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Played By: Simon BakerThe titular mentalist, Patrick Jane is a former psychic and stage performer, but took a job with the CBI when the serial killer Red John killed his wife and daughter after Patrick badmouthed him on TV, hoping to exact revenge.Possessing exceptional knowledge of human behavior, extensive meditative and hypnotic training, a refined memory and superhuman deductive skills, Patrick Jane is one of the most valuable agents of the CBI in the fight against crime. Though technically he's not a cop, just a consultant.
- Abusive Parents: Jane's father was emotionally and financially abusive.
- Agent Scully: Not just skeptical but actively scornful of any hint of the supernatural.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Makes a rather grand one at the end of the season 6 finale, running to climb on Lisbon's plane and tell her he loves her in front of everyone, despite the fact that she was furious at him for faking a break in a cold case just to have an excuse to go to Florida and stay at a fancy hotel.
- The Atoner: Whenever a case brings him into contact with someone that he scammed back in his psychic con artist days.
- Attention Whore: He'll go to just about any lengths to be the center of attention.
- Awesome by Analysis: To ridiculous and ridiculously awesome degrees all the time. At one point he instantly reads the movements, tactics and habits of a boxer, and gives better practical advice than the man's coach despite possessing no fighting skill himself whatsoever.
- Badass Bookworm: Presumably, though he's long since mastered his field of expertise by the time the show starts, and so we never actually see him study.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Never seen outside of his trusty suit and waistcoat. Not even when getting ready for sleep. Seriously.
- Badass Pacifist: Jane uses his smarts to get the criminal, and has hardly used violence throughout the entire series.
- Batman Gambit: Possessing exceptional knowledge of human behavior, this is easy.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: For the same reason as Batman Gambit, he's good at this too.
- Beneath the Mask: Patrick is an outwardly cheerful, optimistic and stable man who rarely loses his cool, but every once in a while the facade cracks, and we catch a glimpse of all the anger, sadness, and loneliness he represses. From "Seeing Red" (1x07);Kristina: I think you act assured and arrogant but inside you are troubled with deep guilt and self-loathing. A recent trauma in your past, perhaps? But you're more than a little unstable. (to Teresa) You have your work cut out for you.
Grace: You are good.
Patrick: Please. Not to boast, but I had quite a well-known horrible tragedy. A mere half-hour on the internet would tell you that I'm consumed with guilt and self-loathing.
Kristina: One look in your eyes would tell me that.
- Berserk Button: He really doesn't like seeing people repeat his own mistakes. "Psychics" and vain, arrogant men who take their families for granted especially seem to piss him off.
- Big Eater: Really likes the cases where there is food in close proximity, see episodes Red Hair and Silver Tape, and Red Herring as prime examples.
- Blatant Lies: Willing to go as far as to talk out of his arse to draw out the baddie. It can occasionally cross the line into Seamless Spontaneous Lie.
- Boxed Crook: Defied. *Following his murder of Red John, the serial killer who killed his wife and daughter, Patrick Jane is tracked down by the F.B.I. in Mexico, and offered a choice of either being F.B.I. consultant for five years (a deal that can be revoked at any time if he acts up), or being locked up for 20 years to life. Janey, of course, isn't about to play that and instead cuts his own deal leaving him basically free and clear, promising to reveal some very embarrassing information if they don't agree to his terms.
- Break the Haughty: We've got a glimpse of the con man Jane in "Fugue in Red". Before Red John paid a visit, Jane is basically Charlie Harper with expertise in theatrics and microexpression.
- Brutal Honesty: When he doesn't care to charm or manipulate you, this is what you get. And if it isn't Ship Tease then you won't like it.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: From the point of view of the CBI, they put up with his antics because he solves cases. Jane however only stays because they're his best chance of catching Red John.
- Byronic Hero: Very attractive? Check. Has a high intelligence? Check. Has a Dark and Troubled Past? You bet.
- The Cassandra: He is never wrong... about anything... ever. But he typically has to spend all of every second episode persuading the other characters that he's not wrong this time. Although, Lisbon and her team, and even some of the higher ups of CBI do take his word on plenty of things, he just needs some actual evidence to convict the killer.
- Catch-Phrase: Numerous variations of "Oh, I'm not a cop, just a consultant", "Please put the guns down!", and for the first season: "No such thing as psychics".
- Celibate Hero: Despite being a charmer, he generally goes no further than playful flirting and still wears his wedding ring from his first wife. Up until the end of season 6, when he tells Lisbon he loves her.
- The Charmer: Always wears a charming smile, if only to mask the enormous amount of self-loathing he has for himself.
- The Chessmaster: Jane can make people do what he wants so easily.
- Circus Brat: He used to be a carny when he was a teenager and he grew up in a traveling carnival.
- CloudCuckooLander: Has various shades of this.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: He buried a suspect alive to get a confession out of him. Inverted, oddly enough, with Red John; while Patrick initially claimed to Theresa that he would torture Red John to death the way Red John had tortured his daughter Charlotte, in the end he opts to simply shoot Red John and then strangle the weakened killer instead of torturing him.
- Con Men Hate Guns: Jane doesn't usually carry a weapon, and mostly avoids physical violence altogether, but he seems to have a particular dislike of firearms.
- Crusading Widower: Even after the brutal murder of his wife (and daughter), Jane is fiercely dedicated to hunting down their killer.
- Cultured Badass: Although Jane has no formal education, he is well-read, culturally literate and has an appreciation of art, theater, wine and music, especially opera and classical.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Between the father taking advantage of his skills as a child, his background as a phony and the murder of his daughter and wife, not to mention all the guilt, it's absolutely no wonder Patrick is a wreck.
- Dating Catwoman: With Erica and Lorelei.
- Distressed Dude: Carrying no weapons, not even a sidearm, and possessing zero practical fighting skills, Patrick often finds himself in this role. Ensue Holding the Floor until Lisbon arrives. Amusingly, Red John's accomplice lampshades this the moment before Patrick finally subverts it by shooting him point-blank with a concealed gun.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Despite his grudge against Red John, Jane is reluctant to wield weapons except in extreme circumstances; notably when he saved Lisbon using a gun against a man who might have given him information about Red John. When he met the man who he believed was Red John, Jane shot him to avenge his dead family.
- The Empath: A 100% natural example, though no less effective.
- Failure Knight: While not helpful in the traditional sense, always saves his beloved Lisbon and her team after the death of his wife and daughter.
- Fair Cop: Fair Consultant.
- Friend to All Children: Most of his Pet the Dog moments. Probably due to the loss of his daughter, and semi-background as a circus performer. For someone who spends his every waking minute figuring out people's dirty secrets, younger children must seem positively wonderful company.
- Hates Being Touched: Starting in Season 3 (right after being kidnapped and menaced by Red John), bad things start happening to people who touch him uninvited. Consequences range from being mildly inconvenienced to being framed for murder and used as bait for a serial killer.
- Heads or Tails?: An episode of season 2 has him winning a bet this way. It landed heads 20 times in a row. No wonder they thought he was cheating, and considering his character he most likely did.
- Hero with an F in Good: Jane may be on the side of good, but he's not exactly "Mr. Heroic". He constantly snarks at his team and random people, has no sense of sensitivity, and performs acts that are just criminal.
- Hollywood Atheist: Bordering on Nietzsche Wannabe when challenged.
- Hurting Hero: He carries a lot of pain, mainly from Red John killing his wife and daughter and the continuing specter of Red John's existence. He hurts a lot less once he finally gets his revenge on Red John, but it will likely always haunt him to some degree.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: To Lisbon, technically.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Jane has a lot of fun with his abilities while catching criminals, but when he talks to Lisbon about Rigsby and Van Pelt's relationship...Lisbon: Okay, I am not jealous and resentful. That is nonsense.Jane: Yet you recall my exact words. There's no shame in it. I feel that way too sometimes. Why does everyone else get to have a normal life?
- Important Haircut: Inverted. Flashbacks to Jane's days as a Phony Psychic, such as the episode 'Pretty Red Balloon,' has his hair straighter and shorter.
- Jerk Ass: Sure, he's the hero and he solves lots of cases, but the guy is an asshole. Just how much depends on the episode.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his love for messing with people, he does occasionally display deep and genuine kindness. He's also a Friend to All Children.
- Kick the Dog: In "Little Red Book," he ruins (or at least severely damages) the careers of two honest CBI agents simply to get them transferred and replaced by members of his old team.
