Recap: Rizzoli and Isles Ep. 5.12 Burden of Proof

R&I

by L.T. Milroy

OMG, Jane’s in danger again! She might die!! Ferreals!!

Some think these cliffhangers are stupid. That of course Jane lives, and there’s no suspense whatsoever. But what if the unthinkable happens? The next episode would open with Jane’s body being fished out of the Charles, which would sned Maura into an emotional tailspin. Next season, the show moves to Lifetime and is renamed The Story of Maura: One Woman’s Pain. Maura can’t adjust to losing her platonic life partner and has taken to wandering around the morgue night and day, muttering to herself. But she’s not just talking to herself, because the show also stars Ghost Jane! Even death can’t separate our gals, as Ghost Jane haunts autopsy and keeps constant watch over her still-living platonic life partner. She even offers occasional advice, like Nate Sr. on Six Feet Under.

It could work.

On to the fun of the last episode of the summer season!

A woman comes home. Unbeknownst to her, someone is waiting there. The intruder comes up from behind and puts a plastic bag over her head. After a furious battle in which they stumble around and break a few things, the intruder suffocates her.

It’s morning at Maura’s house, and she’s doing a crossword puzzle as Jane walks in. Jane tells Maura about the dead girl and that she tried to call Maura on the way over, but apparently, Maura’s phone is off. Jane wonders why that could be then correctly guesses that Jack must be there. That’s when Jack appears, wearing Maura’s robe. Jane is mortified.

R&I finale jane mortified 1

Jack knows this and plays it up.

R&I finale jane mortified 2

It appears Jack’s pants are lost. Come on, buddy, just admit you like trying on Maura’s boudoir gear. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m sure a sizable portion of the viewers have imagined themselves doing the same. Jack asks if he can bring Ally by on Thursday before resuming the search for his pants. Jane says men in kimonos make her uncomfortable, which sparks lots of nerdiness from Maura concerning kimonos.

At the crime scene, Maura tells Jane that Ally is Jack’s daughter, and she wants to “shadow” Maura at work for a day for extra credit for her seventh-grade class. Jane is skeptical of that scenario, but Maura says Jane shouldn’t doubt her ability to make forensics fun. Does our dear Maura not realize what an easy target she makes of herself? Jane snarks, “Did you hear that sentence that just came out of your face?” Delightfully verbose, clueless Maura.

The detectives check out the apartment of the victim, Danielle Mitchell. Jane makes a face at a print of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and says the vic must be in her twenties, because everybody’s first apartment has one.

R&I finale-starry, starry night

She sees a pair of black and white platforms and bets Maura twenty bucks that in the bedroom there’s a picture of Marilyn Monroe on the heating grate with her dress blowing up. Jane comes off as a bit hostile to young people here. There are some deep, personal, psychological arguments that could be made about the implications of Jane being surly about youth after just suffering a midlife miscarriage, but it’s likely the writers didn’t intend anything that profound. Knowing this show, it’s probably just some weird, random crap.

Jane wins the bet, as there is a Marilyn Monroe poster in the bedroom.

R&I finale marilyn

But there’s also a corpse on the bed. Frankie says there’s no evidence of forced entry or of a robbery, and Jane says the crime scene is almost too tidy. They deduce what we already know from the opening scene. That the killer cleaned up afterward and placed the body back on the bed. Jane thinks it looks methodical, like the killer has done it before.

At autopsy, Maura determines asphyxiation as the official cause of death. Jane has been on the computer, trying to find other cases with a similar MO. She needs some kind of special detail that will link it to other crimes. Maura says to look up the case of Jasmine Hess. Sure enough, Jane looks through the papers she has with her and finds the name but says that hers was unique. It’s at this point Maura finds pulls out a cork from Danielle’s throat, which confirms it’s the same MO. The only problem is, Jasmine’s killer is in prison.

Frankie has made a board of all the details of the two cases, and it’s concluded the murder of Danielle is a coincidence or a copycat. She was a waitress, and she’d booked a trip to Hawaii next month, but there seems to be no connection to Jasmine. Korsak isn’t so sure the two women had nothing in common.

