Rizzoli & Isles 5×12 was the show’s summer finale (season 5 will conclude early next year), and that means only one thing – a cliffhanger. Read on for our recap of “Burden of Proof”:
The episode begins with Jane waltzing through Maura‘s front door to find the good doctor doing a crossword puzzle at the kitchen table. Without batting an eyelash, Maura asks if she wants coffee. That’s how married people are – they have their little routines, you know? And keys. To the same house. Because they live together. Because they’re married.
Just one small issue: Maura’s professor beau Jack slept over. Even worse, he saunters out of the bedroom in Maura’s kimono, grabs some coffee and disappears again. Jane averts her eyes, claiming men in kimonos make her uncomfortable. (Pretty sure it’s the idea of her girlfriend spending the night with a man that makes her uncomfortable, but tomato tomahto.)
Oh, also? There’s been a murder. The victim, Danielle, was attacked and suffocated at home. Before seeing the body, Jane takes a look at the poster of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night on the wall and guesses the victim is a twenty-something because all people have the same five posters in their first apartments. I happen to be a twenty-something with that poster in my living room, so I’m feeling weirdly judged by a fictional character at this juncture.
Moving swiftly on, the crime scene is immaculate and the victim’s body is posed. Korsak and Jane theorize that this isn’t the perpetrator’s first killing. Back at the lab, Maura finds a cork in the victim’s throat, a signature that matches an earlier murder on file – but the killer of that victim, Jasmine, is already in jail. As Frankie puts it, “This is either a coincidence or a copycat.”
Mystery men and mistaken identities
Jane interviews one of Danielle’s co-workers and determines that the girl had a secret boyfriend. In an effort to determine the mystery man’s identity, Jane sets Nina on the case – then promptly puts her foot in her mouth by making fun of Danielle’s blinged-out smartphone, only to find Nina has a similar one. She backpedals rapidly, claiming that in Nina’s case, she is “pro-bling. Bring on the bling.” Your pro-bling stance is about as convincing as your heterosexuality, Jane.
The phone reveals nothing, blinged-out or not, but Danielle’s hard drive is more fruitful – she’s been collecting newspaper articles on Jasmine’s murder, and they’re password-protected with her boyfriend’s nickname. Could it be that the wrong guy was put away?
Maura Isles, tween whisperer?
Over at the Dirty Robber, Angela is staging an intervention. Did she find out Maura’s dating Jack on the side and intends to defend her daughter’s honor? Well, maybe, but that’s not the topic of today’s conversation. Jane apparently mentioned that Jack’s daughter wants to shadow Maura as part of a career study project for school, and now Angela’s in a tizzy about making sure Maura connects with the seventh-grader by talking about things that are of interest to girls that age. While Maura’s confident she can do it, Jane and Angela… well, aren’t.
Angela: “What do you think about Pretty Little Liars?”
Maura: “I don’t think it’s good to lie whether you’re pretty or little.”
Angela: “Do you know who Lady Antebellum is?”
Maura: “Is that a person?”
Angela: “How about Lady Gaga?”
Maura: “I am more familiar with Lady & the Tramp.”
Angela: “OK, this is worse than I thought.”
Angela gives her some teen magazines and tells her to study them until she knows “the difference between J.Lo, CeeLo and LMFAO.” Can I just note that hearing those names come out of Lorraine Bracco’s mouth is hilarious?
Later, at a cupcake stand in the park, Maura tries out her ability to bond with tweens by singing part of Katy Perry’s Roar to a couple of girls ahead of her in line. It goes about as well as you’d expect, but against all odds, she and Jack’s daughter actually end up bonding over West African tribal masks. Later, Maura reveals to Jack that she got the girl to open up about feeling pressure to wear makeup at school, and Jack kisses her, saying he’d been trying to figure out what was wrong for a week.
Secrets come out
Back to the case. Danielle was apparently so interested in Jasmine’s murder that she went to the courthouse every day during the trial. Security cameras show her texting on a different phone than the blinged-out model the detectives already went through, and Nina’s able to use her supersonic zooming ability to get a clear image of the number on the screen. Turns out that Danielle’s secret boyfriend was the prosecutor on Jasmine’s case, Paul Wescourt, who also happens to be married.
Wescourt admits to the affair but claims he’s never been to Danielle’s apartment. In an effort to keep the relationship on the DL, he would meet Danielle at a hotel near her house and she’d walk home afterward. Frankie heads over to the hotel to check out Wescourt’s alibi and talks to an evasive employee who is unwilling to compromise the guests’ privacy. “What you call discretion, I call obstruction of a criminal investigation,” Frankie tells him, showing some of that trademark Rizzoli brusqueness. For his trouble, he gets a list of the license plates of cars in the hotel parking lot that night, plus a very obvious Dunkin Donuts product placement.
Back at the lab, Jane wonders aloud why people cheat and Maura cites research that links infidelity to a variant dopamine receptor thingummybob, also known as the thrill-seeking gene. Is that what you have, Maura? Is that why you’re carrying on with Jack even though you have Jane?
Delving further into that particular thorny issue will have to wait for another time, however, because Maura has news about the case: Wescourt’s hair was found in Danielle’s shower drain. What’s more, the CSRU team uncovers a print of his from the scene, apparently refuting his claim that he’d never been to the apartment. Jane and Korsak arrest Wescourt and the prosecutor’s day goes from bad to worse when he gets beaten up in jail, but he maintains his innocence and claims he’s been framed. After he’s bailed out, Jane takes pity on him and says he can leave BPD headquarters through the morgue loading dock to avoid the press. On the elevator ride down, he talks about how he truly loved Danielle but didn’t want to hurt his wife. Jane listens to him and softens.
The wrong man?
When Jane goes over the evidence against Wescourt, she realizes it’s “just too perfect.” Perhaps there’s something to his claims after all. She summons her plumber mojo and takes a closer look at the toilet handle where Wescourt’s fingerprint was found, eventually determining that it’s a different brand to the toilet itself, indicating the print was planted. When she and Korsak head to Wescourt’s house to tell him about their findings, he isn’t there and his wife is frantic after receiving a voicemail that suggests he’s going to kill himself.
Back at the precinct, Nina does something crazy with the background noise from Wescourt’s message that helps the investigators figure out his location – a nearby bridge – and Jane dashes to the door.
Maura: “You’re not going alone?”
Jane: “Korsak and Frankie are at the courthouse.”
Maura: “Then it’s you and me.”
Aww. It makes no logical sense for an M.E. to do that, but I’ll forgive it because it’s cute.
At the bridge, Jane tells Wescourt there’s proof he was set up, but the news doesn’t help. In his mind, his ruined marriage and dead girlfriend mean his life is still over. As Maura looks on, Jane climbs down onto the ledge and implores him to help her bring Danielle’s true killer to justice. He acquiesces, but as he turns to take Jane’s hand, his foot slips and he plunges into the water below. Jane leaps after him, and Rizzoli & Isles 5×12 ends with Maura leaning over the railing of the bridge, screaming Jane’s name as the words “To be continued” ominously appears against the background of the dark water.
What did you think of this episode? And, with executive producer Jan Nash estimating the show will return to TNT around February, how do you feel about waiting so long for the cliffhanger to be resolved?