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Red John's Footsteps is the twenty-third episode of season one of The Mentalist. It also served as the season finale episode for the first season.


Rigsby isn't happy about whatever he sees on the body. He thinks Jane is going to freak. Jane looks at the body. He freaks. It's a young woman, sliced up Red John style, with her blood used to paint her toe nails. Jane's sure it's Red John and he put her in a state park to make sure he was on the case.

There's a noise overhead. A plane draws Red John's signature smiley face in the sky.

At the Plaskett Residence Jane and Lisbon visit the victim's parents. The sheriff mentions the nicotine gum he's chewing tastes terrible. They're hoping to find her twin before it's too late. The dad asks if they think Maya's dead also and Jane instantly says yes. Lisbon tells him they keep hope and Jane blurts "not much."

Jane thinks it's Red John, but someone else is involved, otherwise why would he change his MO so much? He usually gets them at home and doesn't go for twins. The last time he broke a pattern, it was personal, to punish Jane. He thinks Red John either knows them or knows someone close to them.

Van Pelt interviews the pilot. She got an internet order from RJ Solutions.

Jane talks to the parents. Jane says that Emma, the victim, was darker, moodier and Maya was more cautious and conservative. He points this out so they'll know there's no point in lying to him. Then he accuses the wife of following her husband's lead and having a drinking problem. He succeeds in provoking the mom.

She says their 19-year-old girls have recently gotten into drugs and Maya was involved with a small time thief named Mace. The local sheriff Hardy knows him. They go to his house where a dog tries to scare them off.

Mace sneaks out the back and runs. Jane notes he has a very loyal dog.

Cho and Rigsby follow up the address of RJ Solutions, a post office box. The woman won't let them look in it without a warrant.

Back at Mace's house, they release his dog and follow him as he races with a purpose to a shed where Mace is hiding.

Jane talks to Mace at CBI HQ. Mace hadn't heard about the girls. He says he wasn't sleeping with either one. Jane says he can tell he's lying. He tells him he has a personal interest in the case, he'll do whatever it takes.

Boss man Minelli, watching from the other room, thinks Jane goes too far by threatening to kill him. Lisbon promises to control him.

But Mace starts talking. He was seeing Emma. But a few months ago he got a call from a man with a soft, quiet voice telling him to stay away or else. He ignored it. Then a few weeks later he woke up next to a pig's head. He says no one knew about him and Emma.

Jane and Lisbon go back to the parents. Their brother Drake is there. Mom is drinking. They ask how Drake knew about Mace to tell his mom. He says he heard the girls talking about him a month ago.

Jane goes back to the girls' room. He looks for hiding places and finds a camera, microphone and transmitter in the drapes. Jane asks Drake how his electronic skills are. Dad says there was a break-in eight months ago, they reported it to the police.

Rigsby and Cho prepare to open the mailbox. They get Jane on the line. There's an envelope inside addressed to Roy Tagliaferro. It's a letter from a woman named Rosalind to Roy, hoping that he'll come back one day even though he treated her cruelly.

Jane reads it and thinks Roy is Red John.

They visit Rosalind Harker. She's blind.

Jane tells her they think he's a serial killer and she runs away denying it. She shuts herself in her bedroom. Jane tells her about Emma and Maya and the fact that Red John killed his wife and child.

Rosalind opens her bedroom door. Jane comes in and looks around. The walls are bare - except for his trademark smiley face on the walls. Jane takes it in as Rosalind says she's sure Roy is a good man. He goes along with it, saying maybe Roy is just using Red John's identity.

Rosalind's Tea Cup

Jane holding Rosalind's tea cup (left), RJ in possession of one of Rosalind's tea cups (right).

She serves them tea and says he came to use her phone when his car broke down nearby. They started talking and he stayed for two days. They dated for five months. He never said what business he was in.

