L.T. Milroy and Veruca Salt
So, after all these months of waiting, the remainder of season five is here, and we get to find out if Jane survived her bridge jump. The pain and uncertainty of having to get through these many months, wondering if half the show’s starring duo was going to make it. Would it continue on as just Isles? And when are they going to end with a cliffhanger that has Maura in mortal danger? I realize Jane is the cop and it’s much easier putting her in peril, but we’re heading toward a sixth season. Time to switch things up a bit, keep everything fresh.
Despite the intense unlikelihood of Jane’s demise, the episode kicks off with all our favorite characters unsure of whether they’ll see Ms. Rizzoli again
LT: Down at the pier, Maura narrates a replay of how Jane came to leap off a bridge to rescue the guy who was framed for killing his girlfriend. It’s the next morning, and a Coast Guard crew is looking for her and Paul the prosecutor, who slipped and fell before she jumped in after him. Maura keeps saying how she blames herself and should have stopped Jane, but Frankie and Korsak say there’s nothing she could have done.
Frankie asks Korsak what the chances of finding her really are, and Korsak says she could have been swept out to sea.
V: Seriously, Korsak? You had to lead off with that, knowing Maura blames herself? That’s her bestiest bestie. They work together and practically live together. Take it easy, here.
LT: That makes Maura beat herself up some more.
V: BIG surprise there!
LT: Korsak adds there are some small islands in the river that Jane might have been able to swim to.
V: See, Korsak? Leave out the “swept out to sea” part and calm down the distraught woman with the “they could be on a nice little island” part. Sheesh!
LT: His phone rings, and he’s told the press has gotten wind of the situation, and he leaves to go tell Paul’s wife what’s going on. Maura and Frankie stay at the pier.
V: Did you see the circus that was going on? They’re not exactly keeping this on the DL. I’m surprised it took this long for anyone to catch onto it.
LT: Korsak walks up to the Westcott home to find the front door open. He walks in, hears glass clinking, and draws his gun. Then he sees Paul’s wife, Carol, sitting on the couch having a liquid breakfast.
He tells her what happened at the bridge. He also says he no longer thinks Paul is guilty of killing Danni Mitchell. Carol couldn’t care less; Paul still lied and cheated and humiliated her, and she doesn’t care if he survived the fall or not.
V: I guess it’s Korsak’s morning to calm distraught women. I think he has some ex wives under his belt, so I’m sure he’s up for the task, his earlier faux pas notwithstanding. Frankie would be in way over his head.
LT: Frankie would just look even more uncomfortable in one of his ill-fitting suits. Maura finds out that the currents are warmer than usual, right before a cop comes up to say a fisherman spotted something. Then a waterlogged Jane gets off a boat and onto the dock. Paul is right behind her.
V: WHAT A RELIEF! I totally thought one of the leads on the show was dead, especially after I know they were picked up for another season. But I am relieved about Paul, as I wanted some more Jamie Bamber.
LT: Maura rushes up to Jane and hugs her, and says “I’ve never been so happy to see you…
except maybe last week when you showed up at my place in a leather coat and fishnet stockings and spiky heels and nothing else…” Okay, I might have made up the second part of that sentence.
But after the warm hug, Maura turns suddenly frosty, pulls away, and says “I’ll see you back at the office” then leaves. Jane looks confused as she hugs Korsak.
V: Trouble in Paradise! I’m sensing some marriage counseling might be in order.
LT: At home that night, Mama Rizzoli tells Jane she thinks Maura was scared to lose her and that Jane being her super-awesome self can sometimes be hard on the people close to her. But she also knows there’s no point wasting time in worrying.
V: Wow. That whole exchange. I didn’t want to duct tape Ma’s mouth for once. When Jane asks why she’s NOT upset, she just says she’s not happy with Jane jumping off a bridge, but she says it in a funny way, and you know, it’s not unreasonable.
And she says she’s proud of Jane and doesn’t want to stop Jane from being who she is, so she’s learning to accept it. She listens to Jane. Is sympathetic and supportive. Jane correctly guesses that Ma is back in therapy, and I have to say, if therapy is making her way less annoying, I say, “GOOD JOB!”
LT: Then Ma says she has to get to the dry cleaners to pick up a dress for a job interview the next day. She doesn’t tell Jane what the interview is for, because she doesn’t want to jinx it (Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks Ma looks botoxed?).
V: It distracted me throughout the entire scene. Her face barely moved.
