Friday, May 18, 2012

The Mentalist "Crimson Hat" Review

"The Mentalist" in a nutshell: It's all an ILLUSION (read: VISUAL LIES) straight up or on the rocks.


Patrick Jane shakes hands with Johnny Walker RED on the rocks in Sin City and ostensibly doubts the moral difference between right and wrong (white hat v. black hat), attracting heartless siren Lorelei MAR-tinS, the bird in the scarlet red dress and black winglets, who spreads her wings and tempts him to the dark side in "Crimson Hat."  "Crimson Hat" is old-hat: (See B.S.) It's all been done before. The series' cliffhanger involved yet another mole in the FBI, another CBI "number 1" got  the boot,  and RJ using the old cell phone gag got away Scott-free.  It's the "Usual Suspects," and RED JOHN ala Keyser Söze vanishes like Jane's hidden coin trick,  "First he's there, and like that he's gone."  But it's just an ILLUSION.

Et two, Bruno?

Either Bruno Heller thinks the viewers with half of a REVIEW BRAIN have the memory span of a fruit fly or he's trying to make a point: since the Pilot (Through the whiskey Looking Glass with the Lyin' fish - "one man's fishbowl is another man's snow globe") Jane with a split personality like Verbal Kint aka Keyser Söze  has been making this story up as he goes.  In the end of  "Usual Suspects" Detective Kujan realizes with a shock that details and names from Verbal's story are culled from various objects around the room and the "Kobayashi Porcelain Company" logo on the bottom of his coffee cup. (Lisbon likes BOSCO.Well, call me Cho-bayashi.)  Kujan realizes that most of Verbal's story was improvised for his benefit. 

 Jane : "old cell phone gag"? I invented that right there and then... rather brilliantly, I thought.
Lisbon : Oh, please. I've seen that done a dozen times.
Jane : What do you mean? Where?
Lisbon : On TV.
Jane :  Well, anything can happen on TV.  The question is, where have you seen that done in real life?

Anybody think it coincidental that Citroen, the car Jane drives, just happens to be the name of the gang member (Citron) suspected in the death of the nameless and faceless shotgun victim, which conveniently provided Jane the Rigsby body double? (Talk about a Crimson Hat.)  Anybody troubled by Jane telling Lisbon to pinky-swear not to tell ANYONE about his fake breakdown and then the CBI scoobs are suddenly in on the great deception?

Lorelei, on Keston, almost performs a "Verbal Kint" makeover on Jane's left hand and gets caught on Debonair.  Loved the final scene of Lorelei facing her opposite, Teresa Lisbon.  

Jane (to Lorelei): I know it’s hard to believe now, but you’re gonna talk to us. You’re gonna break down, and you’re gonna tell us everything you know about Red John. You’re gonna sing like a bird.

            A Scarlet Tanager 

(NB "Tanager" was the name of the ship in the "Usual Suspects.")

The clever long con of  "Usual Suspects" was Keyser Söze's identity. (Fast Fact: Kevin Spacey revealed that Bryan Singer managed to convince every one of the major actors that they were Keyser Söze. When first screened for the company of actors, Gabriel Byrne (Keaton) was so burned when he found that he wasn’t Keyser Söze that he stormed off into the parking lot and argued with Bryan for a half hour.)  The clever long con of  "The Mentalist" was Red John's identity.  Bruno has dropped more red herrings casting suspicion on every character on the show.  Like Kint, the answer was right in front of us the whole time: Jane was Red John, his imaginary nemesis. (Fast Fact #2:   The CBI Headquarters is actually the rear entrance of the Pico House, a former luxury hotel and a National Historic Landmark located in Downtown Los Angeles, designed by architect Ezra Kysor.  FF # 3 Patrick Jane drinks Pekoe tea.)

 The Mentalist - Tommy Westphall - Life on Mars - Tin Man Connection

Tea for Two: Red John is Patrick Jane's imaginary evil twin, his "perfect symmetry" alter-ego (Jane/John),  Professor Moriarty character in a "Tommy Westphall" imaginary world like "St. Elsewhere's" snow globe and "Life on Mars" that is the dream state of  Jane.  NB. The fake Jane character in "Red Moon" where another corpse was found in a burned car was named Ellis Mars .  

Ellis Mars: The mind is a powerful weapon. It can create reality.

 Who's a Lyin'? Jane or Mar-tinsS

Jane: Perhaps we can see each other again.
Lorelei: That’s not up to me.
Jane: Oh, you have no say in it?
Lorelei: None at all. It’s very "Westphall."
Jane: I don’t follow you.
Lorelei: I do what Red John tells me to do.

Burning clues:  Jane appears to be a Sherlock Homes super-sleuth character but in reality is a mental patient with a cracked eggshell 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.  "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 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 appeared to Jane in the burn mask in "Red Sky."

Scrambled Eggs: 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).

                         Red Face to Face

 The Mentalist logo.svg
The Mentalist in a box


 Drink Scotch Whiskey all night long and die behind the wheel

The Man with Two Names -- Red John's alias is ROY Tagliaferro (read: "cut iron").   The ROY CUT IRON  anagrams are "court irony" and "you r citron."  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.

The Lore is a lie. Of course, this ending is going to annoy the legions of fans who felt that they have been burned by similar shows like LOST and "The Prisoner."  (Here's LOST in a nutshell if Damon Lindelof played football)  Et tu, Bruno? Let's ask him:

EW: There’s this smart line near the start of the third act of Seven, where the audience is warned that when we meet the film’s serial killer (KEVIN SPACEY), there’s no way he’s going to live up to our expectations. He’s just a man. Has that concerned you, building up the villain for so long that it can’t top expectations?

Bruno:  Sure, if season 5 we just opened a door and said “tah-dah!” and it was some mid-range actor, that would be disappointing. The trick is going to be — and this is coming — bringing the audience along and making them second guess themselves and ask, “Is that him? Is that him?” Red John ultimately is just a man — whenever you see the great criminals reduced to the flesh it’s sort of disappointing.

EW: Will you cast Red John next season?

Bruno: Will I cast him? He might already have been cast. You might already have seen him.

                 "And like that he's gone."

Read John's "Seven" Come 11:  my mental list of  7 scripts so you can dream along with me

"DRAGON STAR  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[1]

 MIDNIGHT RIDE”Logline: Garage band cruises a small Pennsylvania town on a  stormy 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 lines.

"COLUMBIA ROADS" Logline:  US embassy investigator in Colombia discovers prophecy that threatens the US. Tagline: All Roads lead to Columbia.  Download -COLUMBIA ROADS-

 FACESPACE Logline:  CIA Deep Throat recruits a conspiracy writer to stop a  mind control plan using social network websites.    Tagline: Who is like FACESPACE  and who can defeat it?   Download FACESPACE 7-21

"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

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