The Red Sweater Man
|Portrayed by||Unknown (extra-actor)|
|First appearance||Strawberries and Cream|
|Last appearance||Scarlet Ribbons|
The Red Sweater Man (or Red Shirt Guy) is the name given to the suspicious-looking bystander who appeared during the final showdown with Jane and Red John's impersonator in the season three finale "Strawberries and Cream". The Man appears also in "Scarlet Ribbons". The same unknown actor, dressed in another way, appears twice in "The Redshirt", at the CBI restaurant. He possibly appears sitting next to the bald student (possibly Ron Deutsch) at Steven Wench's Visualize class in "The Blood On His Hands".
Several men have dressed in red in mall's scene.
In Strawberries and Cream he was sitting in the food court just between Timothy Carter (a.k.a Red John's impersonator) and facing directly Jane, as if he was ordered to keep a watch on him. The Red Sweater Man has attracted the attention of several fans due to his strange behaviors which lead them to believe that he could be linked to Red John, either being a member of the killer's inner circle, or may be Red John himself based on the following assumptions :
1- When Teresa Lisbon phoned Red John's impersonator to tell him that Craig O'Laughlin is dead, The Red Sweater Man made a quick grimace by wandering off his newspaper , upon hearing Timothy Carter saying : "That's too bad. We win some, we lose some, I guess". It's as if he was expecting good news but blinked his eyes when he heard the unexpected (That the mole failed in killing off Hightower).
2- The fact that the man was wearing a RED sweater, just like Lorelei Martins from Season Four Finale who was wearing a shoulder-padded RED blouse when first introduced herself to Patrick Jane in Vegas.
3- When Jane approached Carter, the man leaves his table.4- If you watch the scene in super slow-motion when Timothy Carter and Jane are arguing, and zooming in to the upper left side of the screen, you will irrefutably see the Red Sweater Man in the far background, barreling along the terrace café. (see the screenshot)
5- As mentioned above, The Red Sweater Man was looking directly at Jane when this latter realized that the Newspaper Man who is talking to the phone is sitting just a few feet away from him.
6- The way how Chris Long, the director of the episode shot the scene was somewhat disturbing. When Timothy Carter answers Libson, the viewer's attention is FIRST attracted toward the Red Sweater Man, because he was wearing a red sweater, and the color "red" is edged in the mind of any Mentalist's fan (it refers to Red John) and because the Red Sweater Man was close to Jane from his "vantage point" (i.e.Point-of-View) as he was looking directly to him as opposed to Carter who was in far background. (see the screenshot)
7- When the security guards rushed to arrest Jane after murdering Carter, an aeral shot reveals us that the Red Sweater Man was sitting in the middle of a wide RED circle inlaid on a floor.
Additionally, it can be safe to assume that The Red Sweater Man might have acted as a lookout by order of Red John to keep an eye on Timothy Carter to check if he'd complete his mission by fooling Jane into believing that he's Red John. It's likely Carter was put into that situation either under duress by the killer or being brainwashed (along with his wife Sally Carter) as it is the case of many of his dead followers, Rebecca and Dumar Tanner to cite a few of them. The viewer knows that any Red John follower is an expandable asset and likely to die once he'd be of no help for the killer.
It's noteworthy to add, that unlike Isla The Assassin (played by the actress/stuntwoman Alice Rietveld) sent by Red John to finish off Hightower, the Red Sweater Man remains uncredited, the actor's name being unlisted in the final credits and in IMDB.
Finally, Bruno Heller being Bruno Heller, the Red Sweater Man might as well be just another'red herring' that the writer threw out to mislead the audience through the use of deceptive tricks of the trade and false emphasis.