The Mentalist has teased fans for years about the identity of Red John, the mysterious serial killer who murdered Patrick Jane’s wife and daughter. On Sunday’s episode, “The Great Red Dragon,” his identity was finally revealed.
The Mentalist picked up where last week’s episode left off. In “Fire and Brimstone,” Jane had gathered together in his home the five remaining Red John suspects — Bret Stiles (Malcolm McDowell), Ray Haffner (Reed Diamond), Thomas McAllister (Xander Berkeley), Reede Smith (Drew Powell) and Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston).
Jane had learned that the real Red John had a tattoo on his left arm with three dots, so he told his guests to show their arms.
The tactic didn’t exactly work out the way he planned, however, as McAllister, Smith, and Bertram all had the same tattoo.
Last week’s episode of The Mentalist ended by showing Jane’s house explode just as Lisbon was running up the driveway.
[WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD]
Sunday’s episode picked up from here, with police arriving to Jane’s demolished house. Teresa goes in to investigate, finding Reede still alive. He tries to shoot her, but fails and is shot in return and surrenders.
The blast seems to have killed Stiles, Haffner, and McAllister, while the captured Smith admits that he had actually been working for Red John.
This leads to the moment viewers have waited 10 years to see, the buildup to finally see who killed Jane’s wife and daughter.
Red John is none other than Gale Bertram, Jane’s own boss at CBI.
Sunday’s episode showed Bertram attempt to kill Jane in the hospital, only to fail and escape thanks to Oscar and a bag full of money and supplies he had stashed in a storage unit under the name “Mr. Thomas.”
Cho, Rigsby, and Van Pelt searched the storage unit, finding a flash drive that contained a coded message.
Aside from the long-awaited Red John reveal, The Mentalist episode gave viewers a hint that the Tiger, Tiger conspiracy aiding Red John runs deep, with apparently an army of dirty cops ready to help him.
Jordan Harper, who wrote “The Great Red Dragon,” told TVGuide.com that he wanted viewers to see a glimpse of the kind of officers who are helping Red John, ones like Oliver.
“I really wanted to lay out with that scene exactly how a dirty cop who is not a Red John acolyte could come to help a serial killer,” Harper said. “And so I wanted to do my best to paint a portrait of a conflicted man who’s in over his head, which I think would be a lot of these guys in the Tiger Tiger organization. Even if they’re not good people — and they are, to a man, not good people — that doesn’t mean that they are serial killers. But once you’re in deep, you’re in deep. It’s as close to a mutual trust society as a mutual distrust society in a lot of ways.”
Harper added that next week’s episode of The Mentalist will show viewers exactly what went down inside Jane’s house, and bring a conclusion to the Red John saga.