Simon Baker has admitted he wanted his Mentalist character to get a “tragic ending”.
The series about psychic Patrick Jane (played by Simon), who uses his skills to help solve murders, is wrapping up after seven years, and the actor hinted that he isn’t totally satisfied with the way it concludes.
The final scenes have been filmed – although viewers will have to wait to find out what happens – and Simon suggested it might all end well for Jane, by confessing he was hoping for something “slightly different”.
“I think the most tragic endings are more romantic in a way,” he said.
“I also think about the character that I signed on to play. He was a tragic character from the beginning, and to me, it only ever felt right that there was sort of a tragic ending to it.”
Simon, 45, believes it is the right time for the series to end, as its dynamic changed after Jane’s quest for revenge – against the serial killer who murdered his wife and daughter – was concluded last season. “That’s all he was living for,” he said. “Once he catches the bad guy and exercises revenge, what has he got?”
Instead, The Mentalist’s seventh and final season will delve into Jane and FBI agent Teresa Lisbon’s (Robin Tunney) much-anticipated relationship.
“We’re now going to shift the dynamic of the show, to the perspective of two adults who work together,” said Simon. “Can they succeed in having a relationship at the same time, or are they too selfish, too self-destructive?”
After being colleagues for almost a decade, he admits the change in their fictional relationship took a bit of adjusting to. “It’s a little bit like kissing my sister!” he confessed.
As for the keepsake Simon will take from his memorable time on The Mentalist, that’s easy. “I might take a suit or two. They’re made for me and have my name on them,” said the star. “I’ll keep them for my sons.”
The final series of The Mentalist begins on Channel 5 on Thursday, February 12.