'The Mentalist' Star on Upcoming "Big Change," Finale Surprises, Possible Eighth Season

"Everything ties up into a nice bow, but it's really loose," Rockmond Dunbar tells THR about the show keeping the door open to return
Sonja Flemming/CBS
'The Mentalist'

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Wednesday's "Green Light" episode of The Mentalist.]

Things are about to change in a big way for everyone on The Mentalist as the veteran CBS series nears it season-seven finale. 

Beginning with Wednesday's episode "Green Light," viewers will see Abbott (Rockmond Dunbar) dealing with repercussions of having killed someone while working in Rio Bravo. The storyline, which will unfold through the season's final episode — and series finale — next month, affects everyone close to the FBI special agent, including Jane, Lisbon and Abbott's wife, Lena.

Dunbar, who is also known for roles on Sons of Anarchy and Prison Break, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how the surprising development in Abbott's relationship with Jane, what fans can expect from the finale and whether the show might actually return for an eighth season. 

Read more 'The Mentalist' Stars, Creator on Season 7's New Focus, Jane and Lisbon's Future

Will the Rio Bravo revelation change how fans view Abbott?

Absolutely. This is going to change the relationship between Jane, Lisbon, Wylie and Cho. It changes the relationship between us all, but most importantly, it really brings the relationship a little bit closer between Abott and Jane, which I think is really nice, considering the arc that we've taken from the very beginning. 

How will Jane and Abbott's relationship continue to evolve through the end of the season?

It will continue to evolve and build upon the choices and decisions that have been made in the past. It unfolds beautifully — I really don't want to give it up too much because it is a little bit of a surprise. 

Will Abbott and Lena's relationship be affected by this?

Their relationship is definitely going to be affected by this situation. Abbott will have to come clean and tell everything, and we're not really sure which Lena is going to face or what is she going to say at that end of the day because this is something that she has been working for for quite some time. Some decisions still have to be made even after it's cleaned up a little bit. I don't think it will ever be cleaned up all the way.

So it's safe to say that the next few episodes will bring a big change for Abbott?

Absolutely. I have to say there's a big change for Abbott, there's a big change for Jane, there's a big change for Lisbon, there's a big change for Wylie, there's a big change for Rigsby, there's a big change for Cho — everything changes. I'm really happy with the way that [the series] ended. I'm really happy with the direction that [executive producer] Chris [Long] and [creator] Bruno [Heller] chose to go. I think the fans are going to love it. 

What can fans expect from the finale?

Everything sort of ties up into a nice bow, but it's really loose. It's one of those things where like, "Wait a minute, The Mentalist could come back." Of course, I doubt that it will, but there's definitely that glimmer of hope for some of the fans and for myself as well. There are always some twists and turns to keep people interested and wanting to come back and motivated to see the next episode, so always anticipate that. But the consistency of the storylines are there, and I think the fans are going to enjoy it.

Bruno Heller had previously hinted that the show could potentially come back for another season. Do you think that's a possibility, and would you be up for that?

I loved working with everyone on the show. It was one of my favorite jobs that I've ever had, mainly because of the people that I worked with. I'm definitely interested [in returning]. 

The Mentalist airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Email: Ryan.Gajewski@pgmedia.org
Twitter: @_RyanGajewski

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