Rizzoli & Isles Season 5 Review “A New Day”

Cast from Rizzoli and Isles

On the latest episode of “Rizzoli & Isles,” it was “A New Day” and a new case, and it was a pretty ugly one. When a night jogger is found murdered, it’s discovered that her baby is missing as well. Was it her ex-husband, who’d she’d been battling for the child’s custody after a nasty divorce? Was it a creepy pedophile that was working as a videographer for kids? Might it have been the ex-husband’s new girlfriend? Well, two out of three ain’t bad, as they say.

This was a solid- if somewhat predictable- episode that passed muster with me based solely on the tone, which was right on point. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to maintain a breezy tone in a show like this, least of all an episode involving a woman’s brutal stabbing, a child molester; a lost, potentially-dead baby and the reveal of Detective Frost’s demise (the late Lee Thompson Young).

Yet, the show managed all of this and more, finding time to deal with Rizzoli’s pregnancy and her trying (unsuccessfully) to keep it on the down-low; Isles and Frankie making eyes at one another after their kiss last season; and a flush-in-love and adorably smitten Detective Korsak. It really was equal parts serious crime-at-hand and amusing character development without either one screwing up the other. Many other shows have tried to pull off this mix and failed, including “Rizzoli & Isles” itself, but I think this show may well have gotten it down to a science.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s typical summer fare in some ways: not too heavy, but not too silly, either. But, at the same time, it works like gangbusters here, considering what the show is, which is essentially a crime procedural-cum-buddy cop dramedy. (Yes, I hate that word, too, but it is what it is.) Some of these shows are better than others, to be sure, and I’m not going to claim that “Rizzoli & Isles” is the best show on TV right now or anything like that- or even the best crime procedural, for that matter. It’s not on yet, but I could certainly make a case for the impending summer show “The Bridge,” for instance.

But, for what it is, it works, and it makes for light- but not too light- summer viewing and that beats reruns and reality shows any day of the week for me personally. There’s something to be said for that, you know? Factor in a winning ensemble that’s like a well-oiled machine at this point, and a comfortable structuring format: insert Maura over-explaining something here, insert Jane grousing about something there, shake and stir in some family-and/or-cop related business there, and viola! The instant recipe for ideal summer viewing!

Granted, I figured out who-done-it almost immediately, and you knew it was unlikely that they were going to let a baby die, so that wasn’t exactly unpredictable, either; but all in all, it was still entertaining in spite of these things. That’s the mark of a well-done show, when you know where it’s all headed, and you’re still entertained. Yes, it’s better when you don’t, but not everyone likes their mysteries overtly-convoluted. And if you do, there’s plenty of shows that fit that bill, i.e. the aforementioned “The Bridge,” “Murder in the First” (which is handling a single case over an entire season); etc.

But for what “Rizzoli & Isles” does, it does it well, and that’s okay by me. I like spending time with these people, and I think others do as well, or the show wouldn’t still be going strong after four seasons. Here’s hoping the fifth is even better than what’s come before it.

What did you think of “Rizzoli & Isles” this week? Did you figure out who did it early on, too? Did you care? Who’s your favorite character? Will you miss Detective Frost? What did you think about how they handled his exit so far? Do you think Jane’s pregnancy will be a good thing or a bad thing for the show? How will everyone handle the news that doesn’t already know? (Clearly, mom is thrilled.) Do you approve of Maura and Frankie as a couple? Sound off below and I’ll see you next week!