From trial records of Jasmine’s killing, Frankie was able to find out the killer had dated the victim, who broke up with him.  They said the cork was to show he was trying to shut her up. As if he was saying “Put a cork in it.”  Korsak wonders if Danielle’s boyfriend got his inspiration from that killing, but Frankie says nobody in her building ever saw her with anyone. Korsak is adamant there’s a connection, they just have to talk to friends and family.

Jane talks to a waitress who worked with Danielle. She liked “Danni,” and they used to hang out together a lot. That is, before the package, which is in reference to Danni’s boyfriend, who she was on the phone with all the time. She said Danni used to go out in the alley when she called him, like there was some secret. She was very private about the relationship, just saying her boyfriend was “the total package.” She was convinced the BF was into something illegal or was married.

Nina looks through Danielle’s cell phone, which is a gaudy pink with rhinestones. Jane says it looks like Hello Kitty threw up on My Little Pony. Hee. But then Jane is forced to hem-and-haw awkwardly when Nina takes out her phone, and it’s identical.

R&I finale glitter phones

I figured Nina for something more tasteful, but one can never tell. Nina offers to rhinestone-up Jane’s phone. Hee, again! Nina’s spunkiness continues.

She can’t find any evidence of a boyfriend on Danielle’s phone. No calls or photos. There are a few files on the hard drive she hasn’t checked yet, because she hasn’t been able to come up with the password. Jane says to try package, and of course, it works. There’s a file full of newspaper clippings about the Plymouth County murder trial of the killer of Jasmine.

R&I finale newspaper clippings

Jane thinks it’s weird her boyfriend would get her wrapped up in the trial then kill her the same way. Frankie thinks that would explain why she wanted to keep the relationship secret. Jane thinks it’s a weird plan, but Frankie says murderers are weird. Nina wonders if it’s possible the wrong person was convicted, and Danni was involved with the real killer.

Korsak is in the Dirty Robber. He appears to be looking it over the place as he carries a notebook in his hand. When Maura comes in, Korsak asks her what she thinks of the place. Maura pauses before saying, “Too many sprouts?” She’s interrupted by Ma Rizzoli, who whisks her away. We never find out why Korsak asked that somewhat odd question. Maybe he’s thinking beyond the police force? I guess we’ll have to wait until next year for the answer.

Ma brings Maura to a booth where Jane waits, looking ticked off. She’s there under protest. She admits she told Ma that Maura will be meeting Jack’s daughter, then mouths I’m sorry. Then Ma, who seems to think she’s hip and with-it and knows what the kids today like, says Maura will have to impress Ally by talking about things that interest young girls.

Maura says she can do that, so Ma asks her about Pretty Little Liars. Maura answers that it’s bad to lie, whether you’re pretty or little. Hmm, maybe Ma’s hipper than I thought, at least compared to Maura. Then Ma asks if she knows who Lady Gaga is, and Maura says she’s more familiar with Lady and the Tramp. Yikes, it’s more critical than we thought! Jane looks genuinely worried as Ma breaks out some teen magazines.

Nina has been going through Danielle’s internet habits but hasn’t found anything significant. Jane says the only real lead is the mystery BF. Frankie wonders what was first. Danielle’s interest in the murder case or the BF. If she was so interested in the case, maybe she went to the trial.

They look at courthouse security camera footage, and it shows she was there every day during the trial. She always came out during breaks to text on her phone then go back in. But she’s using just a plain phone, not the one all rhinestoned out. It seems she had a separate phone just for communicating with the mystery BF. Nina zeroes in on the number dialed. It’s Paul Westcott, the Plymouth County prosecutor.

Jane tells Korsak that Westcott was the prosecutor in Jasmine’s murder case. He won the case, and the conviction made him a rising star on the local political scene. Korsak wonders if he’s a suspect, and Jane says he can’t be ruled out. Korsak warns everyone they’ll have to tread lightly. Westcott is not only married, he has a good reputation and is well-liked, so they’ll have to be careful about how they handle him. Korsak is particularly concerned about Jane and her face control around Westcott. That, of course, causes Jane to lose all facial control as she wonder what Korsak could possibly be talking about.

R&I finale-Jane losing face

Our Jane. As blissfully clueless as Maura, in her own way. Korsak is obviously concerned.

R&I finale-Korsak exasperated

At the park, Maura pages through a teen mag. Some tweens are near her, playing with their cell phones. Maura tries to relate to the kids with predictably bad results, especially as she tries to sing Roar, complete with finger-snapping.

