Red John returns in the season finale of The Mentalist, “Red Sky in the Morning”. We first start out with Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) on a date with “real” psychic Kristina Frye (Leslie Hope). Jane appears to be trying his best at winning small talk when Kristina works her psychic magic on the waiter. She gives him a message that his recently passed mother is fine, and that his uncle says “Roll Tide”, a football reference about his favorite team. The waiter is awed, and Jane is flustered and frustrated. He excuses himself to go to the washroom, and we see touching his wedding ring as he struggles to take deep breaths.
Back at the dinner table, he seems about to tell Kristina he can’t do this when he gets a phone call from Agent Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti). Back at CBI headquarters, she and Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) are examining a web alert Van Pelt received–for a video of a murder. The video shows a woman’s brutal murder, and ends with the infamous Red John smiley face and a written message: “”I am becoming what I am meant to be/Your children’s children will worship me.”
Kristina arrives at the office with Jane, and tells Hightower (Aunjanue Ellis) that she feels the woman has been killed recently, and that they’ll find the body near water. Jane says he needs to see the crime scene before he’ll make any assessment. Rigsby gets a call about a body of a woman found in the Bay Area. Jane’s not impressed with the “water” connection to Kristina’s conjecture.
Hightower is receptive to Kristina’s insights, so Jane takes his boss aside and asks her to leave Kristina off the case. When he explains, “Red John is mine,” Hightower agrees. Kristina doesn’t need to be a psychic to get the message she’s not wanted, so she heads for the elevator. She tells Jane there’s no hard feelings, and gives him a kiss on the cheek that surprises him.
Jane heads over to the home of victim Marley Sparrow, and asks the forensics team to give him the room for a moment. As he’s looking at the pictures and personal belongings, the head of the forensics team comes in and hassles Jane. He seems unimpressed by Jane’s conjecture about her habits and personality, and scoffs that he’ll be looking for actual evidence once Jane leaves. After another minute, Jane declares that it wasn’t Red John. He asks that Marley’s papers be sent over to CBI, and then leaves.
Jane and Lisbon talk to Marley’s roommate Ruth and her boyfriend Dylan. Ruth was out of town for two days snowboarding, and Marley was supposed to join them. Marley apparently stayed to be with her boyfriend, a mysterious policeman Grady Ship from San Francisco. Ruth’s never seen him because Marley goes to his house and he always stays in the car when he picks her up. Lisbon talks with Marley’s instructor, who says Red John was mentioned by one of the students in her serial killer lecture last semester. The teacher is a little flaky, and doesn’t remember who it was, but she agrees to get Lisbon a list of the students in that lecture.
The CBI team gets together to compare notes on the case. It turns out Marley’s boyfriend isn’t a cop, and the real Grady Ship had a connection to one of Red John’s associates. As they’re talking, Jane notices Kristina on a muted TV. She’s appearing on a talk show, and Jane reads the captioned words on the bottom of the screen. He’s horrified as he sees that she’s talking about Red John, claiming to understand him and asking him to seek help. Jane runs out.
Back in Hightower’s office, she and Jane try to get Kristina to understand that she’s put herself in danger. Jane is incredulous that she doesn’t see the similarity between her actions and his own past talk show appearance that got his wife and child killed. Kristina is calm, saying that Jane was lying but she was telling the truth. She feels confident that she’s in no danger. Jane wants 24 hour protection for Kristina, and Hightower arranges it.