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July 23, 2012 7:16 am  #1

A "Mentalist" story

I wrote a short story after the end of Season 3 of The Mentalist.  In my story, The "Red John" Patrick Jane had shot and killed was a former Federal Judge who was also a retired Senator and a philanthropist.  Jane was in jail, on trial for murder, and had been forced to undergo psychiatric testing to determine his mental state at the time of the shooting.  The story was originally much longer, I've adapted it for the board and cut out a lot of the extraneous stuff.  It's partly based on an experience I had in therapy.


Patrick Jane was eager to meet this latest challenger.  Agent Lisbon had called and told him he was going to meet with Maggie Halterman, a forensic psychiatrist, who was going to give him a competency assessment.  She’d ALSO given him a stern lecture on how he WOULD behave himself this time around.  He’d already had two legal insanity exams, with completely contradictory results.  One psychiatrist had said he was utterly demented at the time of the shooting; the other had affirmed he was completely and fully rational.

He’d been careful to give Lisbon a noncommittal response to her remarks on his behavior – he wasn’t about to promise he’d be good; he did so enjoy sparring with the “headshrinkers  who claimed to know all the ins and outs of the human mind.  Frauds, imposters, and quacks they were – every single one of them.

When the time came, he was led, in handcuffs and shackles, by a guard to a small interview room.  Maggie was already there, and stood as he entered.  “Mr. Jane?  I’m Maggie Halterman."   She extended her hand.

Patrick smiled.  “I’m pleased to meet you.  I’d shake hands, but as you can see…." He rattled his chains.

She grimaced in reply, and then turned to the guard and said “Can’t you take those things off him?  It’s hard for me to establish a rapport with someone when they’re trussed up like that."

“Ma’am, the guard answered, “this man is considered extremely dangerous."

“Oh, please!  By whom? she snorted.  “Just take them off.  I’ll answer for any consequences."

The guard nodded.  “As you wish, ma’am – but if anything happens, it’s on your head.

He unlocked the chains and left the room.  Patrick sat down, rubbing his wrists as Maggie asked “Mr. Jane, do you know why you’re here?"

He smiled.  “Of course.  I’m here because I killed the man who killed my family."

“Well, that’s true, but I meant why you’re here today."

“Because the guard said I had a visitor; hence the chains."  Patrick struggled to keep from chuckling. 

“That’s one way of looking at it.  So, to put it another way, why is it I’m here today?"

He paused a moment, as if thinking, then said “You’re here to determine whether I’m crazy or not.

She smiled.  “Good.  You’re right."  Leaning closer, she added “And, are you, Mr. Jane?"

“Am I what?"

Maggie replied “Crazy."

He didn’t answer.  Instead he said “No matter what, a crazy man will always insist on his sanity.  Even when he gives extremely elaborate excuses for his actions, in his mind it all makes sense. While others may see him as raving, he will insist he’s perfectly sane."

“That’s true," she nodded.

“But a sane man will also insist on his sanity.  The more his reason is called into question, the more he’ll defend it."

“That is also true.  And…?"

“Either way, you end up with the same answer."

There was a pause.  “You haven’t answered my question.  ARE you crazy, Mr. Jane?"

Patrick laughed.  “Of course I’m crazy!  I’d have to be, to shoot a man in a public place... especially with so many witnesses."

“Uh huh."  Maggie raised an eyebrow.  “But I’m told you had been planning to kill Red John for quite a while.  In fact, given what I know, I’d say you were stone cold sane"

“Why would you say that?"  Patrick countered.

“Clearly, you put a lot of thought into killing Red John.  He supposedly murdered many people, not just your wife and daughter.  Yet the other family members didn’t try to enact revenge on him.  Why should you take it upon yourself to do so?"

Jane's face hardened.  “He didn’t just kill my family." he said through clenched teeth.  “He tortured them for hours.  He stole their lives in the most brutal, ruthless, inhuman way he could."

Another pause, then “Were they good lives?"

He blinked.  “What?"

Maggie repeated “Were they good lives?  Did your wife and daughter have good lives?"

“What kind of question is that?  Of course they had…."  Patrick broke off, then smiled slyly and wagged his finger at her.  “Oohhh, cle-VER!  You’re trying to rile me, get me to lose my temper so you can see just how rational I am."  He grinned.  “It won’t work.  I’m very familiar with that game."

