Patrick Jane

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Patrick Jane
The Mentalist character
First appearance "Pilot"
Created by Bruno Heller
Portrayed by Simon Baker
Information
Nickname(s) Blondie, Charlatan, Carnac, Carnie, Jerk, Genius, S.O.B., Fake Psychic, Lover of Lisbon
Gender Male
Occupation

Independent consultant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(2015 – present)

Independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation
(2004 – 2013);
Fake psychic and medium
(1990s – 2003);
Circus attraction and showman
(mid-1980s)
Title Consultant
Family Alex Jane (father)
Spouse(s) Angela Ruskin Jane (wife, deceased)
Significant other(s) Angela Ruskin Jane (deceased wife)
Sophie Miller (showed interest, deceased)
Kristina Frye (showed interest, presumably institutionalized)
Erica Flynn, (teased, escaped, in hiding)
Lorelei Martins (one night stand, deceased)
Teresa Lisbon (colleague, girlfriend)
Children Charlotte Anne Jane (daughter, deceased)
Relatives Danny Ruskin (brother-in-law)
Religion Atheist[1][2]
Nationality  USA

Patrick Jane is a fictional character and the protagonist of the CBS crime drama The Mentalist, portrayed by Simon Baker. Jane is an independent consultant for a fictionalized version of the California Bureau of Investigation, and helps by giving advice and insight from his many years as a fake psychic medium. He uses his keen powers of observation, deduction, and knowledge of social engineering coupled with his genius to help lead the investigations.

Character background[edit]

Patrick Jane is a consulting member of the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation) crime fighting unit. He is unconventional and commonly defies police procedure, often acting without apparent empathy for suspects or families suffering loss.

His past is revealed slowly through the show's five seasons. The revelations come through flashbacks and Jane's statements. In the episode "Throwing Fire" it is revealed that Jane was raised by a swindler father who included his young son in his carnival psychic act, touting Jane as "the boy wonder". Jane never went to school, as revealed in the episode "Rose-Colored Glasses".

He married Angela Ruskin, who was from a similar background, her family being members of a traveling carnival and "carnival royalty". The couple had a daughter, Charlotte. According to The Mentalist Code (2013), Charlotte Jane was named after two films written by the father of Bruno Heller, Lukas Heller: Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?.[3]

Prior to working at the CBI, Jane suffered a nervous breakdown due to guilt over the death of his family. He has kept the incident a secret from his CBI co-workers, and it is not in his records.

Jane uses his mentalist abilities to solve crimes, but his main objective is to find Red John. He has stated that he plans to kill Red John rather than to commit him to legal incarceration, though his direct supervisor, Teresa Lisbon, appears to doubt his sincerity in this regard.

Jane initially joined the CBI one year after the death of his wife and daughter. The season 5 episode "Red Dawn" revealed Jane originally came to the CBI in an attempt to gain access, as a civilian, to the Red John case files. He was discouraged from doing so, but when assaulted by a then-agent of the CBI, Stephen Hannigan, he was allowed to look at the files out of an attempt to appease him and avoid a lawsuit. He became engaged in a then-current investigation of Lisbon and her team, managed to solve the case using his unique abilities, and as a result was employed as a consultant by then-CBI director Virgil Minelli.

The show's creator, Bruno Heller, has said that season five will reveal Patrick Jane's darker side.[4]

Two years after the events of "Red John", he returns to the US under the agreement he works as an consultant for the FBI in order to avoid jail time.

Relationship with Red John[edit]

Jane has suggested on a number of occasions that he considers Red John's death or capture to be a higher priority than his own life. In turn, Red John appears to hold a similar obsession with Jane, to the point of risking capture for the purpose of observing him. In the episode "His Red Right Hand", he is described as being similar to Jane in his ability to "see through people". Red John has a CBI team murdered with help from a mole on the inside, just so he can have Jane back on his case.

During the second season finale, Jane and Red John finally meet. However, Jane is unable to see Red John's face because it is hidden by a rubber mask, and Jane is tied to a chair. Ironically Red John saves Jane from three students who have committed a Red John copycat crimes and are about to kill Jane.

At the end of the third season finale, Jane meets a man whom he believes is Red John. During their conversation, "Red John" encourages Jane to forget about him, and says that seeking vengeance is a waste of his valuable life. Patrick asks if he is the real Red John, to which the man gives detailed comments about Patrick's wife and daughter. When "Red John" attempts to walk away after their brief talk, Jane shoots him with a handgun, then sits down and waits to be arrested. It is revealed in season 4 that the man Jane shot was an imposter, and Red John remains at large.

