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‘The Mentalist’: Simon Baker, Bruno Heller Talk Red John Reveal [SPOILERS]

Major spoilers follow. So, if you haven’t watched tonight’s “Red John” episode, then go no further!

‘The Mentalist’: Simon Baker, Bruno Heller Talk Red John Reveal [SPOILERS]

Hopefully if you’re reading this article then you just watched the biggest episode, so far, in the history of ‘The Mentalist.’ Just moments ago, and after five and a half seasons of Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) hunting down the serial killer who murdered his wife and daughter, fans learned the true identity and fate of Red John.

So, who was the madman Red John? It was none other than Sheriff McAllister, played by Xander Berkeley, who has quite the knack for playing crazy. Yes, McAllister faked his death, pinned the Red John identity on Bertram, then finally emerged to Jane as the man who took the lives of his family. Not only did Jane come face to face with Red John, but he also decided his fate. Ultimately, Jane took Red John’s life by strangling him to death in one of the most emotional and gripping scenes throughout the series.

Why did creator Bruno Heller choose McAllister as Red John? What’s next for Jane? What happens to Lisbon, Van Pelt, Rigsby and Cho? Luckily, we have some answers for you, in addition to these we revealed the other day. This past Tuesday, we joined a conference call with Heller and Baker to discuss Red John and all the major questions fans were sure to have. Here we go.

What did Heller hope to achieve from this episode?
As Heller told reporters, it was important that the story ended in a way that satisfied fans and Patrick Jane, “[It was about] giving a real pleasing emotional closure to that story. For me, it was about giving Patrick Jane exactly what he had hunted for all these years.”

As for Baker, it was more about killing Red John in the right way, “The way we did it was important, because it was very important to me, because I felt like to pull a trigger is just pulling a trigger and the gun does the killing, but to actually grapple with someone and kill them with your hands is far more intimate.” Side note: Heller also revealed that the last scene between Red John and Jane was “written and directed” by Baker.

When did Heller decide to name McAllister Red John?
“I’m not sure. It kind of just emerged over the last couple of years,” Heller said. “There was always three or four possibilities, and it just happened, really. It seemed like the natural correct choice.”

How will killing Red John affect Jane, and the rest of the characters?
“For the other characters, it’s a little like the children of divorce,” Heller said. “What’s next? They’ve been enthralled to somebody else’s mission and now that mission is gone. They were in a world that they didn’t choose, and now they’re in a world that is changing around them.” Heller also added, “Jane has big questions to answer about what he’s going to do with himself, and Lisbon (Robin Tunney), Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti), Cho (Tim Kang) and Rigsby (Owain Yeoman), also have to make those choices.”

Clearly, this will affect Jane more than the others, and as Baker said, “When Red John dies, there’s a large part of Jane that dies in that moment as well.” It will take time for Jane “to get back on his feet,” especially since Jane has no wife, no kid, no relationship (other than with the CBI), and no more “perverse obsession/relationship” with Red John. Heller added, “Jane’s life as he knows it is over, but it’s the beginning of a new life.”

One of the bigger questions is: will there be legal ramifications for Jane killing Red John?
Obviously, yes. Heller put it nicely, “You can’t go around killing people willy-nilly without some kind of ramifications.”

‘The Mentalist’: Simon Baker, Bruno Heller Talk Red John Reveal [SPOILERS]
Will Jane and Lisbon’s relationship remain strong?
As Baker told TVRage, “Absolutely, and I think even stronger.” Per Heller, “They’ve been so engrossed in this massive task ahead of them that they haven’t really looked around, and looked at the people alongside them, and thought about who those people are and what they mean to them. Now, Jane and Lisbon have a chance to take a breath and think about each other in a way that they haven’t before.”

Is Jane really psychic? What about Red John, who admitted he knew Jane’s list of suspects because he was indeed psychic?
For those who think Jane is really psychic, Heller told TVRage, “God bless them … I would say to those people, psychics don’t exist, but the human capacity for understanding and affection and empathizing and sympathizing with other people is not supernatural, but natural, and it’s an amazing power.” Regarding Red John, we may never find out, as Heller wishes to keep “that thread dangling.”

What can we expect from future episodes?
Not only did Heller describe the rest of the season as a “fresh version of the show” and that it will be the “same show, to some degree” with “less darkness at the edges,” but he also noted that “Jane [will be] a happier person. A weight has been taken off his shoulders, and to that degree, a weight has been taken off the show.” Fans will also see that Jane has more freedom to do his own thing and he “might” even have a love life. For those wondering if Jane will still be solving crimes and/or have a desire to work in law enforcement, Baker said, “I don’t think. Not immediately.”

Finally, can ‘The Mentalist’ live without Red John?
Heller isn’t “really concerned” with that notion, “because if [it doesn’t], then that’s what happens. It felt very much to all of us like that chapter of the story was done. Frankly, I think the great asset and value of the show is in Baker’s head and half of what he does. Red John never even appeared, as a character, physically, until the last episode. He was a feeling in the show … but in terms of the moment by moment pleasures of the show those are delivered by Simon Baker and his people, not by Red John.”

