The Mentalist

Season 3 Episode 18

The Red Mile

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Mar 31, 2011 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
256 votes
  • Powerful

    I am a viewer of The Mentalist, mostly for the casual and non provocative nature of the show. I am not expecting TV history in the making, and I'm not getting it.

    It's straight forward entertainment, with a dash of good overall storyline and good acting from the main character.

    That being said, this episode, and in particular the final scene, was one of the most powerful I've seen on TV in my entire life.

    It didn't over dramatize it, it didn't make it awkward or corny. On the contrary its power came from the cathartic nature of that scene. Rarely do I get that moved. The scene and its actors gets a 10, the episode a 9 - total 9.5
  • Didn't care too

    much for the case and the caserelated characters but the view into the nowadays relationship between Grace Van Pelt and Wayne Rigsby was interesting and to see Patrick Jane feel compassion for Dr. Steiner and act on that compassion was moving and gripping.

    Didn't care too much for the case and the caserelated characters but the view into the nowadays relationship between Grace Van Pelt and Wayne Rigsby was interesting and to see Patrick Jane feel compassion for Dr. Steiner and act on that compassion was moving and gripping.

    Didn't care too much for the case and the caserelated characters but the view into the nowadays relationship between Grace Van Pelt and Wayne Rigsby was interesting and to see Patrick Jane feel compassion for Dr. Steiner and act on that compassion was moving and gripping.
  • I man believes that he was kidnapped by aliens..... and is killed for it.

    This was a very interesting episode. I loved that Dr. Steiner and Jane hated each other in the beginning, but then they became friends.

    What I loved most about this episode was the relationship between them. Dr. Steiner was going to die, and Jane decided to make him happy by allowing him to be part of the investigation. It seemed that Jane cared about him. It was sad that the doctor decided to commit suicide at the end, but what really made this a great episode is that that Jane decided to stay with him while he did it. He stayed so Steiner wouldn't be alone. Not only that, but Jane did a coin trick for him so that he would have something to focus on other then dieing. I love Jane. The fact that he did that for someone (who at the beginning of the episode didn't like him) was beautiful.
  • Amazing ending to what started out as an average episode.

    The only reason I didn't give this episode a complete 10 rating is because I didn't really care much for the case. Jane's character development consistently amazes me. We are constantly getting more and more insight into Jane without him becoming a parody of himself. Jane's behaviour around rich people is always fun to watch. In the episode where he was kidnapped Lisbon mentions that money doesn't really mean much to him (evidenced by sending Mashburn's Lambourghini over a cliff for the sake of one of his games). Therefore he does not feel intimidated by wealth but rather finds it a source of mockery and even a little contemptuous.
    The relationship between Jane and Steiner was brilliant. Steiner hates Jane, he finds him annoying and childish, but when Jane figured out that Steiner was dying all his tomfoolery fell away and his altruistic side came out - something which we rarely get to see.
    Jane is so used to living with pain and emotional torment which is why I think he is so in tune to it in others. His desire for revenge fuels his understanding of other people's needs and wants, which is why he allowed Steiner to help with the case. The ending was nothing short of amazing. Jane doesn't have a problem dealing with death - he does it on a daily basis, but when it comes to people he knows and is close to, it is a completely different story. He therefore could not accept Steiner's request of actually seeing him commit suicide, but still gave him his final wish of being laid to rest with dignity. Obviously, Jane can't become completely altruistic - he is motivated and driven by his desire for revenge (which makes me wonder what'll happen to him after Red John is caught and killed), and it is the flipside of those desires that gave him the compassion to do what he did for Steiner.
  • The body of a murder victim who believed he was the victim of an alien abduction is stolen on its way to the morgue.

