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The Mentalist S06E08: "Red John"


It's not every day that a storyline like The Mentalist's long-running Red John arc comes to a close. Thus, even though we don't regularly review the show on TV.com, we've decided to try the "open thread" treatment for this week's episode, to give you a central spot to discuss what went down when Patrick Jane finally came face to face with the serial killer he'd been tracking for the last 10 years. What did you think of the big reveal? Did "Red John" meet your expectations? And now that the storyline is over, where do you want to see the show go next?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 2/18/2015

Season 7 : Episode 13

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The fake Red John of the season 3 final that Jane killed, was the perfect incarnation of what I think Red John would be, the sheriff was definitely a let down... But I was glad it was finally over because I was growing really tired of the Red John case...

For me, the episodes that cames after the closure of the Red John case, was very good, which I wasn't expecting at all after the reveal of the big mystery. Going FBI was a great way to continue the serie and it was fun again. But it seems that I was in the minority based on the rating...

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It was a great disappointment. McAllister doesn't have what it takes to be RJ. I hoped till the end of the entire TV Show to see the real RJ, but not, Mr Heller had made his choice. Pity on you!
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Red John has to be the mentalist himself
The only one that meets the title
Red hair and he's considered a john
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I'm slightly disappointed by who it was. I do realize though, that I would probably always feel disappointment.
What i was mainly disappointed by was the way Red John acted while being bested. I always pictured Red John going out as a psychopath, not a crying loser.
I imagined he would never say he was "sorry" for what he'd done just to try to stay alive, or beg for mercy.
Even facing death, I thought he would try and scar Patrick in any last way he could. I thought he would say he was happy for everything he did.

Not to be a freak myself, lol. But I thought this would've fit him waaaaay better.
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I am deeply disappointed. It is so sad that Bruno Heller turned the most brillant crime show ever into a soulless and crappy soap opera by introducing that incredibly stupid Blake / McAllister plotline. Almost ANY other character in the show would have been a better Red John and there was no need to replace a brillantly scripted Visualize organisation with some dumbass Blake thingy. I do not know what the heck Mr Heller was thinking but he totally ruined his own show. All those years – lost forever, never to be watched again. It is utterly heartbreaking.
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I think red John is not dead. In fact, Patrick Jane is red John. And he suffers from a very bad multiple personality disorder. That explains how red John got the list of the prime suspects, killed the detective sam and his crew to get red John's case back, every time they catch one of red Johns friends they get killed, he killed his happy memory ( the girl) that he never told anyone about her, and many many more.
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In my opinion Red John isn't really dead. I think the plot was that he killed the wrong guy. Or at least the writers have reserved this scenario and I'm predicting Red John will be back....... Muha ha ha ha
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I just think it's really funny. All those years, and especially the 10 episodes leading to "Red John", I wanted to know who RJ was and how it all ended. But now I just want RJ to be alive! I liked the chase and I demand another plot twist. This couldn't be it, it was too rushed. Who was the woman in the church? Or the guy in the background when Jane was running and the Red John creepy sound kicked in?
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I can fake Red John's voice and say, "Tha'ts totally fair. Game's over and I won." I really liked that creepy, and cold voice. Now as the face of this voice revealed and to my disappointment the face of the sheriff. Whatever. I would like to see the master work of Patrick as a FBI consultant on really hard cases, or maybe another hard case that he would solve in a whole season.
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SHIT, just realised his name is CHO not JOE ha ha... not funny really...
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BLOODY HELL!!!!!!!!!!! as we say here in aussie land...im glad the red john saga is over...goodness me its been too long, 6 season too long... yes it was a bit odd that the sheriff was red john and i really didnt find him charming, creepy maybe but charming??/ NO... but who cares the bloody thing is over now they can move on...i kind of miss rigsby, he was a bit funny, not as much as joe but still sad not to see much of him and joe is a bit more serious in new episodes...still love it that they are FBI now...GIVE EM HELL JANE :)))
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There was no way that the Red John revealwasn't going to disappoint a lot of people. When something has been built up for 10 years into this perfect mythical monster the reality is always going to be too banal. As far as I'm concerned it was way past time to move on from the Red John storyline and this answered all the questions.
There was no way a single guy could have done all those things over the years... and the Blake group story answered that. How Mcallister had faked his death was also explained. As for people that don't think Mcallister was smart or charismatic enough to be Red John, when we see him as the Sherriff hes playing a part, he doesn't need to act smarter than Jane because he's getting one over on Jane and thats enough for his ego, although there is more than one scene when he does challenge Jane and shows his own power of observation, the pizza delivery guy being one example.
He didn't look and act like a serial killer, which is exactly why he managed to manipulate people and also why he had survived uncaught so long. So hes as good an answer as any and I'm happy to move on now.
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I loved the subtleties of this episode. I can understand how some people were disappointed because it did not answer all the outstanding questions, but it dealt with Jane's obsession for revenge. He got his revenge and he did not need the details. He also had the support of the team behind him, which was unexpected and meant a lot to him I think. MacAllister via the Blake Association had power over people, which is what he thrived on. Most of the people he had power over, were absolutely devoted because initially MacA had filled a need they had and that was enough for them to become willing slaves. They all thought MacA was a good man. His squeaky voice was excellent cover, because his real voice did not sound anything like that. He did not have the power to mesmerise, he had power over people by giving them what they so desperately wanted and by choosing vulnerable people. There is a lot more, but I can't think of it at the moment
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I was not disappointed because it didn't answer all the questions....Fans should be disappointed by the gaping plot holes that it left in its wake. 1)That random woman who comes in as backup only after Jane shot RJ....he expected to get shot? Not only that but he brought a lady with a tiny knife to save the day if things went south 2)Red John agreed to meet at a place of Jane's choosing in broad daylight when the FBI could easily have stormed in 3)Red John; the genius, ran through a neighborhood and decided it was best to go to an empty place where there were no witnesses to stop running and die. He could have stopped in the park and convinced bystanders that he was a cop and a man was trying to kill him (basically none of which was a lie). Could have saved his life....instead he proceeded to beg and call the police in an empty glade... 4)Red John didn't bring a car or a driver as backup...he brought a crazy woman and decided to run home 5)Red John ran away as opposed to picking up a gun and killing Patrick when Patrick was on the ground.... 6)Red John brought a six shooter gun (a gun with no silencer) to shoot and kill Jane with....in broad daylight when there were clearly people visiting loved ones at the cemetery. So if that gun went off witnesses would hear it and call the police....worth the risk? probably not. In season 2 RJ is shown to have a gun with a silencer. 7)Red John trusted Oscar to check Jane at the door....the man was shown to be ridiculously incompetent for the past 2 episodes.....Oscar missing the bird was not the plot hole....but RJ not having the room swept before the meet and trusting Oscar to frisk Jane (a magician...) is so careless that its quite surprising RJ wasn't caught sooner.

