Net closes in

The rid­dle at the heart of Nine’s The Men­tal­ist may be close to be­ing solved. Guy Davis finds out more about the mys­tery of Red John from se­ries cre­ator Bruno Heller and star Si­mon Baker.

Geelong Advertiser - TV Guide - - COVER STORY -

For years now, Pa­trick Jane, the in­tu­itive, oc­ca­sion­ally in­fu­ri­at­ingly smug hero of The Men­tal­ist has been us­ing his re­mark­able skills of insight and ob­ser­va­tion to help the au­thor­i­ties bring a wide va­ri­ety of bad­dies to jus­tice.

But there’s one over­rid­ing mys­tery that has driven Jane over the course of the se­ries – the search for “Red John”, the se­rial killer who mur­dered Jane’s wife and child.

Clues have been uncovered, leads fol­lowed and a list of sus­pects com­piled, and at the end of The Men­tal­ist’s last sea­son Jane had nar­rowed it down to seven pos­si­bil­i­ties.

But here’s the thing: Jane’s se­cret list wasn’t so se­cret af­ter all. Red John knew the

Ii­den­ti­ties of the men Jane sus­pected. And as the show en­ters its sixth year on the air, it’s be­com­ing clear a fi­nal show­down be­tween the two long- time ad­ver­saries is ap­proach­ing.

Aus­tralian ac­tor Si­mon Baker, whose per­for­mance as Jane has proven to be his big US break, and Men­tal­ist cre­ator and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Bruno Heller re­cently took to the pub­lic­ity cir­cuit in the US to dis­cuss what lies ahead in this new sea­son, and par­tic­u­larly to dis­cuss the cul­mi­na­tion of the Red John mys­tery.

“That list of seven makes a kind of quan­tum leap for­ward now that Jane and Red John

Heller: “If and when Red John is caught, we want to find out what hap­pens to Jane and Lis­bon af­ter that be­cause so much of Jane’s life has been de­fined by that hunt for Red John.”

re­alise the endgame is nigh,” Heller said, adding “things move fast and ex­plo­sively and ex­cit­ingly over the first few episodes [ of the new sea­son]”.

Ac­cord­ing to Heller, the seven sus­pects on Jane’s list play a piv­otal role in the sea­son’s early stages, with Jane and his col­leagues at the Cal­i­for­nia Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing Se­ri­ous Crime Unit boss Teresa Lis­bon ( Robin Tun­ney), work­ing fever­ishly to de­ter­mine which one is the killer.

And with­out wish­ing to spoil any­thing for Men­tal­ist devo­tees, it has been con­firmed Red John’s iden­tity will be re­vealed.

It’s a bold move for the show, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the mys­tery sur­round­ing Red John has been a cen­tral part of The Men­tal­ist since its in­cep­tion, but Heller be­lieves the se­ries can thrive once that mys­tery is re­solved.

“It felt very much to all of us like that chap­ter of the story was done,” he said.

“Frankly, I think the great as­set and value of the show is in Baker’s head and what he does. Red John was a feel­ing in the show and an ob­jec­tive. But in terms of the mo­mentby- mo­ment plea­sures of the show, those are de­liv­ered by Si­mon Baker and his peo­ple, not by Red John.

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