- Limited Wardrobe: Jane only seems to own three-piece suits worn with a pair of battered brown shoes he is rather attached to, even getting them resoled in one episode. Following the Retool Jane loses his Waistcoat of Style, but gains some woolen socks (a gift from Lisbon) and a subdued tropical print shirt.
- Manipulative Bastard: Jane is a master manipulator, a trait also possessed by his enemy Red John.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Feminine Boy to Lisbon's Masculine Girl.
- Non-Action Guy: For most of the show, Patrick's main utility has been in non-combat situations or as Mission Control. Gradually subverted, considering he's now killed three people, to the point where he now qualifies as a badass.
- Non-Idle Rich: It can be assumed Patrick Jane made a lot of money during his years as a psychic and it's been hinted several times.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Although he generally exhibits a happy demeanour, Jane suffers enormous guilt over the deaths of his wife and daughter as well as a ferocious determination to kill Red John, the serial killer that murdered them.
- One of the Kids: Has shades of this.
- Papa Wolf: His motive for joining the police. Also comes out in protective behavior toward children.
- Phony Psychic: Used to be this. In fact, people still tend to assume he has supernatural powers upon demonstration, despite his constant denials.
- Photographic Memory: Jane shows this skill while pointing out clues. He has several tricks for remembering things, such as associating facts with places in a "memory palace" and making up stories about objects when he needs to remember them in a specific order.
- Race for Your Love: At the end of the season 6 finale, Lisbon gets on a plane to Washington and Jane has to fight to get through airport security in order to speak to her. Unfortunately, he forgot his FBI credentials, so he has to settle for climbing a fence, spraining his ankle on the jump down, and limping across the tarmac before the guards realize what he's up to.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He is very fond of those, a failed example of which ultimately provoked the murder of his family. Especially when he identifies the target's actions with his own past failings.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: A very typical attitude in Jane, which Lisbon of course does not approve.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Though rather scruffy.
- Sherlock Scan: He is capable of amazing feats of observation and induction and although he says he isn't psychic, some people maintain that he must be.
- Shipper on Deck: He openly encourages Rigsby and Van Pelt, and keeps their relationship a secret, but is not above manipulating them by using his knowledge of it.
- Showy Invincible Hero: He's almost always right, but then if he weren't right so often he probably would have been fired years ago.
- Sleepyhead: Usually on his brown couch at the office. Known to sleep through briefings.
- Smart People Play Chess: Not that he even needs a board or pieces to play. Used as a Running Gag in one episode.
- Talking Your Way Out: With varying success. Bad guy pointing a gun and Lisbon not around? Only one thing to do... See Distressed Dude above.
- Title Character: "The Mentalist" refers to Jane and his analytical abilities regarding people.
- Took a Level in Badass: Has taken several, with the most important level being killing Red John.
- Toxic Friend Influence: A terrible influence on his CBI teammates. At various times, he's talked them into planting evidence, coercing confessions, profiling suspects, and committing entrapment, any one of which could get them fired (and some could get them sent to jail). Bosco lampshades this in "Black Gold and Red Blood." On the flipside, however, he is sometimes able to needle them into doing things that they know are right in their hearts, but not strictly within the law.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tea and eggs.
- Tranquil Fury: Every time he remembers the loss of his family, he becomes very stoic and unemotional, yet you can tell he is boiling.
- Ultimate Job Security: He's so valuable to the CBI that if his antics ever go too far, it's Lisbon whose job will be in trouble.
- Uncle Pennybags: He is very, very rich and can win absurdly large amounts of money in gambling. He likes to give presents to his colleagues and friends at the bureau — for example when he wins at the casino in poker, he buys two large sets of jewelry with emeralds and rubies for Lisbon and for Van Pelt, and he gives very expensive watches to Rigsby and Cho, and he treats them all with dinner and drinks. (The ladies then decide to give it back after the evening, but the guys keep their presents.) One time he gives Lisbon a pony for her birthday.
- Unwitting Pawn: Selectively. Red John consistently outmaneuvers him throughout the series, which is lampshaded whenever the Gambit Pileup starts anew. He evens up the game by the season 3 finale. Except it was an accomplice, and Red John probably expected him to die, given that he got said accomplice to pretend to be him.
- Vigilante Execution: His stated goal is to perform one of these on Red John and he makes good on it. In "Red Menace," he arranged one by proxy, framing a biker gang leader as an informant and leaving him in the clutches of his angry minions.
- Waistcoat of Style: Until the Retool
- Wealthy Philanthropist: He got filthy rich during his scamming days, but he decided to use his wealth for the good to balance it out. He can also win absurdly large amounts of money in gambling any time he chooses to. He was seen giving money to families who lost their money or entire property (usually because of an error or one black sheep) or who were poor and needed help (e.g., he sent a briefcase full of money to a young woman whose mother was seriously ill and in need of transplant operation which she couldn't afford), or he gave money and expensive stuff he had won in poker to charity boxes that collect used clothes.
- Worthy Opponent: To Red John.
- You Killed My Father: Red John killed his wife and daughter, which is his motivation for hunting him.
The CBI Core
Played By: Robin TunneyThe Leader of The Team, Senior Special Agent Teresa Lisbon of the CBI stands with the impossible task of keeping Patrick in check. Although Jane's antics are annoying and often lands her in deep trouble, she respects him highly, and often supports his theories in the face of skeptical superiors, and even common sense.
- Abusive Parents/Alcoholic Parent: Lisbon's father was this.
- Action Girl: Often used as a Foil to Patrick's Non-Action Guy.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: There's hardly ever a time when she's not composed.
- Authority Equals Asskicking
- Badass Adorable: She's extremely cute when she's vulnerable yet somehow, she still maintains a toughness.
- Big Damn Heroes: All the time. Primarily to save Jane.
- Brainy Brunette: Relatively speaking.
- Broken Bird: As a result of her Dark and Troubled Past.
- By-the-Book Cop: In spite of Lisbon's preference for following proper procedures, Jane persistently contradicts her plans and at times directly undermines her authority, usually apologizing immediately afterwards. Although she criticizes most of Jane's tricks and revelations in front of him, she also often defends him from suspects (especially those with political pull) or from her very own superiors.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Tries, and usually fails, to keep Jane under control.
- Cool Big Sis: To her brothers, even though she can be aloof at times.
- Cool Aunt: To her niece Annie.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Dead mother, alcoholic father and dysfunctional brothers probably went a long way to develop her Team Mom tendencies.
- Deadpan Snarker: Whether reacting to Jane's antics or Tasering a violent suspect.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She's a lot more lenient with her team than she used to be, Jane and his wacky schemes in particular.
- Fanservice Pack: In the first season Lisbon was rather frumpy. With season 2, she got the usual upgrades - new hair, better clothes, high heels.
- The Lad-ette: She grew up among boys, after all.
- The Lancer: To Patrick, though vice versa could be argued if you believe her to be The Hero instead of Patrick.
- Large Ham: Whenever playing the part of psychic.
- The Leader: Type Levelheaded. It's her job to keep everyone on track and focused. It's not easy when Patrick is part of the team.
- Married to the Job: Has little to no social life outside of the CBI. She becomes adorably defensive when interviewed by a visiting camera crew.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Masculine Girl to Jane’s Feminine Boy.
- Morality Chain: Also to Patrick, whenever his obsession with Red John gets out of hand.
- A Mother To Her Men: By season four, Jane and her agents are so attached to her that they are willing to sabotage her replacement to get her back in charge.
- Not So Above It All: Gives in to Jane's plans a bit too easily sometimes.
- Especially after their admission in the FBI, becomes a lot more lenient and even admits having fun with Jane's schemes.
- One Head Taller: Inverted. Lisbon is a head shorter than everyone. This makes her unquestioned (except by Jane) authority over them all even more impressive.
- Only Sane Woman: Occasionally. She's the most rational when her team gets a little crazy.
- Outnumbered Sibling: The only girl out of four kids.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: She's a very competent detective in her own right, but Patrick outclasses her by far.
- Has been getting steadily better at Patrick's trade as of season seven.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Capable of tackling criminals twice her size.
- Promotion to Parent: Raised her brothers after their father killed himself.
- Raised Catholic: Lisbon and probably her brothers were sent to Catholic schools.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: A particularly heartbreaking one to Jane in the season six finale.
- Rejected Apology: Sees Jane's scheme to get one special last case with her as a Moral Event Horizon. When Jane tries to apologize, she shoots him down with a hurtful speech. She later accepts his apology after he breaks into the airplane she's taking to declare his love for her.