And many more issues that are just so ridiculous given that RJ is such a genius that he is capable of making a person think they are dead (Kristina Frye).....

Never have I seen Bruno Heller leave one plot hole before this. He has made Jane and Red John do some slightly implausible things but I could believe them because the two Mentalists of the show were said to be incredibly intelligent human beings.....Yet Red John here is seemingly less intelligent than the creepy Richard Haibach from the episode "White as the Driven Snow."
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either patrick is itself red john .orrr
red john wasnt the sheriff......red john cannot die so easily...he will return
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Really, really disappointed. Throughout the serie, Red John was painted as a charming (every women who met him loved him), as intelligent as Jane (in the firs episode, Jane ridiculized him playing rock-paper-scissor, and in every episode the Serrif acted like an idiot) and he was known as having a big ego. But McAll is just a small town sheriff, not carismatic at all.. I know, i know, people would say that was the point, to be someone that ppl don't expect, but the fact McAllister was playing dumb, when a egocentric dude like RJ whould try to impress Jane in a face-to-face situation not act like a buffon is lame. From the list, he was faaar the lamest dude to be Red John.. Still, the show isn't over, so probably we'll hear about Red John again.. This can't be the final story.
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FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO FELT DISAPPOINTED WITH ENDING:
Just download/hulu/whatever and watch 'Death Note'. This will satisfy your craving for a tricky and epic climax/resolution suspense story. I love the Mentalist, and will continue watching, but was expecting something of that calibur for the Red John ending and was a little disappointed.
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I agree with you, but I also think what other people say here: this can't be it. The entire show was about Jane getting to RJ, and now he's dead? Just like that? With 8 episodes on the go and dozens to come?
Ow and what Death Note do you mean? The movie or the TV series?
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this is deffinetly worth reading plz take your time.

