The Mentalist: Season 3 (2010 – 2011)

The Mentalist season 3 cover


Synopsis: California Bureau of Investigation consultant Patrick Jane (Simon baker) is still reeling from his encounter with serial killer Red John and the abduction and possible death of Kristina Frye (Leslie Hope). He is no longer working cases quite like he should and is pushing everyone away as he is afraid that Red John will go after the people in his life. His boss, Special Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) tricks him into working a case, and slowly things appear to be returning to normal. Jane meets Director Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston), and instantly the two seem at odds with one another. The rest of the team, Special Agents Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman), Kimball Cho (Tim Kang) and Grace van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) all want to help Jane, though he has withheld the information that Red John recited some lines from the William Blake poem “Tyger Tyger”.

Some of Jane’s past comes to the fore when his brother-in-law, Daniel Ruskin (Kevin Rankin) turns up. Special Supervisory Agent Madeleine Hightower (Aunjanue Ellis) gets another look at how things are run slightly differently where Jane is involved. A case takes the team back to Visualize and its charismatic, charming and enigmatic leader Bret Stiles (Malcolm McDowell). Naturally tensions run high and he and Jane play terrible games with one another. Eventually Stiles gives Jane information about Red John and Kristina Frye. Stiles gives Jane the information as a sort of peace-treaty, and it leads to the recovery of Kristina. There is, however, an issue with her recovery. She is completely catatonic, and Jane cannot even coerce her out of it until he tries a séance, and she starts to talk. She has no information on Red John, and teases Jane for not believing in séances and yet here he is. She does not believe Jane when tells her that she only believes that she is dead. She has nothing useful to offer them.


“You’re really committed to testing my temper. What’s up with that?” – Madeleine Hightower

Jane meets a man that is to be interviewed after his wife’s killer is released from prison on wrongful DNA evidence and magically turns up dead shortly after. The man killed the murderer of his wife for personal vengeance, and Jane learns a few things from him. Eventually he is given a handgun as a gift from the man to focus his anger more accurately. More cases come up, and the team continues to successfully close them, all the while Jane is giving everyone hell in the most well-mannered type of way. Jane himself teaches some valuable lessons, though it causes Hightower to be angry with him, and Lisbon to truly question her sway over the man. However, he really does close cases, and they really do respect him, even if he drives them damn near crazy. He has a talent.

A death threat case brings Jane and Lisbon straight into contact with billionaire Walter Mashburn (Currie Graham), who is still trying his moves in vain on Lisbon. It soon becomes apparent that the deceased was not the intended victim, but Mashburn himself, and just like that he is involved in another one of their cases. Lisbon starts to fall for the charms of Mashburn, and Jane brings him into his little playing field to catch the killer, and naturally Mashburn obliges him with great pleasure. On the way to work one day, Jane is caught between a heavy shootout and is eventually taken captive. His captive-taker is a hostile and angry young girl, the daughter of one of the men Jane had sent away. The team works through all the possible suspects that could have a grudge against Jane, and are met with overwhelming stacks of suspects.

the mentalist season 31

“I have lots of enemies, Teresa. You know, you’d be surprised to hear this, but some people find me annoying.” – Walter Mashburn

Jane comes into contact with another so-called “psychic” on his cases, and as is his norm, he goes out of his way to mock them and discredit them. There is a cop killer on the loose, and he needs to be stopped immediately. While playing his little mind games with the fake psychic Ellis Mars (John Billingsley), Jane solves the mystery of the true killer – police officer Todd Johnson (Josh  Braaten). He is arrested and specifically requests that Jane speak to him, and Lisbon begs Jane to just hear what the man wants. Jane goes down to hear what Johnson has to say, and finds the man burning to death in his cell. In the hospital, Jane sits by his bed to hear what the lunatic possibly had to tell him, and Johnson repeats the words “Tyger Tyger” from the Blake poem. Jane now knows that Red John was involved in what Johnson was doing as well as his death. Following the murder of Johnson, an official investigation into CBI members and the murder is opened, headed up by J.J. LaRoche (Pruitt Taylor Vince). LaRoche seems intent on hearing each and everything that Jane has to say, and slowly but surely starts chipping away at the team. Jane reaches out to the retired Virgil Minelli (Gregory Itzin) and calls in some favours after Jane convinces him that Johnson was a member of Red John’s network and that Jane this time has a step up on Red John, because he does not know that Jane knows.