- Relationship Upgrade: With Jane.
- The Reliable One: Lisbon always has Jane's back: he calls her his 'moderating influence'.
- Standard Cop Backstory: Lisbon was abused by her alcoholic father after her mother's death and raised her three younger brothers.
- Straight Man: To Patrick.
- Strawberry Shorthand: Lisbon's love of strawberries is brought up reasonably frequently. On at least one occasion Jane has bought them for her to apologize, and she has been seen eating strawberries multiple times.
- Suddenly Ethnicity: Though it was already implied with her last name, Lisbon's ethnicity wasn't confirmed until season 4.
- Team Mom: As close as you can get to one for a team of adults.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Van Pelt's Girly Girl.
- Tsundere: Her actions indicate Type B.
- Undying Loyalty: Towards her entire team - but especially towards Jane. For him she's blackmailed one of her closest friends, blackmailed her boss's boss, punched a robber in order to get his case thrown out of court, gotten locked in a box, and repeatedly gotten suspended from the job that is basically her whole life. There's also six months of anger management classes.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Is often the one to do this to Jane when he goes overboard.
Played By: Tim KangOne of the special agents of the CBI, and probably the most down to earth of the group. Asian-American of Korean heritage. Before joining the CBI, he was an army ranger, and before that he was a gangbanger called "The Iceman", a fact which Jane finds hilarious (in his defense, it is more than a little Cliché and overblown). He's the calm and collected of the group, rarely showing any emotion at all.
- The Atoner: He enlists himself on the army to atone for his time in the gang.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Always seen with a suit and tie; but, until he joins the FBI, his shirts are usually shirtsleeved underneath the jacket (all the better to show off his gun-show when interrogating suspects)
- Beware the Quiet Ones: He doesn't say much, but watch out if you hurt someone he cares about.
- The Big Guy: Although not as big as Rigsby, this guy is really tough.
- Bookworm: Reads pretty hefty looking books during stakeouts.
- Brutal Honesty: His stoic personality often leads to cases of this.
- Cowboy Cop: The most likely to enable and even assist with Patrick's more audacious schemes, despite his aloof attitude.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He used to be part of a street gang.
- Deadpan Snarker: With emphasis on the 'deadpan'.News reporter: "You don't like being asked questions, right? You know, the team, as a whole seems to have a problem with that."Cho: "Was that a question?"Interviewee: "I can make one phone call and your career is toast."Cho: "That's impressive. The best I can get with one call is a pizza."
- Defrosting Ice King: Extremely gradual (you might even say glacial), but being around Jane's antics has lightened him up considerably since the beginning of the series. Comes to a head after the two-year Time Skip following Red John's death and Cho's joining the FBI: in "Green Thumb" he smiles no fewer than three times and laughs twice.
- Does Not Like Spam: According to Van Pelt, Cho hates pineapple (The Thin Red Line).
- Genius Bruiser: He mainly acts as the interrogator, because he is very persuasive and an excellent listener.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rigsby.
- Hidden Depths: Bordering on The Ace levels.
- In-Series Nickname: "The Iceman".
- Offscreen Breakup: With Elise Chaye.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Wayne's and Summer's red.
- Recovered Addict: Cho is hit by a freaking car during a bust and is given pain medication during his recovery for the resulting back injury. As the episodes go on we see him popping the pills as needed. Eventually he realizes he's getting addicted to them. Cho being Cho, he solves his addiction by flushing the remainder of his pills down the toilet and never takes any again.
- Reformed Criminal: He used to be involved with a gang before going into law enforcement.
- Secret Relationship: With Summer, due to her being his CI.
- Shipper on Deck: Shipped Rigsby and Van Pelt during the earlier episodes. When asked, says he does not ship Jane and Lisbon and thinks they're more Like Brother and Sister. He's wrong.
- The Stoic: He hardly ever blinks.
- Straight Man: Especially to Rigsby and later on season six Agent Wylie.
- Token Minority: The only non-Caucasian member of the team.
- Those Two Guys: With Rigsby, whenever they're not affecting the plot.
Played By: Owain YeomanOne of the special agents of the CBI. He's an arson specialist who quickly becomes attracted to Van Pelt. The two begin a secret relationship in the second season. He's a nice, gentle man who sometimes serves as comic relief.
- Battle Couple: With Van Pelt, especially when they start their cybersecurity company.
- Berserk Button: Don't mention his criminal father to him. You'll probably regret it.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's usually a Gentle Giant, but don't go after any of his loved ones or say anything about his father.
- Big Eater: Used to be this, until the actor became a vegetarian in real life.
- The Big Guy: The tallest and bulkiest member of the team.
- Character Development: Since his son was born, he's shown to be more responsible a person. Of course, he is still the team's Plucky Comic Relief dude, but he has grown more mature than he's been in early seasons.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: If a someone's in danger and he can do something about it, you can bet Rigsby will not just stand there no matter how dangerous the situation seems.
- Daddy Issues
- Dark and Troubled Past: His father used to be a biker. A fair amount of abuse is implied.
- Demoted to Extra: In the second half of season 6, following Red John's death.
- The Determinator: Shot twice, once in the upper chest. Still gets up, walks around the house, and kills the shooters before they get to hurt Jane or Van Pelt.
- Faking the Dead: The team fakes his death as part of the plan for Jane to meet Lorelei and Red John in the season 4 finale.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Particularly if they're named Grace...
- I Am Not My Father: He really doesn't like it when people suggest that he's like his father.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He genuinely wants Grace to be happy with O'Laughlin, despite still loving her, which is why he refuses to attend to their wedding.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Whenever Van Pelt gets a new boyfriend, Rigsby takes a few minutes to explain some things to him.
- New Old Flame: He and Grace hook up again at the end of "Red Velvet Cupcakes".
- Offscreen Breakup: He and Sarah broke up between seasons 4 and 5, although it's mentioned that it's because of him faking his death to attempt to catch Red John.
- Office Romance: With Van Pelt.
- Plot Armor: It's the only explanation how he survives White as the Driven Snow. The son of a bitch takes a shotgun blast at point-blank range, followed closely by a bullet to the upper chest, and he still manages to get back up, walk outside, and return the favor.
- Put on a Bus: After the CBI is disbanded in the middle of season 6, he and van Pelt leave and start a cybersecurity firm.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Cho's blue.
- Secret Relationship: With Van Pelt, in season 2. They start it again by the end of season 5.
- Those Two Guys: With Cho, whenever they're not affecting the plot.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Gender-flipped. Do not threaten Grace Van Pelt. He becomes increasingly more violent as he realizes Grace and their daughter have become targets of an Arc Villain in season six.
- You Killed My Father: And he shoots down the man who did it as well.
Grace Van Pelt
Played By: Amanda RighettiThe youngest member of the CBI, special agent Van Pelt is the rookie of the team, and often tasked with research. She begins dating Rigsby secretly on season 2, but they later break up, and she gets engaged to FBI agent Craig O'Laughlin. She kills him in self-defense when he turns out to be Red John's mole. After this she undergoes considerable character development as she learns to cope with what happened: dropping the naivety that defined her in early seasons, learning to express her anger and frustrations, but also working to retain the her sweet side and faith in people.She is hard-working, very bright and often clashes with Jane about her belief in the afterlife.
- Absolute Cleavage: In some of her outfits (mostly chosen by Jane to use her as bait).
- Action Girl: Despite being a rookie, she's still a trained cop. Though she spends much of the later seasons (namely season 5) behind a computer.
- Action Mom: As of season six.
- Affirmative Action Girl: Before she arrived to the unit, Lisbon was the only female.
- Agent Mulder: Always the one to tell the rest of the team (and especially Jane) to "keep an open mind," whether the subject be religion, spiritual mediumship, Haunted Houses, or Alien Abduction.
- Break the Cutie: Van Pelt has taken a cynical turn following having to kill her fiance, The Mole for Red John, in self-defense.
- Buxom Is Better: Taken to an almost ridiculous extreme when Amanda Righetti came back from maternity leave(while still breastfeeding her son) in Season 5, as there was a completely unneeded shot of her running up a driveway, and a later shot framed her breasts-first.
- Character Development: About season 1 to 3, she was a subversion to Fiery Redhead at best, full-on Generic Girl at worst. Following Break the Cutie event in season 3 finale, though, she starts to grow some beard, with emerging Cowboy Cop attitude and Fiery Redhead temper. At the very least, she is no more the rookie.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Not as bad as the others, but still troubling. She's raised in Nowheresville and looked down for her gender. Jane also mentions that she has a trauma that she never speaks of to anyone. A conversation with Brett Stiles in season 4 does heavily suggest she was abused by someoen close to her, though.
