The Mentalist Season 4 DVD Review
“The Mentalist” is a typical network television procedural.
If you’ve never seen the show before, “The Mentalist” revolves around a psyhic named Patrick Jane who helps out the California Bureau Of Investigation to investigate (and hopefully solve) crimes and murders. In this 24 episode fourth season, stories involve a new CBI agent (Ray Haffner), Teresa’s brother, Patrick losing his memory, Grace Van Pelt, Kimball Cho, and Wayne Rigsby’s relationships, the Red John investigation, a character death, FBI agent Susan Darcy, CBI agent Teresa Lisbon, cases involving a kidnapping, a dead photographer, dead police chief, another serial killer, a dead undercover cop, a car explosion, a dead divorce attorney, a clothing designer, an activist, a salesman, a casino employee, an English teacher, and a surfer.
“The Mentalist” kicks off the season well enough with a premiere that concludes the cliffhanger from season 3 in which Patrick murdered someone he believed was the serial killer Red John. It turns out the victim was not Red John and that he’s still on the loose. Unfortunately, the Red John story arc (which is easily the most intense and engaging part of the series) doesn’t turn up again until the final 2 episodes. All of the stand-alone episodes in between are sadly by the numbers, formulaic CBS procedurals that you’ve seen hundreds (if not thousands) of times before.
On the plus side, the chemistry of actor Simon Baker (of “Land Of The Dead” fame) and actress Robin Tunney (of “The Craft” fame) continues to lift up this sometimes lifeless series. Impressive guest stars like Morena Baccarin, Malcolm McDowell, Ray Wise, Zack Ward, and TV stars like Emmanuelle Chriqui and Kelli Williams also help spice things up in the generally mediocre non-Red John centric episodes.
The series, which is presented in widescreen, generally looks sharp (especially in close-ups). Some shots featuring characters from a certain distance look a bit fuzzy at times though.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is adequate, but I’m not sure this series warrants a 5.1 track as there’s not a ton of sound usage.
The lone extra is a featurette titled “CBI: Behind The Badge.” Real life law enforcement agents (and former agents) talk about the accuracies (and a few inaccuracies) on “The Mentalist.” There are also discussions about the characters as well.