LT: Jane walks into Maura’s office and hands her a gift bag. A peace-offering of her favorite perfume.
Then Jane says she knows what she did was dangerous. Maura asks if Jane thought about her at all, and Jane says no. She never thinks about Maura or anybody before she engages in super awesome behavior like jumping off a bridge to save some guy who may or may not have killed his mistress, or shoot her own self in the side just to get a bullet in the dirtbag perp standing behind her.
She just does this stuff because she’s the wicked-awesome Detective Jane MotherEffin’ Rizzoli, dammit. Maura tells her about how she blamed herself for not doing more, and Jane says she couldn’t have done anything.
V: I like how Jane had to tell Maura about survivor’s guilt. Maura’s “Why didn’t I think of that?” was echoed in my own mind. Because, seriously, she should have.
LT: Totally. And given us a presentation on it.
V: Maura is skeptical Jane actually attended the seminar on the subject, and Jane admits she read the pamphlet. The revelation seems to snap Maura out of her self-imposed pity fest and move on, and I am so thankful for that, because I didn’t want an hour of these two being all mopey.
Jane was the one who nearly drowned, yet she spent a month’s pay on some perfume for Maura, who barely thanked her for it. Lordy, it was even in a pretty little gold gift bag and everything.
LT: Yes, she did her best, but apparently her platonic life partner needed a bit more time to process. Then Maura asks if Jane was scared, and Jane says not until she was falling. Then she was petrified. Her life flashed before her eyes. She started thinking about all the things she didn’t do, like go to beer-brewing class or learn how to make ravioli. That inspires Maura to say they have to work on their bucket lists.
V: Jane’s reaction says she’d rather jump off the bridge again and quickly switches to cracking the case.
Then the COP asks the MEDICAL EXAMINER what their next step is. Uh…
LT: Hey, Suzy’s back! It’s been so long, I forgot her character even existed.
Maura tells her they have a new case, that of Danni Mitchell. Suzy says that’s the same case from last week, but Maura says they’re starting it over. She thinks Paul was set up for the murder, and they fell for it. They have to figure out what they missed.
Paul and Jane share some coffee.
He says he can’t believe she jumped off the bridge after him. Jane says she was just doing her job, and he calls BS. Most cops wouldn’t have done it, but she’s super-special-awesome…we’ve been over this already, haven’t we? Jane brushes off the praise, of course.
She asks if he knows of anyone who would want to frame him. He says many people, since he’s climbing the DA ladder. Jane says this framing looks more personal than professional. He says he was very discreet and no one knew about his affair with Danni. He does remember one night he thought a red or burgundy car was following them when they went to a motel.
Korsak tells Jane that Carol has an alibi that checks out. She was on-line playing chess with someone in London when Danni was killed.
V: I’ve seen enough of these shows where that’s just not good enough. Like her being on her cell phone AND playing chess with a guy in London, just seems like alibi overkill. But we’ll see.
Of all of the murderers Paul put behind bars, Jane can’t find ONE who could come up with this plan? Really? And when did she go through all of his cases? Wasn’t she pulled out of the water, like, five minutes ago? And spent all of the time since in Maura’s office? But, whatever.
Meanwhile, Korsak is now making Jane second-guess herself about Paul’s innocence.
LT: Jane is frustrated with the case, and hands the files to Frankie.
She thinks maybe fresh eyes will see something she’s missing. He tells her he’s meeting Ma for lunch first.
V: Apparently she told him about the job interview as well, and Jane doesn’t seem at all upset that Ma wants to talk to Frankie about it instead of her.
LT: At the Dirty Robber, Ma Riz tells Frankie she needs his help to land the perfect job. It’s a management training position with a big restaurant company, and he needs to help her with interview prep.
V: Wow, Frankie. Way to be supportive by asking how she’s going to sell them on a housewife and deli worker being qualified for a high-end restaurant job. Nice.
LT: Frankie sees Korsak across the room having lunch with some guy, and wonders who it is. Ma doesn’t know, but she mentions how Korsak invited everyone there for a celebration that night.
V: Everyone? You mean Ma was invited before the people he works with? Does that sound right to you? Seemed more like clunky exposition.
LT: That was weird. Was she reminding Frankie, or does he not know? And if not, why not? Then Ma hands Frankie some sample interview questions.
V: Seventy-five questions, including one about her “youthful appearance.”
LT: Not to mention stiff, after all that ‘toxing.
Back at Maura’s office, Maura tells Jane they should make bucket lists and share them with each other.
