"The Mentalist" in a nutshell: It's all an ILLUSION (read: VISUAL LIES) when you sleep, perchance to dream.
Dr. Linus Wagner: Everything you told me, Mr. Jane, is total fiction, isn't it? (See B.S.)
Jane: From the INCEPTION
In "Something's Rotten in Redmund" Simon Baker gives an award-winning performance demonstrating his classical acting skills and shakes a spear in a high school version of the Tragedy of Hamlet as Ghost, reuniting with another ghost from his past, Matt McCoy, who also was a supporting actor in "LA Confidential." If there is another connection between TM and "LA Confidential" - the big antagonist is the police chief - then call it "Sacramento Confidential."
In his search for the "bad boys and girls" in high school, Jane discovers they are everywhere you look; Redmund High has the stereotypical problems of love-in-all-the-wrong-places. But it's all an act in "Hamlet - the play's the sting." Award-winning performances: the "badge of dishonor" goes to McCoy as the pervy principal who loves to watch bathrooms and to the abused girl who plays love-for-sale to pay the bills; the "bad actor" award to the lovestruck drama teacher for seducing a student, the "bad chemistry" award to the chem nerd for producing the Love Drug X-tasy "because he just wants to be popular" like the "Grease" "Summer Love" bad boys and girls. Mr. Loveland is the lovelorn counselor with the drinking problem, and McTierney is the "cool" Mr. Novak-type teacher who loves to play the social worker to save the broken hearts but ends up with a fractured skull. Alas, poor McTierney, a love story/geek tragedy.
As a late replacement for the Ghost, Jane exposes the killer while on stage in the scene where Hamlet doubts whether the Ghost has told him the truth, and the troupe of actors at Elsinore presents him with a solution. Jane re-enacts the teacher's murder and determines the suspect's guilt or innocence by studying their reaction to it. The parents assemble to watch the play and the student prince provides an agitated running commentary throughout as Jane goes in for the kill. When the high school murder scene is played out, the lovestruck drama teacher abruptly rises and runs for the door, which Jane, Lisbon and everybody else see as proof of her guilt. Lisbon catches her red-handed. It's curtains.
This is where the English teacher asks you to compare and contrast this episode of "The Mentalist" with "Hamlet" and "Macbeth." One comparison is Jane's foil with Red John mirrors that of Macbeth's Banquo's and Hamlet. While Jane and Banquo resist evil, Hamlet and Red John embrace it. And like Banquo, sometimes Jane's motives are unclear, and some question his purity.
"Alas, poor Lisbon, I do not know you that well" -- The episode let us peek into Lisbon's back story. In response to Lisbon's disapproval of Jane's vandalism of the bathroom, Jane countered that Lisbon was a boring "goody-two shoes." But Lisbon confessed she was not, that she was never caught red-handed. As Ghost Jane observed: "The devil has powers to assume a pleasing shape." Yeah, he probably meant the horny drama teacher but Lisbun's not so hard on the eyes either.
Speaking of "Grease," what's the "Summer Love" story with Cho?
Speaking of Ghosts, here's Simon Baker's doppelganger, Mr. Novak:
There is the story of the woman who read Hamlet for the first time and said, "I don't see why people admire that play so. It is nothing but a bunch of famous quotations strung together."
—Isaac Asimov, Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare,
"The Mentalist" is "Monk Meets Life on Mars and Elsewhere Over the Rainbow"
TO BE OR NOT TO BE: One does not have to have super-analytical skills to recognize "The Mentalist" is a similar-but-different version homage of Monk, another emotionally crippled San Francisco-area investigator savant tormented by his wife's unsolved murder and committed to bringing evildoers to justice, mixed with a TOMMY WESTPHALL imaginary world ("Hey, it's all a dream" ) genre like "Life on Mars," "St. Elsewhere" (one man's snow globe is another man's fishbowl) and the "Wizard of Oz." TM is Bruno Heller's attempt to push the envelope of the "suspension of disbelief" to force the viewer with half a REVIEW BRAIN to realize "The Mentalist" is an ILLUSION.