- Dead Person Conversation: With O'Laughlin in the episode "My Bloody Valentine".
- Demoted to Extra: In season 6 after the Red John arc ends.
- Fiery Redhead: Particularly from season 4 onwards. To the extent that it concerns her companions.
- Hide Your Pregnancy: She got Put on a Bus to a hackers' school halfway through season 5. When The Bus Came Back three episodes later, she spent an episode in exceptionally baggy clothes and hiding behind her desk - not that this helped conceal the pregnancy weight/water retention in her face, and of course the observant viewer caught several glimpses of her very round belly when she had to stand up and walk (or teeter, given her heels and attempts to not lean back like a pregnant woman balancing that extra weight in front).
- Honey Trap: Whenever a hot lady is needed for an undercover mission, Jane heads straight to Van Pelt.
- Knight in Sour Armour: Starting in season 4.
- The Lad-ette: Similarly to Lisbon, but still different. She has an intense knowledge of american football, due to her father being a football coach, and has some tomboyish aspects, but not as much as Lisbon.
- Meet Cute: How did she and Craig meet? Oh, right, they had a brutal car crash when he was chasing her and Rigsby.
- New Old Flame: She and Rigsby hook up again at the end of "Red Velvet Cupcakes".
- Put on a Bus: In the middle of season 6, following the disbandment of the CBI, she and Rigsby start a cybersecurity firm.
- The Reliable One: Van Pelt often goes unnoticed and unappreciated for the long hours she spends hunting down files and information for the other characters.
The FBI Core
Played By: Rockmond DunbarAn FBI agent dispatched to Sacramento to shut down CBI. Sent from the Austin, Texas office to allay fears of corruption due to the Blake Association's reach in California.
- Adorkable: Seen when Jane buys him a Voltron toy robot.
- Ambiguously Evil: His appearance raised a host of questions, but it now seems he's one of the good guys, if a bit of a dick.
- By-the-Book Cop: Despite initial fears that he might be another of the Blake Association's plants, it seems pretty clear now that he's clean.
- That said, he sees no trouble with Jane's riskier schemes, almost making him a Cowboy Cop.
- Da Chief: To Jane's new team in the FBI.
- Defrosting Ice King: To Jane and Lisbon, during season six.
- Happily Married: To his wife Lena. To the point of caving in at Blackmail so she'll get her dream job without his Sympathetic Murder Backstory getting in the way.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When he suggests his wife should go to Washington DC alone, to make the executives assessing her stop caring about his past.
- Jerkass: Maybe 'uncompromising' is a better word, but still.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Is more or less absolutely right about everything, if not from Jane's warped perspective. And a little (or perhaps a lot) of uncompromising is exactly what the more-or-less anarchic CBI needed, even if that meant permanent shutdown.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Lets Jane go in order to avoid a bloodbath that probably would have resulted in his death and the deaths of Jane and the entire Core, not to mention Red John's escape.
- Not So Above It All: By the beginning of season six, was seen as a hardass with an antagonistic relationship with Jane. Then Jane gave him something.Fisher: A [toy] robot?
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is generally a hardass, but is capable of being swayed.
- Starts to trust Jane more and more as he sees him crack cases, and can often be counted to provide whatever crazy things Jane needs.
- Scary Black Man: Invoked sometimes in his roles in Jane's schemes.
- Shipper on Deck: Seems to ship Jane and Lisbon of all people. When she considers moving to Washington, he sets the two of them up on a nice dinner (granted, with the premise of looking for a suspect) and even makes comments to Jane implying he needs to man up and tell her exactly what he wants.
Played By: Emily SwallowSome person who works for the FBI
- Put on a Bus: Left to take care of her mother after Season 6. Unlike Rigsby and Van Pelt, she doesn't return for the finale.
Played By: Joe AdlerSome person who works for the FBI
- All Love Is Unrequited: He has a transparent crush on Vega, who seems more interested in Cho. He finally does get her to agree to a date with him - but she dies later the same day.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Has a knack for carrying out orders before they're asked.
- Non-Action Guy: Other than Jane himself, Wylie is the only lead of either gender not to be a field trained agent.
Played By: Josie LorenSome person who works for the FBI
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: For Agent Cho
- Killed Off for Real: A startling example. And she only lasted a handful of episodes.
- Sacrificial Lion: Being a fledgling badass doesn't save her from dying from a gunshot wound in her tenth episode.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Averted: At first it looks as though she's only there to round out the cast and replace Fisher, but she actually has a very different story. Arguably, though, she is very similar to Van Pelt's character back in Season 1.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Lasted only 10 episodes during the final season.
The CBI Office
Played By: Gregory ItzinThe first Special Agent in charge of the CBI unit. He's a good agent and a good boss, but does not like Jane's antics much. He resigns the position after Sam Bosco and his team are murdered.
- The Bus Came Back: He has two guest appearances: one in season 3, when Jane asks him a favor, and one in season 5, in a Flashback episode that shows how Jane started working for the police.
- Put on a Bus: After retiring.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Retires after Bosco's team is killed.
Played By: Aunjanue EllisA Special Agent sent in as Minelli's replacement. She's hard-working and very bright, as Jane remarks just upon meeting her. Madeleine was married prior to her introduction, and is on the middle of getting divorced. She is also the mother of two kids.
- Big Damn Heroes: Along with Lisbon, shows up to save Jane from Kirkland.
- The Bus Came Back: Shows up again in season six.
- Bus Crash: Died along with her two children on a car accident offscreen. Except she turns out to be...
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She is mentioned to be suspended at one point in season 4, but ever since then she hasn't been mentioned even once.
- Faking the Dead: To keep her family safe and away from Red John.
- Frameup: She is framed for the murders of Todd Johnson and Manuel Montero.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Does this when she is first introduced to Lisbon, saying that Jane's behaviour is her responsibility.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Especially after having to fake her death.
- Mama Bear: Emphasized especially in the third season towards the point when she takes them to hide in the mountains when she is wrongly convicted.
- A Mother to Her Men: Lisbon and the team remain loyal to her, even after she's framed for the murder of Todd Johnson.
- Put on a Bus: Following the season 3 finale.
Played By: Michael RadyThe new Special Agent in Charge of CBI, starting from Season Four. A wise man; everyone in our CBI team seems to like him.
- Berserk Button: Nobody calls Wainwright mommy's boy. When Jane does, Wainwright fires him.
- Bound and Gagged: In the season 4 finale, by Red John.
- By-the-Book Cop: By default, he is this. That doesn't mean he cannot be reasonable, though. Read on.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He is insistent about following rules, but he's also very tolerant of Jane's antics, compared to two previous bosses.
Played By: Terry KinneyHe takes over Red John's investigation in the first half of season two. Until Red John's mole, Rebecca, kills him so Jane can be in charge of it again.
- All Love Is Unrequited: For Lisbon.
- Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: He's actually a quite nice guy... he's really just a jerkass towards Jane, who he doesn't like. He eventually warms up to him, though.
- Only Sane Man: Bosco is a real-world cop who plays by real-world rules and unfortunately doesn't realize that he lives in a TV show where Cowboy Cop tactics work and are often rewarded.
- Your Cheating Heart: Clearly in love with Lisbon (but never really acts on it) despite the fact that he's married.
Played By: Shauna BloomBosco's secretary.
- Dark and Troubled Past: And unknown, too, as it's never really revealed (except for a few comments Jane makes that may or may not be true).
- Mad Love: She's madly in love with Red John.
- Yandere: For Red John.
Played By: Pruitt Taylor VinceThe head of CBI Internal Affairs. Due to the nature of his job, a natural antagonist to Jane and the team. Takes the position of CBI chief for a while after Hightower goes on the run.
- Badass Bookworm: Very intelligent, and very capable of handling himself.Hightower: Looks like someone won a few science fairs in their day.LaRoche (laughs at first before getting completely serious): I won all of them.
- The Bus Came Back: After leaving the post of CBI chief in season four, comes back to investigate Rigsby in season five. Becomes a recurring character.
- The Comically Serious: Sometimes, specially when his stoicness contrastes with Jane's personality.
- Creepy Monotone: And knows how to use it for interviews.
- Large and in Charge: A pretty huge dude.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He regrets deeply the depths he sank into to avenge his mother's rape. Jane tells Lisbon he's been punishing himself ever since.