ok first thing: IF THE SHERIFF IS REALLY RED JOHN THEN THIS IS THE WORST ENDING OF A GREAT PLOT THAT A SHOW CAN HAVE. I'M A F***ING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT AND I COULD WRITE A BETTER STORY ABOUT WHO THE RED JOHN IS! ok now that i've gotten this out of my chest here's the second part:
i have a theory, that Red John is still alive. not the sheriff but someone else. 1.: RJ was afraid of hights and sheriff saved Jane from a roof. 2.: At Jane's house the sheriff said ''i'm not red john'' while looking at patrick's eyes and he believed him. there's only one reason for him to believe and it's that he was telling the truth. and 3.: i have a theory of who the RJ really is. Partridge. when lisbon came to that house to find partridge dead, why didm't RJ kill her? because he wanted her to find him ''dead'' so that he wouldn't be the suspect anymore. and jane believes lisbon so when she told him partridge was dead he trusted her. partridge probably took some drug to make his hearth rate fade so she didnt feel a hearthbeat. but as be all now RJ has friend everywhere so when they were taking him to the morgue he probably escaped somewhere. When Cho goes to check his body to see if he has a tatoo on his arm there is only a burn left. why? because that wasn't his body and they had to make it look like there was a tatoo. if u remember we didn't actually see the face.

well thats at least how i would write it and then bring one more RJ wictim to the set in the end of the second last episode and identify the REAL RJ in the last episode. hopefully u agree that it would be a better story.
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Have to admit I'm thoroughly disappointed. This isn't an amazing show but I still enjoy it, as Jane is a great character. The season finale a couple of years ago had brilliant writing and a great twist whereas this felt like the writers have just blown all their ideas and gave up. Frankly, the sheriff didn't vaguely seem to be a serial killer and couldn't have been more underwhelming as Red John.
That said, I just hope they move on and develop Jane's character a bit. Think he deserves a relationship or something now.
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I really liked the episode. The idea that evil is banal is embodied by the sheriff being red john. We were all expecting some amazing charismatic character but we got a psychopath who is a master manipulator and schemer but not particularly prepossessing. I really hope they don't try a switcheroo for some other red john.
I think the story will now start following his acolytes who will obviously have it in for Jane. After the whole next bit of the fallout and Jane finding a new purpose to go on.
The death scene was very effective it focused on Jane as it should as this story arc has been about his search for revenge. And I liked the whole chase part of the resolution as it was a departure for the character who is usually shown as being somewhat indolent and cerebral - and I suppose was a bit of a metaphor for him chasing revenge for years.
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I see a lot of haters here, but I thought that episode was great. Not as WOW as when Bradley Whitford showed up as Red John. That one came from out of nowhere and was awesome, but I still really enjoyed the episode and even more I am very over the whole "Red John" thing. I originally thought it was going to get resolved in the season 1 finale. If I had known they would drag it out this long, then, well, never mind, I still would have watched. I do agree though, that even though we didn't get enough time to "know" the sheriff as Red John, or get to see him be all Red John like, They can't pull another "Oops he wasn't Red John" on us. Like it or not it HAS to be the sheriff.
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I betcha the shows writers are sweating this right now. That sherrif makes the whole red john schtick a joke.
Red John was meant to be incredibly smart & articulate easily Patrick Janes match & as well he was protrayed as a maestro with the women, having swathes of hotties climb over each other to win the 'right' to be RJ's sex slave.

That sheriff doesn't come anywhere near cutting the mustard on one of those attributes let alone all of em.
Yet they can't decide that wasn't the real red john now, the writers have pulled that stunt too many times, pull it one more time and they will lose more viewers than they would just letting this lame-0 plot run its course.

One more late RJ substitution will convince loyal viewers that the writers hold them in the same contempt that Dallas scripters held their audience in the time they pulled the 'waking up in the shower 5 years later' scam. to get patrick duffy back into the show.

Procedural fans mostly consider themselves rational peeps who rate objective analysis over instant judgement based on emotion whereas soap opera watchers are pretty much the opposite they don't care about the logic underpinning a story, they just want a result that makes em feel good and doesn't require so much thinking it hurts their head.