Scrambled Eggs: Jane appears to be a Sherlock Homes super-sleuth character but in reality is a mental patient who suffers from paranoid delusions due to feelings of extreme guilt in the deaths of his wife and child who were burned as he was (CBI = intensive burn care?) in a horrific car accident involving a driver named Tanner when he failed to stop at a Blinking Red Light - hence the RJ symbol - while he was driving intoxicated and spends his days watching TV shows, which generate his ideas for the delusional episodes. Note: Jane's eggshell blue car - a vintage 1972 Citroen DS 20 that Warner Bros., producer of "The Mentalist" for CBS, had in its inventory. It was used in the 2008 movie "Speed Racer." For "The Mentalist," the car was shipped from Germany and painted eggshell blue (it was originally red). NB. The fake Jane character in "Red Moon" where a corpse was found in a burned car was named Ellis (El-He is) Mars.) Red John is Patrick (green) Jane's imaginary evil twin, his "perfect symmetry" alter-ego (Jane/John) Professor Moriarty character.
Ellis Mars: The mind is a powerful weapon. It can create reality.
Hey, this would make a great Broadway play with Simon Baker starring in a one-man show, Macbeth. It would take place in a psychiatric unit. If Baker is not available, maybe Alan Cumming would be interested in the one-man show.
Burning Clues: "The Mentalist" is obsessed with fire, as in half the episodes it plays a significant plot point: Out of the Frye-ing pan into the... As Kristina Frye discovered, when you get too close to Red John, you get burned. "Tiger, Tiger burning bright, they were "Au-burned." In the "Red Mile" episode Jane arrives at a crime scene outside Auburn, California. Shouts from Alabama football fans of "Roll Tide" first appeared during the Alabama-Auburn Tiger IRON BOWL game in 1907. Curiously, a corpse was found in a burned car in "Ruby Slippers," in which Jane discovers the identity of Fifi Nix, like Jane's Phoenix, has risen from the ashes of his past life. Fake Red John read all about it: Catch the fire-y headline on the newspaper Tim Carter was reading before Jane shot him. Red John comes face to face with Jane in the burn mask in "Red Sky in Morning."
Red Face to Face
The Mentalist in a Box
"The Mentalist"as "Hamlet" - Red John's alias is ROY Tagliaferro (read: "cut iron"). The ROY CUT IRON anagrams are "court irony" and "you r citron." The irony is Jane, the court jester, destroyed his family like Hamlet, whose honor he sought to avenge. In the Pilot episode Jane was also responsible for killing the father who killed his own daughter. How ironic that Jane, the court jester who arrives at the crime scene in his Citroen, a master reader of how others' emotions control them, was a prisoner of his IRON-ic chains to the past. Until Jane leaves his old life behind, The Mentalist is on the mental list, a PRISONER of his own device.
Jane: Lisbuns, to sleep with you is perchance a dream for me.
Read John's "Seven" Come 11, my mental list of 7 scripts so you can dream along with me:
"DRAGON STAR " (2014)Logline: Code-cracking prodigy tracks a serial killer who returns after seven years to terrorize his hometown. Tagline: You can go Holmes again.The second greatest story ever told Download DRAGON_STAR_-_Final
“MIDNIGHT RIDE”Logline: Garage band cruises a small Pennsylvania town on a night that changes the course of rock music.Tagline: “She loves you and you and you, yeah, yeah, yeah.”
"DIVE"Logline: An American naval officer is forced to pilot a Colombian cartel submarine loaded with cocaine into San Diego harbor. But there's something else on board. Tagline: Sub-text: it's hidden between the white lines.
"COLUMBIA ROADS" Logline: US embassy investigator in Colombia discovers a prophecy that threatens the US. Tagline: All Roads lead to Columbia. Download -COLUMBIA ROADS-
"SPYDER AND THE FLY"Logline: A black op team gets caught in its web of deceit.
Tagline: "Come into my parlor said the Spyder to the Fly, but who was the Spyder and Who was the Fly?"
"THE 11 O'CLOCK NEWS" (2021)Logline: Two bloggers, Richie Scalia and John Scott, get in way-over-their-head trouble. Tagline: Hindsight is 2021