The Mentalist

Season 4 Episode 2

Little Red Book

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 29, 2011 on CBS



  • Allusions

    • The title "The Little Red Book" is a direct allusion to the collected quotations of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, of which various editions were published from approximately 1964 to 1972. Because of its small size [designed for easy carrying everywhere, by everyone] and vivid red binding [designed to be seen by everyone, everywhere], the diminutive volume was called "The Little Red Book" rather than its official moniker, "Collected Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung." Carrying, reading, reciting, and discussion of the book were mandatory for anyone who desired advancement in the Chinese Communist Party – and not carrying, reading, etc., comprised grounds for suspicion and investigation. Taken OUT of context, many of the sayings appear wise, well-grounded, solid, democratic, and positive. Taken IN the context of the Chinese "cultural revolution" and the horrors of living in a repressive totalitarian dictatorship, the contents reek with lies, hypocrisy, narcissism, and an utter disconnect from the harsh realities of life for China's multi-million majority. In this episode, the book most likely alludes to the many "rules" of the CBI, FBI, and other law-enforcement agencies, rules which SOUND fair, sensible, wise, well-grounded, and positive – just like the contents of Mao's "Little Red Book." But Red John is playing by his OWN set of rules, and unless Jane defies them, and assists Lisbon's team to defy them, Red John will remain free to wreak havoc simply because he CAN. The "rules" of normal criminal procedures help only Red John; they nearly cripple those who seek to apprehend him. Mao's quotations comprise the opposite of what they seem to say – and in this case, the "rules" of fighting crime help only the criminals.