by Billie Doux
The two-part series finale of The Mentalist aired this week, and as someone who watched every episode of the series, I have to say I was pretty much satisfied. It wasn't a barn burner (although they did burn down a house) and the last minute or so left me with some questions, but they tied up every thread and we all got a lot of closure. It just felt … nice. There's nothing wrong with nice.
The series began with a man who had nothing to live for but revenge. I still remember how I felt when Jane walked into that huge, empty house, and slept on the floor under Red John's little wall decoration, a perfect metaphor for the emptiness inside Jane himself. The emotionally damaged hero who lost his family is a cliché, but Simon Baker as a broken con man always got to me. (Maybe it was the fact that he didn't comb his hair for five seasons. He could get away with it, though. He has gorgeous hair.)
Even though I watched every episode, I'll admit that the straight procedural episodes occasionally bored me. I kept watching for the arc episodes, and not just for Jane's pursuit of Red John. I wanted more than for Jane to catch and kill Red John with his bare hands, which he finally did. I wanted Jane to get his life back, to recover emotionally, to enjoy life again. And son of a gun, he finally did.
This last season was fun. There were cases, of course, but these last episodes were mostly about Jane and Teresa realizing that what they had was special and making plans to spend the rest of their lives together. Jane went through some emotional flailing about committing to Teresa when her dangerous job could kill her (which was why Michelle Vega was introduced and killed off), but he eventually took the risk and committed anyway. Jane found a fixer-upper of a cabin, the total opposite of his large, empty house, the perfect little place to start a new life with Teresa. (I also loved that Airstream. I want that Airstream.)
They brought back another serial killer to end the series, but the writers didn't pretend that Keller the killer was the real focus of the final episodes. I absolutely loved Abbott and Cho saying, hey, we're the FBI. We can take down the guy at the wedding, no problem. And I loved Jane telling Keller, "No hard feelings?"
The wedding was pretty much perfect. They brought back Wayne and Grace, and Teresa's wild brothers. They played one of my favorite Earth Wind & Fire songs at the reception and everyone danced. Abbott was ready to go to Washington to be with his wife. Cho became the boss, and I really loved that. (I've always loved Cho.)
It's interesting how they left a few tiny little things up in the air. Will they both continue to work for the FBI? I think Jane might be done with crimefighting, but will Teresa's pregnancy change her mind about keeping her job? Although I don't think they've ever said it outright, it's always been obvious that Jane has more than enough money. (Airstreams aren't cheap.) Jane looked more than a little shocked when Teresa told him she was pregnant. It seems to me that after losing his only daughter the way he did, becoming a father again will be a difficult adjustment.
But I'm a happy camper. I'm not sure I'll ever watch the series again. It's not the type of show you rewatch. But it was a good show, and it ended well. Can't ask for more than that.
Any other Mentalist fans out there? What did you think of the finale? How many white orchids out of four?
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.