Thursday night’s season finale of The Mentalist concluded in an extreme and unexpected plot twist, leaving fans to wonder what direction the crime drama will take in the upcoming Season 4.

Investigator Patrick Jane (Simon Barker) shot and killed nemesis, serial killer Red John, (Bradley Whitford) in a crowded food court. Although Red John’s death was a victory for Jane, (who, as Barker notes, has always said “very coldly and matter-of-factly, that he would kill Red John if he ever got the chance”), Jane’s hunt for Red John was the driving force behind the show’s storyline.

"Patrick has just murdered a man in cold blood in front of hundreds of people and next season he will be tried in court," creator Bruno Heller told TV Guide. "We won't dodge any issues. Patrick won't wake up and discover it was all a dream. There will be consequences."

Baker says the murder was a “brilliant,” story-wise, and although he admits that CBS was uneasy with the finale, it was the best choice.


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“I think there's a sense with the network that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And I understand that because you can make some really bad mistakes that way. But we have to keep this show moving,” he said.

In the interest of plot, Baker notes that the show has taken some risks, but always kept the audience emotionally involved. “And now we've moved on to total cold-blood vengeance. [Laughs] I know how this is going to play out. Trust me, this is a great setup for next season!”

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