In Rizzoli & Isles 5×05, Jane deals with her meddling mother, Maura wonders whether to allow a new man into her life – oh, and the team solves a murder. Read on for our recap of “The Best Laid Plans”:
Rizzoli & Isles 5×05 opens with Maura trying to get out of teaching a class so she can accompany Jane to a doctor’s appointment. She claims she’s driven by her “love and devotion to [Jane] above all else,” but Jane isn’t buying it. Turns out Maura’s scared to give grades because she doesn’t want to crush her students’ spirit. She knows firsthand how emotionally damaging it can be to get a disappointing grade because she’s still scarred from the A- biochemistry incident in 1996.
Just then, Maura gets a call from the governor. He requests that she facilitate a death certificate for a personal friend of his, Chelsea Rothsburgher, a woman with terminal cancer who inherited her husband’s fortune when he died several years before. Maura invites Jane along, but warns her not to make any “Downton Abbey” jokes. Unsurprisingly, Jane breaks their agreement before they leave the house.
At the dead woman’s mansion, Maura realizes the cause of death wasn’t natural. After conducting an autopsy, she finds air in the victim’s heart. Air embolism, anyone?
PS, fun fact: This episode was shot at the original Wayne Manor in the “Batman” franchise. Check out this picture Angie Harmon tweeted!
Why kill a dying woman?
Chelsea’s staff and two sons are all included in her will, but the investigators hypothesize that maybe someone needed their share of the cut so urgently that waiting for her to die naturally wasn’t an option. Through background checks, they zero in on two persons of interest: Chelsea’s chauffeur and one of her sons, a long-time addict with repeated stints at rehab in his past. However, it’s the other son – Larry, a self-made business-owner – who falls under suspicion after a necklace belonging to his mother shows up at an auction house, along with video footage of him bringing it there.
A closer look at Larry’s situation reveals that his company isn’t doing well and his professional reputation is on the line. He claims to have been home alone reading Proust when the murder occurred. As Jane puts it, “Your alibi is not only flimsy, it’s kinda pretentious.” Eventually, Larry spills the beans – he was involved in an orgy that just so happened to have been videotaped. Jane and Korsak gleefully assign video-watching duties to Frankie to make sure the story checks out.
Chelsea’s maid comes forward in Larry’s defense. She knows he didn’t do it, she says, because she did, as part of an assisted suicide pact she made with her boss. Maura tests Chelsea’s saline bag and finds that although there’s morphine present, it wasn’t injected until after the woman died. Apparently two people were trying to end her life on the same night. Jane theorizes that another member of staff wanted Chelsea to die more violently, making the motive personal.
Remember the chauffeur? Turns out his mother used to work at the Rothsburgher mansion back in the day, but left the year her son Brad was born. After she died, Brad was hired to work at the house. Yup, it’s an Arnold Schwarzenegger situation. Sure enough, the investigators find a syringe with Brad and Chelsea’s DNA on it. After Chelsea begged Brad’s forgiveness for not welcoming him into the family, he killed her.
Head vs. heart
Maura Isles is many things: intelligent, pedantic, loyal… and unlucky in love. So when she hits it off with a professor at the university where she’s teaching her class, her heart says yes but her head says no.
She expresses her fears to Jane, saying “It’s not going to work because it just can’t. Because every time I feel this way about someone, it ends badly.” Remember the serial killer? And the face-licker? And the guy who murdered his half-brother? And – …yeah, she’s not wrong.
But could Professor Jack Armstrong be different? When she tries to let him down easy, it doesn’t exactly go according to plan.
Maura: “For some reason, the men that I am attracted to all have serious neurological and biological disorders, and since I’m wildly attracted to you, I strongly suggest that you get a full physical and psychological checkup immediately, and don’t be afraid of a second opinion because a misdiagnosis would cost you valuable time.”
Jack: You’re wildly attracted to me?
Maura: I just told you that you might be severely ill and that’s all you heard?
Jack: Are you sure about this, Maura? Do you really want to live alone in fear instead of with somebody who knows what it’s like to be scared?
Jack: OK, then, so we’re both terrified. The only thing that scares me more than getting hurt is never falling in love again. It only needs to work out once, right?
Angela crosses a line
Caught up in the case, Jane asks her mother to reschedule her doctor’s appointment. Instead, Angela goes herself, returns with folic acid supplements and volunteers to be Jane’s midwife. Jane blows up and accuses her of being invasive.
Later, at the Division One Café, mother and daughter talk. Angela says Jane has “10-foot walls made of steel” because she grew up seeing her mother completely dependent on deadbeat husband Frank Sr., and as a result has a tough time depending on anybody herself.
Back at Maura’s house, Jane and Angela bond over pregnancy experiences and grapefruit rickeys (just grapefruit juice for Jane). When Maura returns from a successful date with Jack (“He didn’t try to kill me!” Maura announces, to which Angela responds, “That’s a good sign!”), the three of them celebrate.
What did you think of Rizzoli & Isles 5×05?