Rizzoli & Isles
Original Air Date: Dec 18, 2012
Kym – Senior Reviewer
“End Zone” Womack thinks he’s going to get his van washed – and to discuss the most recent injury to a member of BCU’s football team – one very much like his own career ending injury when he played for them. Instead, he gets stabbed during the ride through.
Oh, and Maura and her crew from the lab want to join the division’s softball team. Plus we have a few surprise visitors.
But first, back to our murder of the week. During the autopsy Rizzoli explains to Maura how End Zone got his injury while Maura tries to identify the knife that killed him. All she can speculate so far – because Maura doesn’t like to speculate – is that it had a hilt and that it left behind some trace fibers. Jane moves on to see what they found in the van – which isn’t much either – everything is wet and soapy from the car wash. Including his phone. Frost has it sitting in a tub of rice to dry out while he works on End Zone’s laptop, which doesn’t seem to have much on it except a lot of BCU football videos. Rizzoli suggests that he used to have a reputation as a ladies man and that they should start there. This leads them to discover that his entire staff at End Zone Cakes is made up of his ex-girlfriends. One of them, Laura Stephens, seems to be pretty bitter based on what they find on her website, so they head to the bakery to talk to her – taking Maura along to check out the knives. Laura’s pretty angry and bitter – this is true – but unfortunately she has a solid alibi and none of the knives at the bakery are a match to his wounds. Another dead-end.
Finally, the lab comes back with some evidence from inside the van. Everything else was sugar based, and pretty typical for a bakery van, but the blue substance they found was field paint. Further testing matches it with the paint used on the field at BCU and the fibers in the wound seem to be some kind of tape, leading them to look closer at Coach Phillips, who lost his big shot to move up in the business when End Zone was injured. In the meantime, End Zone’s phone was ready to be taken out of the rice – but it still doesn’t work. Frost gets ribbed by Korsak for trying the rice technique – but it has worked before for people I know. They move on to watching the clips on End Zone’s laptop again and actually discover that the injury from the previous weekend was more than just similar to End Zone’s – it was identical. Both right guards made the same mistake after identical signals from the quarterback, which was after McKenzie – a fellow player five years ago and a member of the staff now – gave a signal from the sideline. He’s been point shaving and End Zone figured it out, at least partially. When his cell phone decides to work they discover that he had texted McKenzie just before heading to the car wash to tell him he thought that Coach Phillips might be cheating. When they confront McKenzie, he asks for a lawyer, so they arrest him and take him in – no confession or anything this week.
More significant this week than the murder being investigated is the return of Casey to the scene. He’s been keeping his distance since the incident in Afghanistan and Rizzoli has been uncharacteristically patient about it. In fact, he still didn’t come to see her – he came to see Korsak and ask him to look after his service dog, Elsie, for a few months. Rizzoli is mystified that he would ask that, but whatever else they talked about besides her, Korsak’s keeping mum. Later, Casey shows up on her porch to “apologize” but Rizzoli insists he has to come up to her apartment if he wants to do that. It takes him quite a while to get up the stairs – giving her time to clean up and even take a shower from what her hair looks like when he finally gets to the door. He confesses that he asked Korsak to take care of Elsie because he’s having very risky surgery on his back. Rizzoli offers to take care of him, but he won’t have it. He says “taking care of an invalid is an ugly form of intimacy” and he doesn’t want to be a burden to her. He just wants to kiss her one more time before he goes. Maura comes over to comfort Rizzoli and although she wants to tell her about the surgery, Rizzoli stops her and asks if she can just pretend it will all be fine. Ultimately, she can’t though and Rizzoli is forced to accept that Casey could become completely paralyzed or even die from this surgery. This is not outright said, but it’s implied strongly enough that it’s pretty obvious. Yikes, is this one of the cliff hangers they’re going to leave us with in the season finale next week?
On a lighter note, there were actually a third and fourth plot line this week, although they wound together in the end. Frost’s mother, Camille has also come to visit, along with her roommate Robin and Robin’s son Cameron, and Maura and her lab crew want to play softball with Rizzoli and the guys. Rizzoli and the guys don’t want them to play because they’re afraid of losing and this is an ongoing bone of contention between Maura and Rizzoli throughout the episode. Meanwhile, Frankie has been driving Camille, Robin and Cameron around and pulls Rizzoli aside to tell her that he thinks they’re a couple. In fact, Camille had already confessed to Angela that she came to try to tell Frost that she’s planning on getting remarried. It all comes to a head when Maura’s second attempt to join softball practice turns into a scrimmage between the lab crew, with the help of ringers, Camille and Robin, and Rizzoli and the guys – where Maura and company win by a landslide. During the celebration, Frost beats his mother to the punch by toasting her and Robin as partners and telling her he had known about them for a long time and had just been hoping she would say something first.
One of the things I’ve always loved about the series of books that this show is based on is that the cases they’re working on are only part of the story and they seem to have translated that to the show as well. It’s a difficult call to say that the murder this week actually qualified as the main plot. There was just as much time devoted to the personal lives of the characters. At the same time, I don’t think the case they were working on suffered for the diverted attention. It was a case with little evidence to work with, but that was still ultimately solved with attention to detail and good old-fashioned brainstorming. On the personal side, they wisely gave the softball story and Frost’s mom as a lighter counter point to the sadness of Rizzoli and Casey. I can see both sides of that story. Rizzoli wants to be a part of his life and to help, but Casey knows she has a career and could possibly come to resent the amount of attention he will require after the surgery. If he survives.