It's REALLY hard to follow if you haven't seen almost every episode. I saw all of Season 1, but have become a casual viewer since then, watching the occasional episode with my mom. It's become too heavily serialized for it's own CBS good!
I just wanted to prove you wrong and argue that the Red John episodes are really just a few out of an overall number of 23 - 24 episodes per season. But then I looked at an episode guide and discovered that you're right. For example, in season four there were seven episodes addressing Red John. Personally, it really doesn’t bother me because the majority are still stand-alone episodes.
But kill Red John or merely arrest him, when Red John's fate is decided the overall storyline is over. Hence the interminable delays while Red John's abilities grow ever more god-like.
(Spoilers for season 4)
I agree. I’ve read somewhere on the Internet that people want the Red John plotline to end, but I don’t believe that this will happen before the series ends. The main character's desire for vengeance is what drives him. So once he has managed to solve the murder of his wife and daughter - however he does that - he can get an early retirement and leave the CBI. However, I find his motivation interesting. On the one hand, one can sympathize with Jane, but on the other hand, everyone knows that it's wrong to take the law into one's own hands. That being said I really think that he got off the hook too easy after shooting the "faked" Red John. I think there should be more severe consequences for Jane (and probably for Lisbon, too) and that
is what bothers me about the show. It should not be so easy to get away with killing someone. From a dramatic and even philosophical point of view, it should make your life far more miserable to kill someone, especially
when you killed the wrong person.
Yes, there were consequences like the fact that the FBI took over. But instead of coming forward with the truth, Jane manipulates and puts other people in danger. And even though his action jeopardized the life of FBI agent Darcy, Lisbon, who is still his boss, does absolutely nothing at that point. So, instead of trying to convince Jane to tell the truth, she should have told Darcy the truth herself. After all, she is still a CBI agent and a serial killer stalked Darcy. I sometimes wonder how Lisbon got her job. The other members of the team don’t look too good on their jobs, either, since they can't seem to solve a single case without Jane. So, that's what really bothers me, but apart from these annoyances, I really like the show and hope the new time slot won't kill it.