Red John's Rules

Tn-1000 103204 wb 0133b
Season Episode
5 22
First aired May 5, 2013
Written by Bruno Heller
Directed by Chris Long
Guest-starring Emmanuelle Chriqui, Laura San Giacomo, Scott Anthony Leet, Tangie Ambrose, M.C. Gainey, Michael Hogan, Alice Amter, Marisa Guterman, Jack Plotnick, Brett Robert Pearsons, Homie Doroodian, Diane Witter, Mary Jo Catlett, Kiiara
Previous episode Next episode
Red and Itchy The Desert Rose (Season 6)

Red John's Rules is the twenty-second episode and season finale of fifth season of The Mentalist. The episode is written by Bruno Heller and was aired on May 5.


The Red John suspect list is narrowed down to seven names, and Red John murders a person with links to Jane's past. Red John somehow knows of a happy memory from Jane's childhood, and destroys it. The episode ends with a message from a dead acquaintance telling Patrick that the rules have changed and Red John will begin killing again more frequently.


Red John's latest killing is designed specifically to draw Jane in. The victim leads him and Lisbon back to a mobile home park that's also a regular carny layover, and where Jane spent a lot of time when he was young.

The woman, it turns out, was also someone Jane knew as a boy, someone he has a particular fond memory of from a Fourth of July picnic a long time ago. Jane and Lisbon discuss how her death is like Red John reached into Jane's head and stole a fond memory from him. Which, we soon learn, is exactly the point. A fellow "psychic" involved in the murder case suggests Red John may have some actual extrasensory powers, and after the final scene it's not hard to believe it.

Lisbon's team manages to capture Red John's accomplice, Miriam Gottlieb, who gives Patrick an envelope containing a DVD. On it, Lorelei Martins explains that she's about to die for revealing that Jane shook Red John's hand at one point, and then goes on to list the seven names Jane has: Bret Stiles, Gale Bertram, Ray Haffner, Reede Smith, Bob Kirkland, Thomas McAllister and Brett Partridge. He then promises to start killing again, frequently, "until you catch me or I catch you."

The fact that Red John has managed to keep in front of Jane so far, coupled with his ability to get so far inside Jane's head, suggests the killer is someone who knows him, and that further suggests it's someone with ties to the CBI. That, however, would mean John has managed to undermine Jane's acute powers of perception all this time, which makes the idea even scarier.

Main CastEdit

Recurring CastEdit

Guest CastEdit

Production Information Edit

In the promo, Jane and Lisbon inspect a murder scene with the smiley face on the wall. Jane tells Lisbon that the killing was Red John. When she asks how he knows, Jane replies "Because when it's him, I can feel it."

At the murder scene Brett Partridge arrives before Jane and Lisbon and is accompanied by a forensic photographer. The photographer asks Partridge if he thinks it's really Red John who commited the murder. He says "I've worked Red John's murder scenes since he began. Totally bogus." He says RJ has been laying low for years, at which the photographer replies that RJ had recently killed. Partridge claims it was an internal affair and that Lorelei Martins' murder doesn't count.

It shows Cho and Rigsby aiming their guns and running, as well as Jane telling Lisbon that he has a list with seven names. The trailer ends with a man telling Jane that Red John will always defeat him. Jane says, "We'll see."

In the CTV promo it can be seen that Lisbon asks Jane what's on the disk, and soon after, Jane plays a video recording on a laptop with Lorelei saying, "There's new rules now..." 

By the end of The Mentalist's Season 5 finale, viewers will finally know Red John's real name.

Despite the twists and tricks of the past [1], creator and executive producer [2] Bruno Heller insists that one of the names on Jane's list is indeed his serial-killing nemesis.

"The cards are up on the table and they're the real cards," Heller tells "There is no sort of double twist. There's no more messing around.We've been through all the twists and turns of plot, and we're now getting to the truth. Only the truth gets revealed from now on in."

So, how well do we know the seven possible suspects? "You will recognize some of the names," Heller says. "Some will be obscure, some will be very well-known. But they're all legitimate suspects, and[3] next season we will have to work out which one is the real guy. But under a great deal of pressure, that will be revealed at the end of this episode." Indeed, just as Jane thinks he's closing in, Red John strikes out against someone from Jane's past. And the move is baffling to Jane. "It's someone Red John couldn't possibly know is connected to Jane," Heller says. "So, just when Jane thinks he is finally one step ahead, Red John is still on top. He doesn't turn things around to make Jane realize what he's learned is wrong, but it appears almost magical." [4]

This episode will feature a character called Sean Barlow who is an old Irish psychic from Jane's past. He could become a recurring character. Samantha and Pete, Jane's friends from his Carnival days, will also be back. 

Trivia Edit

  • Lisbon knocks on Jane's locked door 7 times to ask him what's on the disc given to him by Red John (7 knocks = 7 suspects).
  • Lisbon remembers her mother "feeding pigeons" when talking to Patrick about Eileen Barlow's connection to him and Red John. This is the first clue the audience gets as to Red John's identity, specifically his phobia- later revealed in "Black-Winged Redbird".


More PicturesEdit

Season 5 Episodes
The Crimson Ticket  · Devil's Cherry  · Not One Red Cent  · Blood Feud  · Red Dawn  · Cherry Picked  · If It Bleeds, It Leads · Red Sails In The Sunset · Black Cherry · Panama Red · Days Of Wine And Roses · Little Red Corvette · The Red Barn · Red In Tooth And Claw · Red Lacquer Nail Polish · There Will Be Blood · Red, White and Blue · Behind The Red Curtain · Red Letter Day · Red Velvet Cupcakes · Red and Itchy · Red John's Rules

Start a Discussion Discussions about Red John's Rules

  • Plot Holes

    • Jane has done this thing many times when he listens to guilty people speaking or listing things and he picks out the one thing with mean...
  • Puzzles

    2 messages
    • At the murder scene when Patrick asks Patridge if he is sure that this is not RJ the Lady Cop at the door turns around somehow surprised...
    • that make me ask if Lorelei is still alive, and the dead body is for her twin, may be Red John didn't kill the twin, could be a fake photo...

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.