“Slicing them, coming across the face. Happens when you’re feeling stressed.” – JJ La Roche

LaRoche questions Rigsby about his criminal father and a flimsy alibi that Rigsby provided in which he named Cho in, as well. Rigsby is forced to tell Cho this, and it seems that their friendship crumbles rapidly. Cho has never lied to another cop in his life, and will not do it for Rigsby, though when he is questioned by LaRoche, his toes are stepped on and he lies about the alibi. Jane meets up with a scientific criminal profiler named Dr Montague (Linda Park) and has an absolute blast disproving her theories. Rigsby attempts to go out with her, but she says it will never work because he is still in love with someone else. Rigsby and Cho finally overcome their anger and resentment towards one another, and their friendship is restored. Jane gets into the head of a man accused of killing his wife, and refuses to pay a traffic fine he was issued due to attitude. Lisbon goes underhanded and leaks information to manipulate Bertram to her cause, and he is impressed as well as vexed, all at once. Lisbon takes a tumble on a prospecting case, and Hightower steps in to help out and works with Jane. She is under immense amounts of stress, and Jane doesn’t push her further than he has to. She is in the midst of divorce proceedings, and her life is crumbling rapidly around her. Lisbon watches Hightower’s kids for her while Hightower works the case.

LaRoche questions Hightower about Todd Johnson’s murder, and hammers on the point that she was having an affair with one of the slain police officer’s at a stage in her life, and that she must have been embittered about Johnson killing her former lover. Hightower denies it, and another case crops up that Jane and the team begin to investigate. What they discover, though, is that this murder is tied to Todd Johnson, and Jane quickly figures that after Teresa convinces the CBI that the murders are interconnected, that Hightower will be the one to shoulder the blame. In an attempt to help her out, they leave the CBI with Jane taped to a shotgun and Hightower to the trigger. No one can touch them, and LaRoche is furious when she escapes. Jane helps Hightower into hiding to get away from Red John who is now targeting her so that the CBI will stop looking for Johnson’s murderer, who is also Red John’s inside man.

the mentalist jane and shotgun

“Yeah. I’m coming out. You’re going to have to stand back if you’re bearing firearms. Please lower them, please.” – Patrick Jane

Lisbon has it out with LaRoche about harassment and about the complaint she is going to write to her superiors before she finds out that he is Hightower’s replacement. He suspends her and puts Cho in charge to show her that he will not tolerate insubordination and maybe because he was playing with her. A new case arises and once again the coroner, Dr Steiner (George Wyner) is there, and Jane is going to have a field day harassing him. However, the corpse is stolen and Steiner blames himself, and Jane lets him on to the case. Van Pelt is looking for a wedding dress, and Rigsby dutifully takes her where she needs to be, and hurts that she is marrying another man. Steiner knows that Jane knows that he is sick, and appreciates Jane letting him have a little fun before he dies, and the two turn out to be great friends when they stop being at odds with one another. Steiner requests that Jane be present when he overdoses so that there will be no autopsy – he wishes to avoid the suffering before his death, which is roughly a month away anyhow. At first Jane refuses, then obliges Steiner his dying wish.


“From that height you’ll just shatter bones and suffer massive internal injuries. Make sure you dive. Head first.” – Patrick Jane

Jane meets the latest “victim” in a crime, and immediately pins Erica Flynn (Morena Baccarin) the murderer and not the victim. She is convinced that she is smarter than he is, and together they dance a dangerous dance, of which Patrick naturally wins and maintains the upper hand. It is revealed here again that Jane will never love another woman again and that his wife is still the only person in his life. Jane orchestrates a burglary of LaRoche’s house (naturally unbeknownst to the rest of the team) and is very distracted when he needs to get the burglar out of prison. Jane wanted the shortlist that LaRoche had about who was in the immediate vicinity when Johnson was killed because he needs to know who could possibly be the inside man. Jane is distracted, and eventually tells Lisbon what is going on. Naturally she is angry, but hits the burglar so that the case will be dismissed so that Jane will not be implicated in any way.

Rigsby comes to blows with his ex-con father when a prison stabbing goes down outside the walls, and his hatred and anger towards the man boils over. Rigsby gains some freedom over what goes down, and tells Van Pelt that he will not be at her wedding because he cannot watch the love of his life marry another man. Liberated, he leaves. The team investigates a bombing at a local gas station, and they dig into it heavily. Jane finds out that the perpetrator was the victim, and that the whole thing had nothing to do with cash, but everything to do with these client lists as a money moving company. Lisbon is attacked by whoever the perpetrator may be, and a bomb is strapped to her. Jane solves the riddle quickly, and they discover a body – the victim was related to Hightower. Jane realizes that Red John is hunting her, and they get out of there, quickly.


