After nibbling around the edges of the situation for so many episodes in Season 4 of "The Mentalist," the show's creators finally nailed down for good what we had all come to believe: Red John is alive and out there, somewhere. What's more, he seems to have stepped up his battle of wits against Patrick Jane, with a probable murder in the episode previous to this one and an almost definite one in this episode, titled "Red is the New Black." That is because the regular victim of the week is a fashion designer.
At any rate, we know the murder attributed to Red John in this episode was committed by a fellow whose presumed real name is Roy Tagliaferro. Do we have a name at last for the renowned serial killer? Maybe, maybe not. We only know him by that name because it is the one he gave to his blind girlfriend, Rosalind Harker (played by Alicia Witt). You may remember, in an earlier episode at the start of this season, she had gone with Jane to the morgue where the presumed Red John (Bradley Whitford) lay in one of the drawers. She checked the body out by touch, then told Jane it was not the fellow she used to see.
In this episode, the serial killer uses Rosalind to taunt Jane and his team by letting him know where he is, then leaving a dead body in his place. Let us keep in mind, though, Tagliaferro, like Carter, the guy Jane killed at the end of Season 3, could be another of Red John's stooges, serving as another red herring. If John really was a fellow named Roy Tagliaferro, that would make him someone we have not seen yet (except in fleeting, faceless glimpses), thereby ruling out as suspects all the people we have. To be sure, this is an interesting twist to the show's major plot.
As for the weekly homicide, Jane's discovery of the fashion designer's murderer made for a reasonably interesting story, even if the Mentalist's method of detection was a little dubious. The cheap trick he used to smoke out the killer worked only because the killer was later revealed to be mentally unbalanced. A cold, calculating murderer could have easily avoided Jane's silly little snare. All that is not to say that the chase was not entertaining in a number of respects; just that it wasn't entirely credible. See the episode, if you missed it, and draw your own conclusions.
Another worthwhile part of this episode was the way it carried the dynamic between Van Pelt and Rigsby forward. Both Amanda Righetti and Owain Yeoman deserve credit for some excellent low-key acting.
All in all, while "Red is the New Black" may be just a little bit behind the one before it, "My Bloody Valentine," it was still worth an hour of your time.
"The Mentalist," Season 4, Episode 13: "Red is the New Black"