Here I will explain why the Mentalist is a cool series to watch and what I particularly enjoy about it.
I like the character of Patrick Jane because in a way he doesn’t really have any friends – which enables him to challenge any person in his world and expose them, question them. Obviously this makes him ‘disliked’ by his surroundings and many people see him as a ‘jerk’ – yet this does not influence or bother him (he actually even enjoys it when people react to what he says or does, as he enjoys to push people’s buttons)
Obviously there is some ego in the character as well when it comes to him seeing himself as ‘the smartest’ – though he will often use arrogance deliberately as well to make a person react and within that have them reveal something, expose themselves.
One case in point was when he asked a person who’s college had died, if he had killed his own college. This he will do very often, because within such a simple straight forward question, people will reveal themselves through the way they ‘handle’ such a question. In this case Patrick Jane went a step further – because he really wanted to make sure he would touch the person to their core and get real feedback – by looking him straight in the eyes and asking: so how did it feel like to smash his skull with a bat? This made the person explode with anger and reveal ‘who they are’ - to which Patrick Jane simply commented that he had anger issues even though he was ‘innocent’.
So in general Patrick Jane’s character does not have much respect for human beings and will mostly expect them to be lying and deceitful – as this is his continuous experience of people.
So, there is a valid message in the Mentalist – which is that human beings can’t be trusted due to them having a ‘secret mind’. The ‘secret mind’ is that which one indulge in as the thoughts one have which one believe no one knows about – the inner nastiness of a being.
A point that is well developed in relation to this is the point of physical behavior: merely by observing people’s physical behavior will the ‘mentalist’ be able to tell if they are lying to him - by observing their facial expression and body gestures as he speaks to them. Interestingly people will often mistake him for a ‘psychic’ (someone who can read people’s minds) because they are unaware of the extent to which they actually expose and reveal themselves (that which they thought they were able to keep hidden) through their physical (unconscious) behavior.
So, the point being demonstrated is that even though one can try and hide – the physical never lies.
Thus, to conclude – the mentalist is good material for anyone interested in critical self-analysis – which one could simply call self-honesty – and perhaps one can use this series as a mirror for oneself and ask the question: who am I ?
Gabriël Zamora Moreno