- Not So Different: From Jane. Turns out that LaRoche, who advocates policework by the rules also attacked a man out of desire for revenge, as Jane plans to. Jane even lampshades that at the end of Red and Itchy.
- Real Men Wear Pink: In his private time he collects delicate figurines and owns a poodle.
- Red Herring: Heavily hinted to be the mole in the CBI in the latter half of the third season. Turns out it's O'Laughlin.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: A variation, since Jane isn't an outright criminal, but being the head of CBI Internal Affairs means that he'll often be against Jane. Yet he's come to respect him as a detective and they have teamed up more than once.
- Sympathetic Murder Backstory: Or, at least, sympathetic mutilation of a tongue.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Just what does he hide in the Tupperware in his safe?
- Worthy Opponent: There's a whole vibe of this going on between him and Jane.
Osvaldo "Oscar" Ardiles
Played By: David NoronaCBI's Assistant District Attorney. The nature of his work usually puts him at odds with the team.
- Amoral Attorney: Gives strong vibes of this, though, so far, he hasn't been caught doing anything wrong. In season five, Brenda tells Lisbon about a certain Farland case. The mention of that is enough to get Ardiles to break the law in order to get some sealed documents for Lisbon.
Played By: Rebecca WisockyThe head of CBI's Media Relations Unit.
- Butt-Monkey: It's subtle, but many jokes are made at her expense, due to her Slave to PR tendencies.
- Gossipy Hens: In season five, Jane tells Lisbon to go search for someone whose business is to know about everyone else's business. Cue Gilligan Cut and Lisbon is talking to Brenda.
- The Mole: Has been feeding Tommy Volker information about Lisbon's investigation. Was also responsible for passing info to suspects in a number of CBI cases, causing those cases to go south, until she was finally caught.
- Red Herring: One of the suspects of being Red John's Mole in the end of season three. It was O'Laughlin. Ironically she later turned out to be a Mole herself, just not to Red John.
- Slave to PR: Throws Jane's anti-hero's tendencies into nice contrast.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Is very reluctant to tell Tommy Volker about Marvin Pettigrew.
Played By: Reed DiamondLisbon's temporary replacement in Season Four.
- The Bus Came Back: He reappears in season 5.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Shows up in one episode in season four, and for guest appearances in season five. Is one of the seven suspects of being Red John.
- Church Militant: Is a part of Visualize.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Apparently died in the explosion in Jane's house.
- Put on a Bus: When Lisbon is restored to the team in "Little Red Book".
- Trouble Entendre: His conversation with Lisbon on Black-Winged Red Bird plays out like this, although it is not known whether he actually meant any threat.
Played By: Michael GastonThe director of the CBI.
- Dirty Cop: One of the dirtiest. Works for Blake Association.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Killed rather suddenly after revealing everything he knows to Jane.
- The Mole: Confirmed, though he claims to be 'just a humble footsoldier' in the Blake Association.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Gradually subverted.
- Red Herring: One of the suspects of being Red John's Mole in the end of season three. The strongest of all the others, since the assassin entered his room in the hotel... but she was actually just heading down to O'Laughlin's room through the balcony. Is on the final list of Jane's suspects, and is thought to be Red John for quite a while, but it turns out to be Sheriff McAllister.
- Sleazy Politician: A cop version.
- Slimeball: Has one of the most grating personalities on TV. You might even call it a Michael Gaston specialty.
Played By: Jack PlotnickA macabre-loving CBI forensic technician specializing in Red John's murders.
- All There in the Manual: The original script of the Pilot describes him as similar to Ricky Gervais.
- Back for the Dead: Returns in season 6 to be killed in the opening episode.
- The Bus Came Back: After two seasons without him, he returns in season 5.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He gets a bit overexcited at the sight of an interesting crime, but he does seem to know a lot about his occupation.
- Creepy Mortician: The CBI's resident example.
- Cloudcuckoolander: His enaction of a crime goes a bit off in the Pilot.Partridge: He waits for her, expecting her to come in alone. Only thing, her friend Tannen chose the wrong night to come over for a Richard Gere and ice cream orgy. So Red John zaps them both with his trusty stun gun and grabs a five iron from the bag here, and BAM! Crushes Tannen's skull. Then takes his sweet time dealing with Alison how he likes.
- Dark Is Not Evil: A complete gore freak, although not explicitly evil. He later turns out as one of the 7 suspects of being Red John as of the season 5 finale, and at the Season 6's premiere, after being killed by Red John, is revealed that he was indeed a member of the Blake Association.
- Deadpan Snarker: Every time he is unimpressed with Jane's knowledge about Red John.
- Dirty Cop: A part of Blake Association.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Admires Red John's murder style and considers it a work of art. Naturally, Jane isn't amused.
- Jerkass: Downplayed. Bizarre quirks aside, he seems to be a somewhat friendly guy, but his notable personal enmity with Jane often brings out his sarcastic side.
- The Mole: Worked for Red John's cult.
- Meaningful Name: His surname brings to the memory the painting A brace of partridge by William Blake, the author of the poem The Tyger which Red John is famous for uttering. This not only increases Partridge's profile as a Red John suspect, but later highlights his membership of the Blake Association.
- Nausea Dissonance: He seems genuinely puzzled when his enthusiastic description of a death by incineration makes Jane feel sick.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Admires everything related to forensic science and death in general, to the point he almost squees at seeing a case of Spontaneous Human Combustion.
- No Name Given: A variation: his name is never explicitly said until Season 5, but it is always visible on his ID card.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jane delivers one to him in the Pilot.Jane: You know what your problem is, my friend? You enjoy your work a little too much. You're a ghoul. If you don't get horny reading Fangoria, I'm Britney Spears.Partridge: I-I resent that! This is you trying to redeem yourself, is it?Jane: [to Lisbon] I'm sorry. He irks me. He's irksome.
- Red Herring: Partridge is pointed as a Red John suspect as soon as his second apparition, and the number of evidences only increases as the series advances. However, he is not Red John, and in fact gets killed by him in the opening episode of Season 6, but he is revealed to be a part of his cult.
A mysterious and dangerous Serial Killer who murdered Jane's wife and child after the former, in his capacity as a television "psychic", gives a phony and insulting psychic profile calling Red John "weak". It was the last time he would murder for his original pathology (torturing and killing women)- all his victims in the series are either to cover his tracks or to mess with Patrick Jane, or otherwise to avenge an "insult" such as "cheap imitations" of his work.While Jane is hell-bent on tracking Red John down and killing him, Red John seems fascinated by Patrick and doesn't make any attempt to kill him, instead playing subtle Criminal Mind Games and acting mostly either to screw with Patrick or cut off any leads that might come back to him. Neither his identity nor his goals are confirmed until Season 6 but, unusually for a Serial Killer, he seems to be at the head of an entire network of murderers and serial killers, many acting independently but seemingly ready to kill or even die for him. His real name is Sherriff Thomas McAllister
- Attention Whore: As Jane notes, Red John is a showman, he loves the attention he gets from the crimes he's committed and the reason he's so fixated on Jane is because Jane gives him the most attention out of anyone.
- Ax-Crazy: A sadistic Attention Whore that kills For the Evulz. He's high-functioning when it comes to this but he doesn't hide that he enjoys his work as much as the attention cast upon them.
- Antagonist Title: Few episodes mention him, fewer deal directly with him, and only three can be confirmed to actually show him on camera (one where he was wearing a mask, one where he's only partly shown as he's committing a murder, and the third where his identity is finally revealed), but every episode has some reference, however vague, to the colour "red" in the title, to show that he is still the main villain.
- Arch-Enemy: Jane considers him to be his; Red John, for his part, seems to treat Jane more as a one-sided Friendly Enemy.
- Bad Boss: He has no qualms with killing off pawns who have outlived their usefulness.
- Berserk Button: He clearly doesn't like people talking bad about him on television, as Jane, Kristina and Panzer can assure you.
- Big Bad: For six-sevenths of the series.
- Big Damn Villains: Red John himself comes to Jane's rescue in the Season 2 finale.
- Calling Card: A smiley face painted on the wall in his victims' blood with a rubber glove, always clockwise, and always placed so that whoever was meant to find the body- usually a family member- will see it before finding the victim, so that they'll know what happened first and dread confirming it. Twice he has painted his victims' toenails in their blood as well- Jane's wife, and later a young girl to lure Jane into a trap. Also, the William Blake poem "Tyger, Tyger", used by both him and his accomplices, possibly to identify each other. Goes into Black Comedy territory when its revealed to also be the password of the corrupt law enforcement fraternity that he started.
