5 Things We Can Learn from The Mentalist


So, as I write this, it’s the 30th of April and it’s been 3 days since Avengers: Infinity War released. And whether or not you know me personally, one thing you should know that is that I LOVE MARVEL. I love the movie storylines, the cinematography, and the cast and characters of the MCU. I’ve been a fan for the last 5 years and I’ve devoted a lot of time towards the fandom. Suddenly I started thinking about the other fandoms I follow. And lemme tell you this – there are only 2 main things I strongly fangirl about: Marvel and Crime TV.

I love many crime and political drama TV series, but the one I love the most is my newest obsession: The Mentalist.

The Mentalist is a show starring Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, a former psychic and conman. He joins the California Bureau of Investigation after a serial killer named Red John murders his wife and daughter. Jane uses his wit, intelligence and cold sadism to choke–no–to make the suspects choke the truth out of themselves until they either walk away in anger or get arrested for murder. And by doing so, Jane pretty much single-handedly closes most cases (with, of course, some help from his 4 teammates).

I’ve known this TV show for quite a few years now (thanks to my parents who love the show too), but only now now have I truly understood how good and precious it is. Not only is it one of the most successful TV shows of its time, but it also showcases good characteristics and advice that you may not have noticed in the show before. Here are 5 things that I’ve learnt from Patrick Jane, the Mentalist:

Read books more often.

In almost every episode of the series, at some point you’re gonna see Jane on his sofa, reading a book or solving a sudoku puzzle. SUDOKU. This guy solves mysteries, fearlessly outs criminals and frequently puts his life and career on the line to save lives. And what does he do in his free time? HE READS. We should all do the same.

Don’t be afraid to catch the bad guys.

Or question the norm. Almost every case ends with Jane trapping the criminal in such a way that they are forced to confess. And he does this so effortlessly and unambiguously, that no one knows what’s coming their way. The way Jane outs criminals and frauds with such finesse and fearlessness is something we can all learn from. In the world we’re living in, with corruption and violence growing, the number of people supporting and participating in illegal practices is only getting bigger. The same goes for autonomous and dogmatic authorities, whose sole intent seems to be to eliminate anyone who steps even an inch out of line. If you manage to take down or change even one of such people, you will have succeeded in making the world a better place.

It’s good to get inside other’s heads.

For good, of course. Jane’s biggest strength happens to be his ability to accurately read people’s minds. Like, honestly, he will read your mind faster than you can say CBI out loud. The mind is the most powerful source of information and inspiration a human can have. And to decide someone else’s mind could quite be the biggest advantage you have over them. That’s because getting to know what drives and vexes people is a clever tactic that you can use to influence people towards a certain cause. But you can’t read a stranger’s mind without training your own. So training the brain to look past the obvious physical details of a person is an essential lesson Jane has taught me. Speaking of details–

The devil is in the details.

Jane is a master at looking beyond the obvious and ordinary and catching anything that looks out of order. His expertise in noticing the smallest of characteristics and behaviour teaches us that the key to solving any problem is mostly to pay REALLY GOOD ATTENTION.

Your tragedy can define you or destroy you.

Patrick Jane worked as a conman and psychic for years before joining the CBI. When he was a psychic he occasionally used to help the police find Red John. While talking about Red John once on a live TV show, Jane arrogantly called him “an ugly, tormented man. A lonely soul.”

That very night, Red John murdered Patrick’s wife and child. He slit their throats and painted their toenails and the wall in their own blood.

This was Patrick’s tragedy. He lost the two people he loved the most because of his ego. He had a serious nervous breakdown soon after and was in dire need of psychiatric help. This moment of despair was the lowest point of Jane’s life.

But he didnt give in to this tragedy and drown himself in self-loathing and self-pity. Instead, he swore not to stop until he avenged his wife and daughter and killed Red John.

Tragedy will, at some point or another, fall upon every person on this planet. It will taunt us. It will test us. And it will scare us. But by all means, when it comes, we mustn’t give in to defeat for the comfort of safety. Even if it takes every ounce of your energy, time and self-worth, we must fight back until what we need is ours.

There are a hundred things I’ve learnt from The Mentalist. I could go in for a long time talking about them all. But hope, I think, is the most important.

Who knew a TV show could be so influential, eh?

When you’re dead, you’re dead. And until then, there’s ice cream! -Patrick Jane

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The Tyger

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread grasp,

Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears

And water’d heaven with their tears:

Did he smile his work to see?

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,

In the forests of the night:

What immortal hand or eye,

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

-William Blake