 R&I finale-Maura finger-snapping

Then she says she’s doing “field research” and asks the girls how she could have made a better impression on them. One mutters “Too close,” and the other “Too needy,” before they walk away with eyes rolling. Maura did come off a bit needy, but wow, those girls are bratty. Maura feebly thanks them.

Jane and Korsak bring Westcott to the station and break the news about Danielle. He’s distraught and says there must be some kind of mistake.

R&I finale-distraught lawyer

Then he admits they were having an affair. He says they had sex two nights ago, and he’ll submit a DNA sample. They went to a hotel, like they always do. They never went to her apartment, because her neighbors had security cameras. She also had a burner phone for them to set up their trysts. Westcott knows how bad this looks and asks if his wife can be left out of it. Korsak says they can keep it quiet for now. After they leave the room, Korsak says he doesn’t seem like a killer. Jane says she’ll check on his alibi regarding the hotel.

Frankie has trouble getting a guest list from the hotel’s desk clerk. The place tries to be discreet with those who don’t want to be on record. Even the security cameras don’t record anything. Frankie shows the clerk a picture of Westcott and asks if he stayed two nights ago. At first the clerk says no, but once Frankie threatens to charge him with obstruction of a criminal investigation, the clerk gives him a log of cars parked there overnight. (Incidentally, did you manage to notice in this scene what kind of coffee Frankie drinks? It’s subtle, but see if you can catch it.)

At autopsy, Jane mentions to Maura that Westcott’s car was at the hotel the night of the murder, but that doesn’t mean he was. Jane stupidly asks what makes people cheat, which of course sends Maura into a dialogue about cheating and human nature that would probably try Freud’s patience.

The Chief ME is also doing some actual medical work, and she says not only was Westcott’s semen present, but some of his hair was pulled from the shower drain in the bathroom, which contradicts his claim that he’d never been in Danielle’s apartment. Jane says the inconsistency brings everything he’s said so far into question. Korsak walks in and says CSRU went back to the crime scene and found a fingerprint in the bathroom left by Westcott. Jane wonders why he lied right to her face.

Jane and Korsak are at Westcott’s house, and it’s not a friendly visit. Jane informs him his DNA was found at the crime scene. His wife appears and wants to know what’s going on. The time for discretion is over, as Jane tells lets her know her husband is under arrest.

R&I finale lawyer under arrest

He tells his wife to contact his lawyer. As she says only guilty people do that, he tells her there’s been a mistake. She doesn’t appear to believe him.

Ally meets Maura at work and is immediately impressed with her office décor. She starts talking about how much she likes tribal art, and it’s quickly apparent that she’s a super-nerdy mini-Maura. One wonders why Jack didn’t mention this pertinent little fact to Maura in advance. Does he not know what his daughter is like? Has he not met her? It certainly puts Maura at ease, and she’s visibly relieved.

R&I finale-maura pleased

Jane and Korsak visit Westcott in lock-up, where they have a pissing contest with the guard over whose suspect he is. Westcott, being a cushy high-paid professional, is having a predictably tough time behind bars. He’s already been a target for bullying and has been beaten up. It’s like watching Beecher in the first season of Oz. Jane is pissed. She wants to know why he isn’t in protective custody, but the same surly guard insists that since Westcott killed his girlfriend, he doesn’t deserve protective custody.

Westcott says his wife won’t bail him, his staff has jumped ship, and his only friends are Korsak and Jane, who put him in there. This outrages Jane, who tells him he put himself in there when he lied to them.  He  insists he’s innocent and has been set up. Jane is doubtful and asks who could have done it. He says he doesn’t know, but he loved her, and the killer is still out there. A guard interrupts to say Westcott’s bail has been posted.

There’s a crush of press waiting outside the jail (they’re calling him the “cutthroat lawyer”) so Jane says she’ll take him out the back. In the elevator, Jane asks about Danni, like what her favorite color is, what her favorite and least favorite food are, etc. Westcott insists it wasn’t a fling and reiterates that he loved her. Jane asks why he didn’t just leave his wife, but he says he wanted to do the right thing by everyone. He just didn’t know how to end things.

