Rizzoi & Isles: Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Astray

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Tuesday's episode of Rizzoli & Isles was one of the funniest we've seen in a long time. Not only did it have a central theme tying all the story elements together, but the relationship between Jane and Maura was given plenty of airtime, with Jane and Maura getting to step out of their character archetypes.

Jane goofed around, Maura was exasperated and goofed right back, and they supported the heck out of each other. Exactly the kind of feel-good television Rizzoli & Isles is supposed to be.

The episode began with Maura telling Angela that she could take Jane to her doctor's appointment, after all, obviously avoiding the fact that she didn't want to teach a class at the fictitious (and probably prestigious) Boston Cambridge University. She's terrified of giving grades, it turns out.

"I'm still scarred by the A- Biochemistry incident of 1996," she exclaims "I can't even imagine just crushing the spirit of young budding minds like that." With that attitude you can tell she's never given grades before.

Crushing spirtis is the best part.

Jane comes back at Maura with "Your budding mind was hardly crushed and it's med school. The budding minds of today will have patience tomorrow, so grade hard, save lives." Truer words, Jane.

Their departure for work is interrupted by a call from the Governor, who wants Maura to sign a death certificate for a local charitable celebrity, Chelsea Rothsberger. She apparently died of her ovarian cancer.

Methinks that might not be the case, however. The mystery begins!

Once they arrive at the Rothsberger mansion, the Downton Abby references begin flying fast and furious. Jane can't stop curtsying and making monocle jokes and if Maura rolls her eyes one more time they'll prop right out of her head.

Apparently Jane is all about the monocles because she prefers to "meditate" during episodes of Downton Abby rather than watch with her eyes open. I, too, am known for meditating during shows on late at night.

In fact, I usually meditate between 6 and 8 hours a night. Jane and I are practically twins!

Unsurprisingly, once Maura has had the opportunity to examine Chelsea Rothsberger's body she finds that she did not die of natural causes.

For some reason Chelsea's doctor disagrees, and threatens to sic the governor on Maura but Jane deals with both the doctor and the governor quite effectively, using a strong dose of her usual snark.

Back at the ranch, Maura discovers that Chelsea had been killed with a syringe full of air injected into her I.V. This, of course, means it was a painful death, and most certainly a murder, despite her certainly limited time left on Earth.

Everyone is appropriately grim for about two seconds. This show's lighthearted tone kicks back up again after the commercial break.

Jane, Frankie and Korsak all gather for a status update on Chelsea's death only to be taken aback by a tech person sitting in Frost's chair.

Jane kicks him out as politely as possible for her, I'm sure, but it's clear that Frost's chair has become "a thing" for the three of them, as Jane eloquently puts it.

As the episode progresses, Jane suggests to Korsak that they all take turns sitting in it so it doesn't bother them so much to see another person in Frost's chair. I have to hand it to this show: it's doing a bang-up job showing the aftermath of the death of a loved one while being respectful to Lee Thompson Young's memory.

I'm sure it's difficult for the cast and crew to continue on as if everything is fine when someone who had been with them since the beginning is now gone.

I hope that these small scenes that continue to address Frost's death in-show are cathartic for those on set as well.

Maura soon heads over to BCU and meets a super hot professor. While he mentions he's a mechanical engineering professor you can tell none of the on-staff writers know anything about engineering (or professoring).

I'm pretty sure a layperson would be fine with it, though, so we'll leave that be. For now.

Jane lays out the suspects and after careful consideration Korsak, Frankie and Jane come to the conclusion that their first step must be the son who is a heroin addict. WHile he turns out to be innocent, the picture he paints of the victim puts her very close to sainthood. Ditto for her other son, the "self-made man" who likes to toot his own horn.

I don't like him for the murder either, sadly. And, it turns out, neither does one of the staf.

She comes in to confess to murdering Chelsea. Apparently Pauline and Chelsea planned her death out for weeks,

Meanwhile, Angela heads to Jane's doctor's appointment by herself when Jane asks her to cancel. She asks the doctor if she could midwife Jane's labor.

To no one's surprise, Jane is absolutely appalled and tells her mother that she overstepped her boundaries by a lot. To no one's surprise Angela is violently upset by this and leaves.

When Jane bursts in to Maura's office to update her on her mother's latest crime, she catches Maura rehearsing her next lecture into a mirror and with a hairbrush.

Come on, what's so strange about that? Aside from the hairbrush, of course. I don't know a single teacher or professor who carries a mic with them.

It turns out that Maura is nervous because Hot Professor (AKA Jack Armstrong) paid her a compliment. Jane, of course, is ecstatic.

"When I look at him I picture us having sex, if you get my drift," she tells Jane. "It'd be impossible not to," Jane says.

Maura is determined to think the worst.

So much so, in fact, that she calls HP in to tell him he probably has something seriously wrong with him as she is "wildly sexually attracted to [him]." Instead of running for the hills, HP asks Maura out.

He's probably here to stay, at least for a few episodes.

Back on the case, Maura discovers that while Pauline did attempt to kill Chelsea with an overdose of morphine (according to Chelsea's wishes), it was not what killed her. The air embolism is such a painful death that it must have been retribution for something. And it becomes clear that her eldest son, Larry, is free from that particular sin.

At the time of the murder, instead of being at home by himself, reading Prust (what a snobby, fake alibi) he was involved in a fourgy with one other man and two women.

Frankie gets the pleasure of verifying that video and you can't help but delight in his reluctance.

Jane heads down to the cafeteria to eat and chat with her mother, and gets read the riot act. "You try so hard not to be me," Angela says, "that you put up these ten-foot walls."

Jane's metaphorical walls have been beaten enough for one episode and she and Angela resolve to respect boundaries but to also let each other in more often.

Soon, Jane, Frankie and Korsak discover that the Rothberger family chauffer is actually a half-Rothberger himself. Is it motive enough to kill Chelsea Rothberger? It seems so.

Brad, the chauffer/bastard child (and for once I'm not using that as a metaphor) admits to killing Chelsea once confronted in the police station. He killed Chelsea because she told him he was her husband's whoopsie-do that she didn't want to be part of the family until it was too late.

He thought she didn't deserve an easy way out, but his murderous intent was no match for Chelsea's good-heartedness. She forgave him for killing her in her final moments. His conscience guilty, Brad is cuffed and led to jail.

The episode is focused on learning from your past mistakes and forgiveness.

Jane learned to drop her boundaries around the people she loved, Angela learned to not overstep peoples' boundaries without a second though, Maura trusted her gut and went on a date with a man she was attracted to (who didn't try to kill her) and even Brad wished he could go back and forgive Chelsea, the victim, for not welcoming him into the family.

In the end, it's not a complicated episode, but the central theme is clear: learn from your past. Don't let yourself be tied down by it.