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The Mentalist Postmortem: Bruno Heller and Simon Baker Sound Off on What's Next For Patrick Jane After Red John Shocker

The Mentalist Colleen Hayes/Warner Bros.

Warning: We're about to discuss The Mentalist's big Red John episode from Sunday night. If you don't want to be spoiled, hit the virtual bricks! Seriously, no complaning about spoilers in the comments!

"I have to say I'm a little disappointed." 

After six seasons, The Mentalist finally, finally, finally (Did we mention finally?!) revealed  the identity of its big bad Red John, with Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) cheekily saying the above line (perhaps on behalf of some audience members). 

No, Red John wasn't CBI director Gale Bertram, as Jane had announced during a press conference at the end of last week's episode. He was merely a pawn in the real Red John's game. So who was the one who killed Jane's wife and daughter ten years ago? Sheriff Thomas McAllister (Xander Berkeley)! Of course, he didn't live long as the episode ended with Jane getting his revenge, strangling Thomas to death after he admitted he wasn't sorry for killing his family. (He did admit he was afraid of dying). Yes, that's right: Ding-dong, Red John is gone!

So what's next for Jane, who was running away at the end of the episode, now that Red John is finally gone? We chatted with creator Bruno Heller and star Simon Baker to get scoop on what's ahead, including the legal ramifications for Jane, his future in law enforcement and more!

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For Heller, the most important part of creating this episode was "giving a real pleasing emotional closure to that story. For me, it was about giving Patrick Jane exactly what he had hunted for all these years. I don't think it was a moment for cleverness or moral ambulance; he wanted revenge and he got it. I think that's what the audience wanted, so that's what we gave him."

Baker admits he felt "a real sense of pressure" while filming the episode, especially the scene in which Jane kills Red John. And he says he felt the way Jane killed Red John was "important."  

"It was very important for me because to pull a trigger is just pulling a trigger and the gun does the killing, but to actually grapple with someone and kill them with your hands is far more intimate." (By the way, Berkeley learned he was Red John "at the very last meoment and he was thrilled," Heller says.)

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But what will the death of Red John mean for Jane? Heller teases Jane's "life as he knows it is over. But it's the beginning of a new life.

"He is this tragic figure who has gotten his heart's desire, has found this sort of evil grail he's been chasing all these years," he continues. "So it's very much a question of what does that do to him as a person? Can he begin a new life? What kind of life does he want for himself? How will he define himself now that that part of his life is over?" 

Baker adds: "I think what we see once the dust has settled is you start to realize who's important to who and where they fit in and how each person sees themselves and who they care about." 

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The Mentalist Colleen Hayes/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Of course, there will be legal repercussions for Jane after commiting murder as Heller says, "You can't go around killing people willy-nilly without some ramification."

And while Baker says Jane will "not immediately" have a desire to return to law enforcement after taking down Red John, but he may not have a choice. 

"I can tell you he's going to be placed in a position where his personal desires on that level are not to the point, because like you said, he's done something highly illegal," he teases. "What he does in the future is not going to entirely be up to himself."

What did you think of the end of the Red John mystery on The Mentalist? Were you shocked by the reveal? What do you want to see Jane do next? Sound off in the comments!

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