For those still speculating that Red John is still alive, Heller affirmed that “Red John is dead.” Going forward, Heller also confirmed that they “won’t be going back” to the Red John storyline, and there will be rarely, if any, mention of the serial killer.

Were you satisfied with the Red John reveal? Will you stick around for future episodes?

‘The Mentalist’ airs Sundays at 10/9c on CBS.

- Simon Baker
- Bruno Heller
- The Mentalist

Written by: akoerner
Nov 24th, 2013, 1:00 pm

Images courtesy of Sonja Flemming/CBS

A Devoted Viewer

Message Posted On Dec 1st, 2013, 5:09 am
I agree!!!! How do we know that the lady with the knife is not RED JOHN???? WHO WAS SHE AND WHAT WAS SHE DOING THERE AT THAT EXACT MOMENT WITH A KNIFE????? IT DIDN"T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!!!! UNLESS RED JOHN ASKED HER TO COME, BUT IT WAS TOTALLY WIERD!!!!!! That Kind of Leaves Us all Hanging!!! That was Not ADDRESSED WHATSOEVER!!!!!!! That disappointed me!!! And I don't want to see Patrick with any other woman EXCEPT FOR LISBON!!!!

Level 1 (48%)
Since: 09/Apr/09
Message Posted On Nov 28th, 2013, 1:23 pm

RED JOHN is not dead ..... didnt you guys hear the red john sound when Jane run away and we saw a man standing where a child was using a playing thinghy.....??   I belive red john is still alive



Message Posted On Nov 26th, 2013, 7:10 am
GREAT ending! I think it was handled with class, if you can say "Class" when it comes to taking the life of another human being, no matter how heinous that human being may be. I look forward to the upcoming episodes! Great job, Mr. Heller! Great job, Simon Baker for doing an impactful portrayal of someone good having to do something horrible in order to reclaim their own life once again.

Level 1 (64%)
Points: 1.2
Since: 01/Jan/09
Message Posted On Nov 26th, 2013, 6:34 am

It was very anti-climactic for me.  I wish there was some advance publicity like: "Tonight Patrick takes on Red John, once & for all."  I thought the real action would take place near the end of the season, so I wasn't ready.

None of the Red John candidates were very provocative.  I was hoping it'd be Wayne, or Lisbon; a big, scary, creepy surprise instead of the doosh bag sheriff from West Bumfucque.

Lastly, if you're going to have Patrick kill him in such a prosaic way, SHOW HIM STRANGLING HIM.  Show Red John's eyes bulging out of his head.  Have a side shot of Pat on John while he's strangling him.  Show Pat's hands strugglingto kill him.  Show John struggling to live, grabbing Pat's face.  Show Pat grimacing instead of looking so "cool", like he's washing a head of lettuce.  Blink once if you're bored, twice if you're disappointed. 

It was like a porn scene without the money shot. 

I also didn't expect to see Red John so afraid of dying.  That wasn't believable to me, either. 

The only good thing about this ending is "recalibrating" the show.  Too bad Wayne & Righetti are leaving.  I'd rather they divorce & stay on the show, but... whateve.


Level 2 (17%)
Since: 29/Apr/12
Message Posted On Nov 25th, 2013, 10:04 pm

so the woman who came into the church with the knife just gets to be gone?


Message Posted On Nov 25th, 2013, 4:27 pm
The only thing I didn't like was leaving open how McAllister knew the names on Patrick's list. I assume it was something simple, like a listening device or some other spying scenario. I don't like that not being closed out because all McAllister did as RJ was to brag about how good he was. How smart he was. Anyway, I liked the closure of the storyline and will continue watching the show. I've enjoyed the non-RJ eps more than the RJ eps, so I imagine this will continue, once Patrick is solving crimes again. Also, very glad that the RJ storyline didn't drag on and on and eat up the entire season. Well done.

Message Posted On Nov 25th, 2013, 6:39 am
Very bad ending, compare the tension of the time when RJ saves PJ and sais the tyger tyger poem for the first time, that is how the atmosphare shoulda been, not this lame ending, thank you for all the years with great episodes. But you really let us all down with this ending. Sometimes I feel like its a dream cause people are so stupid. Cant Heller even compare the tyger tyger scene with the reveal of RJ scene and see that it is not a fit ending. It should have been an okay ending if they didint wait years to reveal RJ, cant make us wait years then make an almost joke ending.

Message Posted On Nov 25th, 2013, 5:46 am
Patrick Jane should start an investigation firm and hire the old C.B.I crew to be his investigating team . Its an easy solution and very watchable (go after high profile fugitives)

Level 2 (24%)
Points: 5
Since: 08/Nov/08
Message Posted On Nov 25th, 2013, 4:59 am

I'm sure I saw a shark in the pond. Certain of it!


Message Posted On Nov 24th, 2013, 1:44 pm
Thank you Bruno Heller for making me like the finale of DEXTER so much better. Get out of the business; you suck at it.
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