by L.T. Milroy
What stands out in this week’s episode? Well, there’s Skyping, lots of Skyping. Susie is around a lot, and she’s being goofy and nerdy like a certain other inhabitant of the ME’s office. And Ma Rizzoli ratcheted-down the annoyance factor just a bit. At least I wasn’t actively wanting to strangle her every time she appeared. So that’s progress, I suppose. And Jane still looks decidedly non-pregnant. I read somewhere that Angie Harmon said she gained weight to play the role this year. I ain’t seein’ it.
A female boxer is in her house, going a few rounds with the bag. Someone comes in and shoots her in the back then stabs her. I presume that’s what’s going on. Not being a fan of gratuitous violence, I stopped watching when said violence started. Hey, show, I don’t tune in for this kind of crap, so knock it off.
Maura is laying out a pill regimen for Jane and warns her about a vitamin-deficient spleen. Jane’s got to stay healthy in her delicate condition. It’s nice that they remind us she’s preggers, because otherwise how would we remember? She’s still not showing and still doesn’t require maternity clothes. We’re up to episode six, and the kid hasn’t made an appearance. Maura is organizing the pills in advance, because she’s going out of town to a medical examiner’s convention (and because apparently Det. Rizzoli is too helpless to do it herself). Ma Rizzoli walks in, excited that with Jane’s BFF gone, she’ll get some “one-on-one time.”
Yeah, I don’t think Jane’s seen enough of Ma lately. Maura says Susie will be available to help Jane at work, or she can call, day or night. Are we being set up for a Maura-free episode? ‘Cause that would suck. Maura then says maybe she shouldn’t go, out of spite, really; since this year’s convention looks like it will be more fun than the one she hosted, and it’s ticking her off. Jane tells her to overlook that and go have fun. Then there’s twin phone calls, but this time it’s the case of the week for Jane and a cab for Maura.
Korsak eyeballs a young guy walking out of the precinct, right before the front desk calls him over to pick up a letter that was just dropped off. His phone rings about the case of the week. He finds Jane and Frankie already at the crime scene, where the victim is Judith Barnet. Her husband, Alan, is a dentist, and Jane and Korsak go to his office to break the news.
He gives an alibi of being at work since 6:30 that morning, then goes on about how his wife was always unhappy with her body until starting the Tough Broad training program. She lost a hundred pounds and was getting lots of attention from men. But that wasn’t a good thing, Alan says, because she didn’t know how to handle it, since she’d been heavy her whole life and didn’t learn how to ward off advances when she was a teenager, like most girls. When asked how he handled all the attention his wife was getting, Alan tears up and says he was proud to be the guy with the amazing wife. When Jane asks if she was expecting anyone, Alan points to their handyman, Louis Benitez.
Jane says Frankie called to say a knife was found at the crime scene, with the initials LB in the handle. Don’t you love a considerate perp? Back at the station, Frankie looks up Louis and finds out he has a sizeable rap sheet. In addition to the knife evidence, he purchased locks a month ago using the account the Barnets had set up for him at the hardware store. Meanwhile, Korsak says he talked to the uniforms who went to pick up Louis. They said he’s gone, and his brother said he packed and left in a hurry.
Susie is (wo)manning the lab in Maura’s absence and says Dr. Crosby gave her the findings from the crime scene (she also at one point says “anywho”, which is like nails on a blackboard for me and one of my biggest grammar pet peeves. It’s not acceptable slang. Ever. It’s just annoying.). Jane asks if the killer snuck up on Judith, but Susie refuses to conjecture. Looks like Maura has taught her well. Jane throws out a mixed metaphor, which Susie immediately pounces on and causes Jane to call her “very Maura.” Susie couldn’t be more pleased. Jane tries to wave frantically to Crosby, who’s not having it.
Korsak is at his desk, watching a video of a singer (It’s the kid Korsak was watching at the beginning). Ma Riz stops by and he tells her it’s Bobby, his late friend’s grandson. That’s who the letter was from. Korsak had been in a band with the grandfather, and Bobby has been trying to get Korsak to play with him. Ma says he should, but Korsak says that’s no longer who he is. Ma says we lead many different lives, which is true. I like this Ma Riz. Just keep her away from Jane, and she’s not nearly as irritating.
Ah, so this won’t be a Maura-free ep! Maura Skypes Jane from the conference to discuss about how Louis was at the Barnet home a lot and might have mistaken the niceness Mrs. Barnet bestowed upon him, but “Carla” comes into frame, completely toasted, and Maura declares “No more shots for Carla!”