In the fourth season finale, Red John extends a hand of friendship to a distraught and derelict Jane, believing that Jane has lost all hope and has lost his way in life. Jane, however, has contrived his own nervous breakdown in order to draw out his adversary. Jane meets with Red John inside a limousine, unable to see his face. Red John proposes his offer for friendship yet again, but Jane replies, "Go to hell". Later, the FBI closes in on the vehicle, arresting Red John's friend Lorelei Martins, but discovering Red John was never in the limousine and was communicating via a burner phone attached to the kidnapped Luther Wainright, who is inadvertently killed.

In season 5, Jane becomes determined to discover Red John's identity. In episode 16, he reveals that he will do anything to get to Red John. In episode 8, Lorelei Martins accidentally reveals to Jane that he has already shaken hands with Red John. Although Jane doesn't identify Red John in season 5, in the finale, in a pre-mortem video, Red John delivers a message via the now dead Lorelei Martins. This video reveals the final seven Red John suspects and predicted how Jane would come across the video nearly two months after its filming; having done that, she reveals Red John's prediction of Jane's suspect list, which matches Jane's actual list exactly.

In season 6 of the series, Jane finally tracks down Red John and, in a gambit exploiting Red John's fear of pigeons, manages to shoot him. Though Red John briefly runs away, ultimately Jane apprehends him, and in an end to this aspect of the series' plot arc, Jane strangles Red John to death.

A symbolic relationship also exists between the two. They represent The Tyger and The Lamb by William Blake. They are a part of a "fearful symmetry" that expresses itself in the actual drama of the series and in a secret code that presents itself covertly throughout the series.[5]

Relationship with Teresa Lisbon[edit]

Since the beginning of the show, Jane is shown to care deeply about Lisbon, who is not only his supervisor, but partner. They have a very close relationship and are shown to trust each other. Bruno Heller has stated that some people interpret the relationship between the two characters as romantic while others view it merely as a brother-sister type of bond.[6] In the sixth season of The Mentalist Lisbon gets engaged to somebody else, which causes Jane to realize his true feelings for her. In the season 6 finale, "Blue Bird", Jane openly admits his love towards Lisbon and at the end of the episode, they finally kiss. Lisbon consequently breaks off her engagement.

Appearance and personality[edit]

Personal style[edit]

Jane characteristically wears a three piece suit with no tie (though in flashback episodes, pre-CBI, he does wear the tie), and the same brown, leather shoes. His wearing of the suit with vest has been explained by the show's creator, Bruno Heller, as follows:[7]

"The thinking is these were the suits he used to wear as a mentalist and he would have them dry cleaned and pressed. Now he gets them out of the bottom of the cupboard. It's also a magician thing. They wear vests because they need to be able to hide things.

Jane wears the same brown, scuffed leather shoes in each episode, and in the episode "Not One Red Cent" in season 5, he finally has them re-soled.

Jane drives a pristine condition Citroën DS 21 Pallas.

Midway through season 6, and after the death of Red John, Jane's appearance changes and he no longer wears his characteristic vests, though he continues to wear battered suits and his scruffy shoes.

Skepticism and abilities[edit]

Jane professes disbelief in anything in subject areas of paranormal or supernatural, and often insists "there is no such thing as a psychic". He is often seen to employ cold reading, hot reading, and an expertise in kinesics such as muscle reading and paralanguage, often as a means to discern clues but also to manipulate suspects into confessing their crimes or otherwise revealing themselves as guilty. At times, such as when he feels the wrist of suspects to gauge their pulse or through his near instantaneous discernment of microexpressions, proteans or calypses, and an insight that subjects have looks showing "guilt", his powers seem exaggerated and almost superhuman.

He has knowledge of hypnosis and has been seen to employ it from time to time, though Lisbon insists that use of hypnotism on suspects or witnesses is illegal and can cause cases to be thrown out of court. He is adept at legerdemain including a presumably undetectable skill at pickpocketing. He professes to maintain a mental "memory palace" and claims extraordinary powers of recollection. In the season 5 episode "Red Barn" he confides in Lisbon that in his attempt to identify Red John (whom he has been told he has met personally) he has remembered the names of the 2,164 people he has met since the death of his family.

Though Jane himself seems proficient at reading body language, he nevertheless expresses skepticism for more empirical means of evaluating or "profiling" suspects, such as his doubt of the approach of Agent Montague in the episode "Bloodhound".