“Well, it was worth a shot, anyway" she smiled in return.  “So, tell me, now that you’ve finally gotten rid Red John, what happens now?"

“What do you mean?" he asked.

“Well, you spent a lot of time – years, I’m told – plotting how you would enact your revenge.  And after all that time, you finally achieved your goal.  You finally got what you want."

He shook his head.  “What makes you think I got what I want?" he questioned.

“Well, didn’t you?"

“No.  Of course not!"

She gazed quizzically at him.  “You seem a hard man to please, Mr. Jane.  Red John is dead.  If that isn’t what you want, then what is it you DO want?"

Patrick tried to speak, but couldn’t get the words out around the lump that had formed in his throat.  He could sense long-suppressed feelings rising to the surface like bubbling lava.  He was in danger of losing his dignity; he would not let this woman make him lose control.  He would not break!

She watched him dispassionately.

Patrick sat - every muscle clenched, every nerve taut, hands balled into fists, face contorted as he fought to keep his composure.  He had kept his emotions blocked for so long, he wasn’t about to let them out now.  He would not break!  He would NOT break!

It was exceptionally quiet.  Maggie didn’t speak; she continued to observe silently.

Patrick’s gritted his teeth tightly, holding his breath as he battled his rising emotion. He would not break!  He would NOT break!  HE WOULD NOT….


Her shout shattered the silence.  Patrick reared back, gasping with surprise and fright. 

Then he broke.

He was sobbing wildly, heartbrokenly, as the feelings he’d kept buried for so long finally poured forth.  After a few minutes, the racking sobs eased into distraught crying as he finally allowed himself to give way to release.

Maggie leaned forward and asked again, gently, “What is it you want, Mr. Jane?"

He finally acknowledged the truth he’d kept concealed, even from himself.  “I want them back!"  he blurted out.  “I want them back… I want them back!"   He buried his head in his hands and wept violently.

Minutes passed. The only sound was of his weeping.  Maggie sat stoically.  Quite a bit later, Patrick finally cried himself out.  He looked up to see Maggie rummaging through her purse.  She produced an unopened packet of tissues, laid it on the table and pushed it toward him, asking “Can I get you some water, Mr. Jane?"

He nodded, not yet able to speak.  She went to the door to ask the guard for a glass of water – “with ice, please" - while Patrick blew his nose and wiped his face. 

Moments later she returned with a glass of ice water, handing it to him as she sat down. She waited while he took a couple of sips, and then when he was finally composed, she asked “How do you feel now?"

He deliberated for a bit, then “Tired…and empty."   He slumped in his chair like a deflated balloon.

There was a long stretch of quiet; then Maggie remarked “I'd like to apologize to you, Mr. Jane.  Normally, I wouldn’t have shouted like that, but you weren’t breathing; I was afraid you were harming yourself."

“I would have started breathing eventually." he pointed out.

“Well, yes, eventually, but we couldn’t wait that long."  She smiled kindly.  “I want to say, though, you did good work today.  I think this has been a long time coming and I’m glad you finally got it out."

Patrick sat silently.  Then, in a low voice, he asked “So what happens now?" 

She considered his question.  “You’ve let it out," she replied at last.  “Now it’s time to let it go."

He winced.  “How am I supposed to do that?"

She didn’t answer.  Instead, she said “Make a fist, as tight as you can."

He clenched his hand.


His nails dug into his palm.


His knuckles turned white from the strain.

“Now, don’t unclench your fist."  Her voice was calm.  “I’m going to make you open your hand."

“How? With force?:  he mocked.  “You’re not strong enough."

Maggie didn’t say anything.  She took his arm and turned it so his fist was palm upward.  Holding his arm lightly with one hand, she gently traced a line from the middle of his forearm to his wrist, and then repeated the gesture.  Again and again, her fingers barely brushing his skin, she stroked the inside of his arm.  Her touch was soothing but not the least bit sensual, and to his surprise, his fingers begin to uncurl.  Despite his best intentions, his hand soon lay fully open.

Maggie plucked the middle of his palm, pulled her hand back, and blew on her closed fingers, as if blowing away a speck of dust. “And that’s that." she said.

“So it’s all gone for good?" he asked skeptically.

“No, I'm sure it's not ALL gone, and most likely not for good either.  The pain will come back, probably more than once – but it won’t be the same; it won’t be as strong.  I think now you’ll be able to focus on happy memories rather than the sad ones"   Maggie paused.  “I believe everything moves in a circle.  The hurt will return occasionally, probably when you least expect it – but it will always pass away again."

