The Mentalist (2008–2015)
3 user 1 critic
A double murder seems to be the work of a notorious serial killer named Red John, but CBI consultant Patrick Jane thinks it's the work of a copycat.


David Nutter


Bruno Heller (created by), Bruno Heller




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Simon Baker ... Patrick Jane
Robin Tunney ... Teresa Lisbon
Tim Kang ... Kimball Cho
Owain Yeoman ... Wayne Rigsby
Amanda Righetti ... Grace Van Pelt
Steven Culp ... Morgan Tolliver
Tim Guinee ... Tag Randolph
Zeljko Ivanek ... Dr. Linus Wagner
Jeffrey Nordling ... Price Randolph
Jack Plotnick ... Brett Partridge
Tara Karsian ... Medical Examiner
Lana Asanin ... Kelly
Michael Holden ... Lawyer
Mark Llewellyn Mark Llewellyn ... Homicide Detective (as Mark Llewelyn)
Mandy McMillian ... Jenny


Police consultant Patrick Jane is suspended after inadvertently driving a wife to shoot her devoted husband, by deducing a family drama at first sight. He is soon asked back to the CBI profiling unit, however, for what initially appears to be a victim of a serial killer known as Red John, but which Jane suspects is a copycat murder. He takes extreme risks and uses his dirtiest tricks to solve the sinister, complicated case which involves prescription drugs, lies, and a diary. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Did You Know?


Of the five original lead actors of the show, Tim Kang (Kimball Cho) is the only one who is from California, the show's primary setting. Simon Baker (Patrick Jane) is from Tasmania, Australia; Robin Tunney (Teresa Lisbon) is from Illinois; Owain Yeoman (Wayne Rigsby) is from Wales, UK and Amanda Righetti (Grace Van Pelt) is from Utah. See more »


Although earlier in the show he is shown him with four or five bleeding gunshot wounds to the chest, the last shot of Mr Tolliver on the floor shows only two bullet holes and no blood. See more »


Patrick Jane: An innocent man would have punched me by now.
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References The Secret (2006) See more »

User Reviews

Meet Patrick Jane
5 June 2010 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

Who could have thought that after shocking viewers with the sex-and-blood-soaked Rome, TV writer Bruno Heller would "move on" to a seemingly more conventional program, i.e. a cop show? Of course, his knack for great characters means that the show isn't all normal. In fact, The Mentalist is one of the more interesting and fun additions to the genre.

The focus is on a man named Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), a "mentalist" - the term is explained at the beginning of every subsequent episode - who helps the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation) with tricky cases, thanks to extraordinary deduction skills that once allowed him to make a living posing as a psychic. The only downside is that, following a personal tragedy (his wife and daughter were killed), he masks his shattered life through a quirky sense of humor that occasionally irritates his superior, Theresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), and his colleagues (Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman and Amanda Righetti). That attitude is about to be tested as the team is assigned a case that looks like the latest Red John murder, whereas Jane, who has a personal stake in the investigation (Red John is the one who killed his family), believes it's the work of a copycat.

What strikes about the pilot of The Mentalist is its blend of classic and new: on the one hand, it uses the entrance of a new character (Grave van Pelt, played by Righetti) to act as the viewer's guide (and cause some awkward sexual tension with one of the male investigators); on the other hand, it's far less interested in the case (although it gets solved by the end of the episode) than in establishing the tormented psychology of the protagonist, not to mention his detective skills, which are demonstrated in the teaser. This approach enables us to understand and somehow relate to Jane's situation, even if revealing all the details at once isn't necessarily a good storytelling device (compare with the gradual revelations about Dr. House, for instance).

Naturally, what makes such developments matter is the man playing the role, and Baker, having spent a lifetime playing supporting parts in Hollywood (starting with L.A. Confidential in 1997) and getting rid of his Australian accent (much like Hugh Laurie masks his Englishness on House), is perfectly quirky and charming as the unconventional detective, backed by a solid supporting cast (with most of the limelight stolen by the excellent Tunney). Guest work is also remarkable, since this episode alone sees Baker square off against people like Steven Culp and the consistently mesmerizing Zeljko Ivanek.

In short, as pilots go, this one has some extra edge by adding a vital subplot to what is clearly meant to be a case-of-the-week series and putting said cases' outcome in the hands of a weird but charismatic investigator. Not bad at all.

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Release Date:

23 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Palm Springs, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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