RIZZOLI & ISLES “Boston Strangler Redux” Episode 2 Review


With the popularity of Tess Gerritsen’s novels, RIZZOLI & ISLES was a highly anticipated show. But reviews were mixed for the first episode with the majority of people clearly hating it. (Strike one!)

Episode 2 of Rizzoli & Isles, called “Boston Strangler Redux”, introduces us to Jane’s childhood friend Lieutenant Grant (Donnie Wahlberg), who transferred from the drug unit to homicide. To Jane’s chagrin, he is now her new boss. When three dead bodies turn up one after another, Jane, Frost, and Korsak surmise that they may be the work of the Boston Strangler who could still be alive despite all evidence to the contrary. Or it could be a copycat reenacting the crimes of the serial killer. Jane and Korsak request help from former homicide detective Leahy (Brian Dennehy), who gives them his private files from the Boston Strangler case. Surveillance camera photos that Jane’s brother produce lead them to arrest Redmond Jones, a suspect from the murders 40 years ago. But while everyone is celebrating and taking credit, Jane has a “gut feeling” and discovers that Leahy’s alibi doesn’t check out. She captures him in the end, right before he is about to kill Maura.

In this episode, we also learn that Maura has an annoying habit, namely spouting off details and diagnoses like she has a nervous tic. Of course, this bad habit drives away the men (and probably women, too). Unfortunately, it is inconsistent that she would carelessly give someone a diagnosis based solely on a brief look over; but she wouldn’t call the red spot on a scarf blood until she had analyzed it. (Strike two!)

Rizzoli & Isles tries to address the criticism that procedurals lack character development, and neglect the characters’ lives outside of their jobs. Inevitably the pace of the show will be slowed down, since focus is split in two directions. But I would hope that it doesn’t slow down so much, that it practically comes to a screeching halt. When you hear a quip from the show used in a beer commercial, you know you’re in for the long haul. I thought the slow-moving and at times boring first episode was a necessary vehicle to introduce what would be the basis for the entire season of Rizzoli & Isles. But I was hoping for the second episode to flow more smoothly between the crime fighting scenes and the family interactions (which are pretty entertaining), since episode one had already covered so much ground, detailing the characters’ background history. I was also hoping that the plot would be less cliché and the endings less perfunctory. In any case, if it weren’t for the great cast, I may not consider giving the show a third chance. (Strike three?)

What did you think of episode 2 of Rizzoli & Isles “Boston Strangler Redux”? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.