• Publication date: December 12, 2009

It Takes A Thief How A Psychic Swindler Reforms Himself

It�s rare for a hustler to transform into a friend of the law, but that is exactly the case for Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), a swindling psychic turned unofficial detective.

It�s rare for a hustler to transform into a friend of the law, but that is exactly the case for Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), a swindling psychic turned unofficial detective.

�The Mentalist� (2008-present) follows in the same vein as many other crime investigation shows, utilizing a prototypical Sherlock Holmes approach to storylines. Yet, as we have learned from programs like �Monk� (2002-2009) and �House� (2004-present), a small variation of a classic formula can result in a product that entertains in an entirely new and unique way.

Before joining crime fighting Patrick Jane was a notoriously famous television psychic, known for his appearances on popular talk and news shows around the globe. He committed a brutal mistake, however, when he made an off-the-wall assessment of a serial killed dubbed Red John. Displeased with Jane�s blatantly fake profiling, Red John sought revenge by murdering the psychic�s entire family.

As a result of this devastating loss Jane vowed to give up his fortune-telling fa�ade and instead put what are still essentially excellent deduction skills to a positive use. Using the same tricks learned as a so-called psychic Jane is hired as a consultant for California Bureau of Investigation. Though not considered and never eligible to be a police officer Patrick becomes an invaluable member of the bureau�s team, whose humor, intelligence, and demeanor generally earn his coworkers� admiration.

The exception to the above is Sam Bosco (Terry Kinney), leader of a unit devoted to tracking down the infamous killer Red John; Bosco is repeatedly infuriated that Jane, a mere man off the street, is able to work alongside trained members of law enforcement. Despite their hatred for one another, however, the two are eventually forced to work together.

Jane�s involvement in crime fighting not only provides his income, but also allows him to seek revenge against Red John, sometimes by even risking his own life. Unfortunately in season two of �The Mentalist� Patrick is kicked off the Red John case, a devastating blow. To worsen matters he eventually lands in jail for spying on foe Bosco, though he does redeem himself later on. Patrick also makes a return to his paranormal roots during the investigation of a supposedly haunted house and a murder that occurred within it. Was the killing a case of supernatural foul play or merely clever illusion?

�The Mentalist� has received generally favorable reviews from critics, and ratings also indicate the public�s approval. Season one of the series has been released on DVD, especially good news for newcomers who have just stumbled upon the second season.