Rizzoli & Isles 5×10 opens with a guy dousing a house with gasoline before setting it alight. Talk about a warm welcome to the episode (sorry). Read on for our recap of “Phoenix Rising”:
Jane hasn’t yet been cleared for duty after her hospital stay – and she’s not happy about it. As she waits for her mother to get to Maura‘s house with the mail, Maura tells her, “I know how badly you really want to get back to work, but I must admit that it’s been really nice having you here and I’m sad that you’re leaving.” (I still don’t understand why they don’t officially live together given that Jane is at Maura’s house constantly and, you know, they’re married, but whatever.)
Angela finally shows up, but the medical release letter Jane’s been waiting for doesn’t. Jane begs Maura, as her best friend and a doctor (she would’ve added “lesbian lover” if her mom weren’t present), to put her in a medically induced coma.
Jane: “Just one little coma! Is it really too much to ask?”
Maura: “You’d have better luck asking me to give you Oxycontin.”
…I think that’s a no.
Following the legendary Irish jig theme song, we learn that Korsak‘s spending his Saturday visiting a friend, Rick, in prison. Rick has six months left to live, and he wants Korsak to help clear his name so he doesn’t die with his son thinking he set the fire that killed his wife and daughter.
When Korsak drops by Maura’s house with the case files, Jane wants to get involved but can’t until she’s cleared for duty. Korsak explains that Rick was an alcoholic and the prevailing thinking was that he torched the house to get his cheating wife’s life insurance payout. The fact that Rick was found passed out in his backyard with acetone on his pants didn’t exactly strengthen his case. As Korsak and Maura talk, Jane hides some of the papers in a magazine and casually leaves the room.
Frankie drops by BPD headquarters to help with the effort. There’s a somber moment when he and Korsak acknowledge that he’s sitting at Frost‘s usually empty desk because his own is covered with files from the archives. Incidentally, this episode aired on the one-year anniversary of Lee Thompson Young‘s death; find out more about the foundation set up in his name.
A break in the case
While Jane’s at home looking over the papers she… ahem, borrowed… Korsak and Maura are talking about the case at the park (actually the Paramount Studios backlot, according to a tweet by writers’ assistant Diana Mendez). Maura suspects the fire burned too hot to have been caused by acetone alone – in other words, the convicting evidence in Rick’s case wasn’t so convicting after all.
New girl Nina confirms Maura’s suspicions with a fancy computer simulation, and Maura determines that the other accelerent used was toluene. The burn pattern indicates that the acetone and toluene had to have been poured from the same container, so if there’s no toluene on the pants Rick was wearing, that’s forensic proof he’s innocent. However, the guy in charge of manning the evidence lockup is a stickler for rules and won’t give Korsak access unless he has permission from the D.A.
So, if Rick didn’t set the fire, who did? With Korsak on speakerphone, Jane scribbles notes to Maura about how the wife’s boyfriend could have a motive. Of course, Maura blows her stealthiness by reading the notes aloud and reprimanding Jane for writing on her good cloth napkins.
“Sometimes your blatant disregard of the rules works to my advantage,” Korsak tells Jane wearily. He dispatches Frankie to do some digging, and the younger Rizzoli finds that the wife’s boyfriend had threatened to kill her and her husband mere weeks before the fire – but he has an iron-clad alibi.
Ever the observant detective, Jane remembers a wall calendar betraying the obstinate evidence guardian’s fetish for librarians. She breezes past the rules thanks to a getup purloined from Maura’s closet. Sure enough, while there’s acetone on the jeans, there’s no toluene. Korsak visits Rick’s son Jason to tell him his father is innocent, but doesn’t exactly get a warm reception. “You want me to believe he didn’t do it, you show me the guy who did,” Jason challenges him.
Meanwhile, Angela reveals that a letter from the department doctor did arrive, but she’d hidden it because she wasn’t ready for Jane to go back to work. Ultimately, she acknowledges that Jane can look after herself and tells her to “knock ‘em dead.” Jane points out that she’s a homicide detective, so they’re already dead. Ba-dum-chhh.
The right man
A new suspect emerges in the form of Rick’s former neighbor, Melvin, a member of a biker gang who sold his house and disappeared immediately after the fire. Six weeks later, he was stabbed to death in Florida. The investigators try to find a connection between Melvin and Rick, and determine that a case of mistaken identity is ultimately to blame: The two men owned similar trucks, and when the gang turned against Melvin, they simply targeted the wrong house. Finally, the mystery in Rizzoli & Isles 5×10 is solved! After the ringleader confesses, Rick’s conviction is overturned and his son finally accepts his innocence.
Back at Maura’s, Jane is told her mother is out dancing and insists on staying up until she knows Angela is home safely. Maura maintains that Angela is a grown woman, but then admits she probably won’t be able to sleep either. She and Jane end up cuddling on the couch under a blanket, because they’re gay for each other. The end.
What did you think of Rizzoli & Isles 5×10?