'The Mentalist': Lisbon's getting a [SPOILER] -- EXCLUSIVE

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Image Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

If you thought The Mentalist 2.0 was done with the introductions, think again. EW has learned that the second half of the season, which kicks off Jan. 5, will see the introduction of a new boyfriend for Lisbon (Robin Tunney)!

“In order for her to fulfill herself — even if she eventually fulfills herself with Jane, which she may or may not do — she has to find other relationships, other perspectives, other people who love her, just to feel fully who she is,” executive producer Bruno Heller says. “It’s very important for her to be able to step away from Jane and see herself for herself.”

Lisbon’s new beau, who is not currently cast, is set to appear in episode 15 or 16.

The news surely comes to the sadness of some fans who are eager to see Lisbon and Jane (Simon Baker) take their friendship to more, um, official levels. But Heller says they’re far from done exploring those two characters as a pair. In fact, the episode “Golden Hammer,” tentatively set to air Jan. 12, will show “a new side of the relationship between Jane and Lisbon.”

“That’s an arc that we’re going to be watching develop through the back end of this season. Now that Red John is gone, both Jane and Lisbon are sort of psychically free to wake up and look around and what they see when they wake up from that nightmare is each other,” he says. “And how that relationship develops and how they sort of start working out who they are to each other is a big part of how the rest of this season unfolds.”

On Sunday, The Mentalist aired its final new episode of 2013, a year that saw the conclusion of the series’ Red John arc and the addition of series regulars Emily Swallow and Rockmond Dunbar. “The response has been great, as far as I can tell,” Heller said of reaction to what’s been called a new era of the show. “I think what I’m excited about is that we’ve got the whole rest of the run to stretch out in this new way, and it’s been such fun for everyone involved in doing it. … It’s much lighter and even joyful, perhaps.”

As part of the campaign around the post-Red John era of The Mentalist, in October, Warner Bros. began releasing a series of posters to promote the rebirth. An exclusive GIF of those is presented below:

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