The Mentalist: The Complete Third Season

The Mentalist: The Complete Third Season
After three years and quite a few attempts to emulate its quirky take on cop shows, that The Mentalist is still kicking around the top ten shows with no sign of disappearing into the black hole of cancellation speaks volumes; it is very entertaining. This is due in part to some first-class writing, but the real reason is Simon Baker's performance as Patrick Jane, former faux psychic and current consultant to the California Bureau of Investigation. The absolute glee with which his character creates chaos and throws around accusations simply to gauge suspects' reactions never gets old. And, as in every other season, the supporting cast are robust enough to have their involving subplots. The other thing The Mentalist does really well is handle its overriding story arc. The ongoing saga of Red John (the serial killer who killed Jane's wife and daughter) has reared its head in each and every season periodically, but it never gets in the way of the standalone stories. That said, the third season features a great deal of Red John and while other shows would let it dominate proceedings, the writers manage to get the balance just about right. Add to that a shake-up at the Bureau, when a murderer is burned alive in his cell while in custody and a major investigation takes place to find the culprit, and the season feels remarkably fresh, plus it even delivers a suitably shocking finale. And that is why The Mentalist is the best procedural on television at the moment. The five-DVD set has 24 episodes and a handful of special features. The main extra is a half-hour profile of the Red John character, as viewed by some actual criminologists. It's an interesting way to approach the show, even adding some legitimacy to the writing. Next is a ten-minute featurette about Simon Baker's directorial debut on the episode "Red Moon," which is rather inconsequential, but even worse is the "Lost Evidence" or unaired scenes. As with previous seasons, these are brief and pretty much pointless ― less than five minutes in total from three episodes, suggesting the writers don't waste their time writing anything superfluous and the cast don't make any mistakes. (Warner)