At first I was one of the many that saw this show as simply being a ripoff of USA's Psych. However, after seeing the pilot, I know that I was totally wrong. The two shows couldn't be anymore different. The Mentalist is a refreshing and at times light hearted cop show, with dark painful undercurrents and that was extremely evident with the pilot.
I loved the begining of the episode because it was just so unexpected. Patrick Jane is such an interesting character, he asks his questions, makes his observations but never seems vested in the outcome. Even when shots are fired he seems more along the lines of slightly surprised then concerned, its refreshing.
The best part though would be the mystery with the dead man and woman. Though we don't know who or what Red John is you can clearly tell there is history between him and Jane. It really makes you look forward to learning more about about him, Jane and what it is that connects them. Although, unfortunately Red John has nothing to do with this case, we do get a satisfying wrap up courtesy of Jane. He's so, crafty with his little mental games, and fake diary its fun to watch. But again the best part is the Red John tease at the end with Jane. That last scene solidifys that this isn't your regular procedural, yeah we had the crime of the week but there is this underlying story thread as well, and thought Patrick Jane is funny and charming he is not as carefree and lighthearted as he likes to pretend. Overall I loved it! Excellenct pilot.