The season starts off with Jane having narrowed the list of Red John suspects to seven people: Gale Bertram, head of CBI; Reede Smith, FBI agent; Bob Kirkland, Homeland Security; Brett Partridge, forensics; Sheriff McAllister (Xander Berkeley) of Napa Valley; Brett Stiles (Malcolm McDowell), enigmatic Visualize leader; and former CBI agent and Visualize security, Ray Haffner (Reed Diamond). As Jane and Lisbon (Robin Tunney) draw closer to catching Red John, they unmask a disturbing secret organization amongst law enforcement which has its tendrils deep and winding and on all levels, and of course, Red John is a key member. Soon, the team at CBI doesn't know who to trust and it could cost them their very lives. Before long, CBI is compromised and an FBI team from Austin, Texas, led by Supervisory Agent Dennis Abbott (Rockmond Dunbar) is sent in to formally disband CBI, scattering the team while Red John is still out there. Suffice it to say that Patrick Jane gets his closure, once and for all, in the thrilling conclusion to this series-long story arch. But what happens next?
Time-jump two years into the future and Jane has sequestered himself in Mexico, enjoying a life of peace, but always looking over his shoulder. Lisbon is now a police chief in Washington living a pretty boring life, while Kimball Cho (Tim Kang) has joined the FBI team in Austin. Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) and Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) are living a life of domestic bliss in the Bay Area with new baby Maddie, and running a digital security company. Through some serious wrangling, Abbott is able to convince Jane to come work for the FBI, but among Jane's list of demands is that Lisbon be on his team. So to a degree, the "band" is back together, but with the addition of Dennis Abbott, Special Agent Kim Fischer (Emily Swallow), and the adorable IT tech Wylie (Joe Adler). There is even a new story arch introduced where someone from the CBI's past is hunting down team members and killing them, and Jane's old team all have targets on their backs. This is a nice way to bring Rigsby and Van Pelt back for a little while, just to get some closure. This arch is wrapped up this season as well, but it's interesting to see some familiar faces in the old villains the CBI has prosecuted.
The other cases Jane helps with include a missing software programmer who could put the country's financial security at risk; a series of dangerous drug cartel murders; corporate espionage and murder; a murder in Mexico tied to a fringe group of anti-government farmers; a murder at a fracking site; a deadly art theft ring; an innocent man on death row with only days left before execution; a murder at an exclusive men's-only club; and a three-episode story arch on a human trafficking ring. Meanwhile, a new guy comes into play as handsome Agent Marcus Pike (Pedro Pascal, Game of Thrones), of the art theft squad. He and Lisbon start seeing each other and before long, he is offering her a whole new life, but is she ready to leave Jane and the team? What's more, can she and Jane finally wake up and realize they should be together? You'll just have to watch the final episode here and catch the Seventh and Final Season as this fantastic show comes to an end.
I will say that I found it truly odd to wrap up the Red John saga in only eight episodes, then move the show from the gorgeous setting of Northern California to Texas. Maybe it was a cost issue, but I always saw Northern CA as another character in the show, with its lovely and varied settings. In reality, Texas also has its beauty, but for the most part, the settings for the shows taking place there are either urban or dusty and somewhat barren. When I watched this season on DVR earlier in the year, I enjoyed it but it just didn't have the punch that it did while everyone was in the CBI and they were chasing Red John. However, watching the episodes again, I still see Patrick Jane's witty charm coming through and the new team, while not quite as cohesive and magical, is still fun to watch.
Special features include a handful of unaired scenes that shed a little bit more light on certain episodes, plus a 15 minute featurette on the closure of the Red John saga. While not groundbreaking, it was interesting to watch. I have been with the series from the beginning and will be sad to see it end, but Patrick Jane finally has closure and that is a beautiful thing. I will continue to enjoy his antics for as long as The Mentalist will let me.