The saddest part of 2015 for me was that my beloved The Mentalist aired its finale after seven incredible seasons. OK, maybe that wasn't the saddest part of the whole year, but it was definitely in my top 10. At the very least, I can take comfort in the fact that I finally got the ending I was hoping for. (Don't worry; I won't spoil it.) Luckily, the show has plenty of episodes for me to obsessively re-watch without ever getting bored. And, when re-watching, I always tend to stumble upon celebrity guest stars that I forgot were on The Mentalist .
If you're like me, you love to go back and watch fan favorites in their early projects, and it's always fun to catch a familiar face in a before-they-were-famous situation. Since The Mentalist has so many episode to comb through, there are plenty of favorite guest stars to choose from — especially when it comes to the multiple season long arcs that really showcased a lot of future famous faces. This is definitely one of my all time favorite shows in recent years, and the guest stars only made it that much better, thanks to folks like...
1. Morena Baccarin
Now a glorified star in her own right thanks to the likes of Gotham and Deadpool, Baccarin really made a name for herself playing Erica Flynn on multiple episodes of The Mentalist between 2011 and 2014. Baccarin's character was a therapist, who always stirred up a little trouble when she entered an episode.
2. Jillian Bach
Bach appeared on six episodes of The Mentalist as Sarah Harrigan. The character may have caused the most controversy among fans of the show when it was revealed that Sarah was pregnant with Wayne Rigsby's child. And if you were a fan of late '90s ABC sitcoms, then you know that Bach is best known for her role as Irene on Two Guys and a Girl.
3. Rebecca Wisocky
Wisocky, who played Brenda Shettrick on The Mentalist, now stars in her own series, Lifetime channel's Devious Maids. While she had a nine episode run between 2010 and 2013, her character was eventually undone by her need for power.
4. Samaire Armstrong
Before starring in Resurrection, she played Summer Edgecomb for eight episodes of The Mentalist. Armstrong's character was a prostitute turned CI, who had a particularly close relationship with Agent Cho.
5. Alicia Witt
Witt's character had an integral part on the show, and played a big role in the overall story-line. Rosalind Harker, a blind woman, had a relationship with the allusive Red John led Patrick Jane to a big break in his case. Nowadays, however, Witt is either best known for her long career spanning back to child actress beginnings or being a musical prodigy.
6. Eric Winter
Resident hottie and Witches of East End actor Eric Winter never fails to add to any and every show he guest stars on. Winter played Van Pelt's doting and sweet boyfriend, Craig O'Laughlin. That is, until she found out their whole relationship was a sham, and he was actually working for Red John.
7. Malcolm McDowell
It wouldn't be a crime show without at least one well placed cameo from this guy. McDowell starred in a series of episodes as cult leader Bret Stiles. His character was eccentric, but always added a bit of mystery and intrigue to each episode in which he appeared.
8. Aunjanue Ellis
If I could go back to the beginning of history and come back as any person, it would be Aunjanue Ellis. She now stars on ABC's Quanitco, but, before that, she played Madeleine Hightower for three years on The Mentalist. Her character was tough as nails, but never failed to give a little peak into her softer side, occasionally.
9. Josie Loren
I truly believe it's only a matter of time before Loren's career takes off to new heights. The former Make It Or Break It star is one of my favorite actresses, and I loved her as Michelle Vega on this show. Her character is an ambitious graduate fresh out of the academy, and she is eager to learn everything she can.
10. Michael Rady
I will always see him as Kostas from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, even though it has been more than a decade and he's more recently showed up as a bitter ex-fiance on Jane The Virgin. I can't let Kostas go. On The Mentalist, he played the replacement for Madeleine Hightower, and got a bad rap for throwing Patrick Jane out of the precinct.
11. David Norona
Again, I just love watching him act on any and every show — especially old episode of One Tree Hill. For The Mentalist, he played D.D.A. Osvaldo Ardiles on a number of episodes. His character was the the D.A. who prosecuted many of the CBI's cases.
12. Leslie Hope
Long before her stints on NCIS and Suits, she had a four-episode stint on The Mentalist as Kristina Frye. Hope's character was a real psychic who always threw Jane a little off balance.
13. Christopher Cousins
Does it get any better than Christopher Cousins from Glee, The Vampire Diaries, Revolution (you name it, he was probably in it)? Yeah, I don't think it does. Cousins' character Jason Lennon survived a lot throughout his tenure on the show, but, sadly, Jason was killed by one of Red John's associates.
14. Missi Pyle
Missi Pyle (from Gone Girl, Charlie in The Chocolate Factory, for starters) is the queen of all guest stars, and as far as I'm concerned, and she can reign on her throne forever. She may have only appeared for two episodes, but her character Karen Cross was a hilarious and deceiving broadcast journalist.
15. Dylan Baker
Obviously, if Missi Pyle is the queen, then Baker (aka creepy Colin Sweeney from The Good Wife) is totally the king. If I see he is guest starring on a show, I automatically have to tune in. He played DEA agent Bill Peterson during two episodes of the seventh season.
16. Steven Culp
Yes, this Desperate Housewives alum did an episode on The Mentalist, and it was amazing. He played Morgan Tolliver in the pilot episode of the show, a father who is grieving the loss of his daughter while simultaneously being accused of killing her.
I'm sure this list has only reminded you of the many reasons you loved this show, and you will probably spend the rest of your weekend having a marathon of The Mentalist. Don't worry, friends, I'm right there with you.
Image: Warner Bros. Television