The Mentalist always becomes a different show when Red John is in the picture, because the kill is revealed at the beginning or middle of the episode. “Blinking Red Light,” however, goes along like a regular episode for the vast majority of episode. First, there’s the obvious suspect who isn’t the serial killer, followed by Jane narrowing his scope to the reporter. The timing of Jane’s trap comes earlier than usual, and his plan is quickly foiled.
Instead of using another scheme, Jane comes up with an even more devious way to get rid of Panzer. He baits him into insulting Red John and, lo and behold, Red John kills Panzer. With one move, Jane deals with the current serial killer and gets the proof that Red John is still out there. It’s a disturbing that Jane would do this–that he’d take a calculated move like this–but The Mentalist has never shied away from the darkness inside Jane and it’s very fitting.
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