My crazy The Mentalist theory

With The Mentalist set to wrap up the whole Red John thing in the next three months, I thought it might be high time to reveal my crazy theory about the villain's backstory!

Yes, that's right, I developed a crazy theory while rewatching certain episodes of the show in preparation for the new season. With any luck, it will neatly explain where Red John comes from, and why he's turned himself into an evil messiah, as well as his connection to Bret Stiles, the Malcolm McDowell character.

I suspect that Red John is the son/heir of Timothy Farragut, the original founder of 'Visualize' that Stiles murdered back in the 70s.

As theories go, this one is unbelievably hard to prove, as there's almost no information about the cult's backstory available on the show. I'm basing my wild guess on two elements from the last couple of seasons of the show. The first is the similarity between Red John's philosophizing and the tenets of the Visualize faith. They don't match up 1-to-1, but Red John's recreation of Lorelei into a more perfect version of herself, sounds a lot like the theories that Grace parrots. Also, back in season 2, Rebecca's statements about RJ's mission to enlighten people and let them see how the world really operates fits neatly into this framework.

My initial assumption was that this proved a direct link to Visualize, but what if the link is more tangential? What if the reason for its distinct differences are because RJ and Visualize's dogma both originated from the same place, Timothy Farragut's preaching, but moved off in different directions when Stiles decided to monetize the ideas, while RJ used them as a platform for personal empowerment and vengeance?

Which brings me to the second clue - 'The Red Barn', which was the site of the first two known Red John murders. The leap I'm making is that this isn't just where RJ happened to get started killing, and that the toxic environment there was central to his development as a killer, but rather that RJ had gone to the barn with a specific purpose in mind. In the episode we're told that dozens of people worked on the farm for a little while at a time, including prospective members - so it's possible that RJ was never actually a member of Visualize. We don't know enough about what happened on the farm to extrapolate much, but the facts in evidence do point to one interesting possibility: Red John went there to explore what Visualize was, and to test his own brainwashing against Stiles'.

We're told in the episode that the three men running the farm were 'true believers' dedicated to getting the farm up and running at any cost, because that was what the cult demanded. Their leader was so into it that he was supplying the workers with speed to keep them producing. Just a few weeks later Red John had enlisted him to help murder the other two farm overseers, perhaps turning him into RJ's first 'disciple'.

If this was his plan all along, and it was a success, could Red John's relationship with Visualize be seen as a doctrinal conflict? The farm incident was in 1988, and Farragut died in the late 70s. Assuming Red John was in his early 20s in '88, that would make him a tween for the death of his father/guru. Old enough to have really absorbed the Visualize teachings, especially if he'd grown up surrounded by them. In this theory Farragut dies, RJ has a miserable life from then on, and grows up bitter and resentful. We also find out in 'The Red Barn' that the Sheriff who covered up Farragut's murder 'committed suicide' ten years after Farragut's death. Everyone assumes Stiles was responsible for this, although they don't have a explanation for why it would have taken him a decade to get around to tying up loose ends.

Maybe it's significant that the death of the Sheriff is roughly a year before the barn incident. Perhaps Red John went looking for information about Farragut's death, and found the Sheriff, then killed him and made it look like a suicide before setting his sights on the church.

Is it a crazy theory? Absolutely, and like my longstanding guess that Brett Partridge is the murderer in question, I'll likely be proven wrong when it turns out Sheriff McAllister (Xander Berkeley!) is the killer, and he had nothing at all to do with Visualize. Even still, I'm enjoying the ride, and can't wait to see how it all plays out!


Davidq666 said...

Wow. I think this is one of the best theories have read so far. The idea RJ could be the son of that Timothy Farragut has never occured to me because i totaly forgot about that character. I don't think it will turn out this way. I think your suspicions will prove true that McAllister will be revealed as RJ. However your theory has made me consider rethinking my own theory.

My working theory so far has been that Bret Stiles is the father of both PJ and RJ. I have discoverd clues in McAllisters and Stiles first appearances that lead me to the conclusion they might be father and son. To complete the image of tyger and lamb having the same father i suspected Stiles also to be Janes father. One major thing rubbing me the wrong way about this was the discrepancy in eye color between janes green and the blue of McAllister and Stiles. Jane being Farrguts biological son would offer an explanation.

Usualy the tyger poem is being interpreted as suggesting that both tyger and lamb have the father/creator, but since the poem only poses the question one is free to answer it differently. I am not fully conviced, but it's something to think about.

For your interest the two clues i found were the following:

In 1.02 the Sheriff tells us and the cbi team about the victim:

" A quail hunters dog found her this morning at 5:30.  Wasn't meant to be hunting quail, but he was."

Quail has double meaning as a noun its abird as a verb it mean "to shrink back in fear". Also it's used two times in very short succession without any need for it. For the purposes of crime fighting the second sentence is completely useless information, by an otherwise not very chatty sheriff.

Since i suspected McAllister to be RJ i looked up John 5:30, which turned up the following:

"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."

In 2.20 the very first image whe see of bret stiles in person he is shown with a spotlight above his head radiating two rainbow colored beams to his left an right. The blue Visualize flag showing the eye symbol is set behind him and stays visible almost constantly throughout the scene. His speech center arround the statement, that the eyes are the keys to unlocking(greatness). He repeats this as a partial sentence 3x before being cut of by Jane just after stating for the third time the eyes are the key to unlocking.

His godlike presentation made me think he would fit perfectly the role described in John 5:30. Farragut would fit the description aswell, but wouldn't support the role of the eyes the same way Stiles and McAllister could, as they both have eceptionaly blue eyes.

Because of stiles message repeated i suspect the eye color to have a major role as the show moves past RJ.

Davidq666 said...
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Anonymous said...

Hey Vardulon, I like your thinking, when are you going to write more about the Mentalist and what's going on now? No word from you since Bret Partridge died. I still feel like that doesn't rule him out somehow. Really interesting points you made about the similarity in names to the other Numero Uno suspect for Red John, Stiles. I also like your theory of RJ being son of Farragut. I think nothing like Jane and RJ are related, though it seemed like some Carnival stuff was being popped in to link RJ to that part of Jane's life. The show has recently taken a very different tack, while they build up all this Secret Law Enforcement Organization plot (Tiger Tiger) but only 2 Red John-related ep's left! What say you?

Vardulon said...


Two new Mentalist pieces went up this week - check the front page or click on the mentalist keyword.