I firmly believe that The Mentalist is playing fair. By that I mean that Bruno Heller specifically, and all the producers of The Mentalist, have had a firm idea of where the Red John storyline was going right from the start of the show. I'm not suggesting that some 'master list' of the series' plot-intensive episodes exists, or that the producers had any idea what the specific clues or twists in the Red John storyline were going to be more than a few episodes in advance. I do, however, believe that those producers have known who Red John was all along, have been careful, even as their plots and characters evolved, were careful never to give any information or clues that contradicted anything already established as fact.
Beyond that, I believe that the mystery as presented by the show has been solvable, and what's more, I believe that I have solved it.
It occurs to me that, despite it being one of my favorite shows, I've neglected to discuss The Mentalist here on the blog. For anyone not aware, The Mentalist is a CBS drama which - while it fits broadly into the network's tradition of police procedurals - is my nominee for the best-produced thing on network television.
I specify 'network' for what I think are fairly obvious reasons. The dictates of mainstream commercial-supported broadcast television put restrictions on shows that pretty much ensure that they can't ever rise to the level of your Breakings Bad or Games of Thrones. Networks prefer the episodic structure so it's easy for viewers to check in at any time - it doesn't really matter when you start watching Cheers, within a few minutes you'll get the point. Something like Wiseguy - one of the greatest things to ever come out of a network - was doomed to failure largely because it isn't the kind of thing that can simply be picked up and watched at someone's leisure. Add to that fact, from a financial standpoint, episodic shows are easier to sell into syndication, and it's easy to understand why shows about cops and lawyers and doctors solving a new crime/curing a new patient every week have dominated the airwaves since televisions inception. Also, for a little while there, every week a heroic cowboy would shoot some no-good varmint, but that trend seems to have largely passed.
Posted by Vardulon at 2:44 AM
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In the 3rd episode of 'The Following' the FBI is on the hunt for a crazed killer who loves wearing a Poe mask. Their only lead is his abused wife, who is living in fear of him. Luckily, the FBI has a plan for dealing with the situation - return the wife to the home she shared with said serial killer!
Interestingly, the cops had tried this plan once in each of the first two episodes - allowing the target of a serial killer to remain in their home - and in each case the serial killer got into the house and attacked the victim. I suppose they hoped that the third time would be the charm?
Now, it's important to remember that since the woman's life is in danger, there's no possible reason to bring her to her own home unless she's serving as bait for the serial killer. So let's look at the FBI agents' plan.
B - Two agents sit in a car, chatting.
Posted by Vardulon at 3:49 AM