Rizzoli & Isles Season 5 Review “Phoenix Rising”


On the latest episode of “Rizzoli & Isles,” while Rizzoli itched to get back to work, going a little stir crazy at home, Korsak took on a cold case with an old friend of his, Rick (Michael McGrady), who had been convicted years ago for a crime he insisted he didn’t commit. Though skeptical, Korsak decided to give the cold case his best shot, especially since the surviving member of the family, son Jason (Jonathan Patrick Moore), was still alive and had long since accepted the fact that his father was a murderer, and a definitive answer could potentially salvage the relationship. At least if Rick was telling the truth.

So, Korsak paid Isles a visit for some advice, while sneaky Rizzoli made off with some relevant files in the case to work on it off-book without his knowledge. Isles discovered some evidence that could clear Rick if proved- the fire which killed Rick’s wife and daughter was set via two accelerants, not just the one as originally listed on the crime scene reports. If Rick’s clothes only showed evidence of one, then he was in the clear.

Meanwhile, evidence was also found of an ex-boyfriend of the wife, with whom she had a nasty, very public break-up. Alas, the boyfriend alibis out, and the gang is back to square one, though a rogue Jane was able to flirt her way into the evidence locker dressed as a sexy librarian (!), though, as most everyone pointed out, she looked more like a stewardess. Whatever the case, it worked and Isles was able to definitively prove that it couldn’t have been Rick who set the fire, as only one accelerant was found- and it was the result of Rick getting so drunk he peed on himself, not setting a fire, which must make him one of the few people in history to get convicted by urine!

Despite all this, the son was not impressed, saying he’d only believe it if the real culprit was found, and Rick expressed a similar sentiment that, if his son didn’t believe it, it didn’t matter. So, it was back to the drawing board once again, this time to canvass the neighborhood to see if anyone remembered anything out of sorts from the time of the fire. The next-door neighbors certainly did, as their house’s previous tenant sold his on the fly at a lower-than-normal price, fleeing town under somewhat dubious circumstances right after the fire.

Eventually Rizzoli realized that the tenant in question, Melvin Tuttle, drove a similar vehicle as Rick. Could it be that whoever did it got the wrong house by mistake? Sure enough, it turned out that Melvin had turned up dead, likely at the hands of a local biker gang, the Devil’s Scorpions. An interview with a member of the club doing time for something he refused to testify against the club president over proved fruitful, as he turned against the president when informed that he could be facing the death penalty in exchange for life in prison. Rizzoli makes the man in question, Blade, the same offer and bam! Instant confession. (Or should I say “Boom,” given TNT’s slogan?)

Rick cleared, and set to be released in a few days, he and the son made amends and all was right in the world again. Not to mention Rizzoli was cleared for duty officially, after discovering that her mother had withheld the letter from her doctor doing just that, fearing for her going back to work, lest she get hurt again. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.

This was a decent episode, all in all. It was nice to see Korsak get a case to dig his teeth into in Jane’s absence, and amusing seeing the lengths Rizzoli went to in order to insert herself into that case off book. The concern that mama Rizzoli felt for her daughter was also sweet, if a bit overprotective, but that’s par for the course with Angela, I suppose. It was also amusing to see the high heel on the other foot after single lady Angela went out for a night at the club alone and wasn’t home until late, stressing Jane out in the process. I also liked Isles’ ad-hoc low-rent “luggage” for Rizzoli, who tends to use trash bags for that sort of thing! “Hazardous materials- handle with care,” indeed.

So, maybe not the most thrilling episode in the world, but it was solidly written and executed, with some nice character moments, and some amusing bits here and there. I especially liked it when, after finally telling Jane about the letter she’d hidden, Angela told her to “knock ‘em dead” and Jane replied, without missing a beat: “I’m a homicide detective, ma- they’re already dead.” LOL.

What did you think of “Rizzoli & Isles” this week? Happy to see Jane back on the job, finally? Enjoy seeing Korsak get a case of his own? How are you liking the new recruit, Nina (Idara Victor)? What did Angela get up to on her late night on the town? Would you use luggage marked “hazardous materials”? Sound off below and see you next week!