DVD REVIEW: The Mentalist, Season 4

The Mentalist Season 4 picks up exactly where season 3 left us, with Patrick Jane (a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation), played by Simon Baker, standing over the man he has just killed, the man he believes to be Red John. Red John is a serial killer that murdered Patrick Jane’s wife and daughter who he has suck revenge against, promising to kill him to pay for his sins.

Has Patrick finally found Red John and killed him? Even if he has what will happen to him now that he has murdered someone?  The Mentalist manages to continue the momentum it has built up with the first three seasons with another highly enjoyable run.

The series opens with the typical episode where after the showrunner’s put all the characters in positions that they seemed to not be able to return to the lives we know and love, they have somehow returned to the status quo by the end of the first forty-five minutes. This is something that I have two feelings about. In one respect I think that it is a great method because it allows new viewers to join the series and be able to follow what is happening.

By the end of the first episode, a new viewer might not have the connection to Patrick Jane that people who have followed him through the first three seasons do but you know what he is about and more importantly you know what the show is about. This means that someone can easily pick up The Mentalist and enjoy it without feeling the need to go back and watch all three seasons.

However there is another strain of argument that by having these recap episodes where the characters go back to what they were before a big event weakens the actual story as a person would not be able to return completely back to their prior selves. What The Mentalist does here is the perfect blend of the two. This is clearly a catch up episode and a jumping on point. But what it does so well is show as the season goes on that Patrick Jane has changed. It is subtle and it works so well.

There are episodes where Jane does things that just seem plain wrong and where he seems quite unlikable at times. This is all to the show’s credit and more importantly Baker for his tremendous performance because the viewer will be left still liking Jane, just feeling that things have become a little more grey than they ever were before.

The series rolls along at a good speed with a different case brought into the majority of the episodes. The highlight has to be Blinking Red Light. In this episode we see the darker side of Jane come out and allures to the viewer that Red John might still be around. The series continues to build until a dramatic end that will make you want to see what happens next. There are a couple of episodes that are not as good as others but the key to a show like this is to have a lead that the viewer is instinctually drawn to, that will make even the lesser stories at least watchable. With the character of Patrick Jane they have this, in the same way that House had Hugh Laurie.

The heart of the show is definitely between Baker’s Jane and Robin Tunney’s Lisbon. The detective team have great chemistry reminiscent of a Holmes and Watson that make you want to watch the show to see what happens next.

All in all The Mentalist Season 4 is an incredible enjoyable crime thriller TV show. The characters are strong, making you want to find out more about them and see what happens. You are invested in the show as much as you are invested in the characters. There are some hiccups among the way but there are also some real highlights in this series that will make you desperate to watch the next episode. It is also refreshing to see that even acting as a jumping on point, the characters have still managed to grow and change depending on their experiences. A thoroughly enjoyable collection

Rating: 4/5
Reporter: Luke Halsall

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