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A former con-artist turned private consultant, Patrick Jane is a man who is much more than what he lets on in an initial meeting. Gifted with keen powers of observation, deduction, and knowledge of social engineering, Jane appears to be "psychic", an ability which he constantly derides as being nonexistent (along with the supernatural and afterlife). He's a master at misdirection and smokescreens, a cunning manipulator of thoughts and behavior.
Early life and careerEdit
Jane grew up touring the Midwest carnival circuit with his father Alex. Alex was a greedy, controlling man, who took advantage of Patrick's talents and billed him as, "Patrick the Psychic Boy Wonder." Alex would often take Patrick up on the Ferris wheel in order to hone his son's eye for detail and ability to cold read. The two got along for the most part, Patrick enjoying the routine of being a showman as much as his father enjoyed the paychecks. Patrick never attended high school due to his lifestyle.
Conflict arose one day when Patrick was about 14. Alex had landed them a very wealthy client, whose daugher was suffering from a terminal illness. The regular con involved touting the powers of a magic crystal with alleged ancient healing powers, but when Patrick realized the client was the young girl and not just another gullible adult, he balked. His conscience told him that taking advantage of someone who they could legitimately not help was wrong, but Alex insisted the payoff was too great to let morality cloud his judgment:
- "You're either with the show, or you're not. You're a loser, or you're someone who plays the losers. And you can't just back out when you feel like it, when it's morally convenient, when you don't have the guts! I've never backed out; I've been carrying you for a long time, and it's not getting any easier, son. No one likes an aging boy psychic; short pants don't look so good on a kid that needs a shave. You're gonna need a new act. You gonna work that out all by yourself? You going solo? Yes or no, boy. Are you with it, are you with me?"
After that bit of posturing, Patrick was forced to relent, as Alex was his only means. He performed the con, but felt inwardly sick about it, and to make matters worse, Alex only gave him a pittance from their $10,000 score (gambling away the rest). Patrick resolved then and there to break away from that life, and ran away from Alex not too long after.
Jane rose to moderate fame as a TV medium, dazzling countless audiences with his ability to talk to the "other side." His private clientele was composed of wealthy housewives and grieving family members (one of whom attempted to kill him many years later out of bitterness for having his life ruined by one of Jane's readings). Jane might have felt guilt for what he was doing, but as he could do little else, just stuck with it. As his reputation grew, so did his greed and extravagant living.
Along the way, he married a beautiful wife and had a daughter. Jane doted on both of them, trying to provide them with all the care and nurturing home life he'd never gotten. Mrs. Jane had issues with his greed, and begged him to drop the psychic trade, but he liked what he was doing too much to stop. Life was good and the money was rolling in. Soon, that would come to bite him in the ass.
Red John and the CBI (The Mentalist)Edit
The Jane MurdersEdit
- "Red John thinks of himself as a showman; an artist. He has a strong sense of theater."
- -Jane to a CSI
In a display of overconfidence, Patrick openly (and derisively) profiled serial killer Red John on television. He said that Red John was, "[A]n ugly, tormented little man. A lonely soul. Sad, very sad." By some bizarre twist of fate, Red John happened to be watching that very broadcast, and was so infuriated and insulted by Jane's comments that he murdered Jane's wife and child before Jane returned home that evening.
When Jane arrived at his house that night, he found a note taped to his bedroom door that read:
- Dear mister Jane,
- I do not like to be slandered in the media, especially by a dirty money-grubbing fraud.
- If you were a real psychic, instead of a dishonest little worm, you wouldn't need to open the door to see what I've done to your lovely wife and child.
As a result of his self-imposed complicity in the killings, Jane had a short mental breakdown and was hospitalized. He managed to keep the incident off his official record, being deeply ashamed of having lost control of himself. To this day, Jane is driven by his rage and guilt over the incident; rage at Red John for taking his loved ones, and guilt over having instigated that sequence of events to begin with.
Working for the CBIEdit
Trying to turn over a new leaf, Jane decided to use his skills as a mentalist for good, and approached the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with an offer to help them solve serious crimes. Jane has declared on more than one occasion that catching and killing "Red John" is the single most important thing to him, even to the inclusion of being caught and going to jail. [MORE TO BE ADDED]
By chance, Jane met Dr. Greg House while looking for sleeping aids. The two struck a sort-of friendship and conversations until House decided that Jane needed "intensive therapy" to deal with his anger and grief issues. For that, the doctor sequestered the mentalist and the next thing Jane knew, he was in Silent Hill. After a harrowing experience in the damned town, and having faced the twisted memories of his deceased wife and child, House returned Jane back to California to let him mend the psychological wounds. Always a skeptic, Jane refused to acknowledge some of the supernatural occurences that were beginning to seep into his life. As a souvenir from Silent Hill, Patrick has a two-sided coin that has the ability to teleport him between California and New Jersey at any given moment.
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Patrick Jane has an uncanny eye for details and is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes (minus the coke habit). He is somewhat eccentric, going off to do seemingly random things that end up solving a case (his team hates this), or changing topics suddenly in a conversation in order to glean important information. Jane wears the same basic clothing every day: a three-piece suit -- open collar, no tie-- and worn brown shoes. He's a bookworm/autodidact, so he carries around a lot of bizarrely random information. He's easily entertained and almost as easily bored. Jane, being an expert observer, is interested in people, but is rarely surprised by them. He tends to assume the bad about a person before he assumes the good, but this could just be due to him having constant interaction with suspects.
