Character Sketch of Patrick Jane in The Mentalist

Last Updated: 17 Aug 2022
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Character Sketch - Patrick Jane, The Mentalist Patrick Jane is the primary character on The Mentalist, a dramatic series that uses the homicide team of the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to showcase Jane’s talents. He has a reputation for his observation skills, which are highly useful when questioning suspects and witnesses, even though he can appear unfeeling when interacting with the recently bereaved. He frequently challenges his superiors, and does it in a mocking manner.

Jane’s career prior to the CBI gig was as a charlatan, actually. He was the kind of entertainer that people in need actually believe in - they think he can speak to their dead relative and deliver messages. He was really just reading the audience members’ body language, and filling in the blanks from his imagination. In his interactions with his co-workers and suspects he comes off as quirky, but is quite often spot-on. Otherwise the series wouldn’t have lasted four years (so far).

His has a great sense of humor, and is mischievous, even though he is still in mourning for his wife and child, who were murder victims. This creates a high degree of tension and may act as Jane’s motivation in his quest to find the murderer in each episode. Jane is a very attractive white male in his thirties. He’s of average height, with a slim build. His curly, light-brown hair is a little too long to be considered professional. While he always wears a jacket and usually wears a vest, he never wears a tie.

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Jane’s unconventional attire matches his apparent need to flaunt authority by baiting his superiors. When Jane is trying to work out a problem, he lies on the couch in the the detectives’ area, shuts his eyes, and lets the pieces fall into place. Quite often he sits on that same couch to have a cup of tea. We never see him drinking anything else. Jane is a round character, as we see his struggle to deal with his loss, to develop his relationships with co-workers, particularly Lisbet. She may be, at some point, a love interest.

There are flashbacks to illustrate (showing us) the horror he encountered when he discovered his family’s bodies, and we see that he’s getting emotionally healthier, though he still struggles. His character is dynamic in that regard, yet consistent in his appeal, his cockiness and his mockery of those who take themselves too seriously (telling us his personality traits). He is plausible to the degree that it is possible there’s a person like this - he isn’t superhuman, or anything. He’s just so charming, and so sympathetic, that it’s unlikely that any of us will meet anyone like this. It does work, though.

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Character Sketch of Patrick Jane in The Mentalist. (2018, May 19). Retrieved from

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