Warner Bros. // 2012 // 932 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // September 30th, 2013
"You want to hurt a man, don't kill him. Kill his family."
CBI consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker, Margin Call), understands this dictum all too well, having lost his wife and daughter to Red John, a notorious serial killer who remains at large when The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season concludes its twenty-two episode run.
If season four was a tour-de-force, The Mentalist Mach Five suggests a tour gone off-course; presenting a much darker and angrier Patrick Jane than the one we're used to seeing. Given Red John's expertise at evading identification -- never mind capture -- Jane's frustration is understandable, but his behavior both in and out of the office has become increasingly unsettling. The smiley showmanship normally exhibited by the former "celebrity psychic," in the presence of witnesses and potential suspects, has largely been replaced by a confrontational belligerence. And while Jane's observational and analytical skills remain keen as ever, a growing aloofness and the sense of distraction that's clearly overtaking him are causing unit leader Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney, Vertical Limit) to seriously question whether or not their long partnership has reached the end of its tether.
In fact, distance and distraction characterizes our favorite CBI unit this year in general : Van Pelt heads to San Francisco for some specialty training (owing to actress Amanda Righetti's pregnancy), and her absence leaves Rigsby (Owain Yeoman, Chromeskull: Laid To Rest 2) feeling especially blue. As for Detective Kimball Cho (Tim Kang, The Forgotten), he's the Rock of Gibraltar -- albeit an over-muscled, compact-sized Rock of Gibraltar with the best Poker Face in the business.
Maybe it's no coincidence that the fifth season caseload is somewhat inconsistent. Oh, there are a fair number of gems that no self-respecting fan of this series can afford to miss, but it can't be ignored that there are also a few gimmicky time-passers, trading in the kind of cutesy hokum favored by audiences of Diagnosis Murder, Father Dowling Mysteries, and the like.
Warner Brothers has done a solid job with the DVD transfer -- it looks and sounds great. Though I can't attest to the veracity of either the Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, or Thai subtitles, I can tell you that the English SDH captioning does a fine job keeping up with the 5.1 surround sound track. If you'd like, you can check the Portuguese subtitles against the Portuguese language track this set also provides.
Also on hand are a pair of featurettes (roughly fifteen minutes each): "The Artistry Of Action: From Script To Screen," detailing the process of working out all those exciting booms, crashes and bangs, and "Arresting Excitement: Keeping It Real With The CBI," which features Police Technical Advisor Karl Sonnenberg drilling actors Yeoman and Kang, so that they seem less like actors and more like Police Technical Advisor Karl Sonnenberg, at least when they pull out their guns and burst through doorways.
I don't remember if it was during the episode about the murder of a dancer in a Broadway-bound musical, or if it was the one about which greedy relative murdered the rich old spinster, but somewhere during season five, I began to wonder about whether or not "The Mentalist" was starting to run on fumes, and if so, did I really want to stick around for another year, only to see a once-brilliant concept reduce itself to ashes?
And then I began to wonder about whether or not these defeatist thoughts were being planted in my head, perhaps to throw me off a scent? Nice try, Red John, but you're not getting rid of me that easily!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Portuguese)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 932 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
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