Monday, 4 June 2012

TV: The Mentalist S4 (5/10)

Fresh from the gripping end to the third season, Simon Baker returns as Patrick Jane for the fourth season of The Mentalist.

The beginning of the season is a huge disappointment following the events at the end of season three. Jane begins the season in prison after shooting the man he believed to be Red John at the end of season three. I wondered how the series would continue with Jane locked away but in ridiculous fashion he argues his case at trial and is out by the end of the first episode.  Oh and surprise surprise, it wasn't Red John he shot and killed.

The series is at its best when dealing with Red John and the writers know it. Ending the Red John storyline would effectively end the series so the writers can only afford to drip feed the Red John story throughout the seasons to keep interest. 

When not dealing with Red John, the series is very run of the mill and after four seasons Jane's tricks and schemes are beginning to become slightly repetitive. Also, it now feels as though the CBI have solved almost every type of homicide imaginable in the four seasons. Originally the unit were only called in on special high profile cases and I must have missed the point at which this no longer became the case. Lisbon apart, the other three members of the team are really just there to make up the numbers and serve as part of Jane's charades. As is often the case in this season, I find it bemusing to believe that Jane allows the other four members of the team to hopelessly pursue an entirely different lead for an entire episode while he goes it alone having already solved the case.

Simon Baker's charismatic and cheeky portrayal of Jane still remains a positive note for the show. 

As ever, the season ramps up the Red John drama to a climatic ending but it all feels slightly too familiar and unfulfilling this time around. Renewed for a fifth season, the main question remains when will Patrick catch his man?

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