There’s all kinds of noisy drunkenness taking place behind her. Seems she turned her room into a hospitality suite with an open bar, and as a result, everyone thinks she’s some crazy party grrl. It’s a nightmare, and they’ve wrecked her room. The drunks call her over for a drink. She says she’ll make something called a Dr. Pecker, and she’s over and out. Just as Jane gets dumped on Skype, her phone rings. It’s Frankie, who’s in an alley where Louis’s car has been spotted. Louis comes down the fire escape, and Frankie chases him down.
Jane and Korsak question Louis, who denies killing Judith. He was only running, because he has a record. He’s changed since getting out of prison. He’s going to AA meetings and doing honest work. He liked Judith and found her transformation inspiring. It helped him to stay clean. Then he gets emotional and starts crying and mumbling in Spanish. Jane and Korsak leave and debate whether he’s guilty or not. It looks like Jane’s instincts are telling her no. She says to give her five minutes.
Susie, who’s morphing into Maura even as we watch, has constructed a diorama, or as she says, a die-o-rama, get it?? of the crime scene. It’s highly detailed, right down to the protective gear.
Susie refers to herself as a “visual thinker.” She concludes from her shadowbox exercise that Louis is not the killer, since he’s the wrong size to have made the stab wounds. Susie dares to put forth a theory, which Jane calls a guess, and is triumphant she got highly-scientific MauraSusie to guess at something.
Jane goes back to interrogation and asks Louis if he saw anything unusual at the Barnets. He says only that Mickey, the trainer from Tough Broad. He said Mickey came by a lot and that they always “closed the door.”
Maura is Skyping with Jane and Korsak at the station. Maura says the knife wounds are too precise for an ex-con with anger issues. Jane says she and Korsak should visit Mickey, but Korsak says to take Frankie, because he has another lead. That sure doesn’t sound unusual.
After Korsak leaves, Jane asks Maura if she’s looked at the files Jane sent, and Maura says she’s uncomfortable, as it’s really Dr. Crosby’s case. He’s officially filling in during her absence, and she doesn’t want to step on any proverbial toes. The party is now more at Maura’s speed, as someone calls her over to play Autopsy Jeopardy. Maura relates that she toned it down after Carla threw her toilet seat out the window. Maura looks calm now, but I bet she wasn’t so much at the time. I suspect she’s pretty meticulous about her loo. Maura promises the gang one game, then her slide show. Jane tries to tell her not to subject them to that, but Maura has already closed her computer.
Korsak opens his car trunk (nice product placement, Toyota!) to reveal, among other things, an old guitar. Ma Riz wanders by and sees the guitar, but before she can jump to conclusions, Korsak says he’s giving it to Bobby. Ma says that’s nice, but that’s not what Bobby really wants. Korsak is still hesitant, but we all know where this is leading.
Jane and Frankie are at Tough Broad, questioning Mickey. He’s laying it on pretty heavy about how he liked Judith, but he likes all his customers and cares about all of them. And apparently the ladies like him back, a lot. Hey, it’s a curse. He blusters about how hard he’s worked to build his business over the years, and he denies an affair with Judith but also has a shaky alibi.
When it looks like Jane and Frankie aren’t buying his act, he pulls them aside, out of earshot of his customers. He’s gay, but it would kill his business for anyone to know. He can’t go busting the fantasies of all the ladies he trains, now can he? Mickey’s a pretty good actor. I was buying the whole piggish straight guy thing. He goes on to say that Judith got herself into great shape, but her husband didn’t seem to care. He went off to a cabin in the woods every weekend.
That brings the gang to the cabin, where they only find evidence of one person. So it looks like an affair can be ruled out. Upon further inspection, there’s a lot of weirdness going on involving shattered watermelons, many with bullet holes. Korsak points out that it doesn’t matter about the target practice, since Judith was shot. Frankie says it’s weird, and Jane agrees. She says Alan has a beautiful wife waiting at home, and he’s out there in “Woodlandia” playing with his dental tools and shooting at watermelons. She surmises there has to be more to it.
Jane is in the lab with Susie, while Maura is on Skype. Susie says that regarding those busted-up melons, along with bullet holes, there’s something else in them, but of course, she doesn’t know for sure yet and won’t speculate. That gets an eye roll from Jane, but Maura says it only goes to prove that she’s been trained well. But Jane does get her to admit the bullet holes were made with a .22. Jane gives a thumbs up to that, but Maura is upset it’s only taken her a day to corrupt Susie, and that gets a big thumbs-down.
