It was Rebecca that made me pay attention to The Mentalist. I had never seen the CBS crime drama starring Simon Baker until the eighth episode of season 2. “His Red Right Hand” was the one where a secretary in the Sacramento offices of the California Bureau of Investigation shot Sam Bosco (Terry Kinney) and two other agents on behalf of a serial killer — Red John, a brilliant phantom with a blood-drawn smiley face insignia, powerful influence and connections, and a scores of similarly brain-sick and unnervingly gleeful devotees.
In the last act, an assassin — presumably Red John himself; we never saw his mug — silenced Rebecca by deftly applying poison on her wrists. When Rebecca saw him, she recognized him, and her eyes lit up happily, and she smiled the smile of a fawning fangirl. It was all so eerie, and well played by the actress, Shauna Bloom. In the aftermath, the head of the CBI office, Virgil Minelli, played by Gregory Itzin, aka The Despicable Nixonian President on 24, abruptly resigned to take early retirement. Now that was suspect. I was instantly convinced Virgil was Red John. C’mon! Despicable Nixonian President on 24! And then, Bosco, on his death bed, told the show’s hero, con man-turned-trickster detective Patrick Jane, that if the carny Sherlock should ever catch Red John, he shouldn’t arrest him, he should kill him. He whispered something into Patrick’s ear and died. What did he say? WHAT DID HE SAY?!
My imagination was captured. I knew I’d be sticking with the show to watch Patrick solve the mystery: Who was Red John?
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