In Rizzoli & Isles 7×07, Jane busted an FBI trainee at Quantico, Maura took down a murderer in Boston, and the BPD caught a spontaneous combustion case… almost. Read on for our recap of Rizzoli & Isles 7×07, “Dead Weight.”
In the latest installment of “We’re Totally Not Dating – What Makes You Think That?” Maura orders a custom sabre guard so Jane can pick her out of the crowd at fencing tournaments. Not only Jane will be able to recognize her amid all the “giant tampons in face masks,” but Maura will be on top of her game because, as she explains it, when the other ladies are distracted, “The advantage is mine.” (These are real lines from Rizzoli & Isles 7×07, I’m not just plagiarizing fanfiction in an homage to Melania Trump.) The duo then proceeds to play-fight in Jane’s kitchen, a development that I’m 99 percent certain would’ve led to an epic makeout session if Frankie hadn’t chosen that precise moment to show up at the door. Damn it, Frankie – don’t you know that constantly interrupting Rizzles moments was why Susie had to die?
Anyway, turns out Frankie’s there for a good reason, so I’ll let this one slide. He’s giving Jane a ride to Boston Logan Airport (which, let me tell you, non-Bostonians, is a pretty awesome favor unless you enjoy riding multiple subway lines and a shuttle or simply handing over your life savings to a cabbie). Apparently the FBI has invited Jane to teach a class of trainees, presumably about how to discharge their weapons in a solid third of their cases and still remain on active duty. Jane’s not exactly excited about the trip, and Frankie comments that she’s acting as if he’s taking her to jail. (Foreshadowing to next week’s episode, anyone?) “You have no idea how hard it was to convince her to accept the FBI’s invitation to lecture at Quantico,” Maura tells him, and her persuasive techniques are definitely something I want to find out more about. In great detail. Potentially with pictures.
Because Jane’s heading to Virginia, she’s obviously not going to be working this week’s case, so when the customary BPD call comes in, Maura answers her phone with “Isles” as usual, but it’s Frankie who chimes in with “Rizzoli.” Jane’s horrified, as am I. This is almost as bad as when Maura and Frankie kissed. Oh my God, why did I bring that up? Quick, roll the opening sequence while I find some brain bleach.
Spontaneous combustion – & Jane’s missing it
At the crime scene, multiple eyewitnesses are claiming a cyclist randomly exploded in the street. There’s no evidence of a conventional bomb (pay attention to that “conventional” part), and Maura determines that a lightning strike isn’t the culprit either. All of this leads Frankie to conclude they’re dealing with a case of spontaneous human combustion. Ever the voice of reason, Maura says it’s much more likely they’ve overlooked an external ignition source – but what (and where) is it? Of course, Frankie immediately calls his big sister, who’s now even more aggrieved that she’s out of state.
Jane: “Spontaneous combustion, and I’m missing it?”
Frankie: “Maura says it’s technically not a real thing, but this could be the one time she’s wrong, right?”
Jane: “…It’s the first time Maura’s wrong, and I’m missing it?!”
You know who I’m not missing? Agent Gabriel Dean, who made a handful of appearances in the first three seasons of Rizzoli & Isles before moving to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with his teenage daughter, Bella. Wait, no, that was just actor Billy Burke in another role. Agent Dean actually moved to Washington, D.C., where he apparently bet Agent Davies (the guy who invited Jane to Quantico) that he’d never get her out of Boston.
Five Little Rascals
Back in Beantown, the identity of the victim remains a mystery. He didn’t have ID on him, and fingerprints are out of the question because his fingers are all, well… ‘splodey. Maura can only determine that he was a white male in his 20s, but hopefully Kent’s DNA analysis can shed some light – or not. Typically, a DNA test will return one profile if investigators are lucky, but this one returned five. Frankie’s theory is that their bicyclist was five Little Rascals under a trench coat, and this is why Jane has seniority.
With Rizzoli & Isles 7×07 marking the midpoint of the show’s final season, the episode’s writers included a nice throwback to one of Maura’s more legendary season 1 declarations: “Wikipedia is frequently incorrect; very little of what they write is rigorously peer-reviewed.” Whether this was intentional or not remains to be seen, but I appreciated it regardless.