She tells Susie she forgot to activate the cone of silence, and Maura says Susie can’t let Jane’s impatience influence her methodology. Maura refers to the melons as “victims,” while Susie calls the forensic inspection of them a fruitopsy, which leads Jane to remark that she needs a Susictionary. Wow, the cute is just flying at warp speed around the lab today.
Before we all stroke out from adorableness, we’re back with Korsak and Ma. Korsak tells a story about Bobby’s grandfather’s death and how he feels somewhat responsible. But Ma says this isn’t about him, it’s about Bobby. Now that Korsak has unburdened himself of that story, we can presumably get to him picking up the pick and getting onstage.
Susie, that busy little worker bee, has built another die-o-rama, this one with watermelons. There’s some stuff about dental plaster and gypsum, with the result being that Jane figures out the husband was trying to make a bullet that couldn’t be detected in an autopsy. She grabs the die-o-rama and runs out, leaving Susie worried about the fragility of her latest creation. Jane should treat Susie’s handiwork with more respect.
Jane is back with the gang (and Maura by Skype) and explains Alan
made bullets out of dental plaster, so they’d explode and leave no trace. Maura admires Susie’s newest shadowbox. Jane says Alan finally mixed up the perfect batch to do maximum damage. Korsak once again points out Judith was stabbed, but Maura is skeptical and says something has been bothering her about the stab wounds, in that the bone fragments found in her body were not caused by the knife.
Jane theorizes that Judith was shot and stabbed, because Alan had to shoot first to disable his wife, as otherwise she would kick his runty ass. After disconnecting with Maura, Jane and Korsak look at .22 caliber bullets. They realize Alan could have pulled the bullet out of the cartridge with the instrument he uses to pull teeth, in order to replace it with his dental plaster.
Frankie comes in and says no gun license for Alan and Judith, but Alan didn’t need to buy one. In the crime scene photo, Frankie has blown up a portion in which there’s a squirrel gun.
Jane drops in on Susie, who’s a little jumpy. This is because the ever-present Maura is on Skype again. Jane takes the opportunity to praise Susie’s scienceness. Turns out, the bone fragments were from a cadaver, which means they were a part of the bullet. Alan used the stab wounds to splinter the ribs and hide how the bone fragments got there. Jane says that Alan used Louis’s knife to set him up.
Maura wonders why a happily married man would kill his wife after she got herself into such great shape, and Jane thinks it’s purely a jealousy thing. He didn’t like her getting so much attention. Alan has been presented as pathetic enough for that to be true. Maura must disagree with Dr. Crosby and declare Judith’s death by gunshot wound.
And to prove how pathetic he is, Alan nearly confesses when Jane and Korsak question him about how much time he was spending alone, because she’d started a new life he wasn’t a part of. But he says he can leave whenever he wants to, because they have no evidence and won’t be getting any. After he goes, a frustrated Jane says he thinks he’s smarter than them, to which Korsak says maybe he is, which makes Jane wheel around and say, “Bullshit!”
There’s no question this guy is going down now, and not in a good way, because no one pisses off Jane Rizzoli like this and lives to talk about it with anyone but a cellmate.
Jane figures out Alan dosed the patient he’d been doing surgery on at the time of Judith’s death, with Ketamine, which dentists use, but for an elderly patient, it should be a small dose. His patient still had traces of it in her system forty-eight hours after surgery. Alan had knocked Mrs. Goldman out, to give himself the perfect window of opportunity.
The detectives reconstruct the case, and Jane figures out Alan must have dumped his bloody clothes and gun in a big courier box that was on his route to work. They coincidentally arrive at his house just as he’s getting the delivery and make the bust.
The case of the week solved, Jane and Maura are at the Dirty Robber admiring Susie’s die-o-rama.
They argue about whether their figures and various body parts are ‘to scale’ when Susie walks in. They both strike mannequin poses and speak robotically to Susie, who doesn’t seem to notice anything unusual. Korsak wanders by, looks at the die-o and says some objects appear bigger than they are. Way to try to start a catfight, Vince!
Maura tells Jane that next year, she should come to the convention with Maura. Why would Jane go to an ME’s convention? And would she go as Maura’s plus-one? And what about the baybee? So many questions. I guess the baybee slipped Maura’s mind, given that Jane still weighs about 95 pounds soaking wet at, what, three months pregnant? Four? Five? Who knows at this point. Ma and Frankie come by, so. the whole gang is at the Dirty Robber, and guess why? Of course, it’s because Korsak is making his return to the stage, as he hauls out his old guitar, and the episode closes with a number from Bobby and Vince.
So, will Susie continue her transition into becoming Maura? Does Susie have a shrine to Maura in her house? And will Jane start showing at any point before she delivers that tiny kid? Stay tuned…