CBI building as a fellow agent.

Yes. I am so desperate to keep Amanda Righetti, Owain Yeoman, and Tim Kang on my screen that I’m making up plots for the writers.

Now, for the sake of keeping an open mind, I have to admit that I do foresee one, mind you- only one, possible good that could come if it turns out that a team members is in cahoots with Red John: the horror of the realization should result in strengthening Jane and Lisbon’s bond; they should get closer despite Jane’s fears. After all, after season two’s red john storyline when Bosco was killed, Jane made a bit of an effort trying to cheer Lisbon up, resulting in some of the funnest episodes (Rose-colored glasses, Code Red). Hmm, in that case, go ahead writers, “shock” us if you must. As long as you give make it up for us with enough feel-good episodes. You get bonus points for keeping Minelli alive.

Here is the original source of the spoiler for those interested. Dont’ forget to input your own expectations in the poll below. I’m also very interested to hear your own theories and predictions on what will happen. 


About reviewbrain

Screenwriter, independent producer, compulsive critic, editor, artist, language lover, student of life, pacifist, parent. View all posts by reviewbrain

6 responses to “Mentalist: Expectations for 2011 (spoilers)

  • mary

    I’m hoping they don’t actually make one of the main team members a Red John operative. I don’t *think* they’ll actually go there… so I’m cautiously excited for seeing them get investigated anyway. “One of our own” plots are kind of a cliche, but they’re a cliche for a reason: they can be a really effective way of creating tension and revealing character.

    TBH, I’m all about the Cho. I like Rigsby and Van Pelt, but Cho’s the character who really hooked me on the show. If they axe him or turn him into a one-shot shock villain, I will not even be able to describe my level of rage. OTOH, I think Cho is also potentially badass enough to turn an investigation on its head (like the reversal he pulled on the television reporter). So I kind of hope the writers realize the potential they’re sitting on.

  • reviewbrain

    Oh, I remember the scene. It’s one of my all time favorites. I so hope you’re right about the plot being only used to bring out the characters and Crete tension. I’m fact, that may even be red John’s purpose; create animosity within James team to isolate him further. Of course, thats assuming laroche is involved. Id also be very furious if it
    turned out that Cho was a traitor; even if I recognize the potential
    of the decision. If it weren’t for Cho, we wouldn’t some of my all time favorite liners: “so where’s our stuff?” and Jane saying “there’s no business like Cho business.” so again, I really hope you’re right.

  • violet

    I’m almost sure the culprit is someone we already know. Most episodes are built in a “whodunit” logic, so the culprit is introduced quite early in the story. Not every time, though, in this episode, for example, the killer was the last to be met, but generally only witnesses appear in the end of the investigation. Even Red John has somewhat been introduced in the beginning of the story: he has a name even if not a face, he’s not a dark and unknown shadow… In fact, the whole show display little elements from classical detective stories: Jane’s explanation of the way to open and close a door in a hermetically closed room, the similarities with Sherlock Holmes (addiction, sniffing corpses, exceptional observation and logic), the reference to Ellery Queen and his Duesemberg with the vintage DS Jane drives (a reference to Columbo too), the original premises à la Queen (a victim falling from the sky at a meeting point where the police waits for him; another murdered by a clown,…). (I also wonder if the Halfway Café in the background, when Lisbon is kidnapped by Rachel, is a reference to the “Halfway House”… and yes, I may be over reading…). Well, to put it simply, the killer has probably already been on the screen. But, on a brighter note, it could be anyone (Hightower, FBI Agent O’Loughlin, who can come to see Grace) even a minor character as well, as was Bosco’s secretary (we had only seen her in a few relaxed scenes), like for instance that lady in charge of CBI relations with the journalists. Changing even dramatically the team dynamic doesn’t necessarily mean making one of them a cold-blooded assassin (or so I hope)…
    On the other hand, you’re right when you say that we know very little about the team members. There are positive and negative arguments for all of them. Cho is inexpressive, he has that frightening past of being a criminal, and he’s the less morally grounded of them, as he never hesitates to back up Jane’s illegal schemes. But he’s been part of the team the longest…
    Rigsby has indeed a violent streak, but he’s the most emotional of them. We empathise with him when he’s jealous, and he gets the most time on screen lately.
    Van Pelt is the most recent member: she arrives in the very first episode. She has the capacity of being unconditionally faithful (in mediums at first), just like Red John’s allies believe in him. I can’t help but think she has a cold side: at first, towards Rigsby and his embarrassingly obvious feelings, then when she dumped him. She’s known to be the most sensible, yet often appears the most demanding. She really wanted to stay in the team… but again so did Rigsby.
    Moreover, another question comes to mind: they seem to have hinted on something more possibly growing between Jane and Lisbon, with the scene at the motel, the intimate mood in the car when they are talking seriously, her reaction when he is back after being kidnapped, the fact hat his kidnaper wanted to kill Lisbon especially to make him suffer, like she had when the closer person to her died… So can they afford to have two potential couples at the same time, in the same team? Rigsby and Van Pelt have broken, but even so… and making Cho the killer would end in that kind of situation, two women for two men, neither indifferent to their counterpart… terribly unbalanced…
    About Laroche, I don’t know. I need to see more of him. But did you realise that if he’s really Red John agent, he must be here to protect his accomplice? Can the change in the team be an innocent being framed for murder?
    So much questions…

  • violet

    Mhmmm, I just realized, Todd did meet everyone in the team, didn’t he? He was manhandled by Cho and Rigsby when he tried to assault the suspect, while Van Pelt was here too (if I recall correctly). He also should have seen who set him on fire… Wouldn’t he have told Jane if his murderer was one of them? I mean, what would be the priority for a man who knows he’s agonizing, denouncing his killer or revelling that he was part of Red John’s network? Of course, he knew it was Red John who ordered to kill him, but still… if he could have his revenge on the person who gave him this gruesome death, wouldn’t he have jumped in this opportunity first?

  • reviewbrain

    I don’t think so. Like you said he probably knows red John ordered the hit. I think the reason he wanted to see Jane is he started feeling guilt and wanted to get the knowledge off his chest. If you recall, Todd looked pretty agitated when he asked to speak to Jane. He might have also been only semi conscious when be said tiger tiger. Like a dying message. But at least your theory supports the fact that itwasnt a team member 🙂 personally I hope it’s the annoying PR person Brenda. She made a big deal about tellingthe public (and therefore red John) when Jane was kidnapped. If we’re going with the minor characters, there’s also that burly officer with the goatee that we see in their office from time to time.

  • bob

    The only way to really blow peoples minds is if it is lisban.

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