V: When Jane gripes about it, Maura points out that she was waiting on the bridge all night, thinking she’d never see Jane again, meanwhile forgetting Jane was in freezing cold waters being swept out to sea after she tried to save someone from drowning.
Where is Jane’s gift?
LT: And amidst that kind of talk, they’ve also found time for the case. Maura has done a microanalysis on Paul’s fingerprint and found barbecue sauce. She also says the victim in the first case had long hair on her driver’s license photo and short hair in autopsy.
The same applied to Danni, with Maura determining that Danni’s hair was cut after she died. And it was hacked off, not professionally done.
Either Danni’s killer killed both women and Paul convicted the wrong guy, or Danni’s killer learned the hair detail from the first killer, and is a copycat.
V: Okay, how Jane, THE COP, does not pick up from Maura saying how both of the women’s hair was shorter after death than before death means the killer lopped it off, made me cringe.
Second, any cop or medical examiner worth their salt would have looked at their hair and known it wasn’t professionally done. Why Maura needed to study the pictures for that is beyond me. How nobody noticed this before Maura looked at the pictures is beyond me.
LT: That night, Korsak and Jane walk into the Dirty Robber. He asks her if she thinks the first killer knows who killed Danni, and Jane says they should go out to the prison and speak with him the next day. Korsak says he’ll go alone, since this guy hates women and might not cooperate with Jane. Like that would be a problem. I think that would only make it more fun for her, but she relents.
The gang is there waiting for Korsak, who goes behind the bar and starts taking drink orders.
V: He assumes everyone wants beer, maybe forgetting about Dr. Isles, who orders a Shiraz.
LT: Ma Riz wants to know why he’s playing bartender, but he ain’t playin’: Surprise! He’s the new owner of the Dirty Robber. Kiki, his life coach, helped him reach the decision. They all raise a toast.
V: Jane, none too subtle, confirms he’ll keep working, AND he’ll give them free drinks. But the savvy businessman ain’t no dummy and just puts them on the friends and family discount plan.
LT: At the prison, Korsak meets with killer Mark. Apparently Mark is an intellectual, as he complains about not having enough to read.
V: Wow. A killer with a high IQ. I haven’t seen one of those in forever…or on every police procedural.
LT: Korsak already knows about his literature fetish and has brought a bag of books as leverage. He’ll exchange reading material for information.
He tells Mark they found out he chopped his victims’ hair off and did he have an accomplice? Korsak teases him with a history book he knows Mark wants. Mark says he had no accomplice, but Korsak says someone knew about his methods because they were copied.
That’s when Mark mentions a pen pal, a woman who visited him. She hated prosecutor Paul for locking him up. Her name is Sarah Daniels. Marky makes a big deal about giving the name, but then Korsak starts getting up to leave.
Mark reminds him of the deal, and Korsak takes a book out of the bag and hands it over instead of the requested history book. He leaves the misogynist woman-killer with a copy of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. Hee! Maybe he’ll learn something, but it’s doubtful.
V: Yeah. The woman-hating killer will see the error of his ways…or read the book and think it’s written by another uptight beeyotch. Which do you think is more likely?
Also, he has the creepy psycho look down. He didn’t blink. It’s really freaky.
LT: First we saw Suzy again, now Nina’s back! I’d forgotten about her, as well. It’s been a long time. She stops by the lab to pick up Mark’s letters from Sarah that Maura was analyzing.
They make some small talk. We find out Nina is from Chicago. When Maura asks what brought her to Boston, Nina looks upset. Her boyfriend, a teacher, had been killed by a student as a gang initiation. She felt that as a cop she’d failed to protect the person who meant the most to her. It was obviously a difficult story to tell, and Maura apologizes for bringing it up, but Nina says she’s glad she finally told someone.
V: I mean, how would Maura know some small talk would lead to Nina immediately breaking down and telling a sad story? It’s not like she poked at Nina until she spilled her guts. But I think Maura just gives off those empathy vibes, so people just start blurting out all of their problems to her. Plus, she’s a good hugger.
LT: Ma Riz arrives for her interview to see a bunch of other women waiting, all of whom are about half her age.
One of them thinks she’s the mother of an interviewee, there for moral support. Ouch.
Korsak has pulled some stills of Sarah from the security video at the prison. She obviously didn’t want to be seen, as she avoided the camera as much as possible and wore a hat.
Frankie came up with an address in South Boston, and she’s being brought in.
