The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season DVD ReviewOctober 30, 2013
The Mentalist is a show about a man named Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) who has an innate ability to manipulate and “read” people. Having a background as a showman “psychic”, his abilities are put to actual use when his family is murdered by a serial killer called Red John. Now working as a consultant for the CBI, Jane will stop at nothing to track down the man who took his wife and daughter from him – and he manages to help the police in many cases along the way.
There’s nothing incredibly unique about The Mentalist – it’s really just another crime drama – but the characters are intriguing, the writing is sharp and the actors play off each other well. I had never seen an episode of the show before The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season was sent to me for review, but it pulled me right in within a few short episodes. Simon Baker and Robin Tunney (whose Agent Lisbon leads the CBI team) have great chemistry, and their characters’ wildly differing personalities and quirks are a lot of a fun to watch. The rest of the supporting case is passable, with one of the standouts being Tim Kang’s Kimball Cho. Emmanuelle Chriqui doesn’t fare so well as Lorelei Martins, a henchman (woman?) of Red John’s who could possibly lead Jane to the killer. LOST’s Henry Ian Cusick plays his role of a shady entrepreneur very well – he’s one of the highlights of this season and I’m sure we’ll see him again in the future.
The “case of the week” format works well for the show, as the Red John hunt is kind of put on the backburner. It’s always interesting to see how Jane solves a case, slowly piecing things together with his insane attention to detail and incredible memory recollection. Still, the show does jump the shark at least once during Season Five, such as in an episode where Jane drinks drug-laced tea, causing him to fall into a coma where his daughter’s spirit helps him solve the case. A bit far-fetched, to be sure.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer looks stellar for a DVD release, with saturated, accurate colors and strong blacks. The 5.1 Dolby Surround mix is decent, and there is also a Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 mix alongside English SDH, Portuguese, French, Thai, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese subtitles.
As for bonus features, there are two included featurettes. “The Artistry of Action: From Script to Screen” has Bruno Heller and Chris Long talk in depth about the stunt sequences and the dangers they present. The scenes in question include a car running into a tree – a sequence designed and directed by star Simon Baker – and a high-speed car chase with Tim Kang and Owain Yeoman. In “Arresting Excitement: Keeping it Real with the CBI,” the stars are shown how a real police force operates by Stunt Coordinator Kevin Derr and Police Technical Advisor Karl Sonnenberg.
The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season can be purchased on Amazon here.