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Rizzoli & Isles – Recap & Review – Love the Way You Lie

photo: tnt
photo: tnt
Rizzoli & Isles
Love the Way You Lie

Original Air Date: Dec 4, 2012

Kym – Senior Reviewer

This week opens in a frenzy of writing and drinking as the best-seller author of the memoir Suicide Boy, Ethan Slater, is apparently working on finishing his follow up book – Murder Boy. But when his editor, Juliet Randall shows up to collect the finished manuscript, she finds Slater hanging from the rafters, and the book missing.

Also missing this week – coffee in the station house – as Cavanaugh informs the detectives that they’re embarking on “a week of health” being led by their “wellness captains”, Angela, Maura and a reluctant Jane Rizzoli.

Maura, Frost and Rizzoli head out to the scene of Slater’s death, but are first waylaid by Bradley Palmer and his father, Eric, who want to thank Frost for his work in catching the killer of Bradley’s girlfriend Katrina. Quentin Morris, one of the few black students in an elite prep school, had been convicted and just lost his final appeal. They offer Frost a check for $25,000 to the Police Athletic League as a donation in his name. Frost takes the check, then confesses to Rizzoli after they leave that he was never sure that Quentin was guilty – but they’ve got a current case to get to. It appears to be a suicide, including a note in the typewriter that he “couldn’t live with the lies”. Yes, a typewriter. Slater was apparently into steam punk and although he had a laptop cleverly hidden inside a steam punk case, he only wrote on his typewriter. Maura’s initial analysis at the scene is only that the ligature marks are inconsistent with suicide. Typically though, she’s unwilling to call the death anything other than “suspicious”. On the way back into the station, Frost and Rizzoli are waylaid again – this time by Vonda Morris, Quentin’s mother, begging Frost to take another look at her son’s case. She knows he’s innocent. Frost tells her that the evidence was overwhelming and Rizzoli points out that it was a state case anyway and out of their jurisdiction. Frost really just interviewed Quentin when he was brought in. In the autopsy suite, things with Slater are looking even more suspicious. Slater was well pickled – a blood alcohol level of .18 – and there’s no hangman’s fracture. He died by asphyxiation. So, he was strangled, then hung. In other words, murdered. And there was something sticky around his neck.

When Rizzoli, Frost and Korsak get together to discuss the case, the subject of Quentin comes up. Frost’s clearly still bothered, so Rizzoli suggests he take a look at the case himself to see if he can set his mind at ease. In the meantime, they’re going through Slater’s emails with his editor. They seem pretty cozy, and she has sailing experience, which could explain the odd knot used to hang him. There’s also no record of when she arrived in Boston – at least nothing with the commercial airlines. When interviewed, she claims that she flew in that morning on a private plane. The manuscript was three months overdue and she had rushed down when she found out it was finally done, but that Slater was threatening to burn it. In the meantime, Frost has taken the autopsy report and the videos of Quentin’s interview and trial to Maura to review. The case matches his own background and he’s worried that because there was so much evidence and because Quentin was a minority that no one really looked any further and maybe something was missed. After hitting a dead end with Juliet, Korsak starts reading Slater’s first book, trying to find leads on who to talk to next, but it’s hard since he changed everyone’s names. His ultimate suicide attempt appears to have been part of a pact with a girl he met online that he refers to as “Sadie”, who succeeded. A search of other suicide calls on the same day as Slater turns up the suicide of Tamara Baker, as reported by her brother Kevin who, coincidentally has a website bashing Slater for his responsibility for Tamara’s death. Time to bring him in for questioning, but not until after Frost meets with Maura about Quentin. She’s been watching the micro expressions of Quentin during the interview and finds them only showing anguish and grief, no deception or guilt. He tells Frost in the interview that the only one who knew about their relationship was Katrina’s best friend Ann Stephens – to talk to Ann. Ann was actually the state’s star witness and testified that she saw Quentin leaving Katrina’s dorm room just before she found her dead, but Maura says that her body language showed that she had more to say than that. He should talk to Ann.