I watch the mentalist for light relief & like many others who have posted here consider the red john episodes to be the weakest so I will wear this stupid & irrational ending to that played-out saga as long as it has in fact finished.

If the writers lose their bottle and decide to bring RJ back, that will be the end of my watching this show cause I refuse to allow myself to be insulted over what as become pretty low grade entertainment.

Bret Stiles was the only candidate halfway suitable to be Red John but that ship has sailed long ago - any attempt to ressurrect Brett & begin the whole "Ah shock horror Red John is still out there" bulldust yet again will be greeted with a reach for the off switch and a firm resolve from me.
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can say im happy with the scherif being red john
i really wanted someone else that had controlled those 3
and when jane will finally meet him he will be scary and a bit crazy so
something i cant say about the current red john selection
on the other hand .. if the real one will pop out now i really be disappointed
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THE MOST important THING WHAT MAKES ME THINK THAT :ether
1.SCHERIF ISNT RED JOHN OR
2.PATRIC KILLED HIS WIFE AND CHILD AND IS IN THE MENTAL INSTITUTION

IS THAT SHERIF ,WHEN PATRICK WAS CHOCKING HIM TOLD HIM DO YOU WANNA KNOW HOW I KNOW THE LIST IM PSYCHIC..

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An earlier series, The Profiler, had a Red John type criminal (Jack of All Trades)… unstoppable, unkillable, unknown, positively mythical powers… there's a big problem with that scenario. What we generally want from a crime series is a feeling that the good guys are going to win and the bad guys are going to be despatched. When the criminal keeps popping up again and again and again, it weakens the credibility of the power of law and order to catch the perpetrator. As the good guys continually fail to win, and the killer gets away with increasingly unlikely feats of murder you do start to lose interest.
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I have enjoyed "The Mentalist" since season 1, episode 1. Year by year, I patietly waited to find out who the heck Red John was and why he did what he did. When we first meet the sherriff who turns out to be Red John, he comes across as a bumbling oaf who cannot win a game of rock-paper-scissors with Jane. Now, I'm all for surprises but Sheriff McAllister as Red John?

I agree with the timing of the reveal of Red John. I admire the secret society of law officers as that will help explain how RJ was able to keep one step ahead of Jane. But I simply do not buy the bumbling Sheriff as RJ. What is his motivation. How about a back story about how he became RJ? How was he able to convince the psychic ady Jane started dating that she was dead? Where did his POWERS come from?

This was the cheapest, lamest way out. I a very, VERY dissapointed. Good show just turned unwatchable. Booooo! Hissss!
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Red John is an idea... how do you kill an idea... we need V oh wait... too late.
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I just wanna say that that wasnt Red john.... dont worry
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If it ends now, it will be the only series I can say that I enjoyed all the way through. I followed it for the Red John aspect. I love all the characters and their development. Baker and Tunney have great chemistry. I like all the characters for what they bring to the table but "Cho" is my favorite, good job Kang!
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I stopped caring when Jane killed Bradley Whitford in the season 3 finale, maybe I'll start watching a couple episodes again now, now that that ridiculous plotline is done.
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I never watched this show for the Red John story, but because it is a ligh nice little procedural that always ends well. I like the characters. And really, for 85% of the season you can totally forget about Red John. So I don't believe that people stopped watching because of that. Say, maybe you prefer CSI.
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I wouldn't bother.
I should have followed your lead - it's been god awful rubbish since that episode.
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The only reason I watched was the Red John Arc.
It was the only interesting part of the show... Stupid waste of a great idea.
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That woman that came into the church and then was shown escaping later on...., Maybe the Red John story line isn't really over yet. Maybe there will be another chapter related to Red John with this woman that will comeback to haunt Jane.
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I'm glad they have finally resolved the RJ storyline. Now the characters can move on. Jane and Lisbon are interesting characters. They just seem to have been stuck in a rut.
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I liked this episode. Does it fit the story I had in my head.... nope. That's the problem with dragging storylines out for too. We all create our own fanfic around it to reconcile the storyline in our heads and to stay invested... it was still a great episode. I mean that final showdown with the blinking...guys we just saw **SPOILERS**... we just saw the main character of one of our shows choke the life out of someone. That is brutal and the rage it takes... Patrick was the darkest we've ever seen even from the last time when he shot faux RJ this time was so personal. It blew my mind.
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During the church scene on my "version" of this episode, the sheriffs voice went really high in one place. I played it back a few times to make sure. I thought they were going to reveal he was actually a women or someone was standing behind him.. lol.
I am a bit disappointed too. I thought they were going to reveal red john was his twin brother or sister or someone related to him and that they were actually psychic.
I also was waiting for RJ to wake up and shoot Jane when Jane was on the phone.
I think Heller could of gone more freaky horror movie twists in this ending to a way too long story. I also was worried Red John was going to "disappear" into the water. I was yelling, no water! I hate it when they do that, so the villain can come back. I hope they move on now and put this story to total rest. I am so sick of it. But the fact RJ said someone on the inside, about helping him, means this is not quite over yet.
I wonder if there is yet one more twist with RJ. I want the story to end, but with a more clever and satisfying RJ villain.

