Created by Bruno Heller, who's currently producing Fox's Gotham, The Mentalist followed Patrick Jane, portrayed by Simon Baker, a CBI consultant with a remarkable track record for solving cases by using his amazing observation skills, mentalist abilities, and past minor-celebrity status as a psychic. The show revolved around Jane's search for the serial killer Red John who murdered his wife and daughter.
The Red John storyline came to an end in the first half of season six when Jane finally discovered his identity and killed him. But, the show continued for a shorter seventh season that wrapped things up in a neat little bow. The finale aired in 2015, so we decided to check up on the cast and see what they're up to today.
10 XANDER BERKELEY (THOMAS MCALLISTER)
The show’s main antagonist, the serial killer dubbed Red John, known to have murdered at least 28 people (including Patrick Jane’s wife and daughter), was revealed in season six to be the Napa County Sheriff Thomas McAllister. But Red John turned out to be way more than your run-of-the-mill serial killer. McAllister headed the clandestine criminal organization of corrupt California law enforcement officials known as the Blake Association, which explains how he avoided capture for so long. However, in the end, nothing could save him from Patrick Jane.
Thomas McAllister, aka Red John, was portrayed by Xander Berkeley, who appeared in only five episodes despite being the show's main villain. Up until 2018, Berkeley played Gregory on AMC’s The Walking Dead.
9 MICHAEL GASTON (GALE BERTRAM)
CBI Director Gale Bertram made his first appearance on The Mentalist in season three. Though he seemed in favor of Jane’s unorthodox methods at the beginning, he changed the tune when Jane suspected him of a murder/kidnapping. Both Jane and the audience became increasingly suspicious about Bertram and he became one of the prime Red John suspects.
Gale Bertram was portrayed by Michael Gaston, who’s famous for playing conniving characters – Governor Royce on Designated Survivor, CIA Deputy Director Carter on Blindspot, and so on. Most recently, Gaston appeared on The Man in the High Castle where he played one of the good guys.
8 AUNJANUE ELLIS (MADELINE HIGHTOWER)
Lisbon and her team sure had a lot of bosses. In season two, Madeline Hightower became the new chief of the CBI Sacramento office and immediately let everyone know she won’t be tolerating any funny business. Determined to do everything by-the-book, Hightower forced Rigsby and Van Pelt to end their relationship and threatened Lisbon’s career if Jane continued breaking the rules. However, despite her no-nonsense attitude, Hightower was an ally when it came to defeating Red John.
Madeline Hightower was portrayed by Aunjanue Ellis, who is set to appear in two upcoming TV shows: Lovecraft County and When They See Us. Recently, Ellis guest-starred on Designated Survivor as Vice President Ellenor Darby.
7 PRUITT TAYLOR VINCE (J.J. LAROCHE)
J.J. LaRoche arrived in season three as the new head of CBI’s Professional Standards Unit, tasked with investigating the death of a member of Red John’s network. LaRoche quickly proved to be Jane’s intellectual equal, as well as quirky and socially awkward, which made him one of the most intriguing and entertaining supporting characters on The Mentalist. LaRoche also had a dark secret – he kept the tongue of his mother’s rapist in a Tupperware box locked in a safe.
LaRoche spoke with a monotone voice and displayed unfocused eye movements because the actor Pruitt Taylor Vince is diagnosed with a condition that causes a person’s eyes to move involuntarily. Recently, Pruitt Taylor Vince appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Grill, the ruthless taskmaster of the Salvage Yard of the Lighthouse.
6 JOE ADLER (JASON WILEY)
In season six, the story moved from Sacramento, California to Austin, Texas following the dissolution of CBI and Jane’s two-year exile in Venezuela. The FBI reluctantly enlisted Jane’s help on a case, but before he said yes Patrick gave them a list of demands – the first one being that he would only work directly with Teresa Lisbon. Soon enough, Jane, Lisbon, and Cho started working for the FBI with a few new colleagues.
One of the Agents on their new team was Jason Wiley, also known as the Coyote but don’t ask him why. Agent Wiley was a computer expert portrayed by Joe Adler. Recently Adler appeared on an episode of The Good Doctor, but he also had a recurring role on Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Isaac Cross.
5 OWAIN YEOMAN (WAYNE RIGSBY)
Agent Wayne Rigsby, portrayed by Owain Yeoman, was a Senior Agent on Lisbon’s team who often worked with Kimball Cho and Grace Van Pelt. Rigsby was loyal to Lisbon, always following her orders, but he was also quick to go along with one of Jane’s unconventional plans. He had a somewhat complicated relationship with Grace Van Pelt, on whom he had a crush since day one. Ultimately, the two did get their happily ever after.
Actor Owain Yeoman compared the team to a dysfunctional family and said that in that scenario Rigsby would be the overbearing big brother. Following his departure from The Mentalist, Yeoman portrayed Benedict Arnold on TURN: Washington’s Spies.
4 AMANDA RIGHETTI (GRACE VAN PELT)
The newly minted CBI Agent Grace Van Pelt specialized in computers and hacking. She immediately came into conflict with Jane over the existence of “real psychics”. Jane, of course, claimed that there’s no such thing, while Van Pelt insisted real psychics exist, even mentioning a psychic cousin who helped her talk to the other side. Still, the two put their differences aside and became good friends.
Grace Van Pelt was portrayed by Amanda Righetti, who most recently starred on USA Network’s sci-fi series Colony. The show is set in a dystopian near-future Los Angeles and follows the Bowman family as they struggle to survive and to help bring liberty back to the people.
3 TIM KANG (KIMBALL CHO)
Detective Kimball Cho is the calm and collected member of the team, usually not showing any emotion whatsoever. He’s almost always comically serious and he had some of the funniest zingers. In a famous interrogation scene, a suspect threatened Cho with "I can make one phone call and your career is toast”, to which Cho replied "That's impressive. The best I can get with one call is a pizza". His deadpan snarker personality made him a fan-favorite character.
Cho was portrayed by Tim Kang, who currently stars on CBS’ Magnum P.I. remake. Kang portrays HPD Detective Gordon Katsumoto, who despite not being a big Magnum fan usually ends up offering his rescue services.
2 ROBIN TUNNEY (TERESA LISBON)
Patrick Jane’s partner and boss at CBI, Agent Teresa Lisbon, was portrayed by actress Robin Tunney. At first, Lisbon wasn’t happy with Jane tagging along on her cases, but like a fungus, he grew on her. Though she often chided Jane for not following procedure, not consulting her, and going against her direct orders, she appreciated his insights and defended him even to her bosses.
This year, Robin Tunney returned to TV in a starring role on ABC’s legal drama The Fix. Created by Marcia Clarke, the show follows L.A. District Attorney Maya Travis who lost a high-profile murder case trying a celebrity defendant. Fast forward eight years and the same man is under suspicion once again, giving Maya a second chance.
1 SIMON BAKER (PATRICK JANE)
Simon Baker portrayed the titular mentalist Patrick Jane, a former fake psychic and minor celebrity who made the mistake of taunting the serial killer known as Red John on TV. This prompted Red John to murder Jane’s wife and daughter, leading Jane to make it his purpose in life to avenge their deaths. He starts working as a consultant with the CBI, using his particular set of skills to solve crimes and search for Red John.
Simon Baker, who’s originally from Australia, will be starring on High Ground, an Australian TV series set in the 1930s that follows a bounty hunter named Travis (Baker) as he embarks on a manhunt with a young Indigenous man, and unravels a secret that pits them against each other.