“It’s not you. It’s me.” – Craigh O’Laughlin

Hightower visits Jane and thanks him for all that he has done, but says that she wants to turn herself in and exonerate herself before a jury. Jane asks for forty eight hours to close the loop around Red John’s inside man quickly, and so he begins. Jane informs the team that he knows where Hightower is and that he assisted her, and tells them about the Blake poem as well as the plan. Jane threatens LaRoche and gets his shortlist, and Van Pelt’s fiancé is on it. They start an elaborate plan to see who is the inside man – Bertram, Brenda Shettrick (Rebecca Wisocky), the CBI press liaison, DA Osavldo Ardiles (David Norona) or Craig. It appears that it is Bertram, but the worst happens when it turns out to be Craig, who executes two police officers and shoots Lisbon. Hightower and Van Pelt shoot him to death, and he dismisses her even as he is dying. Jane is at the mall and finds Red John (Bradley Whitford). The two share a conversation, and after Red John pushes him too far, Jane shoots and kills him.

patric and red john season 3

“Wherever you go, you delusional freak, I will find you and I will kill you, and then, then I will forget about you.” – Patrick Jane

Best Episode: Red Hot / The Red Mile 

Worst Episode: Rhapsody in Red

I really enjoyed this season. Bertram has me worried at times about Red John, especially after quoting the Blake poem in one of the episodes, but at the same time I feel that that would be too obvious. Watching Van Pelt move on with another man while Rigsby gets crushed about it was very sad, though Craig irritated me no end. There was just something so off about the man. I am going to say this – I adored LaRoche from the off, though most people did not. He was such a fresh and unique character, and he was played fantastically by Pruitt Taylor Vince. Major props for that. Jane entertained me no end again with his antics and tomfoolery, yet all the while he is still so broken and damaged, especially watching the end of the tape Erica Flynn made with him where he speaks about the perfect woman and allows that it is his deceased wife. The story was pretty good in this one, too, and the character development progressed nicely. We got to know more about Rigsby (though I do not like how his father was cast, the guy just didn’t really rock the role he was given – like trying to be too hardcore when he can’t be. It is just the actor, not the role, I mean the Sons of Anarchy cast is well implemented), as well as Hightower. Lisbon really respects her, and we get a better look at Cho when he helped the kid get his father out of prison to keep him off of the streets and out of the gangs. Jane delved to new measures to try and find Red John, and Lisbon is still convinced that she can keep Jane on the short leash if they even manage to find the killer. Jane still swears vengeance. I thought the episode where Steiner and Jane come to a mutual understanding was beautiful and highly entertaining as well as completely heartbreaking. There were a few major flaws in the finale about how everything went down – such as when Craig executed the two cops while Grace was outside, would she not as a cop recognize the sound of a silencer, especially in the midst of what they were protecting? Also, when I saw the rope I immediately assumed it was to climb down, so it was shocking for me that Jane did not make that association. For me the biggest thing was that it cannot be Red John that was killed in the end – it would all be too simple, and not smart enough. That is the biggest alarm bell there.

the mentalist season 3 team getting together

About Zoë

I am 25 years old and I live in South Africa. I love to read, and I watch a lot of series and movies. I am currently studying part time, and I am thoroughly enjoying my course. I work full time, too. I am viewed as somewhat of a geek, I am crazy about The Lord of the Rings, Batman (the initial two Tim Burton ones, and the last three Christopher Nolan ones), Star Wars, Harry Potter (although not those dreadful movies), The Godfather, James Bond, Hannibal, Indiana Jones, mob movies, war movies, reading as much as I can and binge watching television series. Some of my favourite authors are Karin Slaughter, Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, Joe Hill, John Green, Thomas Harris, and Stieg Larsson. I love film, and have extensive lists of people who's work I enjoy. I am a ridiculously huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio (ask anyone, they'll confirm it), and I honestly believe Christopher Nolan can do no wrong. Quentin Tarantino never fails to thrill me, either, and Martin Scorsese is phenomenal. I review a lot on my blog because I love to share my opinion about things and get into some great discussions, so please feel free to chat with me! View all posts by Zoë

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