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I'm sorry, I am totally an evil troll for doing this. If it makes you feel any better, i had nothing better to do on my Saturday morning other than read through these old comments a bit, but, that having been said...

You were waiting for someone on the show to be revealed as truly psychic? Really?
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The Red Jon revelation was doomed to be disappointing. It's the rule of the genre. All that for that ? Yes the McGuffin is just a void to mesmerize the audience & the Magician of Oz is a sad old man once the illusion fades. Red jon was only powerful by his mystery, he reigned on an army of shadows but all that was just a trick : when the lights went on there was nothing left to see. So yes that was disappointing just like finding out the tips and trick of the illusionist. Also the surprise factor was warned out by too many twists. Somehow all that fits the end of Mentalist's Nemesis. But now that it's past we can say for sure they should of ended it earlier : retrospectively the mall sequence was perfect. Absurd, unexpected, clever. Dommage!
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I am actually glad that Jane strangled RJ instead of shooting him. It was powerful to see the expressions on Jane's face as it was happening. If he had shot him it would have been too quick and painless. By slowly killing him he forced RJ to fully experience his powerlessness. It was however pretty lame how some of the dialogue went and I Wish that Jane would have asked a few more questions about the ppl who worked with him. I think the writers and creators were lazy if they only decided a couple years ago who RJ was. That should have been sorted out from the beginning. There are so many things that are unanswered-what happened to Christina Frye? What about the description the blind woman gave Jane of the man who visited her? Brett Partridge was the better choice for RJ EXCEPT that he is not skilled as much in social interactions and a lot of ppl would look at the "ghoul" first as the creepy serial killer so perhaps a character with more charm would have suited the RJ role best. McCallister just doesn't really fit to me. He does not strike me as charming or smart or manipulative. Its like the writers just wrote names on a board, put on blind folds and threw darts and whoever the dart landed on was RJ. Sloppy storytelling. But Simon Baker took it and did a great job with his character. IT was pretty chilling watching him kill RJ in such a personal way.

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Life is about expectations, if they were incredible high then you were going to be disappointed. If your expectations were in keeping with a usual episode of the mentalist, a cop procedural with two good leads who carry it then it was a well above average episode. I could have done without the pigeon.
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After 5 and a half seasons, it was going to be hard to avoid that the Red John reveal came across as underwhelming. After such a build up, cynical me always expected a bit of a disappointment...
The episode and the reveal were meh but personally I have enjoyed this season's cat & mouse chase and I look forward to the aftermath because I think that will be more interesting than this Red John episode full of rather cliched car chases / random shootings...
I found Red John begging for his life weirdly pathetic and probably out of character for someone who's been the baddiest of TV characters in the last few years
A small gripe but it was beyond silly that in the middle of his face off with Red John, Jane didn't suspect the 'nun' interrupting...
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Lazy, half arsed episode. it was a comedy people didn't believe it was a real episode it was so bad. I think article http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/11/24/the-mentalist-red-john-review/ and this site www.red-john.info sums it all up
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I hope it was RJ, I am a bit tired of the story line so will be glad if it's over
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Loved it. After all this years and RJ is history. I hope. Or is he? The best episodes I think has always been without Red John. But, hey. Thats me.
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That was extremely disappointing. After years of build up, that's it? The final confrontation between Jane and RJ was so rushed. I'm almost hoping that McAllister wasn't actually RJ.
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i want to watch your episode :o)
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that would've so much better.
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I am glad that the RJ story arch is complete, but this episode was bad.The dialogue between RJ and Jane was dreadful and seemed forced.RJ was supposed to be Jane’s intellectual superior and yet Jane had him out thought at a time when RJ wanted to finish the “game” and kill Jane.