At the station, Jane reminds Korsak that even if Westcott is guilty, there’s still no motive. Korsak guesses that maybe Danielle wanted to go public, and he killed her to keep her quiet, but Jane points out that Danni was very discreet with their relationship, not even telling her friends his name and encrypting the clipping files.

The trip she’d been planning to Hawaii also coincided with a conference he was attending there. Jane thinks it’s odd he’d want to kill a woman he was planning a romantic getaway with and that he’d kill her in the exact manner of the case he was prosecuting. Korsak says maybe he was a sociopath who wanted to get caught. There’s a lot of evidence against Westcott, but Jane thinks it’s all too perfect.

The detectives discuss the case, and Jane has basically done a one-eighty.  Where she was so hostile to him at first, now she thinks he’s innocent. The latest evidence was the fingerprint, which was lifted off the toilet handle. Jane asks them to blow up the picture. It looks like she notices something. She goes back to Danni’s apartment to check it out.

Jack stops by Maura’s office. Maura is very pleased with herself after what she assumes was a successful day with Ally, but it seems she effed up a bit. Jack says she gave Ally lipstick, which her mother has forbidden. Maura says it was only lip gloss, and she didn’t mean any harm. She did it so it would open up a discussion between her and Jack, so Jack kisses her. Well, he got over that tantrum quick. I would’ve been more upset, considering Maura let Ally do something the kid had already let her know her mother didn’t allow. Kind of thick of the brilliant doctor.

Jane is in Danielle’s bathroom, removing the toilet handle.

r&i finale-plumber's daughter

I was surprised she seemed rather proficient at it, until Korsak brings up her paternal heritage. Remember the Rizzoli plumbing business? I don’t think it’s been mentioned since S1, so it requires some mental excavation. But thanks to her wrench skillz, Jane gets the handle off and notices it’s brass, which doesn’t match this particular toilet. It looks like the handle was switched and the print planted.

Jane and Korsak are at Westcott’s house, but he’s gone missing. His wife plays them phone messages he’s left, which get progressively crazier. In the last one, he says he’s going to kill himself.

Back at the station, Jane tries to get Maura to figure out, based on the suicides that come through her office, where Westcott might go to commit suicide, but Nina comes in and says she’s been analyzing the phone messages. She hears a jet engine, along with some gunshots. There’s a firing range near the airport. Jane takes off for the car, and Maura says she’ll go, too, since Korsak and Frankie are at the courthouse. Would an ME really be tagging along on police business like this? I know. Why even bother demanding logic of a show that has never had an ample supply of same.

As they’re crossing a bridge, Jane and Maura spot Westcott’s car parked on the side, but he’s not in it. Jane pulls up and gets out, then tells Maura to stay in the car. Westcott is standing outside the railing, preparing to jump. How come there’s no traffic on this bridge? Jane tries to talk him down by telling him she believes he was set up. When he continues to despair, Jane climbs over the railing. Maura does not look pleased with this.

R&I finale-Maura not pleased

Jane tells Westcott she knows he loved Danielle, that her killer is still out there, and she wants to bring him to justice. She puts out her hand for him, and as he reaches to take it, he slips and falls to the water below. Jane hesitates a moment then jumps in after him.

R&I finale-jane jumps

Yes, you read that right, Jane jumps in after him. It seems ridiculous, but she does have a history, after all. Remember the S1 finale, when she intentionally shot herself so as to disable the bad guy standing behind her? Yeah, the woman can be pretty hardcore when she sets her mind to it, so I guess this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. But really, that’s a long drop, and if it’s expected to kill him, why should she expect any different? And even if she does survive, will she be in good enough shape to be of any help to him? And why should they necessarily land in the same place? It’s nighttime. How are they going to find each other in the river?

Maura is, of course, distraught.

R&I finale-Maura screaming

I’m sure this will all be wrapped up nice and neatly, and probably in the first five minutes, of the next episode. This ep concluded the summer season, as they call it, and is also the end of the first part of S5. The rest of S5 will be in February. Not sure how many eps are left, and I’m having a hard time tracking down that info. There were 12 summer eps, and I read somewhere a few months ago there are fifteen in the season, so that would only leave three for February, which hardly seems worth it. And no word yet on an S6. Given that this is TNT’s most successful show, I assume it will be renewed, but who knows? The mysteries surrounding R&I are more mysterious than what happens on the show! Stay tuned!

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