Rizzoli & Isles “Shadow of Doubt” Review (Season 7 Episode 5)


On the latest episode of “Rizzoli & Isles,” we got more of a serious case, which makes sense after two goofy ones in a row, as appreciated as they were after the double-dose of drama we started out the season with. In “Shadow of a Doubt,” Rizzoli and company sought to find out the truth of what happened when a woman took a tumble down the stairs one night.

About the only thing not in contention was that it was a murder in the first place, or there wouldn’t be much of a case. The question was, as ever, who done it? Was it the scheming husband, Robert (Darri Ingolfsson, “Money Monster”), looking to inherit his wife’s fortune? Or her angry daughter, Claire (Lexi Ainsworth, “General Hospital”), who resented her for trying to control her love-life? Or Claire’s boyfriend, Gary (Tom Williamson, “The Fosters”), who resented her for trying to keep him and her daughter apart?

Gary was cleared by witnesses fairly early on, having been at a party all night, but Claire was also at that party, which she conveniently left out when first questioned by the police, having snuck out to do so. Had her mother caught her in the act of sneaking back in and a fight ensued, resulting in an accidental death?

Claire insisted that, while the two had indeed quarreled earlier in the evening, which was part of the reason she had opted to sneak out in the first place and go to the party, she had only found her mother’s body, not killed her. Meanwhile, her father insisted that he and his wife had gotten drunk and he went to bed earlier than she did and she must had fallen on her way upstairs.

At first, the latter explanation seemed like it could be true, but eventually Isles found indication that it might have been staged a certain way as to cover up what really happened- that she was beaten to death, with the blood smeared to cover up the blood spatter.

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However, in doing so, the killer would have had to get some blood on their clothing, and nothing had been found on the premises, which the husband had willingly allowed to be searched. Indeed, Robert was almost a little too cooperative, even going against his lawyer’s advice and agreeing to a lie detector test, which he passed.

Convinced that he was guilty, Rizzoli bonded with Claire on the sly, though her father intercepted before Rizzoli could do much more than give Claire her card and tell her to call if she saw anything suspicious. Sure enough, Claire called soon enough, telling Rizzoli that she’d followed her father to a storage facility and he looked to be in the process of getting rid of something.

Rizzoli and Korsak headed there immediately, just barely managing to catch him before he left, and finding a bloody field hockey stick in his car- which, in fact, belonged to Claire. Robert confessed to trying to get rid of evidence, but said it was only because he was trying to protect his stepdaughter, as she was all he had left after his wife’s death. With all the evidence pointing to Claire, the police had no choice but to arrest Claire, which did not go over well with Rizzoli.

Digging further into Robert’s past, it was discovered that his previous girlfriend had also died under extremely similar circumstances, a crime which he was also cleared for. But as Isles found out, it was next to impossible that the two incidents hadn’t been committed by the same person, given how alike they were, down to the smeared blood.

Unfortunately, without solid evidence connecting Robert to the current crime, Claire was going to be the one to take the fall for him. Rizzoli and Korsak go back to the storage facility, but find nothing, either in the storage unit or in the garbage bins, which had already been emptied- a fact that Robert likely knew would be the case, as garbage pick-up dates were posted everywhere.

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However, Rizzoli remembered seeing a homeless man at the facility when she and Korsak busted Robert there previously, and offered him money to go through his stuff, to see if he’d happened to scavenged anything from the bins before they were picked up. As it turned out, he had nabbed some shoes, which did indeed have blood on them, as well as Robert’s DNA. Can you say busted?

Meanwhile, as all this was going on, Isles finally relented and went and had the surgery that Kent had been urging her to have to stop any further deterioration in its tracks, assuming it was happening in the first place and it wasn’t just repercussions from her head injury in the short term.

Naturally, Rizzoli and her mother went with her, but also putting in an appearance was her own mother, Dr. Hope Martin (a returning Sharon Lawrence), much to Isles’ chagrin. At first resenting her being there, Isles slowly-but-surely appreciated her presence, letting her doing the much-belated “mothering” thing she hadn’t gotten to do previously, for obvious reasons.

Hope also pointed Isles in the direction of a clinic that she could volunteer at if her symptoms did get worse, in spite of the surgery. Once again, Isles bristled at the suggestion at first, but eventually warmed to the idea, asking her mother to take her for a tour of the facility, suggesting that she might do it part-time, even if the surgery proved effective.

Finally, Rizzoli got wind of Frankie’s down-low romance in-the-making with Nina, when he showed up to the crime scene with her and got dropped off instead of driving himself, raising her suspicions. Opting to quiz her mother about it, Angela naturally cracked under the pressure, but made Jane swear not to force it out of Frankie.

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Instead, Jane amusingly asked both separately to meet her at the Drunk Robber, and when they showed up, she had the lie detector from earlier and was prepared to quiz them about their true feelings for one another. Cracking under the pressure before it even came to that, Frankie finally admitted that it was true, but Jane amusingly wasn’t done, wanting to also question him about a signed hockey puck he allegedly stole from her when they were kids!

That was about it, really. This was a decent enough episode, even if it wasn’t that hard to figure out who did it. But then, it wasn’t really about that, as the evidence was basically there early on- the real plot was in figuring out a way to prove Robert really did the crime and bring him down for it, and that part was reasonably satisfying, or at least much more so than it would have been if he’d actually gotten away with it and Claire went down for it instead.

Okay, granted, the homeless guy thing was a little convenient, but you’d rather have seen poor Claire go down for her stepdad’s crime? Yes, she was still going to have to do the Child Social Services thing, having no more surviving relatives to fall back on, but that sure beats jail, right? On the plus side, it wouldn’t be for long, as I believe she was around 16 years old at the time.

As for the rest, it’s always nice seeing Sharon Lawrence, IMHO, having been a fan of hers since her “NYPD Blue” days, even if her character here hasn’t always been the most sympathetic in the world. But she’s grown on me in time, much as she has on Isles as well, and the resemblance between the two remains uncanny- as good a casting as you could possibly want.

It also makes sense that Lawrence would put in an appearance, what with this being the last season and all. I also liked the notion of Isles doing volunteer work, which I hope proves to be the case. I can see where that would be right up her alley, and I think Hope knew that, which made it a sly way of helping to endear herself further to her oft-estranged daughter.

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All in all, a solid enough episode, though I’m really looking forward to the next one, which involves ghosts! Please note that the episode won’t be airing for another two weeks, on July 11th, for whatever reason, so don’t look for it next week. Until then, let me know what you thought of this episode down below!