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Fridge / The Mentalist

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Fridge Brilliance

  • I spent the season 2 finale of The Mentalist getting more and more irritated at Kristina; first, the scene where she gives a waiter a 'message' from the other side seemed to confirm that she's an out-an-out con artist rather than a subconscious cold reader who genuinely believed what she was telling people, and it looked crass that she'd set this up while on a date with Jane, who has good reason to dislike fake psychics. Then she goes on TV to talk about Red John - not only exploiting a tragedy to shill her own psychic services but, given that she knows what Red John did to Jane for the same thing, apparently putting her straight into Too Stupid To Live territory. I was annoyed at the idea that I was supposed to buy this person as one of the good guys... until she vanished, and Red John showed up with 'his' rather feminine voice and quoted a line from the earlier conversation that only Jane, Kristina and the random waiter would have known about. And suddenly it made perfect sense that Kristina had struck me as off; she's not one of the good guys at all, she's a possible candidate for the secret identity of the Big Bad (or at least one of his acolytes).
  • The epicest FB is "Blinking Red Light" in season Four. The episode is about serial killer, all right, and I'm confused how does this killer relate with the title? Then at the penultimate scene, when the serial killer is about to escape scot-free, Jane stares at the eponymous thing....which is blinking red light of TV camera. Somehow, suddenly, Jane compares the killer with Red John, which pisses the killer off and makes him boast how crappy Red John is compared to him. The serial killer is then murdered by Red John and why is this blinking red light brilliant? It's both Continuity Nod and Chekhov's Gun: Jane recalls that people who piss off Red John in TV will end up dead, like his family, and as such trick the killer to badmouth Red John like he'd done in the past!.
    • I think that's pretty clearly the implication.
    • On the other hand, it could be brilliance for Red John; this is the 4th person he and Jane have killed "together", along with the guy at the end of season 3 and Jane's wife and daughter. Jane thinks he manipulated Red John but he doesn't know how closely John is following his career and investigations, and he's too smart to fall for such an obvious trick (exposing himself to the public, after the world thinks he's dead) unless he had something to gain- Red John is making Jane into his partner-in-crime, and Jane just doesn't realise it yet.
  • Why does Partridge so admire Red John's work? Because Red John is his boss.
  • In the episode "Black-Winged Red Bird", one of the reasons Jane lists as a possibility for Red John sparing Lisbon is that something spooked him and interrupted his usual ritual. Following The Reveal about Red John in the episode "Red John" this seems the most plausible explanation. According to Dr. Miller's notes, Red John has one great fear that he tries to conceal. Sheriff McAllister, who is eventually revealed to be Red John, suffers from ornithophobia, a fear of birds. What's in the abandoned house where Red John killed Partridge? Birds. Lots and lots of birds.
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  • In "Scarlett Fever", Jane figures out who the killer is because while many people had a reason to hate the victim, she's the only one not wearing jewelry made by the victim. It could just be standard Patrick Jane observation/understanding of people, but it also might be more than that. On a primal level, Jane understands the kind of rage that would drive someone to kill; he knows that it runs far too deep for them to put it aside over pretty earrings.
  • The incomplete message Jared Renfrew wrote before he died, "he is Ma". It's very plausible that he was going for "McAllister" but got the spelling wrong (MacAllister fits the message, and it's an easy mistake to make, especially given that the guy was literal moments from death). This is clearly unintentional, since the writers hadn't yet decided that McAllister would be Red John, but it's still an interesting connection.
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  • When Red John killed Jane's family, he indicated that he saw Jane as contemptible at best, calling him "a dirty money-grubbing fraud" and "a dishonest little worm". By the end of Season 1, he seems to have transitioned to seeing Jane as a Worthy Opponent. What changed? He got a chance to see Jane work in the second episode.

Fridge Horror

  • In the Season 3 Finale, Strawberries and Cream, Red John's identity is revealed and Patrick Jane kills him. We later learn that it was all fake, and that this 'Red John' was merely an accomplice. Jane needed proof that it was Red John before he killed him, so he asked him how he could be sure he was really Red John. 'Red John' responded by telling Jane how he killed his family, and what perfume his daughter was using at the time... The real Red John told this accomplice this information. Imagine that for a moment. Red John, the serial killer, enlists his accomplice with a bunch of information. He then goes on to describe, in detail, the smell of Jane's daughter to his underling. Not knowing how much pleasure he got out of the experience, or second-handedly making Jane squirm, makes this unsettling. Red John could have told this to who knows how many people... While gloating. We have no idea how many people he's recounted this story to. And it's possible that his accomplice used Red John's retelling as the basis for his performance. Red John got to make Patrick Jane squirm and not get punished for it. In fact, he likely knew that this would result in his accomplice's murder, and intentionally instructed him to use this information just to get rid of his accomplice, verbally snipe Jane, and get his worthy opponent in trouble with one stone.
    • Imagine your family is murdered and their killer goes around telling people who worship him all about how he brutally murdered your spouse and young child, going through every detail with a sense of cupidity. Then instructing one of these worshippers to go off and get himself killed just to spite you. Then you go on to hear the person you killed has a family and a bunch of people call him a great man. He was a manipulated pawn. Sure, you later find out that he kidnapped women and his wife was his accomplice, but until then, in your mind, the murderer of your family made you kill an innocent man with serious dedication to him through years of manipulation. You thought it was finally over, but it was anything but. This monster is still out there and there are more people, who know all about you and your deceased family, who could be anyone, anywhere, and will stop at nothing to get you. Many of them innocent people brainwashed to believe the serial killer loves them, and going to any length to please him. On top of all that, you and the murderer of your family have a silent agreement, wherein you purposefully get him to kill someone. HE'S PLAYING YOU TOO.
  • Rewatching the first season episode "Blood Brothers", I had a realization. Ashton MacLean, head of Bright Arch, is smuggling a young girl whom he has been sexually abusing off of the grounds after she becomes a person of interest in a murder investigation, mostly to keep her from implicating him in her sexual abuse. Now, it's safe to assume the CBI weren't going to stop looking for the girl, and would have wanted to question her if she turned up at her home. And MacLean can't seriously expect that she can go on the run and skillfully evade law enforcement. So what would have been his plan to ensure her silence? He'd already made it look like she'd run away out of a sense of guilt, and he couldn't have her turning up alive and well to implicate him for his own crimes. Patrick Jane may well have prevented the girl from unwittingly going to an early death.
  • Go back and watch the second episode after learning who Red John really is, and watch his interactions with Grace. >>Shiver<<.

Fridge Logic

  • In the season one episode, Blood Brothers, Ashton MacLean, head of Bright Arch, informs Patrick Jane that he and his fellow CBI may not interrogate the students unless he or a member of his staff is present. The law states that minors cannot be interrogated by police unless a parent or guardian is present. Since it is reasonable to assume that the faculty of Bright Arch are just as much suspects as the students in the murder of a young boy found in the woods, why not simply sequester the children until such time as their parents can be called in to sit in on the interviews, rather than allow the school staff to potentially interfere? (Granted, Jane never lets little things like legality of his actions stand in his way, but what's Lisbon's excuse?)
    • There's no saying that there weren't other interviews scheduled, but it would probably take time to assemble the assorted parents and guardians. During that time, the people involved would have had more time to talk to each other and get their stories straight or falsify alibis. Lisbon potentially had little to gain by not waiting, but conversely didn't actually have anything to lose by letting Jane talk to them immediately and then follow up with "a few more questions" when the parents arrived.

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