Frankie: “Don’t be so quick to assume there is a killer.”
Nina: “Again with the spontaneous human combustion?”
Frankie: “I’m just saying it’s possible!”
Maura: “Well, hopefully you’ll stop saying it.”
Frankie: “According to Wikipedia, the jury’s still out.”
Maura: “There is not enough time in the day to keep that site honest.”
Well played, Sam Lembeck and Jeremy Svenson. Well played.
Not spontaneous human combustion
Anyway, further investigation reveals the explosion originated below the victim – in the bike’s water bottle mount, to be specific. “So… not spontaneous human combustion?” Frankie confirms dejectedly. Hey, at least Jane’s not missing out on the coolest case ever.
While they may be closing in on the victim’s manner of death, his identity is still a mystery. The sketch composite created from witnesses’ descriptions is simply too imprecise, so Kent finagles a medical-grade 3-D scanner to help Maura construct a better facial image from what’s left of the victim’s skull. “And here’s Johnny!” Kent exclaims triumphantly when the reconstruction is complete, hastily adding “…Doe” after receiving a disparaging look from his boss. Their unconventional approach works, and when Nina comes back with a single result, Kent and Maura celebrate with an awkward fist-bump.
Meanwhile, Jane heard through the grapevine (OK, through her brother) that the victim’s arms are still attached to the bike’s handlebars, so she Skypes Maura to see for herself. “Show me!” she demands, and I’m gonna bet this conversation in Rizzoli & Isles 7×07 isn’t the first time she’s said that to Maura while video chatting. Turns out there’s an ulterior motive for her call, though. After reading her students’ files, she’s worried about how to connect with “a bunch of overachieving millennials.” (I suggest bringing a selfie stick.) Maura gives her a pep talk and maybe a striptease (you don’t know – you weren’t there), but their conversation is cut short when Kent wordlessly appears behind Maura like the creepy creeper he is. Jane closes her computer, no doubt wishing it were always that easy to vanquish Kent from her life.
The most vain gangster in Boston
Now that they can put a name to (what’s left of) victim Robert’s face, Frankie and Korsak visit Robert’s sweet bachelor pad, which comes complete with neon signs, arcade games and its very own meth lab. How did a high school dropout learn how to set up such a delicate operation? The man attached to one of the DNA profiles Kent found on Robert’s body may have the answer. He’s a street gang leader who, according to Maura’s visual assessment, underwent a liposuction procedure in the recent past.
So, why do we care that this guy’s the most vain gangster in Boston? It just so happens that glycerin, one of the components of the water bottle bomb that killed Robert, can be made by melting fat removed by liposuction. You need a lot of it, though – and that’s probably where the five DNA profiles come in. Turns out the surgeon responsible for the gangster’s cosmetic procedure is disposing of the fat she removes from patients by throwing it into a commercial dumpster to cut costs, which is sooooo not legal. She claims to have no idea what happens to it after that, but footage from the security camera overlooking the dumpster may be able to fill in the blanks…
Down in the lab, Maura and Kent have devised an experiment to prove their hypothesis about the “fat bomb” (or, in Mauraspeak, a “lipid accelerating exothermic combustible device”). “It’s no wonder Jane comes down here all the time,” Frankie exclaims as Kent detonates the fat bomb. “You guys have all the fun.” Well, that’s true, but it’s probably not the type of fun you’re thinking of, Frankie.
To catch a predator
Over at Quantico, Jane decides the traditional lecture format isn’t for her, and instead holds impromptu interrogations of her students in front of the class. She seems to be connecting with them just fine after all – as did Angie Harmon herself, who, according to Rizzoli & Isles 7×07 actress Cristal McLaughlin, “insisted on taking a group photo and asked us all for our IG names so she could tag us.”
There’s just one bad apple in the bunch – trainee Shawn, who drops his pen in hopes Jane will pick it up for him, thereby recalibrating the perceived power imbalance she caused when she embarrassed him in front of his peers. Oh, and also? He winks at her. Creeeeeepy.
