Reviews: The Mentalist

After 4+ Seasons, Still a Blast, Still a Lot of Fun

The Mentalist is a rare sort of show. To some perhaps on first glance a typical Police Procedural, you quickly find out that it is much more. Nor has it slipped into the sometimes dreary and all-too-familiar conventions of a Crime Time Soap - while we've learned about the personal lives of the characters, this is on the whole focused on Patrick Jane, the Mentalist of the show's title.

Simon Baker has and continues to shine as Patrick Jane, this one time fake psychic who became a "consultant" for the C.B.I. - California Bureau of Investigation. Unabashedly bold, often deliberately outrageous, he helps his team to solve cases using a variety of tools including the Sherlock Scan, Living Lie Detector, Bavarian Fire Drill and even Swiper No Swiping. Watching this is always a lot of fun, though things can still get deadly serious when it comes to Red John, the serial killer whose murder of Jane's wife and daughter was the catalyst that eventually lead to Jane's coming to the C.B.I.

The events of the show often border on outrageous and unbelievable, something that has been admitted by its creators. If the show occasionally taxes our Willing Suspension Of Disbelief, this can be forgiven because it's simply so much fun and often so funny. Sure, at times the show has lost its way, or fallen into too common procedural patterns, but it's always recovered, and always managed to do something to entertain no matter what.

Credit goes too to the show's strong supporting cast, without with Jane's antics wouldn't be nearly as much fun. This includes Robin Tunney as the long-suffering Lisbon (who may or may not eventually become involved romantically with Patrick Jane) and Tim Kang as The Stoic Kimball Cho.

The Mentalist has celebrated its 100th episode with a fantastic flashback episode showing Jane's very first case at the C.B.I. Now in its fifth season, some fear it may be showing its age, but were it to end after five, I say it goes out on top of its game.