Ma reels off her qualifications to her interviewer, about how she’s been a responsible mom, helped run the family plumbing business, then ran the café at the police station. She’s going on and on, worried that her age might disqualify her from being in the running, but the guy says age isn’t a consideration.
V: She came in talking and didn’t stop. He never even asked a question. She started off telling him she was worried about her age and just talked until she ran out of breath. I mean, what she said was good, but that wasn’t an interview. It was a dissertation.
LT: Sarah is brought to the station, and when Jane and Korsak go to speak with her, they’re surprised to find her in a wheelchair.
She’s been disabled since she was sixteen, so is obviously not the hat woman in the prison video. When told her driver’s license was used in a prison visiting office, she says she lost her wallet three months ago. She was at the physical therapist’s that day.
Jane tells Paul that they thought they had the killer, but it didn’t pan out. She says they know the killer is a woman, and she stole the ID she used somewhere around 120 Broad Street, where Sarah’s physical therapist is. Paul says that’s right around the corner from his office, and he passes by there all the time.
V: He kind of looks taken aback, but when she notices, he gives the story about how he passes by it. It just looks like that was his cover story.
LT: Maura has lifted a partial print off one of Mark’s envelopes, and it contains the same barbecue sauce residue as Paul’s print. Doesn’t anybody in Beantown wash their hands? Maybe they ate together and celebrated by not washing up after.
V: EW, gross!
LT: Seriously, BBQ is messy. Warm water and soap, guys. It’s not complicated. Maura has read the letters and tells Jane the writer is intelligent but frustrated and disturbed. They’re interrupted by Suzy, who brings in a package for Maura. It’s a gift for Jane. Something from “their” bucket list, even though Jane says Maura thought her list was stupid.
Maura objects to that word and says she wanted to “revisit” the list to reveal more exciting choices. Maura says they’ll open it later. Of course the girls will be getting together after work. Whatever’s in the package, I hope they remember batteries.
Frankie meets Ma at the Dirty Robber. She didn’t get the job, not because of her age, but because she has no college degree. Frankie is proud of her just for going on the interview. And hey, it’s probably just a coincidence that Ma is in the market to run an eating establishment in the same episode that Korsak buys an eating establishment, right? Right. Coincidence.
V: Oh, yeah. Total coincidence. Also, they’ve really toned down Ma’s annoying quotient. By not working near Jane any more, she’s not up Jane’s butt and getting into her business. I hope they keep this up, because I was ready to do some shin-kicking.
LT: Korsak says Paul told him the last time he ate barbecue was at a City Hall fundraiser a week before the murders. Carol was there with him. The cops find out Carol sees a psychiatrist in the same building as Sarah’s physical therapist. The two also look a lot alike.
Jane runs Carol’s credit cards and finds she rented a little red car a few months ago, the same type Paul thought was following him. It looks like Carol knew about the affair. Jane says it gives her motive and time to plan. But Frankie reminds her of Carol’s solid alibi.
V: What did I tell you???
LT: Jane tells Maura that Carol is their prime suspect and wanted to destroy Paul with his biggest courtroom success, the Cork murder. But they have no evidence tying her to the crime scene. Plus there’s that pesky alibi. Jane thinks Carol had someone play chess for her, but can’t prove it.
She asks Nina to play the recording of the game, and Nina puts it up on the big screen.
Maura watches the board and calls a move before it’s played. She impresses everyone when the move is right. She says it’s from the famous Spasky/Fischer match of 1970. Carol’s following all of Spasky’s moves. It was preprogrammed.
V: Okay, the way Jane, the non-chess player figured it out, was that her moves were exactly thirty seconds apart and not random like the other person’s. Now. If you have a bunch of people who play chess, what are the chances they couldn’t figure out the same thing Maura did? I mean, these are chess people, right? Not one of them accused her of cheating?
LT: Good point. And also, that Spasky/Fischer match for the World Chess Championship was in ’72. I’d assume Maura would know that.
Jane tells Paul that Carol knew of his affair and had rented the red car. She asks why he didn’t mention that Carol’s shrink is in the same building as Sarah’s doctor, and he says he didn’t want it to be true that Carol is guilty.
V: I knew he was holding something back! But he says that with his lying and cheating, he didn’t want to be the reason Danni was dead. Too bad, buddy. You set this all in motion, and I guess you’ll have to live with it. But please don’t go to the nearest bridge, okay?