- Card-Carrying Villain: When Jane calls him an "evil, sexually perverted sociopath with delusions of grandeur" Red John admits he has to own up to the "evil, sexually perverted sociopath" part. He does get annoyed when Jane says he only has "delusions of grandeur" instead of just being grand.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He made his first "official" appearance in the second episode of the series, and was revealed in the episode "Red John" to be the Big Bad himself.
- The Chessmaster: He's almost constantly at least one step ahead of Patrick and the CBI, and only really makes a few mistakes in his last appearances(one of his last victims sees his tattoo and is able to tell Patrick about it before dying, and he then lets Patrick choose the location of their meeting, which gives Patrick the opportunity to hide a gun there before the meet.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: What he does to his female victims, his preferred targets. As of season 5, it's confirmed he's committed at least one rape as well, though given that it's never been confirmed he's raped any of his other victims despite the torture, it seems likely that he did it specifically for this reason.
- Dirty Coward: Revealed to be this in the end. Once he's shot by Jane, he attempts everything he can think of to avoid his death, from trying to manipulate Jane, to running, to calling 911 when cornered, to finally flat-out begging Jane to spare him and admitting that he's terrified to die.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Perform cheap copy-cat killings of his work? He'll shoot you dead. Insult him on state television? He'll either kill you or he'll kill your entire family. But for the love of God don't try and empathise with him on national television, unless you want to be brainwashed into believing you are dead.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Red John does NOT tolerate "poor imitations" of his work, and is even kind enough to spare the life of the patsy the main perpetrators of the plot blackmailed into it (with his mother's life no less) with merely a shot to the leg.
- Evil Old Folks: Red John has a twenty-plus year career, so it's a fairly safe assumption he's this. Confirmed when he's revealed to be Sheriff Thomas McAllister.
- Expy: The Red John character shares many similarities with the similarly-named "Jack of All Trades" (Dennis Christopher of It), the main antagonist of the 90's series Profiler. Like Red John, Jack had a number of body doubles/aliases and later cooperated in his own manhunt by posing as a Sheriff.
- Faking the Dead: Faked having died in the explosion in Jane's house... only to really die one episode later.
- Faux Affably Evil: Leaves a polite note starting "Dear Mr Jane", to tell Patrick he has just murdered his family. Whenever they interact afterwards, Red John is always highly polite to his nemesis, though this only serves to highlight how soulless Red John really is.
- Friendly Enemy: He always treats Jane in a very cordial way and he uses his pawns to extend "offers of friendship" to him. Jane interprets these offers as just attempts to break him completely.
- The Ghost: He never appeared in person until the second season, and even then he was disguised when he showed up.
- Hidden Villain: His true identity was the show's Driving Question until halfway through the sixth season.
- Knife Nut: Inverted. These days, he mostly uses guns, but all his victims up to and including Patrick's family were killed, and usually tortured, with a knife.
- Knight of Cerebus: The show can be light-hearted but it's always at its darkest whenever Red John's around.
- Lack of Empathy: Seems unable to care about anyone but himself and has no qualms about sacrificing his loyal underlings at the drop of a hat.
- The Man Behind the Man: A freaky amount of murderers and serial killers are actually controlled by him.
- Manipulative Bastard: Is able to get both his serial killing 'apprentices' and other members of the Blake Assosciation to do pretty much whatever he wants.
- Monster Misogyny: He primarily torture-murders only women and girls. He murders Janee's family which is all female and he does crazy stuff like brainwash women into thinking they are dead. He never got the memo that women are man's equal and could kick his tail.
- Narcissist: He just can't get enough of himself and how "amazing" he is.
- Not So Different: With Jane, Lorelei calls him out on this, saying she's surprised they aren't the best of friends since they're both so smart, manipulative and always have an angle to control people. In one instance when Red John's face is obscured it's showed that they even sit and drink their tea in the same way.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: When in his civilian guise of Sheriff Thomas McAllister, he comes off as, if not quite buffoonish, at least normal, especially in his first encounter with Jane.
- Psychic Powers:What he claims to possess as Jane prepares to strangle him.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Despite his cultured nature, it's revealed that he's this at the core. He throws away people's lives like a kid burning ants with a magnifying glass and reacts to the attention his murders bring with the same sort of glee as a petulant, fame obsessed six year old.
- Revenge by Proxy: His murder of Jane's family.
- Serial Killer: Though semi-retired; most of his recent victims are really just covering his tracks, or messing with Jane. When active his victim type was young to middle-aged women.
- The Sociopath: Self-centred, incredibly sadistic, and having an extreme lack of empathy.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: He has a very quiet, unassuming voice. Turns out that isn't his real voice though, and he's capable of switching at will between his regular speaking voice and his high, squeaky one. His real voice is more of a Guttural Growler.
- Villainous Rescue: Red John saves Jane from his copycat killer in the second season finale.
- Villains Want Mercy: Tries everything he can think of to convince Jane to spare him. He tries to invoke If You Killed Me You Will Be Just Like Me by telling Jane the murder will weigh on his soul. That doesn't work. He then tells Jane that he will tell Jane how he got the list of seven possible candidates. That doesn't work either. As a last ditch effort, he resorts to flat out begging and pleading for his life. It still doesn't work.
- We Are Everywhere: Twice was able to kill an accomplice held in the CBI building, both under tight security, once and possibly both times using another accomplice. Tracked down and killed an informant before Jane could find him, knows and associates with other serial killers scattered throughout California and possibly the local Church of Happyology, and seemingly was tracking Jane throughout the season 2 finale with the latter being none the wiser. The team haven't noticed it, but he also has access to their security cameras and monitors them constantly. Has moles or allies at seemingly all levels of law enforcement, from a sherrifs deputy to the coffee girl at the CBI and even an FBI agent.
- We Can Rule Together: Offers this to Jane in the season 4 finale, though it's really just an effort to turn him into another pawn.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: It's revealed through the notes of Jane's psychiatrist that he has one big fear he tries to deny. Turns out he suffers from ornithophobia, otherwise known as a fear of birds.
- Wicked Cultured: Red John listens to Bach and quotes William Blake's poetry.
- Worthy Opponent: He appears to view his entire "feud" with Jane as little more than an amusing game against a "fun" and challenging opponent. The patronizing praise he gives Jane is the closest he's ever gotten to showing anyone genuine respect.
- Would Hurt a Child: He murdered Jane's daughter.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Two of his accomplices thus far have been killed by him, either directly or through another accomplice, because they were caught and before they could identify him, the first by fast-acting poison, the second by being set on fire. Also murdered another associate and his hooker, though that was because the former actually tried to rat on him.
Played By: Malcolm McDowellThe head of Visualize, a Church of Happyology in California. Besides Red John, he is one of the few criminals whom Jane fails to bust so far. Well, he's not exactly criminal, but shady and manipulative enough that we cannot consider him the good guy either. He's shown to have connections here and there; in fact, he knows Red John's network enough that he is able to tell Jane where Kristina Frye is.
- A God Am I: His followers consider him a God.
- Affably Evil: Though he is a cult leader who may be involved in some very serious criminal activities, he is always polite to Jane and the rest of the team whenever he sees them. Thus far he has yet to do anything obviously evil on-screen, and seems to be a genuinely pleasant person in his day-to-day life.
- Badass Preacher
- Berserk Button: Bret doesn't like it when people he trusts lie straight to his face. He offers his lawyer the chance to deny murdering one of his cult members who the lawyer was having an affair with; he denies it, and Bret slaps the taste right out of his mouth, being almost as good as Jane when it comes to seeing through deception.
- Church Militant: People are willing to kill at his directions.
- Dating Catwoman: In "His Thoughts Were Red Thoughts," he openly hits on Grace. She considers it... but turns him down.
- Devil in Plain Sight: He is under investigation by the FBI and the CBI consider him a highly suspect character; his church is thought to be involved in a number of criminal activities and is generally considered a cult at the very least. Yet nobody has been able to prove anything and the members and supporters of his church are prepare to defend him, violently if necessary.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Despite being a major character and recurring antagonist ever since the second season, Stiles is killed off by a bomb planted by Red John with little fanfare. Though Stiles did say he was sick and had a month to live at most anyway, it's more than a little jarring to see him go out this way.
- Frameup: In "His Thoughts Were Red Thoughts," he frames himself for the murder to weed out disloyal members of his inner circle. As it turns out, all of them are disloyal to varying degrees.
