The list of Red John suspects on “The Mentalist” is now down to five. But rather than getting smaller, as Jane thinks it is, the case may in fact be expanding.
That’s the big revelation from Sunday’s (Oct. 20) episode, “Red Listed.” It brings the show closer not just to revealing the killer that has helped drive six seasons’ worth of stories but also hints at how “The Mentalist” will continue after Jane finally solves the Red John puzzle.
The latest suspect to be crossed off the list is Homeland Security operative Bob Kirkland (Kevin Corrigan). Jane eliminates him when he realizes Kirkland has his fake suspect list and, like him, is trying to hunt Red John down — he explains his twin brother became a Red John disciple, and Bob hasn’t seen him since. Bob has been tracking down, torturing and killing the men on Jane’s dummy list.
Kirkland is then killed “trying to escape” by FBI Agent Reede Smith, one of Jane’s remaining suspects. Smith himself presumably isn’t Red John, if for no other reason that it would blow CBS’ promotion of the killer’s unmasking in a few weeks. But he clearly is part of a cabal that knows about Red John and has been covering up for him.
The conspiracy helps explain A) why Homeland Security would be investigating a serial-killer case (a stretch, but if the show wants to say DHS is acting like internal affairs for other agencies, OK) and B) what might drive “The Mentalist” after Red John’s identity is revealed.
Assuming Kirkland describes the conspiracy accurately to Smith when they meet early in the episode — that it involves local law enforcement, the CBI and the feds — things around the CBI offices are going to get very weird after Red John’s unmasking. It will have ripple effects for pretty much everyone we’ve come to know, and it could be a way ahead for the show after Jane’s quest ends. Once that’s done, Jane will (one would hope) want to fight to keep his job at the bureau and protect those he works with from the collateral damage.
It’s a potentially big leap for “The Mentalist,” but it will need one after the Red John saga ends in a few weeks.
What did you think of “The Mentalist” this week?