Monday, 27 May 2013

TV: The Mentalist (S5) (5/10)

Why did I watch it?
Seasons of The Mentalist qualify for routine viewing in my household, these days on the basis that we have watched so many episodes of the show that the only option is to stick it out and hope Patrick will finally catch Red John. I recall reading that the show's runners intended for things to be wrapped up by the end of a sixth season and I'm hoping that still remains the case.

What's it all about?
The Mentalist, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), continues cracking cases for the CBI, with one eye always turned towards his hunt for serial killer Red John. Having apprehended Red John disciple Lorelei in the previous season's finale, Patrick has plenty of questions to ask but the CBI lose custody as the FBI and Homeland Security mysteriously intervene.

Should you watch it?
If you haven't been watching The Mentalist since it's beginning in 2008, it's unlikely you're going to want to pick up watching it now. I wrote a review for Season 4 last year and this season's review could have read exactly the same. Surely recognising that the show is strongest when dealing with the Red John storyline, the writers move the Red John story along in some form or another in roughly half the episodes this time around, a marked contrast to before when weeks could pass without mention to the serial killer that drives Jane. Take for example, both Homeland Security and the FBI's new interest in the Red John investigation, Jane's clear distraction from the run of mill cases and Lorelei's big reveal that Jane has previously shaken hands with the man himself coming in episodes that don't necessary revolve around a Red John murder.

The remaining episodes are pure filler that occasionally rise above mediocre. The cast work hard with the material, and the characters are likeable but it just isn't the same without any meaty story arcs to hang character development onto.

Normally capable of a decent season ending, the finale this time around was hugely disappointing. Going back into Patrick's past again seemed all too familiar. The finale's ending, a revealing set-up for next season, clearly outlining Red John as one of seven suspects, was the bare minimum I needed to make up for the dross that had been served up over the previous 55 minutes. Fear not though Patrick, I'll be back next season and I want answers!

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