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In S03E23-24 of The Mentalist, Patrick Jane killed a man named Timothy Carter, thinking he was the real Red john, in a shopping mall with a gun hidden in his pocket. Then he waited in the mall peacefully and surrendered to the police. He was not afraid of getting caught.

In S06E08, when he faced the real Red John, he had a gun in his hand yet he did not use it to kill him. One gunshot would have made sure that Red John was killed, once and for all.

So, is there any reason behind him not using his gun? Why take the risk?

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    So he got it wrong once, do you not think he might not want to take the chance he's wrong again?
    – Paulie_D
    Jun 4 at 17:02
  • He killed Cordero for Red John..that time I thought he was pretty much sure about this one.. and how could he know that it was truly red john this time while choking him?
    – Spectra
    Jun 4 at 18:12
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Simple answer. Revenge is best served cold.

Now that the Jane is sure of Red John, he wants to make him feel sorry for what he did and torture him the way Red John had tortured Jane's wife and other victims.

Out of universe answer. It would be a bad climax to kill a villain without melodrama.

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