In a bold and somewhat risky step, the makers of The Mentalist have decided to make a mid-season time jump. In the episode airing 1st December, Patrick Jane is going to be two years older.
As per a report in Entertainment Weekly, The Mentalist will have a major time jump following this Sunday's resolution of its series-long Red John serial killer story-line.
Starting with the December 1 episode, the veteran CBS crime show will pick up a couple years after the CBI was dissolved in the wake of last week's scandal revealing that CBI director Gale Bertram has been part of a massive criminal conspiracy and is likely Red John himself.
Show Creator Bruno Heller confirmed the time-jump to USA Today in an interview, "The Red John story has been the anchor of the show and, when I say anchor, I mean it in both senses of the word," Heller says. "It's been an absolutely necessary (device for) stability, but it's also been something that has held Jane in thrall and made him a darker and more driven and more ambivalent character than he would be otherwise. Now that anchor has slipped its moorings," he says.
"We wanted to see what Jane is like without this burden," and the mentalist is definitely "happier" and "free to think about what to do with the rest of his life." Even love is a possibility.
Australian actor Simon Baker, who plays Jane, calls the decision to end the Red John story and jump ahead in time "a bold and risky thing to do," especially during the middle of a season. "I think that makes it fun and interesting."
Can The Mentalist go on Without Red John?
The Red John element has been an integral part of the series ever since it premiered in 2008. Now after five long years, Patrick Jane's hunt for the serial killer to avenge his family's death is coming to an end. With the plot, that formed the crux of the series now ending, one can't help but wonder what direction will the show take now?
According to a report in Orlando Sentinel, Bruno Heller sounded hopeful but uncertain when asked if the show can go on without Red John:
"If it can't then, then that's what happens," Heller said. "It felt very much to all of us like that chapter of the story was done. Frankly, I think the great asset and value of the show is in Baker's head and what he does."
And Heller added: "The moment-to-moment pleasures of the show are delivered by Simon Baker and his people, not by Red John. ... I think it's going to be a great show after Red John."