Jane asks what she meant in her letter. He left and never came back. That was six months ago. He's just under 6 feet tall, short straight hair, gentle voice. His favorite music was Bach. No one else saw him, but he brought a friend once for Thanksgiving. Dumar. He smoked a lot. He brought her a stuffed elephant.

Minelli tells Cho and Rigsby to follow up on the elephant. Van Pelt comes up with nothing on Roy Tagliaferro. Minelli tells her to try it in English. It means "cut iron."

Rosalind plays piano for Jane in the dark. He's near tears.

Van Pelt gets a hit on Cut Iron Properties.

The sheriff, chewing away on his nicotine gum, meets Jane and Lisbon. She tells him about the Cut Iron lead. Lisbon insists on a warrant and Jane says Red John's not going to trial, he's his. Lisbon says she's fed up with his egotistical trip, acting on his wounded pride. She's angry at him and storms off for the warrant. Jane gets the sheriff to take him to the property.

Cho and Rigsby check the 11th convenience store near Rosalind's house. It sold the elephant. They happen to still have the surveillance tape.

Jane and Sheriff Hardy reach the property.

Cho and Rigsby watch the tape. It shows Sheriff Hardy buying the elephant.

Meanwhile he follows Jane into a barn, carrying a very big shotgun. Patrick tries to open a door but he can't. Behind the door is where Red John watches them. The sheriff finds a trap door and opens it to a room below.

Cho and Rigsby can't reach Lisbon or Jane.

Jane walks down into the cellar, followed by Hardy, who has the gun casually slung over his shoulder. Jane peers through a crack in the wall and sees Maya, alive and well. Then Hardy cocks and aims at Jane, who seems surprised.

Hardy asks him if he remembers the name Orville Tanner, Red John's first accomplice who was caught and jailed 10 years ago who has since died. He's Orville's son, Dumar. He's a close friend of Red John. He says Red John gave him Maya, the woman he loves. He says Red John got Emma in return. He wanted Jane, too, but Rosalind ruined it. They have plans for him. But before he can spell them out, Lisbon walks down the cellar stairs with a gun on him.

Hardy/Dumar realizes he's been had, that Lisbon never went for the warrant. Jane is mad that she came down before Red John got there. He knew it was him because Rosalind said Dumar was a heavy smoker. Jane checks the walls and finds a camera transmitting.

Someone watching has a good night vision scene of Dumar fighting with Lisbon and her getting him pinned on the ground just as the rest of the team arrives.

They free Maya.

Jane looks around the room, upset that Red John was there. He doesn't think Hardy will talk. He reminds Lisbon that they agreed she'd wait. He says if Hardy had killed him at least he'd have led him to Red John. She says his death wish is selfish, there are people who care about him and things worth living for.

Jane walks outside as Hardy wakes up on his stretcher. He surreptitiously takes a key out of his belt, uncuffs himself and steals a deputy's gun, killing him. He points the gun at Lisbon and has her dead in his sights.

A shot rings out. Hardy falls. Jane looks at the smoking shotgun in his hand and throws it to the ground. He runs over to Hardy, who gets out the words "Red John" then "shh" as he dies laughing.

Jane watches his only Red John lead die.

Maya is reunited with her parents. Jane watches the reunion he never got.

The season ends with Jane picking an orange and smelling it, finding something simple to love in life after all.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • Michael Mosley later played Two Another Notorius Serial Killers in Several Seasons of Castle and the 14Th and 15th (And Final Season) of Criminal Minds.
Season 1 Episodes
Pilot  · Red Hair and Silver Tape  · Red Tide  · Ladies in Red  · Redwood  · Red Handed  · Seeing Red  · The Thin Red Line  · Flame Red  · Red Brick and Ivy  · Red John's Friends  · Red Rum  · Paint It Red  · Crimson Casanova  · Scarlett Fever  · Bloodshot  · Carnelian, Inc.  · Russet Potatoes  · A Dozen Red Roses  · Red Sauce  · Miss Red  · Blood Brothers  · Red John's Footsteps