Simon Baker

Cheers to The Mentalist for its ingenious casting of Red John.

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SPOILER ALERT—STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE! Simon Baker's Patrick Jane finally came face-to-face with the madman who slaughtered his family — and the culprit perfectly embodied the phrase "the banality of evil." Casting the always-likable Bradley Whitford (the West Wing vet just starred in a show called The Good Guys, for cripes' sake!) as the chillingly cruel serial killer was a masterstroke. "You expected me to have warts?" Red John, if it was in fact him, taunted the man he's haunted for years. "I'm not a monster."

The single scene between Whitford and Baker, played out in that most mundane of settings, a mall food court, was performed with Emmy-caliber precision by both actors. And the climax, with Jane gunning down his nemesis in cold blood, then coolly asking for his check (and paying it!), is truly a game-changer going into Season 4. The Mentalist suddenly got a whole lot more interesting.

Were you blown away by Bradley Whitford — and The Mentalist finale?

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