At that moment there was a knock on the door.  “Time’s up, ma’am," the guard announced.

“Thank you," she called back.  “We’re just finishing up."   She turned to Patrick.  “Mr. Jane, I must say I don’t think you are crazy, at least at this moment.  But I think you may have been irrational when you shot Mr. Benton."  She sighed. “I can’t begin to imagine the pain Red John put you through; more importantly, I can’t imagine how you kept it submerged for so long.  But, for whatever reason, I think I can understand why you did what you did - even if I don’t agree with it."  She stood and gathered her purse, adding “Call me if you need someone to help sort all this out.  I’ve been told you don’t hold people in my profession in high regard, but we all can use help sometimes.  I’m willing to help you if you’d like me to."

He nodded but said nothing as the guard came in to lock him back into his chains.  She was nearly out the door when she heard him murmur “Thank you."   

For Patrick, the rest of the day passed in a daze, and that night, he slept deeply – far more deeply than he had in many months.  Although he couldn’t remember his dreams, he woke with a strange feeling of peace.  He had no idea of what the future was to hold – after all, he wasn’t psychic – but Patrick sensed that whatever happened, it would come out all right in the end.

Last edited by caircair (July 23, 2012 7:32 am)

"We have our stalking memories, and they will demand their rightful tears."

July 24, 2012 3:21 am  #2

Re: A "Mentalist" story

Cool... great fic!!  Loved the breakdown scene.  Thanks for posting your story.  Quite a handsome leading man (in my opinion), so enjoyed picturing him crying.


July 24, 2012 6:37 pm  #3

Re: A "Mentalist" story

There is some YouTube video from a show where he did break down, look for Patrick Jane Relives a Painful Memory.  It's right toward the end.

"We have our stalking memories, and they will demand their rightful tears."
     Thread Starter

July 25, 2012 3:43 am  #4

Re: A "Mentalist" story

Oh, thanks!  Yes, I remember that scene... not that I've watched the show a lot, but I've definitely seen that one before.  I wish someone would hold him while he cried!!


October 16, 2012 8:31 am  #5

Re: A "Mentalist" story

Great fic!  I don't watch The Mentalist very often, but I very much enjoyed this.  Your writing is excellent, and I hope you decide to share something else with us someday!   

Last edited by thedreamer (October 16, 2012 8:31 am)


January 28, 2013 5:49 pm  #6

Re: A "Mentalist" story

That was great! Written just how I'd imagine Patrick Jane would talk in this situation.

My hope is that in this season, season 5, he comes comepletely unhinged in contrast with his normally calm disposition. The way things have been going lately it just might unravel that way. He has become exceedingly obsessed with finding out who Red John is and has stated that he is getting very close. It would seem completely unrealistic to me for a man whose family was brutally murdered NOT to get totally emotional when on the brink of discovering the true killer. A complete breakdown.

I don't know, we'll see what happens!


January 28, 2013 8:36 pm  #7

Re: A "Mentalist" story

Oh, please do post about it if he ends up breaking down, as I don't watch the show anymore but I've seen it a few times and I think he's sexy.


January 29, 2013 7:52 am  #8

Re: A "Mentalist" story

I'm with you, October1394.  Truth is, I'm having a VERY hard time watching the show, it seems as if the tone has gotten darker and Patrick is much more sarcastic and arrogant than in the beginning.  I'm of the opinion he HAS to come to a breaking point - he's been stuck in one phase of the grief process too long and needs to move on, if only for his own sanity.

"We have our stalking memories, and they will demand their rightful tears."
     Thread Starter

January 30, 2013 1:46 am  #9

Re: A "Mentalist" story

Ooh, those TV writers!!  They always like to tease, don't they! 

I should get back into this show...


May 10, 2013 10:41 pm  #10

Re: A "Mentalist" story

October1394 wrote:

My hope is that in this season, season 5, he comes comepletely unhinged in contrast with his normally calm disposition. The way things have been going lately it just might unravel that way. He has become exceedingly obsessed with finding out who Red John is and has stated that he is getting very close. It would seem completely unrealistic to me for a man whose family was brutally murdered NOT to get totally emotional when on the brink of discovering the true killer. A complete breakdown.

So did this ever happen in season 5?  Did he become unhinged?  I haven't kept up...

If not... damn those writers!


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