“The Mentalist” is a rare show that takes off from the pilot episode and keeps the high quality until the season finale, thanks to Simon Baker and an ensemble cast that works well together. Now six seasons in, it’s interesting to look back at this first and I still enjoy it as much as I did the first go around.
Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Suspense
Warner Archives | NR – 998 min. – $40.99 | November 5, 2013
Directed by: Various
Writer(s): Bruno Heller (created by)
Cast: Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman, Amanda Righetti
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: Various
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
Note: The season, features and audio portions were copied from the original Season 1 DVD review with minor changes.
THE MOVIE – 4.5/5
CBS’ police procedural, “The Mentalist”, begins quite well and maintains mid to high quality storylines from start to the season finale. Although there are plenty of crime shows on television already, this one stands out from the rest thanks in large part to a charismatic, part funny, somewhat dramatic Simon Baker.
Baker plays Patrick Jane, a former psychic charlatan turned CBI – California Bureau of Investigation – consultant who helps a team of agents solve often unusual or complicated crimes within the state. The team consists of leader – and oft pushover – Teresa Lisbon (ROBIN TUNNEY), Kimball Cho (TIM KANG), Wayne Rigsby (OWAIN YEOMAN), cutie Grace Van Pelt (AMANDA RIGHETTI) and unit director Virgil Minelli (GREGORY ITZEN) who likes the results but disapproves of Jane’s methods.
As with most freshman series, we get a nicely divided dose of crime and character development. For Patrick Jane, his character arc involves a genius serial killer known as “Red John”, a man who had targeted and killed Jane’s wife and daughter after Jane taunted and patronized the killer while on a talk show portending to know Red John’s actions and motives.
The season does a good job balancing out the Red John subplot while still presenting interesting crime stories and fun interactions between the main characters. For example, early on they establish a potential romantic bond with Rigsby and Van Pelt not to mention a little chemistry between Jane and Lisbon.
Here are the episodes with my personal favorites with an asterisk:
02. Red Hair and Silver Tape
03. Red Tide
04. Ladies in Red
06. Red Handed
07. Seeing Red*
08. Thin Red Line
09. Flame Red
10. Red Brick and Ivy
11. Red John’s Friends*
12. Red Rum
13. Paint it Red*
14. Crimson Casanova
15. Scarlett Fever
17. Carnelian Inc.
18. Russet Potatoes
19. A Dozen Red Roses
20. Red Sauce
21. Miss Red
22. Blood Brothers*
23. Red John’s Footsteps*
Although I only have a few favorites, every episode is still quite good and even in its first season, separates itself from the pack, possibly better than “CSI” but still below “NCIS” and “Criminal Minds”, but as a light diversion to the everyday gruel, it’s a nice pick me up thanks to a fine cast and captivating lead actor in Simon Baker.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
The 4-disc set comes in a wide Blu-ray Keep Case. All the features have been ported over from the DVD release.
Lost Evidence (8:45) – 3 episodes contain deleted scenes but as with most TV shows, they were cut mainly for time constraints or it already delivered information in a more concise way.
Evidence of a Hit Series (24:03) – The cast and crew talk about the show, why it works so well and how it is different from other procedural crime series. It’s really a basic ‘making-of’ featurette that covers the season’s main plot surrounding Red John as well as the character arc for Patrick Jane.
Cracking the Crystal Ball: Mentalist vs. Physic (18:11) examines the difference between mentalists and physics from the perspective of expert scientists, mentalists and law enforcement.
Surveillance Video (7:06) is a gag reel with flubbed lines and on set mishaps.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Thanks to Warner Archive, “The Mentalist” finally makes its way on Blu-ray despite being available overseas for a few years. Although I suspect the transfer is the same as the foreign release, the 1080p high-def transfer still looks really good for a show that already was nice on DVD. Colors are bright and cheerful during the daylight scenes and the detail levels are quite sharp and do contain some minor natural grain.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is adequate and efficient. This is mainly a dialogue and score centric kind of show so you’re not going to get a whole lot of workout in terms of action sequences but it should be good enough for most.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
“The Mentalist” is a rare show that takes off from the pilot episode and keeps the high quality until the season finale, thanks to Simon Baker and an ensemble cast that works well together. Now six seasons in, it’s interesting to look back at this first season and I still enjoy it as much as I did the first go around. The Blu-ray released by Warner Archive provides for an excellent video transfer and the same audio and features. However, I don’t think it’s worth a double-dip if you already own the original DVD release.