HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Mentalist: The Complete Sixth Season
HTS Overall Score:80
It’s been a long time coming, but the famed detective series is about to get closure to the whole Red John story. After years of chasing Red John, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) is closing in on his nemesis, with only six names to slog through and find the real killer. Last season we ended with Red John killing Lorelei Martin to Punish Jane and herself for almost betraying him. Red John has now given Patrick six final suspects, all of whom COULD be, but only one of them IS Red John. With some secret evidence that Red John doesn’t know about, Patrick Jane is able to turn the tables and oust the villain at his own game. The only thing I can say to this development is…FINALLY. The dragging on of the Red John case has gotten so ridiculous and out of proportion from its original inception that even the fans were begging for it to end. The most common complaint heard on fan boards was that “The Mentalist” was still a fantastic show, but only on the episodes that didn’t deal with the overarching serial murderer after season 3. Starting out as a mere serial killer with brilliant undertones, a foil to Patrick Jane’s brilliance, he has morphed into a character of legendary skill and the brilliant mastermind of a secret society of dirty cops who can get away with anything. Originally, Patrick met Red John (played by Bradley Whitford) in season 3 finale and ends up killing him, in an incredibly powerful scene. The only thing was that the powers that be panicked and figured they had killed off the golden egg, so in the season 4 opening they retconned the killing of Red John and turned the man into a fake in order to keep the show going. As time went on they changed him, turning him into an almost godlike character with near unlimited resources and it got a bit out of hand. With season 5 ending they must have realized that they couldn’t drag it out any longer as they decided to go right for the jugular in season 6 and wrap up the plot line in a mere 8 episodes. We finally get to see WHO the man is, and the results are spectacularly disappointing, as by this point we really just shrug our shoulders and say “who cares?” once the mask is pulled away. Those 8 episodes did a great job revealing just who it was, but when you find out who it was, there is no emotional impact as you never find out why he did what he did, what made him tick, just that this poor soul that we me early on in the series is the evil mastermind and poof, it’s over. Even the actor they chose to represent the real Red John was so “bleh” that you honestly wished they had stopped the story back at the end of Season 3, where Bradley Whitford played his role to a perfect T.
With my disappointment with the first third of the series you have to be wondering why I’m rating this a 4/5. With the Red John case being wrapped up, the creators new that they had to get back to their roots and did a snappy turnaround with CBI being disbanded after the secret organization’s leaders become known to the public and fast forwarding nearly two years. Jane is now hiding out in Mexico after killing Red John, Lisbon (Robin Tunney) is head of a small town’s police department, Cho is now in the FBI and Rigsby and Van Pelt are happily married with a small private detective’s firm as their job. The Agent who came in to clear up the whole Red John fiasco in California, one Agent Abbot (Rockmond Dunbar), decides that Jane is too valuable to be stuffed in jail and offers him a proposal. Come work for the FBI in much the same way that he worked for CBI and his crimes will be wiped clean. After some finagling and manipulation, Jane is back in black, with the condition that Agent Lisbon be his handler. Now the duo is back to solving murders, just this time on a national scale.
The reboot of the series back to the episodic nature of the first few seasons ,with a few minor overarching plots, really puts the team back in the running once more. The show seems lighter than air, fresher than it has been in years, with Jane back to his old hijinks of earlier seasons. Making play toys of the FBI he has new challenges to match his wits against, and new people to drive crazy (although once can say that he’s never left Agent Lisbon alone in that respect). The show still retains a lot of its former tone and feel, as Agent Cho and Lisbon are in cahoots with our main character, but it looks like Ribsby and Van Pelt are being wrote out of the series to make room for the FBI main characters to take over. I, for one, really love the change up, as the show was dangerously close to crashing and burning the last few seasons as Red John got stretched out and rammed down our throats so much in an effort to keep the golden goose laying eggs. Hopefully next season we’ll get to see a bit more interaction and development of Lisbon and Jane’s little budding romance and more fun.
The Episode Rundown is as follows.
The Desert Rose
Wedding in Red
The Red Tattoo
Fire and Brimstone
The Great Red Dragon
My Blue Heaven
The Golden Hammer
White as the Driven Snow
Silver Wings of Time
Brown Eyed Girls
Il Tavolo Bianco
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=29145[/img]The 1.78:1 Mpeg 2 encoded DVDs looks excellent, with all 22 episodes split across 5 DVD-9’s, so the compression looks rather nice. Detail is abundant as the show is shot in a brightly lit environment, for the most part, and benefits from the natural lighting elements. Colors and skin tones are warm without being too bright, and the white levels keep from blooming in the sun. Black levels also look quite good, with only a moment or two of crush to annoy the viewer. I did notice a little bit of haloing around the heads though, and a little macroblocking. Not a whole lot, and even the haloing only showed up for a few episodes, but if you look closely they’re there. The show is right on par for many other new release shows and has certainly improved since the first several seasons. It’s a bit disappointing that Warner decided to not go ahead with season in HD after the lackluster sales of Season 1, but the DVD certainly is nothing to sneer at.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=29153[/img]Season 6 has been given a VERY good 5.1 Dolby Digital track for the fans and one that surpasses many others in its genre. “Bones” is considered to have a rather dynamic track for a crime thriller, but “The Mentalist” takes it up a whole notch with ease as it rattles the windows with one incredible bass track and some very very heavy usage of the surrounds. Cars roar by, a foot scrapes across a cabin floor or a shotgun blasts whips around from all directions, adding a nice sense of depth and immersion to the track. LFE is brutal and pounding, as every downbeat of the theme music whallops you in the chest with a rather visceral impact. Bullets, and other action oriented sounds also benefit from the powerful low end, although I did notice a bit of a strain in some of the dialogue as the show is recorded with a lower bitrate 384 kbps Dolby Digital track instead of the standard 448 kbps audio. It’s not usually noticeable, but the highs sound a bit compressed at times, and that pulls it down just a hair. Still, a very well done track that should please fans of the show.
• Deleted Scenes
• Patrick Jane: Redeemed, Recovered, Restored
This latest season of “The Mentalist” had a bit of a strained first 1/3rd as it rushed to finish up the long overdue Red John finale, but once it got past that and the characters moved over to the FBI the show went back to its roots. Roots that were what made it great to begin with and the “reboot” of the series feels fresher and more entertaining than ever. Audio and video are great, with the only exception to the whole series being a rather weak display of extras. I definitely think this is a no brainer for fans, and for those of you interested, yes, it’s a heavily recommended series by myself. Go watch.
Starring: Robin Tunney, Simon Baker, Tim Kang, Owen Yeoman, Amanda Righetti
Created by: Bruno Heller
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG 2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Stereo 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 930 minutes
DVD Release Date: Sept 30th, 2013
Buy The Mentalist: The Complete Sixth Season DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Must Watch
More about Mike