The Mentalist in a nutshell: It's all an ILLUSION (read: VISUAL LIES) as probable as a rose blooming in the desert.
Dr. Linus Wagner: Everything you told me, Mr. Jane, is total fiction, isn't it?
Things go from "Breaking Bad" to worse for Patrick Jane and Lisbuns in "Desert Rose" when they journey to the Salton Sea, not coincidentally the title of the 2002 film about meth heads that Vince Gilligan "homaged" and sent Walter White and the rest of US on a "Breaking Bad" journey to nowhere. Salton Sea has much in common with "The Mentalist" as both blatantly recycle moods and images (homages) from other films and compacts them into a "similar-but-different" formula of its own.
The episode opens on a similar-but-different scene from the "Pilot" as Jane suspects the fiance/baseball player is the murderer. Jane's ruse ends "Breaking Bad" as the villain goes down in a blaze of gory. Jane and Lisbuns are exiled to the desert sea to solve another mystery and find not one guilty party but three. (Speaking of "Breaking Bad," Todd and Jane may have something in common besides having the hots for a brunette associate .) The frustrated lovers quarrel about Red John and Lisbuns drives back to Sacramento and into the hands of Red John, who paints her a bloody RJ smiley face. Partridge comes out of the closet (maybe a clue he was gay for Jane like Walter White was for Jesse. Nah, that would be too unbelievable, right?)
The episode had the usual suspension of disbelief moments, if you were paying attention, people. Jane's deduction that the new sign for the diner was a sign of guilt was classic, ranking up there with Hanks suspicions about Gus Fring's Pollos Hermanos. And the mirage of the ice block in the desert...
It's all an ILLUSION:
Jane appears to be a Sherlock Homes super-sleuth character, but in reality is a mental patient with a cracked eggshell who suffers from paranoid delusions due to feelings of extreme guilt in the deaths of his wife and child who were burned as he was (CBI = intensive burn care?) in a horrific car accident involving a driver named Tanner when he failed to stop at a BLINKING RED LIGHT CROSSING AN INTERSECTION, hence the RJ symbol, while he was driving intoxicated and spends his days with the remote watching TV shows, which generate his ideas for the delusional episodes. Note: Jane's eggshell blue car - a vintage 1972 Citroen DS 20 that Warner Bros., producer of "The Mentalist" for CBS, had in its inventory. It was used in the 2008 movie "Speed Racer." For "The Mentalist," the car was shipped from Germany and painted eggshell blue (it was originally red).
Burning Clues: "The Mentalist" is obsessed with fire, as in half the episodes it plays a significant plot point. Items: Jane burns his Red John files with a bottle of booze. Out of the Frye-ing pan into the... As Kristina Frye discovered, when you get too close to Red John, you get burned. "Tiger, Tiger burning bright, they were "Au-burned." Note the Auburn football game on TV in the deceased's bedroom. In the "Red Mile" episode Jane arrives at a crime scene outside Auburn, California. Shouts from Alabama football fans of "Roll Tide" first appeared during the Alabama-Auburn Tiger IRON BOWL game in 1907. Curiously, a corpse was found in a burned car in "Ruby Slippers," in which Jane discovers the identity of Fifi Nix, like Jane's Phoenix, has risen from the ashes of his past life. In "Red Dawn" Jane is given a desk next to a fire extinguisher that is there, then it's gone, then it's there again. Fake Red John read all about it - catch the fire-y headline on the front page of the newspaper Tim Carter was reading before Jane shot him. Red John appeared to Jane in the burn mask. Jane: It's not my fire.
THE WILD WEST-PHALL WORLD
Red John is Patrick Jane's imaginary evil twin, his "perfect symmetry" alter-ego (Jane/John) Professor Moriarty character in a Tommy Westphall" imaginary world like "St. Elsewhere's" snow globe and "Life on Mars" that is the dream state of Jane. (NB. The fake Jane character in "Red Moon" where a corpse was found in a burned car was named Ellis Mars (El - He is Mars.)
Ellis Mars: The mind is a powerful weapon. It can create reality.
Jane: Perhaps we can see each other again.
Lorelei: That’s not up to me.
Jane: Oh, you have no say in it?
Lorelei: None at all. It’s very "Westphall."
Jane: I don’t follow you.
Lorelei: I do what Red John tells me to do.
Red Face to Face
Mentalist in a Box, It's a BAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD**, The BIG W: The characters of Rigsby, Cho, Van Pelt and Lisbon are also Jane's creations ala the "Wizard of Oz;" the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and Dorothy in reality are the assistants and doctors at the mental hospital and the RJ minions are Jane's fellow mental patients. In the final scene Jane confronts "Red John," and in an homage to "OZ" awakens from his dream state to realize the true identity of RED JOHN - the Big W - Johnny Walker RED. (** Mentalist writer Dan Cerone co-produced "It's a BAD BAD BAD BAD WORLD on "Charmed")
Shaking hands with Red John
½ oz. Johnnie Walker Red Label
1 tbsp. orange juice
½ oz. sweet vermouth
½ oz. fresh cherry syrup
Orange peel for garnish
Add the Johnnie Walker, orange juice, vermouth and cherry syrup to a shaker filled with ice. Shake until cold and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel.
It takes a toll on my soul,
Because I'm starting to believe the lies you strung with red,
Is it all just a game?
One day I'll heal and I'll be covered in scars (Red and Itchy)
And never forget why did it all fell apart.
When you finally came clean about the lies and the games you played from the start!
-Red in Tooth and Claw
The Man with Two Names -- Red John's alias is ROY Tagliaferro (read: "cut iron"). The ROY CUT IRON anagrams are "court irony" and "you r citron." How ironic that Jane, the court jester who arrives at the crime scene in his Citroen, a master reader of how others' emotions control them and the need to let go of the past, was a prisoner of his IRON-ic chains to the past. Until Jane leaves his OLD LIFE BEHIND, The Mentalist is on the mental list, a prisoner of his own device.
Call me Deacon Blue "Do I look like I have two heads?"
"The DESERT ROSE"
Perhaps Bruno referred to a song that Sting made famous. The lyrics will burn in your imagination and perhaps provide a clue about Patrick Jane's:
I wake in pain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand
I dream of fire
Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire
This desert rose
Each of her seven veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this
And as she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems.
Jane: Lisbuns, "Breaking Bad" is hard to do. Now that you're in RJ's hands, I know nothing is true.
Read John "Seven" Come 11: my mental list of 7 scripts so you can dream along with me
"Dragon Star" (2014) Logline: Code-cracker tracks a serial killer who returns after seven years to terrorize his hometown. Tagline: You can go Holmes again. DRAGON_STAR_-_Final (BTW- after Simon Baker is finished with "The Mentalist, "DS" would make that Tasmanian Devil a movie star. JSR@rome.com )
"DIVE" Logline: An American naval officer is forced to pilot a Colombian cartel submarine loaded with cocaine into San Diego harbor. But there's something else on board. Tagline: Sub-text: Hidden between the lines.
"COLUMBIA ROADS" Logline: US embassy investigator discovers Aurora prophecy that threatens civil war in the US. Tagline: All Roads lead to Columbia. Download -COLUMBIA ROADS-
"SPYDER AND THE FLY" Logline: A black op team gets caught in its web of deceit. Tagline: "Come into my parlor said the Spyder to the Fly, but who was the Spyder and Who was the Fly?"
"THE 11 O'CLOCK NEWS" Logline: Two bloggers, Richie Scalia and John Scott, get in way-over-their-head trouble. Tagline: Hindsight is 2021