At his core, Jane is an entertainer. Whether he's performing for an audience of one or one hundred, he loves theatrics and he loves accolades. He's spent most of his life putting on a show for people, and as such, only a few people have ever gotten to know what's beyond Jane the Performer. Arguably, the one person who ever got to know Patrick Jane the Person was his wife, since Jane tends to keep a certain emotional distance from people who only interact with him because of his talents.
Patrick Jane is the center of his own universe. All the things he does for others, even if they produce good results for the CBI, ultimately benefit him in some way. He likes being right for the sake of being right, not necessarily for the sake of solving a case; he enjoys besting puzzles (which is how he views cases...and some people). There are times where he legitimately does a good work for someone else--donating money he won while gambling to a woman whose mother needed an operation, giving thousands of dollars in cash and jewels to a charity--but even in these instances it's debatable whether or not he's honestly showing empathy, or helping himself sleep at night. It's clear he still feels guilt over being even the least bit avaricious, and though his ego would have him keep his winnings due to his amazing talents, his conscience takes over and has him give it away.
Kissing cousins to Jane's egotism are his pride and controlling nature. Jane has been doing what he does for so long that he's rarely wrong. This is good for CBI and bad for suspects, but also means that when he's making an observation about someone, it can yield embarrassing results for that person. He's made an occasional habit of drawing out deep personal issues from his colleagues, whether they want him to or not. It's debatable whether he's doing this for their benefit (knowing an issue allows one to work on it) or his own satisfaction. He says he does it because people should tell the truth more often, but it could just as easily be because of his paternalism and desire for amusement. His CBI companions like him well enough because he closes cases, but because of his irreverence, temerity, and questionable methods even they sometimes barely tolerate him.
Being that Jane never had much of a normal childhood, he seems to be making up for lost time later in life. The serious moments he has--reading, lecturing others about their beliefs or behavior, occasional candor--really just punctuate his child-like (some say childish) behavior. Jane is curious and loves to learn, constantly poking or snooping around during investigations. It's yielded a helpful clue on more than one occasion. He's also a child around children, running in bubbles or doing magic tricks, and generally enjoying the life he feels he missed out on. He's competitive and hates to lose, whether it's in billiards with teenagers, cards with an 8-year old, or poker with whales. But he also dotes on small children and babies because he misses his daughter so much. He's been known to take time during a case to build a giant sandcastle on the beach... making it highly detailed and over-the-top so he'd get attention from beachgoers, naturally. Jane considers children life's only true innocents, and can be far more honest with them than adults, as they have no ulterior motivations.
While outwardly very light and spirited, inwardly Jane is man who is full of anger. His ego and self-love is juxtaposed with his guilt and self-loathing. He is consumed with getting revenge on Red John, to the point where he has literally endangered himself over it before. He goes completely off the rails during Red John cases, ignoring almost every bit of personal growth between events. He has stated on numerous occasions that not only is Red John his sole focus and reason for working at the CBI, but that he has no intention of turning Red John over to the law when he catches him. Jane fully intends to butcher Red John, and considers his vigilantism justified and necessary, despite his colleagues' belief in the justice system. While his teammates may believe that Jane is doing a public service to atone for all the cons he pulled in the past (maybe he is to a degree), Jane himself has made it clear that it's just something to do while he utilizes CBI's resources to catch his family's killer.
Because of his sharp intuition and eye for detail, Jane has a way of unnerving people. He's also not exactly tactful when he reveals the things he notices, and so tends to be polarizing (his frequent needling of suspects has gotten him punched in the nose on more than one occasion). He's often accused of being a psychic, but is quick to note that he's merely paying attention to details, and that psychics do not exist. Jane does not believe in the supernatural, nor an afterlife, and is quite self-righteous about it. He's an ardent atheist and skeptic, and still occasionally gets on soapboxes about the issue of ghosts/departed souls/spirits with believers (one of whom he works with). Jane's skepticism about all things supernatural is partly due to his beef with the bad events in his life, but mostly because he is aware of all the tricks used in order to give the appearance of ghosts, psychics, et cetera. Being that he made use of those techniques himself, he is quick to point out when he sees them being used by others. Oddly, Jane fed the superstitions of his right-hand man, Agent Kimball Cho, but it was less likely due to believing in the powers of witchcraft than Cho being more useful to Jane when he's not constantly paranoid about being under a spell.
Jane is attractive and charming, and knows it. He plays this to his benefit whenever he can. It's part of his being a stage performer: appearances are everything...and appearances can be deceiving. While Jane has boyish good looks and a smile that can either melt hearts or signal mischief, he's totally uninterested in romance. He flirts to make himself feel good and to get things he wants, but he still wears his wedding ring as a symbol of his commitment to his wife. At the suggestion (by his boss, of all people) that he try dating again, Jane tried taking out an acquaintance, but found not long into that date that he just couldn't go through with it. The niceties and small talk were familiar territory for him, but the woman's serious emotional interest in him encroached on his sense of security in his vows. Had it not been for a timely call from CBI interrupting the dinner, he would have bailed before the main course arrived.
Despite all his flaws, Jane has a certain something that continues to fascinate people and draw them to him. Call it charisma, charm, or any number of things. At the end of the day, it might just be magic.