The second of the two back-to-back episodes of Rizzoli & Isles that aired earlier this week, the season 5 finale was a mix of Carrie Underwood and Ambrosia. Read on for our recap of Rizzoli & Isles 5×18, “Family Matters.”
Batman vs. Superman
Rizzoli & Isles 5×18 begins with a charming juxtaposition of two ways couples can spend their evenings. In the first scenario, a man and a woman role-play in a hotel room; she’s a damsel in distress cuffed to the hotel bed and he’s a superhero coming to save the day. In the second, Jane asks Maura if she wants to go see a movie. Perhaps this is the universe’s way of telling the latter pair that they need to spice things up a bit? Jane proceeds to suggest going hiking, visiting a local art museum and “strolling on the promenade like French people,” but Maura vetoes every option, electing instead to stay home and mope over her recent ex, Jack. Just cuddle her, Jane. That might cheer her up. Or, even better, how about investigating a murder?! That’s right – the superhero guy is apparently not as invincible as he was pretending to be.
At the crime scene, Maura determines that the decedent – whose name was Ronald, which, for the record, isn’t very superhero-y – expired from blunt force trauma to the head. But did he die by accident, or was he murdered?
Jane: Maybe Batman slipped when he tried to fly in and save his mistress.
Korsak: Batman didn’t fly.
Jane: Well, he leapt great distances in a bat-like and heroic manner.
Korsak: Yes, but that’s not flying. Not like Superman.
Who pegged Korsak as someone who’d be persnickety about superheroes and their powers? You learn something new every day.
Back at BPD headquarters, Frankie tells Nina and Korsak that Ronald’s wife, Linda, has been hospitalized and sedated, so they can’t interview her about what happened just yet. He also has some more news: The key to the handcuffs binding Linda to the bed was found between the mattress and the bed frame. Why there? “So it doesn’t get lost during the festivities,” Nina explains. Sounds like she might be able to teach Jane and Maura a thing or two about spicing up their alone time.
Down in the autopsy room, Jane pursues the superhero angle.
Jane: Find any kryptonite?
Susie: He clearly wasn’t dressed as Superman.
Maura: Don’t let her bait you.
Jane: Awww, you’re spoiling all my fun.
Maura: And, just for the record, no kryptonite.
Thank you for clearing that up, Dr. Isles.
“Our caped crusader has a nemesis”
As for the question of whether Ronald’s death was an accident or a homicide, Maura gets out her whiteboard and tries to drop some knowledge on Jane. “This is physics, isn’t it?” Jane groans before admitting she took physics in high school so she could get to know a “very cute, very smart boy” named Mark Roberts. Really, Jane? Was “Mark” really a “boy”? Anyway, the point of Maura’s physics lesson is that Ronald was murdered.
Jane: Our caped crusader has a nemesis. Or nemesi.
Maura: That isn’t the plural of “nemesis.”
Jane: It doesn’t matter – he’s not a real superhero.
So, what was the nemesis’ motive? The investigators flag Ronald’s habit of making large cash withdrawals, but wife Linda says that as a real estate developer, he often paid contractors in cash. She remembers something odd that could be a clue: Ronald received a mysterious note and some hang-up phone calls in the month leading up to his death.
Remember Tasha from Rizzoli & Isles 5×08 and 5×09, a.k.a. the homeless teenager who was adopted by a nurse? Jane and Maura meet up with her at the Dirty Robber to see how she’s doing. Turns out she’s been applying to college; Maura wants to make a call to Boston-Cambridge University on her behalf, but Tasha prefers to get in on her own merit. Maura finds this hard to accept, so Jane tries to redirect her attention toward potential fun outings like the Jewish Music Festival and visiting her tortoise, Bass, at the zoo (so that’s why we haven’t seen him in a while).
The healing power of crime-solving
Back to the case. Nina uncovers evidence that Ronald would head to a particular region of Connecticut after making those large cash withdrawals, and Jane recognizes the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – namely, visit the casino in the area to do some digging and provide a distraction for Maura by taking her on a road trip and going on a side excursion to a sweat lodge the good doctor has been dying to visit. I’m pretty sure I’ve read – I mean, heard of – Rizzles road trip fan fiction, so let’s see how this pans out…
Well, Jane brought a mix tape, so this seems promising. She persuades Maura to take a break from trying to figure out the murder weapon, and they enjoy a singalong to Ambrosia’s “Biggest Part of Me.” What an awesome couples’ activity. They’re finally learning!
