Who is Red John?

Theories of FuckedByBrunoHeller (1)

There is something that has been nagging at me since the episode Blinking Red Light first aired.

As we know, the season 3 finale has Red John manipulating Jane into believing Timothy Carter was Red John, which was the first time Jane proved his quest for vengeance was serious by killing Timothy without a second thought. At the beginning of season four, he realized he was played the fool, and admits to Lisbon that the real Red John is still at large.

Some time passes with scant mention of the real Red John, then Blinking Red Light comes around. This time, James Panzer (The SJK) outwits Jane, which forces Jane to try and goad Panzer into an incriminating reaction on live television. It nearly succeeds, but Panzer catches himself and it ultimately doesn't work. At his wits' end, Jane sees the titular blinking red light atop one of the studio cameras, and we immediately see just from his expression that he is reminded of Red John and what happened as a result of what he did. From here, Jane cleverly guides Panzer into making the same mistake he did. This is where it gets silly.

Jane KNOWS the real Red John cannot handle dissenters and will personally go after anyone who speaks ill of him. He KNOWS the real Red John is coming after Panzer.

Knowing that Jane truly wishes to kill Red John, knowing how much time he had between the end of the TV show up until the real Red John (who is just one man) could reasonably get to Panzer...Why did he not use this opportunity to trap, capture, or kill Red John?

Understandably, Jane might not want Red John getting caught by police out of fear of being unable to exact his vengeance, but with all of his remarkable creativity he does not need the CBI resources and could have formulated a trap to at least get Red John's identity out of it. He could have bugged Panzer, made a decoy, even just follow him with his gun ready to kill! And these are just some options off the top of my head! Instead, he chose to not even try, merely head home and await the inevitable. In fact, it seems like the thought never occurred to him. Why? Was Jane being facetious when he told Lisbon that the real Red John is still out there, but wasn't sure, and just needed evidence to prove it to himself? Or is it just another plot hole?

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