Jane Skypes Maura to express her concern about Shawn’s power complex, genius complex and issues with dominant females, but Maura reassures her that the FBI’s thorough vetting procedures mean it’s highly unlikely someone with a dangerous pathology would be accepted into Quantico. (Um, does the show Quantico not exist in R&I Land, or are Jane and Maura just too busy making out on the couch to pay attention to the TV?)
Anyway, Jane – being Jane – has done some digging, and what she found troubles her. Apparently, an award-winning female journalist writing for the college newspaper at which Shawn was editor-in-chief committed suicide, and Jane thinks Shawn drove her to it. “You’re going to try and prove a pattern of misogynistic behavior,” Maura correctly concludes. If Jane fails, Shawn will soon join the ranks of psychopaths with badges, and the country already has enough of those. Whoops, this just got political.
Have a nice Rizziday
Back in Boston, Korsak has decided it’s time to give Nina and Frankie an official portmanteau. Really, Sergeant? They’ve been together for like three episodes and you’re debating Ninkie vs. Holizzoli, but never once has the name “Rizzles” fallen from your lips in seven years? (By the by, Rizziday is the winning combo, largely so Korsak can wish Nina a nice Rizziday as he ambles out of the BRIC.)
Meanwhile, Angela confesses to Maura that she’s been apartment-hunting, but not because Maura’s “been anything but delightful to live with.” Rather, she’s ready to take another step toward complete independence as she learns to take care of herself by herself – and, honestly, there are only so many times a mother can run into her daughter doing the walk of shame. Maura completely misses the subtlety of the whole thing and suggests Angela continue living in her guest quarters but start paying rent, and Angela agrees.
Amid all this apartment-hunting and portmanteau-ing, there’s a case that still needs solving in Rizzoli & Isles 7×07. With help from the Department of Transportation, Korsak, Frankie and Nina trace a parking ticket back to a chemist with a drug problem – Leah, a former employee of a lab testing company that shared a building with the cosmetic surgeon. Rizziday hypothesize that after Leah and Robert met in rehab, they decided to turn their drug habit into a drug business, and when Robert elected to strike out on his own, Leah killed him.
In which Jane & Maura kick ass & take names
Korsak, Frankie and a SWAT team head into Leah’s house while Maura sits in the car, but outside is where the real danger is. Leah returns to her house after a jog, flees with Maura in hot pursuit, then picks up a trowel to defend herself when Maura corners her. “Only 5 percent of pursued suspects escape,” Maura tells her, which is so Maura I can’t stand it. When Leah decides to take her chances, Maura grabs a stray pole and puts those fencing skills to good use, felling Leah by the time Frankie and Korsak get to the scene.
Meanwhile, as Jane leaves Quantico, she runs into Shawn, whom she accuses of murder. He didn’t actually kill the talented college journalist whose superior abilities drove him crazy, but the misogynistic way he defends himself is enough to get him kicked out of the program by Agent Davies, who’s listening through a microphone attached to Jane’s bag.
“See: You accuse someone of a crime they didn’t commit, they often confess to one they did. Should’ve paid more attention in class.”
Just a parry
As Rizzoli & Isles 7×07 wraps up, our OTP (one true portmanteau) is reunited once more, and Jane’s teasing Maura about “stabbing” Leah. “It was just a parry, but it was very effective,” Maura admits, then asks if she can open her gift because of course Jane got her a gift. “Who am I to deny the first person in 5,000 years to use fencing in combat?” Jane asks rhetorically, but Maura answers anyway, noting that it hasn’t been nearly that long.
Ultimately, Jane had a positive experience after all, and she left Quantico feeling hopeful about the trainees’ futures and happy to have taught the class. To show her gratitude to Maura for convincing her to accept the invitation, her gift is a shirt that says “FBI” on it, but there’s a twist. A major twist – namely that the back says “Female Boob Inspector.” Jane can deny it all she wants, busting out a patented “Really?” and claiming she was running late at the airport because the weirdly pushy Agent Davies insisted on going out for drinks, but there’s no way this was an accident. They bicker over who should keep the shirt, and as Rizzoli & Isles 7×07 fades to black, Jane protests that it has the word “boob” on it, Maura laughs her laugh of distilled sunshine, and all is right with the world.