- Put On The Bus: At the end of "The Blood On His Hands", he retreats to Indonesia to open Visualize branch there.
- Your Days Are Numbered: In season six he's dying and has only a month to live at most.
Played By: Morena BaccarinFormerly in charge of the matchmaking service, Symphony, Erica first came into contact with the CBI when Jane deduced she murdered her husband for trying to sell their company. Manipulative, intelligent and charming, she's one of the few villains who poses a challenge to Jane.
- Dating Catwoman: With Jane.
- Karma Houdini: Zig-Zagged; she's arrested for her crime and tried for manslaughter between her first and second appearances, but when she comes in to consult a case with the CBI, she escapes.
- In her third appearance she tries the same trick but is arrested and told she will face a full sentence for her husband's murder.
Played By: Henry Ian CusickTo the outside world, billionaire Tommy Volker is an affable philanthropist, on the inside, however, he's a cold-blooded and sadistic Corrupt Corporate Executive whose greed led him to wiping out an entire Amazonian village. Slippery enough to avoid paying for his crimes, Lisbon is still determined to bring Volker to justice.
- Arc Villain: In season five.
- Arch-Enemy: To Lisbon.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He’s relatively quick to drop his charming demeanor when he gets angry.
- Deadpan Snarker: A habit that quickly gets into Lisbon's nerves.
- Evil Is Petty: In response to Lisbon accusing him of his past crimes and turning his assistant into a witness, he has his assistant murdered, arranges it to look like a suicide, and forges a suicide email laying the blame for it on Lisbon.
- Karma Houdini: Notable in being one of the few villains to get away with his crimes by the end of his episode. He is finally arrested in "Little Red Corvette". Time will tell whether that's enough to put him behind bars, though.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Powerful enough connections that an agent in Homeland Security tries to dissuade Lisbon from going after him due to the politicians he’s in bed with.
- The Sociopath: He's referred to as such in the show. His chilling habit of personally watching his hitmen murder his victims, lends credence to this.
- Villainous Breakdown: Goes through a steady one in Little Red Corvette as Lisbon and the team get closer and closer to exposing his crimes. This culminates in him personally trying to murder a little boy who witnessed one of his crimes, despite Volker's habit of never getting his own hands dirty.
- Would Hurt a Child: After a hitman refuses, Volker goes after a kid himself. He doesn't get the chance, though.
Played By: David PaymerA serial killer investigator particularly interested in the San Joaquin Killer. Jane figures out he's actually the San Joaquin Killer on episode eight of season 4, and he's killed by Red John by the end of the episode.
- Attention Whore: Like Red John, he seems to have a pathological need for attention, even writing a blog devoted to his Serial Killer persona.
- Bald of Evil: Well, mostly bald, he's still got a little hair left on the top.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Once Red John is supposedly dead, Panzer attempts to convince people that the San Joaquin Killer is an even bigger threat. Not only is he wrong, he doesn't even survive his first episode.
- Bullying a Dragon: In his defense, when he mocked Red John he did believe the man to be dead, unfortunately for him, he was very, very wrong.
- Calling Card: Part of his modus operandi was to put small objects over his victims eyes, like pebbles and bottle caps. His last victim had her eyes completely gouged out.
- For the Evulz: He claimed that SJK was a "purist" who killed purely for the pleasure of watching the life drain from his victims' eyes. While this could be part of his motive, really he's more in it for the attention.
- Karmic Death: Killed by the very same Serial Killer he was bad-mouthing on TV.
- Manipulative Bastard: In addition to convincing most people he's just a concerned investigative crime reporter who wants to warn people of the danger of the SJK, he also manipulates the parents of the first girl he killed into thinking the same about him, basking in their anguish whenever he visits them.
- Narcissist: When you're a Serial Killer and you're writing a blog about yourself and hyping up your image on national television you know you've got an ego.
- Serial Killer: Killed at least six girls.
- Slashed Throat: How he kills his victims.
- Small Role, Big Impact: His death reopens Red John Myth Arc.
- Smug Snake: Taunts Red John on television. Is dead by the next day.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: He looks completely unremarkable, just a regular, podgy middle-aged man.
- Would Hurt a Child: His victims ranged from sixteen to twenty.
Played By: William MapotherAn allegedly reformed pedophile introduced in season 4 who is constantly wrongly suspected of more serious crimes. He has a particular grudge against Lisbon and Jane as he feels they are harassing him, and is eventually kidnapped and tortured after Jane frames him as a Red John suspect. In season 6, he snaps and starts targeting the former CBI teammates in revenge.
- Abusive Parents: All but stated to have been sexually abused by his father.
- Ambiguously Evil: Most of his appearances consist of him being accused of everything from child murder to being Red John himself, but while he was convicted of child abuse in the past he claims to have reformed and is usually cleared of wrongdoing by the end of each episode.
- Brother-Sister Team: He and his sister Hazel worked together to target the CBI.
- Create Your Own Villain: While already a creepy voyeur, he only starts looking for revenge against Jane and the core CBI team after their involvement in his life leads him to be arrested and tortured.
- Fingore: Plans on chopping off Jane's fingers with an axe before killing him. He gets shot by Rigsby before he has the chance.
- Never My Fault: While he does have a point when he blames the CBI for framing him as a possible Red John suspect, he never once acknowledges that he only got kidnapped and tortured because he refused CBI protection.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: This man is surprisingly ruthless despite looking like a voyeur freak. If not for Rigsby's blatant Plot Armor, he would have succeeded at killing Jane, Van Pelt, and Rigsby all.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Jane's involvement in his life leads to his arrest and later torture, he formulates a complex plan which leads to the deaths of Oscar and JJ LaRoche, and the near deaths of [[spoiler:Rigsby, Van Pelt and Jane.
- Tragic Villain: It's implied that the sexual abuse he endured as a child at the hands of his father caused him to be a pedophile.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Several seasons of being harassed and eventually tortured turn him into the murderous bastard everyone kept accusing him of being.
- Took a Level in Badass: Apparently was able to plant trackers on all of the former CBI agents who had been harassing him in season 6, including the main cast, and masterminded the abduction or murder of several people- including the kidnapping of Van Pelt- with the help of his sister. He and his sister very nearly kills Van Pelt, Rigsby and Jane as well, even after they capture them.
- Villain Has a Point: Not that he is an ethically pristine person, but he does, however, have a valid case when he accuses Patrick Jane and the CBI team of ruining his life. Everything Patrick Jane does to him will definitely not stand in the court of law.
- Who's Laughing Now?: When Jane's plan actually goes wrong and Richard manages to get the drop on him, Haibach's doesn't hold back in rubbing Jane's face in the fact he's not as smart as he thinks he is.
Played By: Titus WelliverA prominent member of an equity firm and secretly the mastermind behind a ruthless ring of human and organ traffickers.
- Affably Evil: He is polite and pleasant with Lisbon and Jane and he doesn't kill people needlessly; he is, though, still responsible for a huge number of abductions and murders and is utterly remorseless about his actions to boot.
- Arc Villain: Of the human trafficking arc in the latter part of season 6, and the closest thing to a Big Bad the end of season 6 had.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He runs an equity firm, buying and selling smaller businesses, which he uses to obscure the fact that he technically owns vehicles and clinics used by the trafficking ring.
- Dirty Coward: Janes gets him to talk by threatening to harvest his organs; although responsible for the kidnapping and deaths of countless young women, he folds quickly when it comes to his own skin.
- I Have Your Wife: Isn't above threatening the families of his employees to stop them from talking, to the point of basically ordering them to kill themselves if they want their loved ones to live.
- Lack of Empathy: Has a seriously bad case of this. He doesn't take pleasure in any of the numerous murders he orders, but he has zero remorse for them as well and even considers his work to be in the service of a "higher cause" because he is saving the lives of rich and powerful people.
- A Million Is a Statistic: Thinks the victims of his ring don't matter because their organs go to prominent individuals like scientists and businessmen who matter more. He really believes it, too.
- Moral Myopia: Thinks the lives of "important" people like himself and his wealthy clients matter more to the world than all the girls he has murdered. Also, is horrified when he thinks Jane murders his dragon Anthony, despite casually ordering dozens if not hundreds of deaths himself.
- Never My Fault: Not only does he flatly deny any wrongdoing, he honestly thinks that what he did wasn't wrong because he doesn't regard any of his victims as important people.
- Smug Snake: Downplayed. He is fairly civil to Lisbon and Jane most of the time, even when they are accusing him of heinous crimes. He still doesn't think he'll get caught, though.
