The Mentalist

Season 4 Episode 11

Always Bet on Red

5
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jan 12, 2012 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

7.4
out of 10
Average
184 votes
  • On the Edge: The Mentalist Mentality

    10
    Reviewer Nixonkind "got it in one" by quoting from the letter which Jane reads aloud to the crowd: "Chasing monsters changes you." Despite the comic touches provided by Jane's insouciance, simulated at times and achingly real at others, and the moments of levity provided by the reactions of both civilians and police to his intriguing shenanigans, most episodes of "The Mentalist" border on film noire. In the same vein as "Criminal Minds" and "Law and Order: SVU," the members of Team Lisbon operate in a dark place: vile and violent felons wreak their damage upon the innocent or the unwary and cannot always be brought to justice by conventional methods. At unconventional methods, however, Jane excels, but this episode ranks among the best of those which demonstrate the continuing personal price paid for maintaining, honing, and employing his expertise in a socially beneficial fashion. By sinking himself fully into consulting with the CBI, Jane atones for his own hubris and his con artist past, which although they never harmed anyone seriously did ultimately lead to the murder of his wife and daughter. Perhaps more important to him personally, Jane pursues his own very personal revenge on serial killer Red John in the only legal fashion left open to him.



    Last week's episode, "Fugue in Red," was carefully planned to give us a refresher course in Jane-the-Con-Artist, conceited and shallow, narcissistic and callous, always out for the main chance. Cho observes that, hideous as it was, the murder of his family made Jane a better person; Lisbon counters that the better person was always there, on the inside. And after its brief retreat behind the comforting shelter of amnesia, Jane's better self, plunged painfully back into present reality by Lisbon's making him revisit the scene of his terrible loss, emerges once more in "Always Bet on Red."



    In direct opposition to reviewer vitakato's assertion of "too much fluff in between episodes," the writers have carefully buffered episodes of hideous pain from contiguous episodes of hideous pain: too much agony in every episode would soon blunt the effectiveness of every episode. If not handled carefully, juxtapositions between the now-hidden con man side and the equally shadowy warrior side of Jane's complicated personality could appear as merely mood swings. Writing skills and Simon Baker's nearly flawless depiction of a brilliant mind balanced upon the knife-edge of agony and atonement combine to make this episode one of the strongest yet in the entire series.

  • On to the second half of the season....

    10
    Loved the first scene- Cho and Lisbon running TOWARDS the boat, Jane AWAY from it -you've got to love him. I like Summer a lot more without the "pink tops", and when she visited the poker club with Cho, she looked downright classy. More and more, I see her as a good match for Cho- he needs someone a little more extroverted to thaw out.

    As for Jane-I might be alone with this opinion, but I feel sorry for him. Hunting Red John sure has changed him, and he is in a whole lot of mess. Somehow, I can understand why he doesn't feel that he can tell the truth- he's just in far too deep. I think he wants to do what's right, but Red John's always been the worst possible influence on his moral equilibrium. It's bad that Darcy's been caught in the crossfirebut I'm still sure that Jane is a good guy. He's just right: "Chasing monsters is changing you".

    That he's ready to besmirch Mayor's reputation by framing him as Panzer's killer might seem cruel, but it fits Jane's view of life and death: the dead are dead, and he has a life to save. You see that he somehow has a bad conscience- he honestly liked Mayor. The letter he wrote to Mrs. Mayornice twist of the screenplay that Jane actually finished reading the letter to the crowd after the widow's voice broke- creepy and heart-wrenching. All comes down to one sentence: "Hunting monsters changes you". It has changed him for the better, and for the worse.

    I certainly loved this episode, although it was a sad one. And it showed clearly why Lisbon isn't to be envied- she still has a hard job to do with keeping him in line. And stopping him from hurting himself. The last phrase sets the tone for future Red John episodes- how will Red John react?

    My favorite scenes: The urgency which with Jane acts when he realizes Darcy is in danger- the whole scene, from him pulling out his cell to Grace kicking in Darcy's door, is great. Full of tension. And it soothed my heart: my Jane- he's a good guy, despite the web of lies and deceptions he's entangled in. It's strange that Red John brings out his best as much as his worst sides- but whenever the killer's in the picture, there are people Jane has to protect, too. I also loved the scene where Jane catches the divorce attorney's killer: it had something of a classical thriller-atmosphere, all suspects gathered in a circle, and Jane solves the puzzle effortlessly- he's the master, after all.

    Lisbon and Jane weren't fighting as hard as I had anticipated, and I was relieved to find that there's still this very nice companionship they've had since "Scarlet ribbons"Jane saying that he only told Lisbon about Red John and that they should keep this between them made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As did the fact that she actually went along with his "deniability"-stuff and didn't ask any further questions. I know, she's bending the rules for him, that's not good, she's a naughty, naughty girl- but secretly, I find myself pumping my fist thinking: Yeeeeeessss
  • Red John is stalking agent Darcy

    9.0
    Red John is after Darcy because he sends a message to Jane saying "she's cute this is going to be fun" and it shows Red John videoing Darcy when she was coming out of the CBI,he walked up to her in a shop and was stood next to her and I just wanted her to turn around and see him but she never.Red John also videos her going into her motel as he is just stood outside her window.Gripping stuff as agent Darcy will be back and so will be Red John.
  • Always Bet on Red

    7.5
    Red John brings so much to this show.....even when he is not on screen. It brings out the best in these characters we saw today and The Mentalist went from an increasingly stagnant procedural to showing why we love it so much here tonight. The pace was forced to quicken for an hour as opposed to the usual drudging along we get.



    Good hour of drama that made me further anticipate next week's episode.
  • More Red John please

    6.5
    Sigh. I love The Mentalist, but there is too much fluff in between episodes. The Panzer thing happened in episode 7, right? And with a break in between, it really did stretch it out. I had to go back and double check on a few details while watching. Red John is one of the reasons I'm watching this series, but we're on the 4th season now, and he doesn't pop up nearly as often as he should. For me at least, it's not holding my attention as much as it should. More RJ, and less monster-of-the-week please.



    In other news, I love Summer. I really think there's some great chemistry between her and Cho. I like that she picks up on the small things (his back) and gives him a hard time. I hope something happens between those two!
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