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How The Mentalist Fans Really Felt About Kristina's Connection To Red John

Being a psychic has to be tricky. Being a fake psychic is probably even harder — just ask "The Mentalist" series protagonist Patrick Jane (Simon Baker). Originally a con-man and professional (fake) psychic, Jane eventually earns the ire of prolific and hard-to-catch serial killer Red John (Xander Berkeley). After he announces that he has used his unique "abilities" to help the FBI create a criminal profile for the bloodthirsty fiend, Red John retaliates against Jane, murdering his wife and child. This puts the two on a collision course with Jane bent on seeing justice served.

Although "The Mentalist" primarily focuses on the ex-psychic Jane, he's not the only one that claims to have fantastic, mind reading and clairvoyant powers. A fellow psychic by the name of Kristina Frye (Leslie Hope) soon comes into Jane's orbit, and even though he is reluctant to acknowledge any supposed abilities, the two soon become close. Unfortunately, Kristina soon makes the same mistake as Jane, going on television to directly call out Red John, which leads to her disappearance. Kristina is eventually found several months later in a catatonic state, and barely responds to any outside stimuli. The intent is to highlight the intense trauma that she underwent while in possession of Red John, and it seems like fans of "The Mentalist" definitely have some thoughts when it comes to the character.

Fans have some questions about Frye

Taking to the subreddit r/TheMentalist, u/Soiree1999 started a poll that asked fellow fans about their opinions on the Kristina Frye and Red John dynamic. The options were that she was in league with Red John, a follower of the serial killer that did not take direct orders, a fool who underestimated Red John, an earnest person who thought she could actually change Red John, a schemer who plotted to capitalize off of Red John, and an "other" category for unspecified thoughts.

After 168 responses, a victor was emerging with 90 votes: that Frye was a fool who tragically underestimated Red John. The second highest option earned 58 votes — that Frye was earnest and simply doing what she thought was right. Considering that these were the clear winners in the informal poll, it would appear fans have some rather polarizing thoughts regarding the character. According to the picture the poll data paints, viewers see Kristina as either an honest individual, or completely delusional.

u/MaggieMay-19 clarified their position, saying, "I think Kristina Frye was 70% foolish, 20% trying to enhance her own reputation as a psychic and 10% delusional about herself." Other commenters had their own thoughts, arguing in favor of one option or another.

The Mentalist showrunners brought Hope back for fun stuff

Although the character of Kristina Frye only appeared in four episodes of "The Mentalist," her presence acted as both a foil and a romantic interest for Patrick Jane. Jane believed her to be a complete fraud, which makes sense considering his own "psychic" proclivities, but they also had a certain amount of chemistry — which was not lost on the showrunners. In a 2010 interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Bruno Heller discussed bringing back the character for the final two episodes of Season 2. Heller said, "Jane tries to prove once and for all that she is a charlatan. At the same time, [he finds] himself strangely attracted to her."

Leslie Hope, who plays Frye, also spoke of her return for the final two episodes of Season 2, saying "All [the producers] told me was they had some fun stuff for me to do. I don't know what their version of 'fun' is, but I'm hoping it involves Simon and not wrestling a barracuda in a tank." Her next and final appearance was in the third episode of Season 3, titled "Blood on His Hands," where Jane attempts to get information from her, but she remains completely numb to the world. Despite the hazy understanding of her actual motivations, one thing is known for certain: Fans have lots of questions, and some very different opinions, about a character who claims to be psychic and provokes a serial killer.