The Mentalist continues to be one of the best detective shows of the moment. This is due to the remarkable performance of Simon Baker, who portrays Patrick Jane, a man, who possesses a great sense of deduction, coupled with the ability to manipulate people to get answers. TV series review by Bulles de Culture.
Mentalist: a key figure in the center of the story
Of course, Patrick Jane’s smile is one of the key trademarks of the shows The Mentalist. The cheerful character hides a deep trauma, which is cleverly nuanced and written. Behind the killer smile lies a very disturbed persona that is very intriguing. We all wait for the moment where that controlled mask will fall, but we are happy to follow the character as he seems to be one of the rare heroes that we see, that seem completely altruistic, caring and ultimately good. Of course, the complex character is subtly written as being slightly patronizing, egocentric and also self-loathing, but that is only suggested at certain moments of the show.
Endearing secondary characters but still under-written
TV Shows are essentially character-centric. This is why we like (or hate in certain cases) shows like 24, House M.D., The Shield, Lost, Lie to Me, Castle, Nip/Tuck and so on. The Mentalist has an excellent main character, but also a fun and quirky tone and a cast of characters that act basically as a loving family. The secondary characters are very endearing, even if they are under-written and not well developped. They are basically present to underline the main character’s strong personality and don’t seem very competent as CBI (California Bureau of Investigation) agents. We, sometimes, wonder how they would solve crimes without Patrick Jane. The writers seem to be aware of this issue and are very slowly and very slightly showing their strengths but perhaps too slowly and too slightly. They are afraid, it appears, that a better characterization of the team might overshadow the mentalist.
Mentalist season 2: the still lack of continuity
But the main problem which might ruin the series Mentalist is the lack of continuity. Patrick Jane hangs around with the CBI in an effort to catch a serial killer named Red John, who killed his wife and child. Unfortunately, we only have elements of this intrigue in the first and last episode of season 1.
This season, the writers decided to add a very slight continuity as the Red John case has been taken off of our main character’s hands and put into another detective’s lap, much to the dismay of Patrick Jane. We have very little elements on this but are very curious to see how this is going to develop.
Concerning the episodes themselves of Mentalist season 2, they follow the same procedure as in the first season, they are episodic and generally extremely predictible. However, the writers are still good at exploiting Patrick’s quirks and mentalist abilities. And for my part, I still consider this show high above other shows like Monk, Lie to Me and CSI.
Overall, The Mentalist lacks a bit of continuity and a change of statu quo in order to become something that is excellent, but it is very pleasant to watch.
Out of 20, I would give this a 15.
Who would like this:
- People who are tired of dark and grim cop shows, where characters backstab one another;
- People who like Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes, Rouletabille ;
- Parents who want to watch a crime show with their kids.