This week on Rizzoli & Isles, Boston is in the grip of a heat wave. The episode opens with a nameless, faceless figure we assume to be the perp, a supposition that’s bolstered by the fact that he begins making stabby motions. …At ice cubes. Have we misjudged him? Nope; turns out he’s breaking up the ice to fill a bath with a dead body in it – the first of many cool-down techniques showcased in Rizzoli & Isles 5×11, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat.”
Cut to our Ambiguously Lez Duo, who are trying to beat the heat by… jogging? Maura explains that sweating helps lower body temperature, but Jane is skeptical and helps a group of neighborhood kids open a fire hydrant for a more direct result. Alluding to Jane’s recent miscarriage, Maura tells her she’ll still make a great mother someday. Speaking of mothers, a wild Mama Rizzoli appears with an even more questionable heat-busting remedy: Sweat-Tea. Sounds… delicious. When Jane complains that the beverage is too hot, Angela responds matter-of-factly, “It’s the peppers.” OK then.
Just then, Jane’s phone rings, which can mean only one thing: A trademark “Rizzoli!” “Isles!” answering sesh is about to occur. This time, Angela even mouths along with the “Isles!”
After the ever-jaunty opening credits, Jane complains to Maura about not getting any sleep the previous night because her apartment was too hot. She casually asks if Maura has central air conditioning because despite the fact that she only just moved out of Maura’s house last week, she’s already looking for an excuse to sleep over again. Maura says she does have it, but doesn’t use it because she sleeps in the nude. (Come on, Jane, you already knew that.) She goes on to explain that sleeping naked helps lower body temperature and stimulate cortisol, to which Jane responds, “I can regulate my own cortisol, thank you.” Oh, but isn’t it so much more fun when someone else does it for you?
Hypothermia in a heat wave?
At the crime scene, dog-lover Korsak has picked up a stray off the street: “Male, no apparent lacerations, signs of neglect. I’m guessing shih-tzu.” He proceeds to christen the dog Sipowicz.
In the victim’s apartment, Jane catches sight of an empty bottle of whiskey, while Maura finds the half-submerged body has a surprisingly low core temperature. Their working theory is that the victim – Richard – got drunk, sat in an ice bath to cool down, and ended up giving himself hypothermia.
“Freezing to death in the middle of a heat wave,” Jane says in disbelief. “Just when I thought we’d seen everything.”
Back at headquarters, Maura determines that Richard was in fact strangled – so much for hypothermia.
A million-dollar motive
The BPD’s resident computer whiz, Nina, takes a look at Richard’s accounts and finds he was a millionaire. Could money be the motive for his murder? Korsak’s too busy trying to get Sipowicz to obey his commands to figure that out, but he does realize something else important: The dog is used to being spoken to in Spanish, not English, a revelation that ultimately helps find his owner. (Who knew Bruce McGill could speak Spanish? According to a tweet by writers’ assistant Diana Mendez, he’s fluent.)
Meanwhile, Frankie, who’s surprisingly more on the ball than his older colleague in Rizzoli & Isles 5×11, meets with the victim’s broker. As well as handling Richard’s finances, she was also his girlfriend, so she’s able to fill in some details about his personal life. He allegedly found the money at a local park known for drug-related activity, but the story doesn’t pan out, leaving the team with more questions than answers.
An investigation worth its salt
Maura’s analysis of the money reveals that unlike 90 percent of bills, these ones don’t have cocaine residue on them, meaning they likely never went into circulation. They do, however, test positive for traces of arsenic. Maura helpfully notes that back in the day, arsenic was used to embalm bodies, which gives Jane an idea.
Jane heads to the victim’s family’s mausoleum, only to find it’s been broken into. What’s more, a duffel bag containing a few stray $100 bills is stashed in one of the coffins. Richard had the key to the mausoleum, so the person who broke in was most likely his killer.
Back at the lab, Maura determines that the water in which the victim was found is lacking in sodium, which could mean a variety of things.
Maura: “Desalinated water is used in agricultural irrigation, on ocean vessels, in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, hard disk drives…
Jane: “So our killer could be a computer engineer, a sailor, a farmer, a… what was the last one? Semi… truck…?
Jane: “I can’t – it’s too hot to think.”
Maura: “Maybe you should go home and rest.”
Jane: “I can’t, it’s too hot there too. Wait, your AC works, right? … Maybe I could stay at your place!”
Maura: “Oh, well, I mean, it works, but I don’t actually turn it on because I sleep -”
Jane: “I know, yes. Would you just please turn it on tonight?”
Maura: “I suppose.”
There you have it, folks. Jane Rizzoli wants Maura Isles to turn her on tonight. It on tonight. Whatever, we’re done here. Rizzoli & Isles 5×11 has drawn to a close.
A kidnapping plot exposed
Wait, there’s a crime to solve. Turns out Richard used to work in the mail room of a company called Chen Industries, which hit the headlines a few years previous when the CEO’s adult son, Eric, was kidnapped. The son was returned following a ransom payment – could that be the source of the mysterious $2 million that Richard invested?
Jane and Maura visit Eric, who’s been living at a mental hospital since the kidnapping. He tells them he was kidnapped by two people and held captive at a place where he often heard foghorns. Suddenly, the sodium-less water makes sense, as fishing boats often have desalination equipment on board to make ice. Nina combs through Richard’s phone records and zeroes in on a potential accomplice, Billy. Sure enough, Billy’s fingerprints match those left on the broken lock at the mausoleum. The investigators arrest him for kidnapping and murder, then Jane and Maura head back to the mental hospital to tell Eric the good news.
Things heat up
Remember the charmingly named Sweat-Tea that Angela was pushing at the beginning of the episode? After observing the behavior of both her mother-in-law (not technically – yet) and Sipowicz, who lapped up some of the liquid, Maura begins to wonder whether the tea may have more than just cooling properties. She runs some tests, and as she suspected, it contains a potent aphrodisiac. She break the news to Jane at the bar after work – just in time for Angela to arrive in a daring red dress and head off for a date with a handsome man, leaving the tea behind for Maura to take a cautious sip. Looks like Jane will be sleeping over again…
What did you think of Rizzoli & Isles 5×11?