- The Stoic: He is cool, calm and collected through his appearances and rarely shows much emotion. He shows some genuine fear when his life is threatened, of course.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Nearly everyone who works for him who gets chased or caught by the FBI winds up dead.
- Villainous Friendship: Is seemingly on genuinely good terms with his Dragon Anthony. The only concern he shows for another human being is when he thinks Jane has just murdered him.
The Federal Agents
Played By: Eric WinterAn FBI agent that serves as Van Pelt's love interest in season 3.
- Dead Person Conversation: With Grace, in season 4.
- Face–Heel Turn: On the season 3 finale.
- Meet Cute: How did he and Grace meet? Oh, right, they had a brutal car crash when he was chasing her and Rigsby.
Played By: Catherine DentAn FBI agent assigned to investigate the San Joaquin Killer. She's later assigned the Red John case after Red John kills the San Joaquin Killer.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Her career went down and she loses herself after accidentally killing Wainwright in the season 4 finale.
- Ship Tease: With Wainwright, at times.
Played By: Polly WalkerAn FBI agent who takes over Darcy's investigation in Season 5.
Played By: Drew PowellOne of Schultz's agent, partner with Mancini.
- Alone with the Psycho: Inverted. His conversation with Kirkland in the park played it like Kirkland was the psycho. While Kirkland does have a nasty case of Knight Templar, Smith turns out to be more dangerous than him.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Turns out to be one of the seven people Jane thinks might be Red John.
- Dirty Cop: Works for Blake Association.
- Dramatic Irony: He understands he is in danger when the cop who is supposed to be helping him tells him the same thing he told Kirkland.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When he becomes a target of Blake Association, he quickly calls the CBI and surrenders.
- In the Back: Makes Kirkland run away from the van so he can shoot him in the back — and tell everyone Kirkland was trying to escape.
- The Mole: Works for Blake Association.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Lower-level FBI officer, looks more like Dumb Muscle than a thinker - but is the one who offs Kirkland after the latter is arrested
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Man can look dumb if he wants to.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: A target of Blake Association for that, although he has managed to escape for now.
Robert "Bob" Kirkland
Played By: Kevin CorriganA Homeland Security Agent who's been introduced in Red Dawn. Has been pursuing the Red John case for a while and is very interested in Jane's progress.
- Alone with the Psycho: Played straight when he corners Jane in the parking lot to kidnap him, and subverted in a conversation with Reede Smith about certain William Blake poems: viewers thought Kirkland was a part of Red John's organization and Smith wasn't, but it turned out to be the exact opposite.
- Devil in Plain Sight: To the viewership, at least... he's evidently shady after killing Lennon.
- Dirty Cop: He is a suspect of being Red John. Also, in one episode, he has his men break into Jane's room in the CBI and steal his investigation.
- Face Death with Dignity: Realizes what's going to happen to him as soon as Smith stops the van, and forgoes Smith's small talk, telling him to just get on with it. Smith still makes him run away so he can get to shoot him in the back.
- Good All Along: For a given value of 'good,' but he's definitely not working with Red John, the Blake Association, or any other bad guy.
- Hidden Villain: While Jane doesn't trust him entirely, most of the team has no idea what he's up to.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: And the audience doesn't know exactly what he wants either.
- Mysterious Watcher: Has been following Jane's career in the CBI from the very beginning.
- Not So Stoic: In "Red Listed".
- Red Herring: A big one at that. Strongly hinted to be working for Red John, if not Red John himself. Turns out he's actually after revenge against Red John. Also, he ends up going after Jane's fake list of suspects. He's understandably pissed when Jane tells him about that.
- Remember the New Guy?: He has been watching Jane since before the series started, but he has only shown up by Season Five.
- Revenge: Actually his motivation.
- Shadow Archetype: Kirkland is what Jane would have become if Jane doesn't have Lisbon. Where Jane is merely a consultant, hates politics, and restrains himself for the sake of Lisbon, Kirkland is a cop, takes politics and connections very seriously, and doesn't care who he has to hurt to get to Red John.
The Local Police
Sheriff Thomas McAllister
Played By: Xander Berkeley
- Chekhov's Gunman: Made a single appearance, in the episode after the pilot, and was never seen again for five seasons. Then Season Six reveals him to be Red John.
- Dirty Cop: In his debut appearance, the CBI team doesn't really trust him, and suspects he might be the criminal of the week, which he isn't. But as Red John, however... oh yes. He is quite dirty.
Played By: Samaire ArmstrongA prostitute who appears on Season Four and becomes a recurring character. On her first appearance, she withstands Cho's stoicness, insisting that if she were to cooperate Cho ought to show common courtesy. At the end of the episode Cho gives her a job as an informant. And later on they date. And then break up.
- The Bus Came Back: One episode in season 5, she's pregnant and getting married.
- Happily Married: In her season 5 appearance.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Although she states that she's not a hooker repeatedly.
- The Lad-ette: Deconstructed in the end. Her impulsive, frattish behavior forces Cho to break up with her, because it might be dangerous to his job as a cop.
Played By: Currie GrahamA millionaire that appears in two episodes so far, "Redline" and "Red Hot".
- Big Fancy House: Owns one. Or several, actually.
- Blind Driving: Subverted. He allows Jane to demonstrate his skills by having him drive with a blindfold, guiding himself only by Mashburn's involuntary reactions in the passenger seat. It goes just fine - until they get out of the car, Jane forgets to leave the parking brake on, and... it really doesn't end well for the car.
- Chick Magnet: The money helps, though.
- Idle Rich: Shows some aspects of this.
- Millionaire Playboy: In spades.
- Nice Guy: When he wants to.
- Red Herring: He was shown on Jane's list of suspects for a brief moment, but was dropped as a suspect by the season 5 finale.
- Romantic False Lead: For Lisbon.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: One of the reasons why he assists Patrick in his first appearance.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Lisbon. At least until Red Hot.
Played By: Leslie HopeA proclaimed psychic whom Jane repeatedly calls out for being a fraud though he does seem to care for her. She insists not only that she is a genuine psychic, but that Patrick is a real psychic too, albeit in denial and one who was a really a con-artist in the past.
- Dead Person Conversation: Claims to be able to do this.
- Fate Worse than Death: Whatever it is that Red John did to her, it left her believing she's dead.
- Phony Psychic: Jane certainly believes so... though there was that one time when she knew information about a waiter that she couldn't possibly have known through body language. It's never made known just how she did it.
Played By: George WynerA humorless medical examiner with the Sacramento County Coroner's Office. Spars with Jane once a season.
Played By: Jillian BachA public defender who was being interviewed by Erica Flynn the night she killed her husband, thus becoming her alibi. She begins dating Rigsby, and after a few months later they're both shocked upon finding out she's pregnant. She becomes the mother of their child, Ben Rigsby, towards the end of the season.
- Hidden Badass: She can act shy and lovely, but can kick serious ass in court. She actually takes great pride in her job.
- Hollywood Dateless: To the extend that she goes to Erica's matchmaking system.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The height disparity between her and Rigsby is quite funny
- Married to the Job: Prior to meeting Rigsby.
Played By: Emmanuelle ChriquiA minion of Red John and self-proclaimed lover of Patrick Jane. She reaches Jane in the season four finale after he gets deliberately fired from the CBI by Wainwright.
- Broken Bird: Her sister Miranda was the only person who she really connected with, and she was brutally raped and murdered by Red John.
- Cool Big Sis: To Miranda.
- Dating Catwoman: With Jane. Unlike his flirtations with Erica Flynn, it's hinted that Lorelei left an impression on him.
- Dead Man Writing: A variant, in that she recorded for a message to Jane for Red John before he killed her.
- Dropped a Bridge on Her: Killed by Red John offscreen. We only see the body.
- High-Heel–Face Turn: What gets her is the fact that Red John killed her younger sister, but the fact that she fancies Jane doesn't hurt it.
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: After she makes sure that Red John killed her younger sister indeed, Lorelei goes out to kill him. By the end of the episode, she's dead.
- Karmic Death: Jane's only comment to seeing Lorelei's body is that she had it coming.
- Kick the Dog: Shoots a man that knows who Red John is before Patrick can interrogate him. In front of him!
- Long Lost Sibling: Her sister Miranda, who was sold by her mother as a baby. They find each other and become very close... and then Miranda's killed.
- Revenge Before Reason: Upon finding the truth about Miranda's death, instead of telling Patrick Red John's identity, she believes she can take him out all by herself.