The Mentalist stars Simon Baker as Patrick James, a police consultant who had his wife and daughter killed by the seasons long nemesis as the starter to the series.
Film making 24/25
Bonus Features 12/25
The Mentalist became a police consultant when he claimed he helped police profile the killer so the killer made making Patrick’s life miserable a new priority. Red John, the serial killer, murdered Patrick’s family and drove him to becoming a police consultant.
Patrick was raised by a father who along with being a carnie saw everyone else as marks so he grew up to be a conman as well. When he receives celebrity status as a psychic he cannot help himself and taunts Red John publicly so Red John kills his family.
I do not know what happens in the first two seasons, never got them for review, but the show does take off pretty well with some explanations about past events. Patrick helps the police, mainly Teresa Lisbon of the California Bureau of Investigation as a consultant.
Agent Lisbon, played by Robin Tunney, heads a special investigative team that handles high profile crimes in the state of California. Patrick used his conman skills and talent at analyzing people, called cold reading, to become a well-known psychic before Red Johns murders.
Several of the episodes do have Red John as a theme but the shows themselves can be viewed and understood easily without knowing the series or characters previously. They do a great job of keeping things pretty interesting while mostly keeping to self-contained episodes.
This may be a bit why the series has lost some of its fans but for me this guarantees people can come to the show mid-season and find out what is going on. The season long theme of Red John is repeatedly viewed at least in passing even when the episode is focusing on another adversary.
Patrick Jane may not be a real psychic but his use of profiling and intuitive examination of the minutest details of a person lend him an air of clairvoyance. Patrick does a lot with very little in reading people and finding out little clues that wind up solving the crimes.
A lot of what makes The Mentalist a great show is the class and suave nature of Patrick even when he is scared or under threat of death, he knows what to do in the worst of situations. I do like one thing about the series and the show, this is a spoiler, Patrick does get his chance at Red John and unlike other shows he does take justice into his own hands.
One occasional fault of the show in season three, and others according to reviews, is that Patrick sidesteps the law and things like warrants because he is just a consultant. In real life this would not work but in the series it becomes a bit of a trade mark for the nonprofessional legal assistant who can flaunt the law, at least a little.
Patrick does get a few reprimands and even tossed in jail for not following police procedure or bypassing warrants but in the end the bad guys get what they deserve. The Mentalist is for the best part mostly believable and the crimes are not these horrific world shaking acts of violence but usually just everyday crimes we hear about on the news.
I like the Mentalist mostly for the suave Patrick as he sees people he meets as marks and tries to read them for the possibility of each crime they are investigating before he sees them as people. He does not seem to let emotion sway him and uses every opportunity as a look at the guilt or innocence of each crime they are looking at.
He also does this same search for the truth in finding out how he can set up and avenge the murder of his family without even batting an eye of remorse for taking the law into his own hands. The Mentalist: The Complete Third Season comes to DVD with 24 episodes on a 5 DVD set with some great video and audio throughout all the episodes.
Video is more than average with great color and repeatedly I was impressed with the clarity, I usually only mention things on series that stick out and this video quality did. There was no time I could remember watching the whole season that I could remember a bad spot in video where anything happened that caught my attention other than great video.
Audio was also well done and there were several times I noticed clear and perfect use of both surround sound and clear voice squarely in the center speaker. Voice is clear, understandable and nicely centered except for a few times when it is appropriately coming from a side speaker.
Surround sound either using voice or for all those nice times like explosions or cars screeching off in chase or being chased is great. Like Video I did not notice any times that sound was not great and at no time was I questioning what was happening in audio quality.
I was quite pleased and for a series where things need to really be noticeably bad or very good to get noticed I was more than happy with audio and video quality. The 5 disc set has a mediocre two set feature and some deleted scenes which are disappointing for a series.
The extras that really count are the half hour look at crime scenes called Portrait of a Serial Killer: Red John by a panel of real world criminal experts. The Red Moon: Directed by Simon Baker is a quick ten minute look at Simon Baker as both director and actor in the same episode.
The other extra content is the tongue in cheek named Lost Evidence which is merely deleted scenes but the other two bonus features are pretty good. The extras are pretty slim and do not include near enough bonus features but what is here is worth a look at least once.
The Mentalist: The Complete Third Season is a great show and well worth a purchase, now excuse me while I go find the first two seasons for a purchase as well.