Here we go. The following is a list of evidence from the
series that, in my view, supports the theory that Red John is in fact the dark
alter ego of Patrick Jane. Like Jane who repeatedly does this with people in
the show, Red John is a master manipulator and creates a theater for Jane, to
lead him astray. He uses manipulated persons to impersonate Red John or
otherwise do his bidding - including Lorelei, the Blake Society and McAllister.
Also, while Jane is unaware of his alter ego, Red John know about Jane. He even
tries to win him over once, unifying his personalities, when his voice speaks
to Jane from the back of the limousine and tries to persuade him to join him on
his higher level of existence.
Red John died with Thomas McAllister within the context of
the series, as that arc could not have been extended forever and had been
heading towards resolution for quite some time. So, for the regular TV
audience, Red John was dead, and Bruno Heller even said so. However, he also
said in reference to unanswered questions about Red John (that did not match
the resolution!) that “As we laid out in the episode, and as Jane himself says,
‘The rest is details’” — the stuff of “great Internet fodder, but not very
entertaining for a weekly TV audience. So as much as some people would love to
delve into that, it’s not what this show does.” TVLine asked Heller: "With
his final breaths, McAllister claimed that he was an actual psychic and used
those skills to divine Jane’s list of suspects. But was that but a final bit of
posing? Could RJ instead have had a mole inside Jane’s innermost circle?"
Heller told TVLine that, for now, he will leave “that thread dangling.” He also
said “Jane feels very strongly as I do that psychics don’t exist, though you
can’t tell that to the millions of people who get genuine solace and
understanding from [them]. Any and all answers to that question … depend on
your point of view.”
So here's our first point supporting this theory, with
others following below in no particular order:
*The "official" resolution requires you to accept that
there are true psychics. How Red John knew about the happy memory he killed in
S05E22 is just an unanswered question, you say? No. Heller saw to it that he
provides an answer to that very important question - an answer by Thomas
McAllister, his FINAL WORDS: that he is a true psychic. We all know what Jane
ALWAYS said throughout the series about true psychics. Even Heller does not
believe in them. Jane knows that this question is unanswered, but he decides to
believe he finally has Red John and "the rest is just details".
* The most important episode regarding the true identity of
Red John is S05 E22 wherein Red John kills a happy memory that Jane never told
anyone about. The only possible answer is "Red John is in Jane's
head". And there are no true psychics. Just put 1 and 1 together. There is
NO ALTERNATIVE interpretation that explains that.
* Also in S05 E22: We learn that Patrick Jane has Irish
ancestors. St Patrick's Day in Ireland is strongly associated with the color
green. GREEN JANE - RED JOHN. Red and green is one of the most contrasting
color pairs according to opponent process theory. The two are also
* Let's continue with duality and opposition. Did you know
that William Blake's "The Tyger" has a companion poem? It is
"The Lamb". The two stem from Songs of Innocence and Experience.
Duality. Harmless Lamb - Deadly Tiger.
* Whenever we hear the true Red John speaking in the series,
it is Simon Baker's voice, at a higher pitch.
* One of the strongest pieces of evidence: The Red John
Smiley itself. It was deliberately crafted to resemble the ultimate nemesis of
the show. And it looks exactly like a smiling Jane, with his characteristic
eyes. There is no way that this is a coincidence.
* There is a precedent of Jane killing a fake Red John.
Here's the official comment by Bruno Heller:
"The thing is, Red John is
a master of the mind game. If Red John wanted to die, maybe this is how he
wanted to die. Or maybe he just wants Jane to think he's dead." HE WANTS
JANE TO THINK HE IS DEAD. But Jane is
clever. He has to trick him. So he crafts it a lot more intricately next time. Jane
himself tells us how to view the official reveal, when he speaks to McAllister.
Patrick tells McAllister that the bomb was a mistake because it was too
theatrical, so he knew "everything that was the opposite must be true".
He had already identified McAllister as Red John. That means the meeting in the
church that is allegedly a trap for Jane - is actually a trap for "Red
John". But who is really pulling the strings here - and why?
* Red John is afraid of heights. A point is made that
McAllister is not. A whole episode is dedicated to that topic.
*McAllister does not fit Red John's personality, running and
pleading for his life. Bertram would have been a halfway believable and maybe
even satisfying Red John. Why the twist to introduce McAllister as Red John at
the last second, whom many described as the "bumbling sheriff"?
Because people would at least have doubts that he could actually be the real
Red John, and may end up looking more closely. Also, it opened the door to one
day return to the RJ storyline in force.
* Van Pelt once
said to Bret Stiles that he is "good, but not as good as Jane". Bret Stiles created a huge cult that worships
him. Red John needs to exceed that - McAllister certainly did not. Even Jane
says he is disappointed. If this is good art, and I believe it is, Red John
must at least be the equal of Jane - and the only person we ever met in the
series that would be a worthy adversary to Jane is ... Jane.
* Patrick Jane
shows that he can be very cold to people. He is described as a psychopath once,
and he smiles a lot and drinks a lot of tea at the sites of murders. He is also
capable of killing.
* Lorelei used to be the beloved of Red John ... and Jane.
She told Patrick Jane exactly what Red John wanted Jane to know, leading him to
the seven suspects and making him ultimately believe Red John was dead. Also,
within this story arc, Red John tries to win him over to his side, trying to
unify the two sides of his personality.
* Panzer is a model
of a killer hiding in plain sight. There may be some foreshadowing here when he
says to Jane " that kind of duplicity, that double life, i don't
know how you do that". Jane also says Brett Partridge must be a good chess
player if he is Red John. Again, this is a hint at a killer in plain sight, and
we know that Jane, who fulfills a similar role regarding the investigation of
the RJ murders, is an excellent chess player.
* Throughout the
series, the FBI believes Patrick Jane could be RJ. I believe the new spin on
the series after the killing of McAllister would have ultimately seen the true
reveal of RJ by the FBI, had the series continued.
* Jane speaking
to Krystal in "White Lines": I never, uh, really
tell anyone who I actually am. That's why we're so well-matched. I think you're
the same. Well, uh... there's a real Krystal that
you don't let anybody see." This is one of the stronger pieces of
evidence, and Red John speaking.
* In the final episode, I
believe we also see the Red John side of PJ. He blackmails the fraudulent
jeweler to give him a hugely expensive wedding ring which he gives to Lisbon -
in an episode where Lisbon makes a point that the two have to be honest with
each other from now on. We also see a huge Jane smile at the very end, and it
is hard to overlook the Red John face. Jane also says "We have to promise
each other that we will always look on the bright side."
* The show ends on PJ/RJ having a wife and soon a kid again. A pleasant
ending if you look at it from the lamb side, a terrifying ending if you look at
it from the tiger side.
* Compare this to Lisbon's "Which side would you rather be
on? Childish naivete or defeated cynicism?"
* If you were the
author, what would be the better story? McAllister or Jane/John? Can we trust
Heller to be a good author? I do. The key question is - are you lamb or tiger,
innocent or experienced?
I have certainly not compiled all material relevant to this
theory. Yet I think there are some irrefutable pieces of evidence in there that
cannot be easily handwaved away. I may post more on this topic some time; if you
like, follow me on Twitter: @yemeth_2008
P.S. Even if nothing of this was intended by the author, which
I think is highly unlikely, it is still in the show. As Joss Whedon said,
work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn't your pet -
it's your kid. It grows up and talks back to you."