HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Mentalist: The 7th and Final Season
HTS Overall Score:74
“The Mentalist” is back again after barely being renewed for its 7th and final season last year. The show was teetering on the edge due to the poor handling of the Red John segment that had drug on for WAAAAAAAY too long, but with the resurgence of the second half of season 6 CBS agreed to finance one final “half” season of 13 episodes. If you remember, the last time we left Jane CBI had been disbanded and Jane (Simon Baker), Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and Kimball Cho (Tim Kang) are all working for the FBI. Things are back to normal and Patrick Jane is back to his old tricks, albeit with a boss who tends to appreciate his talents a bit more.
The bombshell proclamation of love from Jane to Lisbon is the driving focus of this season. The episodes are mainly self-contained with your standard villain to catch, but the overarching story is really about the relationship. Jane has been out of the dating game for so long that he’s a bit rusty at it and Lisbon has to work at being a couple instead of just wanting to smack Jane upside the head all the time. To add some spice to the mix we have a new character. Actress Emily Swallow decided not to reprise her role as FBI agent Fischer and is let go in the show with a simple “note” saying she was transferred. In her place they bring in the rookie Agent Michelle Vega (Josie Loren). Vega does a much better job integrating into the group than the stodgy Agent Fischer and ends up being rather likeable, even though she’s only around for this one season. In a sense she reminds me of the “Ezri Dax” of the show (for all your Star Trek aficionados). There’s some complications with her character and an shoehorned budding romance with her and Wylie (Joe Adler), which goes nowhere, but overall her character is refreshing and integrates well in this final season.
The one thing that really made me happy, despite pushing the show just a little too long, was that CBS allowed the show to end on a high note. Even with only 13 episodes we get to see Jane and Lisbon change their relationship from friends to lovers and the final couple of episodes wraps up the show perfectly. Jane is sick and tired of working at the FBI as he’s finally put his demons to rest. He has a new love and his old love has been properly avenged. The chapter of his life is closed and he wants to exit crime fighting. Lisbon is still the career agent, and both of them have to come to terms with each other’s role in the relationship. Episode 12 and 13 is a two parter that ends the series on a beautifully high note and a big bang. Jane and Lisbon can’t just get married, they have to catch a criminal AND get married at the same time! The creators made #13 the love not to fans. We get to see old faces and say goodbye to the shows front runners as they have had a great 7 year run. Van Pelt and Rigby show up for the wedding, as do all of Lisbon’s derelict brothers that have made appearances and there is more than a few nods to the fans along way. I’ll not give away a few surprises, but the ending isn’t rushed at all and ends the show with a smile on your face as the loose ends get tied up (something which not every show is allowed to have.
There are a few downsides to the shortened season, mainly with the forced romance between Wylie and Vega, but overall it was a very impressive send off for the show. Jane and Lisbon are happy, Abbot is stepping down, and fan favorite Kimball Cho is getting the recognition in the agency that he deserves. In some ways the episodic nature of the final season is a bit damaging, even with the “relationship” being the gelling factor for the season, but the stand alone episodes are really what made “The Mentalist” great to begin with. Watching Jane work his magic and get the bad guy with his brains. The only downside is that this tactic has started to wear a bit thin over the years and his hijinks seem less impressive this go around. It’s a simple case of “been done before” and the innovation is starting to fade. It’s only ever so slight and doesn’t really dampen the show that much, it’s just at a point where they ended the series before it started really going downhill.
1. Nothing But Blue Skies
2. The Greybar Hotel
3. Orange Blossom Ice Cream
4. Black Market
5. The Silver Briefcase
6. Green Light
7. Little Yellow House
8. The White of His Eyes
9. Copper Bullet
10. Nothing Gold Can Stay
12. Brown Shag Carpet
13. White Orchids
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=43226[/img]“The Mentalist” has shown a very stable image over the seven seasons on DVD, and this season looks right on par with the rest of the series. Detail is excellent, with the brightly lit Texas environment showing lots of cheery warmth even amidst the cold professional atmosphere of FBI central headquarters. Colors are rich and natural, with lots of greens and blues to give the show a homey look. I did notice the standard macroblocking and little haloing around heads, but it’s minimal and very rarely ever distracting. Black levels stay solid and show plenty of shadow detail even in the darkest scenes. A very solid A rating from Warner.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=43234[/img]Warner presents this final season with a singular English 5.1 Dolby Digital track that is very similar to the rest of the show. It’s solid, with plenty of sonic detail from the simple ambient noises to the rustling of action scenes with gunshots going off everywhere. Dialog is clean and clear, always well-defined and accurate. I did notice that the LFE was a bit light in this season, as gunshot impacts and bass in general seems just a little bit subdued. At first I thought I must be remembering incorrectly, but after A/Bing seasons 6 and season 7 I have to admit it looks like they toned back the aggressive LFE from the last season. There’s plenty of bass to be had, it’s just not super powered and in your face as it was previously. Surrounds are plenty active and the mains show some nice panning of effects during some of the busier episodes.
• Patrick Jane: An Uncommon Man
It’s always a sad thing to watch a good series fade off into the sunset, even with a nice happy ending like this one. It’s like watching good friends say goodbye as you’ve come to know and love the characters over the years. I spent years watching “The Mentalist” and saying goodbye is bittersweet. I’m happy to see them end the series solidly, but I’m all sad to see it go as it will be missed in my weekly watching. Warner did a very solid job of presenting the final season on DVD with impressive video and excellent audio. My only disappointment is the tiny amount of extras on the disc as it would have been nice to see some of the actors comment on the ending of the show, but don’t worry, this shouldn’t deter you from owning the final piece of the mentalist puzzle. Give it watch
Starring: Robin Tunney, Simon Baker, Tim Kang
Created by: Bruno Heller
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 572 Minutes
Own it on DVD March Aprils 28th
Buy The Mentalist: The 7th and Final Season On DVD at Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
More about Mike