It has not been revealed to what degree Jane, raised in a carnival environment, has been formally educated, although he has stated he never attended high school. He nevertheless has exhibited throughout the series many qualities of a polymath, including refined knowledge of art, food, wine, literature, and music. He also demonstrates considerable skill at chess (in the episode 18-5-4 ), and is an accomplished card sharp. He may also be a pool shark, as he makes an impressive shot in Aingavite Baa. In Miss Red, he demonstrates his skill at cheating with dice, in the course of a backgammon game. He also creates elaborate sandcastles (Red Tide) and plays pinball extremely well (Red Sauce).

Personality[edit]

Jane's personality has undergone a dramatic change since the death of his family. Though the season 2 episode "Throwing Fire" shows a teenage Jane tutored by an unscrupulous father, the young Jane seems to have nevertheless had somewhat of a conscience. However in his adult life as a "mentalist" he has been shown to have manipulated and conned numerous people for profit. In his mentalist heyday, this brought him both a great deal of money (enough to buy a house in Malibu) and a certain amount of fame (his photo can be seen gracing the cover of framed magazine photos in his home at the time). The season 4 episode "Fugue in Red", where as a result of a near drowning Jane partially loses his memory, reveals to some degree the selfishness and amorality of the pre-CBI Jane. This prompts fellow CBI agent Kimball Cho (Tim Kang) to remark to his CBI colleagues: "Don't take this the wrong way but the death of Jane's family made him a better person."

Jane is camera shy, and often expresses reluctance to be interviewed or otherwise filmed, presumably another change in personality since his heyday as a television mentalist. He also consciously avoids situations where he will be thanked (e.g. by a murder victim's family when the culprit is apprehended) or made the center of attention.

Jane has been shown to have an affinity for and unusually good rapport with children. On multiple occasions he befriends them and addresses them with empathy. Conversely, he has little regard for figures of authority, and often expresses himself to such individuals brusquely or even rudely.

Despite his obsession with finding Red John and his anguish and guilt over the loss of his family, Jane occasionally behaves in a spontaneous, even lighthearted fashion, expressing delight in simple pleasures such as open air, music, and natural beauty. Heller has stated, of Jane's temperament: "(Jane) is on the surface a happy person and kind of graceful and light. The idea is to show that grace and lightness is an act of heroism; it's not simple-minded happiness. It's a conscious decision he is making to live his life positively."[4]

Jane appears to have an aversion to violence. He often flees when pursued, and when struck or beaten he does not respond in kind. Despite this apparent pacifism, as of season 5 Jane has killed two men. The first, police officer Dumar Hardy, Jane shoots with a shotgun in the episode "Red John's Footsteps", in order to save Lisbon's life. He throws down the shotgun immediately after. In the season three finale "Strawberries and Cream Part II" Jane shoots with a pistol a man he believes to be Red John himself, though it is later revealed the man's name was Timothy Carter and he was merely an impersonator.

Jane has expressed a dislike of coffee, but drinks tea in nearly every episode. He appears to have basic computer literacy but typically expresses no interest in using such technology. In one episode, he asks Grace Van Pelt to "bigify" something on the computer, meaning to zoom in.

Reception[edit]

Patrick Jane was included in TV Guide's list of "TV's Sexiest Crime Fighters".[8]

Simon Baker has been nominated for several Awards for his portrayal of Patrick Jane, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama Series,[9] a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Major, Steve. "TOP 10 ATHEIST CHARACTERS ON TELEVISION". 
  2. ^ Vaihinger, Philo. "Skeptic Among Believers". Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ Daniel, David (2013). The Mentalist Code and the Search for Red John. (1st ed.). Rajanata. ISBN 0-700900-98948-0
  4. ^ a b Hibberd, James (2012-05-18). "'Mentalist' finale: Creator talks Red John reveal, Jane going darker next season". Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  5. ^ Daniel, David (2013). The Mentalist Code and the Search for Red John. (1st ed.). Rajanata. ISBN 0-700900-98948-0
  6. ^ Benson, Jim. "The Mentalist Bruno Heller Radio Interview about Simon Baker and Robin Tunney (Lisbon and Jane)". Youtube. 
  7. ^ Myers, Scott (2008-11-29). "Bruno Heller Q & A: "The Mentalist"". Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  8. ^ "TV's Sexiest Crime Fighters". TV Guide. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  9. ^ "61st Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  10. ^ "The 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild. Retrieved 2011-11-24.