LT: Jane asks if he told his wife of his suspicions, and he says he didn’t
V: Heh. Jane says it’s the first smart thing he’s done.
LT: Paul goes to see Carol and apologizes.
She asks how he could throw everything away, as Jane and Korsak listen in a car outside.
V: Jane wonders how it could go so wrong for two people who love each other, and Korsak brings up the three exes, so he’s an expert on that, I guess. He didn’t cheat on any of them, he says, but he wasn’t emotionally available, which is weird, because he’s like the heart of the little cop enclave. But his deepest emotional fulfillment came from work, which I can believe. Of course, Kiki helped him come to this understanding of himself.
LT: Jane wonders how it would have gone if she had married Casey.
Korsak responds with some knowledge he gleaned from Kiki about how Casey’s issues with marriage and career complicated the relationship. Jane wonders if Kiki is more than just a life coach, but he says she doesn’t get involved with clients. Jane suggests firing her.
Just then, all Korsak can hear is loud classical music. Carol has turned up the radio. Then crazy Carol confesses to Paul that she killed Danni. She gets quite graphic about it.
Then she points a gun at him and says after being married to a prosecutor for fifteen years, she knows Paul is wired.
V: The look of sheer glee on her face as she describes watching the life drain out of Danni is super-duper creepy.
LT: Yeah, I figured she was the killer, but the gleeful-psycho angle is surprising. Korsak busts in and knocks her gun to the floor as Jane cuffs her.
But Paul picks up the gun and points it at Carol.
He tells Jane to get out of the way, but of course, Jane won’t. She says she jumped off a bridge because she didn’t think he was a murderer, and it would be really disappointing if he fell off the wagon now.
She tells him Danni wouldn’t want this. That breaks Paul down, and he cries as Jane takes the gun.
V: Sigh. Goodbye, Jamie. I hope I see you again soon.
LT: The episode ends as it often does, with the gals at home having fun. As she makes dinner, Maura says she doesn’t know how people who started out in love can do such terrible things to each other. Jane’s not interested in psychology; she’s been thinking about that package all day, like an excited five year-old, and wants to open it. Maura says her gift is right in front of her on the counter.
V: Jane: It’s a shiny kitchen thingy.
LT: It’s a pasta maker. Jane said learning how to make ravioli is on her bucket list. Maura says she’ll roll out the dough, and Jane can put it through the machine. She has lobster, duck, mushrooms, sausage, and ricotta for filling. Way to make my mouth water, Maura, except for the mushroom thing. I don’t do fungus. The rest, though, has me very excited.
V: None of it interests me. Beef and NOT ricotta cheese. I’m a simple girl with simple tastes. Some would call me picky. They would be totally wrong.
LT: Maura asks about Jane’s bucket list, and Jane takes it out but says Maura will make fun of it.
V: It’s nice when your BFF says she’ll have constructive criticism for your bucket list. This is not a homework assignment, Maura. It’s neither right nor wrong. It’s what Jane wants to do. Stop making fun of her.
LT: Maura gets hers out, and they exchange.
The first thing on Maura’s list is to do something on Jane’s list, hence the ravioli. Jane scans Maura’s list and says it might be fun for them to do stuff from each other’s lists. Maura gets all excited about that, but Jane was only kidding. She has no intention of going to fashion week in Paris. But Jane’s list includes stuff like doing Navy SEALS training, which Maura would never go for unless she could somehow do it in fashions from Paris.
V: I’m with Maura. Anything that includes “hell week” is not my idea of a good time.
LT: I don’t want to do hell week or Paris fashion week. I want to go someplace where there’s really great chocolate and see how much of it I can eat before my body rebels and organs begin to shut down.
V: I hear cruises are good for that. Also, I’d be down for that vacay as well.
LT: They seem to be at a stalemate. Jane asks about the running of the bulls in Pamplona, and Maura agrees that a Spanish adventure would be nice but not the being chased by bulls part.
V: Again, totally with Maura on this.
LT: Somehow I don’t think these ladies have matching definitions of adventure. Then Maura suggests an archeological dig in Egypt. Jane says yes, but only if she can wear an Indiana Jones hat. Then they make a few really odd-looking raviolis.
V: They were just coming out all in a row. However, I think the machine crumbling there at the end was not planned, and they just ad-libbed it.
So that’s it! Only two more episodes to go. There has got to be a better way to schedule these shows. Good to see they told us Jane is alive right at the beginning. With only three episodes, her missing one would not have been a good choice. See you next time.