When Jane said that he didn’t want to play the game, RJ’s response should have been “But you invited me to play”.

Then RJ should have pointed out that he gave Jane several chances over the years to quit – he gave him several opportunities to kill off a “Red John” and gave Jane several outlets for revenge; but Jane continued to pursue RJ to the point where RJ felt obligated to kill again.

Begging for his life, please, saying he was sorry for killing Jane’s family, oh my God, never.RJ could have tormented Jane to the end, twisting everything that happened to Jane’s family and friends - blaming Jane’s arrogance and need to be the smartest person in the room for it all.

Instead of pleading for his life, or calling the cops, RJ should have said; “Thank you for the game Jane. You think that you’ve won, but you didn’t. Now you’re just like me.Doesn’t it feel GOOD, controlling the lives of others?”

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Jane should be dead! The mystery lady should have been packing a gun and simply shot our hero--he allowed her to get more than close enough! Bit surprised Jane fell for her innocent bystander act, as she was obviously a Red John plant.
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1. I was surprised about who turned out to be Red John but because like everyone else I really don't believe it true.
2. I would like to see Jane and Lisben explore more of their relationship.
3. I also think that the woman in the chapel will have a more important roll in the show.
4. But what I really expect to see is better writing and better plots.
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McCallister made the point that no one knew he was Red John and that the Black Association is actually cut up in cell-like,independent groups and that the high Members are known but to a few . Furthermore, we are told that orders are given by phone.Having said that, anyone in the Hierarchy of the Black association can claim to be Red John, and the core leaders of it are still at large.
In effect, the present episode, boring and insipid as it was, did nothing to resolve the situation, which is why it was not a finale.
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After six seasons I really didn't care anymore. The last episode proved that when a show drags the conclusion of a conflict for more than four seasons it's just not worth watching.
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1.- I still don't know what to think about Red John
2.- I think that in the future the woman that entered into the chapel is gonna be an important enemy for Jane
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If this is just an 'acceptable' show, why are we expecting an ending to this arc that is breath-taking? I think that this episode is in line with the whole show, nothing more, nothing less... (I liked it very much, by the way!).
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I've just seen the end of the chapter again and I think it's like good wine... It gets better and better with time...
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This episode was a major disappointment. I just have a hard time thinking Jane could hide a bird like he did for starters, but really there was just so much that was silly about this Red john ending rather than scary or dramatic. I have been a big fan and was fine with the long delay on discovering Red John. In fact, my favorite shows in the series were the Red John episodes. Frankly, I just don't see McCallister as RJ. Well, just so much that didn't work out in an interesting way for me.
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I rewatched parts of the episode again last night, and was reminded how much I disliked all the running around that took up so much of the episode. Jane trying to get away from the FBI and Jane running after RJ. Really, this show was about Jane using his brain and wit in dealing with people, not running all over. What a waste of time in this show to have him doing that. And McCallister--not suave, seemingly not educated, just a local sheriff--as RJ? And we are to believe he controlled thousands of people and inspired loyalty unto death in his disciples. Maybe Heller thought that having a lesser type guy as RJ was a great twist--NOT. This show really lacked the RJ creepiness except for the woman who came into the church, but by then she was just an annoyance and tool for RJ to escape and starting the running scene. Ugh.
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And Jane, we wanted to know how he got to know the list. You don't care but we do :). Great acting by Simon Baker. He really got to me twice: once in the episode he though he killed RJ (Strawberries and Cream) and once this episode.
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Red John was trying to say something like "I had a real psychic" and I'm glad Jane just killed him. Basically this new "real psychic" could be the woman in the church (I have no idea why Jane supposedly didn't see how the woman who was approaching a man with a gun without any fear couldn't have been an innocent bystander) with some serious mentalist mojo (she knew to come to the church didn't she?).

Surely she isn't really psychic but she made Red John believe that so she much be kick ass. Doesn't have to be the woman in the church but I believe the future enemy will be this "psychic" person. The woman would be a good choice though since we were hunting a faceless enemy for years now, might do something a bit different now.
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