It’s flu season, so germs are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. If you are the type who flinches when someone near you coughs, or who grabs a door knob with your sweater, you were definitely squirming on your couch during last night’s Rizzoli & Isles. The episode opens with a cafe customer spray coughing blood everywhere, before keeling over. I had visions of a dying Gwenyth Paltrow from the film Contagion. I wanted to shout at Rizzoli’s mother, Angela (Lorraine Braco), “Don’t touch the blood!”
The mysterious death lures in Rizzoli and Isles, and the immediate assumption is that there is something poisonous in the cafe’s food. Suspicions turn to Angela’s boss, Mr. Stanley (Alan Rachins). This part was a little silly. What motivation would the crotchety Stanley have to murder a customer in front of a full breakfast crowd? The fact that the deceased turns out to be a pharmaceutical distributor should have sent up the red flags that some medical experiment was the likely cause.
The infectious diseases didn’t stop there, though. Isles triggers a panic when she examines a corpse in the morgue that has blood red streaking around his fingernail beds. Like Rizzoli, my thoughts went to Ebola. But, as is well known, the best way to deal with an outbreak of a potentially lethal disease is to get naked. For a decontamination shower, naturally. Rizzoli’s mortification of stripping down in front of her colleagues and her cowering behind a trashcan for coverage was funny, but unbelievable. I say unbelievable because nobody in the room seemed at all interested in seeing her naked.
In contrast to the sickness and death mystery, Rizzoli and Isles have their hands full with a new baby in the house thanks to Tommy Rizzoli (Colin Egglesfield). Rizzoli embraces her maternal side and clings to the infant. Rizzoli’s desire to take care of the baby demonstrated that she’s not just the tough detective. The show played a little heavy-handedly into the ambiguity of whether Rizzoli and Isles could help raise a child together. You know…together. Of course, the big question was whether Tommy was the child’s biological father. Surprisingly, he is! The baby could be an interesting addition to the family dynamic, but the baby’s maternal grandmother (Beverly Leech) needs to appear rarely – if ever. Her horrible accent and wooden dialogue cheesed up every scene that she was in. We got it the first time that she’s money grubbing and wants Tommy to pay her daughter child support. Saying it twenty times was unnecessary.
The big whodunnit reveal was an unscrupulous lawyer trying to manufacture a class action lawsuit by infecting people with a dangerous strain of bacterial meningitis. Do they really expect viewers to have so little faith in those charged with administering legal justice in our country? Don’t answer that.
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