The Mentalist

Season 4 Episode 23

Red Rover, Red Rover

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 10, 2012 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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  • "What's in a name?"

    Throughout the series, the writers have exerted considerable effort to focus the title of each episode on the color red and/or on blood [and such variations/shades of it as pink, rose, carnelian, flame, ruby, scarlet, russet, or crimson]. Clichs, plucked directly from adages or transformed into word-play, abound: "Seeing Red," "Red Herring," "A Price above Rubies," "Rose-colored Glasses," "Bleeding Heart," "Blood Money," "Red Sky at Night," "Like a Red-headed Stepchild." Well-known titles of, and phrases from, other works are revisited and sometimes revised: "The Thin Red Line," "Paint It Red," "The Scarlet Letter," "Red Alert" [homage to "Star Trek"], "The Red Mile," "Rhapsody in Red," "Scarlet Ribbons." Included are a couple of seriously groanable puns and clever plays on the spelling of certain words [emphasis mine]: "REDacted," "REDemption," "Where in the World is CARMINE O'Brien?"

    More intriguing than the carefully consistent episode titles, however, is the moniker of the antagonist: Red John. From the original Hebrew, to Greek, to Latin, and from thence to English, the exceedingly popular masculine name "John" is derived from the Hebrew name meaning "graced by Yahweh" and/or "blessed by God." Other earlier versions of the name mean "God is generous." As a male name, John appears today in such variations as Ivan, Johann, Sean, Juan, Evan, Ian, Jan, Giovanni, Jean, and Hans.

    The female form of today's John is common as well, although less popular these days than the male version. Female versions of John include Jeannie, Jennie, Joanna, Joan, Siobhann and Jane. Patrick JANE. Is Jane indeed Red John? What IS in a name?