    I was ready to rate this episode a 10 until I realized there was no good reason for the CBI to be involved initially. If The Mentalist is generally (to quote Time magazine) the television equivalent of meat loaf, this episode was the fancy variety with tomato sauce baked on top and a side of mash potatoes. Marked by some innovative directorial choices by Law & Order alum Darnell Martin (check out the camera movement during Cho's interrogation of the victim's partner or Lisbon's slight smile as Jane needles the victim's imperius mother-in-law), "The Red Mile" was an unusually well-blended mixture of murder mystery, pathos, and character moments. The scene where Jane tells the coroner why he's allowed him to tag along was as much of a jolt as the sheriff being murdered in the middle of "Blood Red Moon." And as if that wasn't enough of a jolt, who could have seen the plot twist with O'Laughlin freezing up and Grigsby having to save Van Pelt coming? In fact, the scenes between Jane and returning guest star George Wyner were so well done that I wondered if Wyner the actor really was terminally ill. I was transfixed by the final scene of Jane comforting the dying man in his final moments, played without the customary background music. It was an even more affecting closing scene than the one where Christina Frye tells Jane his child wasn't awake when Red John killed him. Although the show would be a little less interesting if Jane became a complete altruist, this episode showed a rare moment of compassion on his part. This wasn't just the best episode of the season; it may have been one of the three or four best episodes of the series so far.
  • a deeper view on Jane's personality

    this week's episode was mainly about Jane, a deeper view on his personality really, more than solving the crime. actually, they didn't even need to investigate as usual. Killer was caught, she confessed, in exchange for not pursuing charges for her butler.

    It's amazing to see how Jane is acting when he is around rich people. He knows exactly how to piss them off, and it's hilarious. But the ending was very emotional and somewhat disturbing. The coroner Jane was teasing sometimes had a terminal illness. Jane realized that. He showed it by his gesture, by inviting him to drink an expensive scotch next to fireplace. And at the end, the coroner asked Jane to witness his death, because he didn't want an investigation after his death at suspicious circumstances.
  • 3/31

    "The Red Mile" had a few things that I particularly liked about it. The first is of course some very funny behavior from Patrick Jane. The reason this show became a hit in its first season often being the highest-rated scripted series on TV and the reason it has declined steadily in viewership since then is because of the uniqueness of Jane. His over the top antics were prevalent in today's show and that is why I quite enjoyed the hour.

    I also liked the ending. Very calm for what was happening, and I will not spoil it for those who have yet to see it, but a good way to close the episode out nonetheless.

    Strong installment tonight. Check it out.
  • The Red Mile...

    I love whoever writes The Mentalist. "The Red Mile" wasn't the greatest episode. It wasn't the worst. However, compared to every other police show on TV, episodes like this are just fantastic. There's a murder. There's always a murder. In this case a successful and wealthy man who believes that he was abducted by aliens, is murdered because of the shame that his perceived insanity would bring to a respected family name. The episode is that simple. There is a b-plot about the abduction of his body following his murder, leading into an investigation into tissue farms. The case wasn't an intricate mystery that had you reaching for the rewind button to see what you missed, but it delivered a sufficient amount of whodunnit to keep you engaged. That being said, none of that is really what makes episodes like this, or a show like this great. If you don't have engaging characters and situations then you've lost the ball game, and The Mentalist absolutely does. "The Red Mile" removed itself from the wider story that previous episodes had depended upon to allow Patrick to just be a unbelievably kind human being, and it is just great television to watch. Whilst the circumstance was macabre, there was enough playful humour in the interaction of Steiner and Jane to allow you to focus on the positive nature of Steiner enjoying what is left of his life and Jane helping him do it. The use of a coin trick as a metaphor for life and a coping mechanism for Patrick was particularly compelling to me, I have no idea why but it just felt very genuine. If Patrick were a real person, you'd have no trouble believing that he'd take himself out of that situation by reverting to his roots. On top of the main focus of the episode, the Wayne and Grace story added a nice little touch to the episode as well. I feel like their relationship is being set up in a way that Rigsby has no choice but to make some grand "I love you" gesture that I'm looking forward to, however there are several directions that the writers could take it and that's why it's great. There is the obvious reconciliation of their love that is probably most likely to occur at some point, but given the amount of time that is spent on character development in episodes, Grace could just as easily marry O'Loughlin and there could be a friendship between the two that would be believable.

    It's things like this that make The Mentalist great and is exactly the reason that people should, and do watch the show.
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