…Or not, because when it comes time to check into the spa the next day, Maura discovers she’s the only one who’ll be benefiting from the rest and relaxation – Jane’s heading off to indulge in “the healing power of crime-solving.” Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Maura thinks she’s just afraid of the emotions a day of downtime might bring up, what with losing Det. Frost and her baby, but she insists she’s handling things in a way that works for her and is “totally fine.” OK, Ross Geller.
At the local sheriff’s office, one of the staff recognizes a picture of Ronald. Turns out he registered for a gun license using his middle name. Jane heads to the address on the gun license and meets none other than Ronald’s (other) wife, Cynthia. “At least we figured out his superpower,” she tells Korsak over the phone. “Bigamy.” Hellooo, new suspect. (And that explains where – or should I say who – the money was going to, as well.)
Hot & sweaty
In the car ride back to Boston, Maura’s describing… something… to Jane. “First it was just hot, then it was hot and sweaty, then I started to smell something like a flower or the universe, and then it was just like, boom!” Wait, what rating is Rizzoli & Isles 5×18, again? What are we talking about? The sweat lodge? OK, cool. Maura apparently had a bunch of revelations during her luxurious spa experience, including one about how the victim may have died…
Meanwhile, the results of Korsak’s practice lieutenant exam are in and he got a great score – but even the cleaning lady, Judith, notices he doesn’t seem happy. At the Robber, he tells Angela he’s not sure if he wants to finish his career behind a desk. When he brings up his life coach, Kiki, Angela urges him to ask her out, three failed marriages be damned. Inspired, he invites Kiki to drop by the bar. Not to get ahead of ourselves here, but the fourth time could be the charm.
Back at headquarters, Maura theorizes that a bat carved into the same shape as the footboard of the hotel bed may have created the wound pattern on the victim’s head. Jane “My swing is better than my brother’s” Rizzoli volunteers to test the hypothesis, but she can’t quite generate the required force. Cynthia may have been able to, though: Nina reveals she got into college on a baseball scholarship. Frankie heads to Connecticut to follow up and finds the burner phone that made the hang-up calls Ronald’s other wife mentioned earlier. Still, some elements of the crime don’t fit with Wife No. 2 being the sole perpetrator, and Jane surmises that Linda and Cynthia found out about each other, joined forces and committed the murder together. How very “Two Black Cadillacs” of them.
“Everything is going to be OK”
Remember how Jane went all “I’m fine! Who else is fine? WHO WANTS FAJITAS?” on Maura at the sweat lodge? Cut to her emo-ly sitting on a park bench listening to a busking saxophonist as her eyes fill with tears. Just then, she catches sight of a man holding a Guardian Chogokin action figure and pursues him until he walks into BPD headquarters and disappears behind the elevator doors. Upstairs in the squad room, Det. Frost’s action figure is standing on his desk. The room is deserted except for the cleaning lady, who says she tries to clean Frost’s desk when nobody’s around and reassures Jane that everything is going to be OK. Jane reexamines the evidence from the case, gazes thoughtfully at the action figure, and gets an idea. Turns out all it takes for Wife 2.0 to confess is pulling up footage of Wife No. 1 incriminating her. Luckily, Cynthia made a recording of herself and Linda plotting the crime as insurance.
At the Robber, Jane, Maura, Frankie, Korsak and Angela present Tasha with a scholarship that will fund her studies at BCU. The best part? It’s called the Barry Frost Memorial Scholarship.
Jane: Obviously Barry’s scholarship was sweat lodge revelation No. 2?
Maura: Well, I only had it because you wouldn’t let me call the admissions office and help her.
Jane: Thank you. And what did we learn about Jack?
Maura: He was awesome.
Jane: Well, we knew that.
Maura: And if an awesome guy like that found his way to me, then…
Jane: Another awesome guy will find his way to you.
Or girl, Jane. Or girl.
Jane then admits she had a revelation of her own:
“I was so focused on work and family and you, and you were right, I was afraid of what would happen if I couldn’t keep my feelings in that little box, but I don’t have to be afraid anymore. I got a message: Everything’s going to be OK. So I know no matter what happens, I can handle it.”
Maura says she experienced the same revelation, Jane refuses to believe her and Rizzoli & Isles 5×18 ends with the two titular characters bickering like the married couple they are. Roll on season 6.