This week's Insider's Blog is written by The Mentalist's Creator Bruno Heller, about Sunday's episode 6x08 "Red John":
The final chapter of Red John has finally come to a close. I would have to admit that the biggest challenge in writing this episode was not what way to kill Red John, but simply the length of the episode. We have 42 minutes to wrap up a story that’s been running for six years. It’s very hard, if not impossible to contain all that the story demands in those 42 minutes. A lot of the big creative choices come down to what you leave out; what you don’t write. This is why I decided to make Patrick Jane’s final scene with Red John as intimate as possible. There is no murder more personal than killing someone with your bare hands.Written by
One of my favorite things about this episode was the pigeon gag in the chapel. The pigeon gag is a plot device that could only work on The Mentalist - Playful, unexpected, a little preposterous, but eminently logical. This gag is very common in the Carney lifestyle and seemed perfectly fitting for Jane’s final gag on Red John. A lot of people didn’t believe it would play out, but I was determined to keep it, and I think it played out perfectly. We created the bird phobia for McAllister to open up his character and give Jane something fun to play with. We created little quirks to McAllister’s personality along the way. If you take a look back you might be able to catch some of the clues we laid in earlier in the season.
Director/EP Chris Long did an amazing job as always, and made sure to carefully calculate and perfect every little detail in the episode. I wouldn’t have wanted any other person to direct such an important episode of The Mentalist series. His creative directive mind knew exactly the right direction to take this piece in.
Check out the extras in the last frame of the show and you’ll see how much attention to detail goes into the work, and how carefully Chris Long plans his shots…The extras represent the life Jane could have had if fate and Red John had not intervened…
Creator Bruno Heller