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Old July 14 2012, 12:49 AM   #16
stj
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

Jane is a semireformed criminal, not a sociopath. He does have people he cares about, which includes occasionally relative strangers. He has a crude populist streak and likes to use his manipulative abilities to humiliate people he doesn't like, which usually include the overbearing rich. And the merely pompous can get the same treatment. However, the underdogs and outcasts he encounters do not. He has no intention of abiding by the law and common morality vis a vis Red John, and has a fixed determination to murder him in revenge, which is a permanent underlying tension with Teresa Lisbon, the romantic interest. And his semireformation does not extend to taking the laws very seriously, which is why he habitually excludes the team from the loop. He takes justice seriously, by his peculiar standards, another way in which he is decidedly not a sociopath.

The show often suffers from the mentalist using the power of script, but all character-based shows have this tendency. The show is indeed character-based. It's based on the appeal of seeing the mentalist character do his thing. As an antihero, though, suffering a la Tony Hill in Wire in the Blood isn't his character's thing. Indeed, an antihero winning is part of the show's hidden edge.

There is actually a fairly varied diet of hooks, plots, premises, characters and tone to the stand-alone plots. Not so much in what Jane does but in what the guest stars do and how the regulars interact. If one episode involves a recurring character euthanasing himself or another involves a transvestite troop hiding an abused young man, you've got variety. Even if both have Jane knowing who the killer was, keeping from the team and revealing the killer with a flourish. But odd as it always seems, there are those who simply will not care about any but the regular characters in whom they have invested.

As to that, there are actually the usual open-ended serial storylines. And as usual they suck. Red John does indeed have supernatural powers, exercised commonly in killing the CBI supervisors. What a curious hobby, for anyone. Grace van Pelt has turned into an abusive cop; Kimball Cho has fallen for a junky hooker and nobly renounced her; Wayne Grigsby has becomes a father who doesn't love the mother. All these storyline suck. Jane/Lisbon is UST, because. All the character development storylines, like most character development storylines, suck.

Baker's performance is terrific, but he makes it look easy. Plus the trendies who only go for the dark and gritty can't see past the veil of normality.
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Old July 14 2012, 01:20 AM   #17
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

stj wrote: View Post
*snip*
The show often suffers from the mentalist using the power of script, but all character-based shows have this tendency.
No, just the badly-written ones.
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Old July 14 2012, 02:18 AM   #18
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

The thing about Red John and him having so many followers in law enforcement is not that far out though.

It is a well known fact that most serial killers have a fascination with police procedures and the culture of law enforcement. I've read that many serial killers actually make a practice of hanging out at bars, diners, and other places frequented by police in their off hours.
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Old July 14 2012, 06:07 AM   #19
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

I've no idea what happened to the show this season but there was a long stretch of horribly boring episodes. Red John is about 10 steps ahead of Patrick Jane and that is really getting tiresome. They really need to wrap up the Red John arc this season as it's dragging the show down.
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Old July 14 2012, 09:46 AM   #20
Guy Gardener
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

Didn't you learn jack from Unbreakable.

Oppositional forces.

Not long after he finally kills Red John, Pat is going to stick a gun in his mouth and pull the trigger.

His wife and child are dead.

And Johns beating heart is the only thing stopping him from joining them.

Oh.

Wouldn't it be kooky if we find out in the last episode that Pat really can see and talk to the dead, and that the whole time his wife has been screaming in incomprehensible pain 5 feet away from him the whole time?
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Old July 14 2012, 04:24 PM   #21
Knight Templar
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

Actually I think they can milk the Red John thing a while longer.

Besides, even after Jane murders Red John there will still be Red John followers and copycats to spend time mopping up.

I'm also curious about the Grace Van Pelt character. There have been disturbing inferences that she is in some way gullible or vulnerable to mysterious, strong willed leaders like when she kissed the creepy cult leader (Malcolm MacDowell).
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Old July 14 2012, 06:28 PM   #22
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

auntiehill wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
*snip*
The show often suffers from the mentalist using the power of script, but all character-based shows have this tendency.
No, just the badly-written ones.
Beg to disagree. I was fan enough of Wire in the Blood to Netflix all the episodes (so far as I know) and watch them all, even the Texas one (.) But even Tony Hill used the power of script. It is part of the nature of the beast. Character-driven shows depend on the viewer investing in the specialness of one or more characters. It is intrinsically hard to write a series of scripts in which this specialness is manifest, episode after episode, in a genuinely organic and plausible way. One of the most consistent was the Sherlock Holmes stories and there were plenty of those in which the "deductions" were not plausible.

Malcolm McDowell's cult leader did not need to be written into the moronic Red John storyline. The completely unreformed nature of the character would have been a severe challenge to Jane, who was once the same kind, and still isn't as different as he might like to flatter himself.
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Old July 14 2012, 11:37 PM   #23
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

Didn't you see the amnesia episode, where the gang met Jane's personality before he hooked up with his wife and squeezed out that kid?
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Old October 30 2012, 05:00 PM   #24
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

Bain wrote: View Post
I like Patrick Jane a great deal, but the police procedural nature of the show didn't hold my interest, so I dropped it after two seasons. I've tuned in for season finales and premieres though, and I wouldn't mind revisiting a few other episodes I've missed.
I'm watching regularly again after having caught up with seasons 3 and 4. I especially liked the most recent episode, "Red Dawn". It was nice seeing an origin piece that took us back to when Patrick Jane joined the CBI. It also served as a bit of backtracking to set up an arc.
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Old October 30 2012, 07:55 PM   #25
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

^^I believe we've been teased with our first glimpse of Red John. Apparently Polly Walker is supposed to be his latest pawn. Or are we supposed to care whether she's an accomplice?
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Old October 30 2012, 09:49 PM   #26
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

For the most part I thought that last season was craptacular but t his season has been really good. I'm not sure what changed...some new writers?
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Old November 5 2012, 05:10 PM   #27
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

The Nov. 4th episode, "Cherry Picked", was a shocker. We got to see an expression on Cho's face.

It was also nice to see Brooke Langton again. It felt like a bottle episode, but the case was a pretty good one and Jane was in top form.
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Old November 8 2012, 11:32 AM   #28
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

We are still working through the last season on DVD, loving it as much as ever. You never know who is going to be in league with Red John, which keeps the tension pretty high.

They've been very clever about keeping the show off On Demand and other places so if you fall behind, you pretty much have to get the season sets.
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Old November 8 2012, 12:57 PM   #29
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

I'm doing a marathon catchup, into s4 now. Red John is an interesting character, int hat Jane is very smart, and Red John is just that little bit smarter. Some of the stories are clichéd and tired but the good ones are good.

Van Pelt is an interesting character, the rage simmering underneath after what she did at the end of s3 breaking out at odd moments. Cho's pretty cool too, has some great one liners. Rigsby's not bad, but he's a little bland. Lisbon is a good foil for Jane, Robin Tunney is underrated in that role.
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Old November 19 2012, 03:59 PM   #30
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Re: The Mentalist-Best & Most Underrated of the Police Procedurals

I like Lorelai. It's fun seeing Emmanuelle Chriqui play someone cold and psychotic.
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