The Mentalist: Season 1 Episode 11: "Red John's Friends"

Patrick Jane was back and this year he brought with him a little bit of his past, this mysterious past we don't know all that much about, except that it is the driving force that makes him put up his smile every morning and gets him through the day. Now, I have to admit something, I myself am not that much into the whole Red John story.

Well, that's not exactly true - I don't mean I'm not into in or that I don't like it, but only that I don't really care if we don't get to learn more about it "soon" and if it doesn't get resolve until the series finale in many (many) years. It's not that I don't like serialization or anything like that, I actually do, but I don't see this as a requirement for anything, not to be fun, good, interesting or compelling, not even to get me excited week in week out about a show.

That is to say, the fact that we got to - finally - hear back about this mysterious killer everyone is still tracking, even when they're not, not directly, wasn't much of an excitement in itself for me. That being said, this was still a very good episode which I enjoyed very much, even though I have to say it felt somewhat different than what I had gotten used to from this show, and maybe it wasn't necessarily all for the best.

So what if Jane wasn't doing his usual tricks and mind games ? Or, if he's been tuning it down a lot recently and isn't making as much of a show as he's done before, I don't mind that, I actually like that for the later part. Plus, I'm sure it'll all back back soon enough, he just can't be making tricks all the time otherwise it would be getting old way fast, plus people working with him all the time would probably stop being intrigued, mused or annoyed - but in a good way - by it, to turn exhausted, bored, or even annoyed - but in a bad way this time.

And it's not like he's not using his abilities, it just got more subtle, in how he tried to pass as the home owner and have Gardner taken away, or how he's always looking at people to see how they react to things - like how Lisbon reacted when the boss was putting up his warnings - and of course how he managed to "guess" the guy was calling from Mexico before any computer could trace the call.

I'm not always a fan of when he's "playing" the murderer to get him to confess one way or another, and this week was especially not inspired. I mean, from his first visit we all knew how someone managed to lock the door and then put the key back in place on the inside while being out, they insisted on it long enough, but wasn't his little demonstration even more amazing, in that the fishing line somehow magically showed up below the door on its own! Really? I'd imagine it would have been easier to put it through with the door open, and close it while it's in place, rather than hoping for such a miracle…

At first this episode was surely different, opening with what was really a flashback, and getting Jane to find out about a cold case where not only all appearances seemed to go the same way, but where we had somehow a connection to no other than Red John! And for a moment there it was an incredible lot of fun, to see Jane be the way he is, and he's just got this thing about him that makes it always enjoyable, even when you're simply watching him lie to you with a big smile on his face.

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