The Mentalist returns for its seventh and final season tonight with a premiere episode titled Nothing But Blue Skies. The new Season 7, which will have just thirteen episodes, has presented the show’s writers with a quandary: having brought Jane and Lisbon together as a couple at the end of last season in what at the time was thought to be the series finale, what will they do with the pair now that their relationship has to play out on the screen? Tonight’s episode will provide a series of big clues in that regard.
The show has already parted ways with nearly half its original core cast, having married off Rigsby and Van Pelt by way of writing them out of the series. With The Mentalist once again playing lovebird, the show does now benefit from knowing that there will certainly not be an eighth season; any moves that the show makes at this point will only have to stick for what is effectively half a season. Scattered reports have Agent Kim Fischer, who was added to the cast when the focus of the show shifted from Sacramento to Austin, being written out of the show. If the purpose of her character was to run interference between Jane and Lisbon, then that’s served its course. But that else is left? Kimball Cho is the only other regular still remaining, and most of the show’s supporting cast over the years has been killed off or otherwise disposed of, and series villain Red John is long dead by now.
Those answers will begin to take shape with tonight’s Season 7 premiere episode of The Mentalist. We’ll get to see Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon in action as a couple for the first time, and we’ll find out for sure which casting changes have or haven’t been made. The title “Nothing But Blue Skies” suggests that tonight’s episode will have an upbeat and happy tone – but when a show is about murder, that may be just a proverbial red herring.