Kevin Baker denies killing Slater, although he says he wishes he had. He says that Tamara wouldn’t have killed herself if Slater hadn’t talked her into it. Sounds like denial to me – no one ever wants to believe that their loved ones were suicidal and that they missed it – but he has an alibi, so we’re back to square one again. An interview with Slater before his death shows him talking about his new book and how “we all have to stop hiding and do the right thing” so it sounds like the new book was some sort of confession, or expose. They decide to check out the rehab facility that Slater went to for 90 days after his suicide attempt to see who he met there. Frost excuses himself to go meet with Maura and Ann Stephens. Maura finally gets her to admit that she knew about the relationship between Quentin and Katrina and had warned her about getting involved because he wasn’t “one of us”, but insists that he must have killed her. She saw him coming out of her room on her way to the bathroom and then found Katrina dead on her way back. Meanwhile, Korsak and Rizzoli have been trying to find Slater’s doctor from the rehab center. He was supposed to be going to London, but never got on his plane. The GPS on his phone shows he never left Boston. In fact, he never even left the hospital and is found dead in a construction site on the premises, where he either jumped, fell, or was pushed from the building. And he has sticky stuff on his hand. Just like Slater’s neck.

Frost is ready to give up on Quentin’s case. Even the video footage from the dorm shows that he was the only one in and out of her room at the time she was killed. Rizzoli sends him to take one more look at the crime scene before giving up, then gets word that the piece of paper in the dead doctor’s hand was the corner of a check, and that it appeared to have been typed on a typewriter. A typewriter, which gives Korsak an idea. He and Rizzoli head down to the lab to look at Slater’s typewriter and, indeed, he used the kind of ribbon that kept an imprint of every one of his keystrokes. They may be able to reconstruct the missing manuscript. While they’re there, the analysis comes in on the sticky substance. It’s a fairly common sap, but mixed with rare particles only found on top of Mount Greylock in Massachusetts. A very challenging place to hike. They also find that it matches the substance found in Katrina’s closet that was dismissed as irrelevant in Quentin’s conviction. Did the same person who killed Katrina also kill Slater and his doctor? If so, why? Frost may have the answers from his visit to the crime scene, where he found out that Bradley and Katrina were avid hikers – and have a picture that shows them using the same knot that was used to hang Slater – and that there were marks from a grappling hook on Katrina’s window. Further investigation shows grappling hook marks on Slater’s window too. Rizzoli and Frost head back to the lab with this information and find out that the finished manuscript shows that Slater was in group therapy with Bradley Palmer, who confessed to murdering Katrina for cheating on him with Quentin. Slater had been delaying finishing his book until after Quentin’s final appeal – hoping he would get a new trial and it wouldn’t be necessary. As the final piece of evidence, Frost pulls out the check that he got from Eric Palmer at the beginning of the show and it appears to match the corner of the check the dead doctor was holding. Blackmail for keeping his mouth shut probably, but there were other ways to make sure he didn’t talk. Bradley Palmer is arrested for the murders of Katrina, Slater and his doctor and Quentin gets his freedom.

As all of this seriousness was going on, let’s not forget the “week of health”, with it’s meditation and exercise breaks, and it’s healthy food and green tea. And the aforementioned lack of coffee. But the funniest thing about that appears to be that it was prompted by Angela’s budding relationship with Cavanaugh, which Rizzoli only finds out about when he passes out during a little bit of friskiness in Maura’s guest house. Cavanaugh tries to break it off with Angela, who’s hurt and asks Korsak for advice. Korsak tells her that Cavanaugh hasn’t had a relationship with anyone since he lost his wife and kid in a fire as a rookie. I don’t think Angela’s going to let him go that easily.

It’s good to be watching this show again. I missed season two and the first half of season three (although I did do some catching up online before starting with last week’s episode) but it wasn’t intentional. I am an avid reader as well and the series of books this show is based on are among my favorite reads. Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander do a good job of presenting the characters just as I had always imagined they would be and while it’s sometimes confusing that their lives have taken somewhat different paths in the show versus the books, I still feel I can enjoy both. Like the books, the show is also good at keeping the suspense up and the story moving. The connection between this weeks cases at the end was a surprise to me. I’m tired, so I may have missed a clue early on, but that’s the point, it was subtle if it was there. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and already feel like I’m part of the Rizzoli family again.

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