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S07.E05: Shadow of Doubt

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A wealthy woman is found dead at the bottom of her stairs in a case that pits the team against a sly killer determined to pull off the perfect crime. Also, Maura decides to undergo surgery, prompting a possible reconnection with Hope (Sharon Lawrence).

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I figured Maura's condition would mean a visit from Hope, and that's great, but for a while there I was sure the writers had forgotten Maura has an actual mother.  Do they not have a good relationship?  Does she live on Mars?  In other words, why is "being mothered" new to Maura, and why didn't anyone call her in addition to Hope?  (I haven't seen very many of the early season episodes.) 

Since when does a patient walk back into her room after surgery?  (Or, come to think of it, had she been wheeled back in earlier without us seeing, and when Hope was helping her into bed it was just after she'd done a little walk around the room?)  And since when does a patient have brain surgery - even a small incision - and come out with their hair looking just as it did when they went in?

I swear every police drama I have ever seen where a woman died at the bottom of the stairs, it turns out her husband/boyfriend had an identical incident with another woman in his past.

Edited by Bastet
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Hey,  writers and producers,  how about acknowledging Susie's invention of the word "fruitopsy" when she did autopsies on watermelons,  when Kent was demoing the smashing of cantelopes.  I miss Susie. And why did Kent have to smash so many. 

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I'm not feeling this episode. Part of that is the presence of Hope, a character I have never warmed to, but it seemed to be a lot of storylines thrown together that weren't clicking for me. I don't care about Jane figuring out Nina/Frankie. The case was obvious though really, it could have gone either way by the end and I wouldn't have cared. This is two eps already this season where another ME made a case breaking mistake that only Maura could find.

There were a few good things- that sweater Maura had on at her house and the bun to show off the neckline, her dress at the end, Kent smashing cantaloupes and Maura's complete obliviousness to how odd it sounded to Jane, the fact that he had drawn faces on the cantaloupes, and Kent calling Maura was grumpy and her grumpy denial. Maura's fixation on bagels. There are no cravings like the things you could have but can't for whatever reason. Nina telling Frankie to plead the fifth was cute. Unfortunately all of that didn't add up to five minutes of the episode. Even the lack of Kiki and minimal Angela couldn't save it.

I was waiting for Kent to say something personal to Maura but I guess since she pushed him back so hard last week, he took the hint. The fact that she's taken all of his medical suggestions and run with them is its own kind of hint though.

2 hours ago, Bastet said:

I figured Maura's condition would mean a visit from Hope, and that's great, but for a while there I was sure the writers had forgotten Maura has an actual mother.  Do they not have a good relationship?  Does she live on Mars?  In other words, why is "being mothered" new to Maura, and why didn't anyone call her in addition to Hope?  (I haven't seen very many of the early season episodes.) 

Since when does a patient walk back into her room after surgery?  (Or, come to think of it, had she been wheeled back in earlier without us seeing, and when Hope was helping her into bed it was just after she'd done a little walk around the room?)  And since when does a patient have brain surgery - even a small incision - and come out with their hair looking just as it did when they went in?

Maura has a good relationship with her mom, it's just very different from what Jane and Angela prefer. Her parents are wealthy, with highly accomplished international careers. Constance loved Maura but did not 'mother' like the Rizzolis use the word. I'm guessing a nanny helped. Then Maura went to French boarding schools, and as an adult she only sees her parents occasionally. So apparently Jane thinks she needs to learn Rizzoli 'mothering' and how to be a daughter to that kind of mothering.

I don't get why Jane wanted Maura to call Hope. I don't remember them leaving their relationship at that kind of place. Maura certainly didn't seem happy to see her. 'She's your Mom'- no Jane, she's really not. Jane's behavior in this ep reminded me of her pushing when Arthur showed up last season. Angela is there, and I think that is all the mothering Maura wants. Leave it be.

If at any point Maura had looked happy to be left with Hope I don't think I would feel as strongly, but she didn't. Two really telling moments were when Hope said she had to ask Angela to step aside and when Maura said they didn't know each other and laid the family relationships out. I don't remember Hope wanting this much from her before. Maybe Cailin is gone now? It's only been a few eps since Maura told Kent she'd wondered what kind of doctor she would be so I'm not surprised she wanted the tour. I just didn't like the pushiness when Maura was already so vulnerable. I kept wondering what she really wanted.

I'm pretty sure she'd been out of surgery awhile. At first I thought they were making her walk to the bathroom, but Hope said they'd brought her up. So she went for the memory tests perhaps? My only issue was the lack of a noticeable bandage. In the final scene she had a little white bandage on her neck. Otherwise, nothing to be seen. That's just nuts.

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I was wrong.  The Ponytail was there, but only at the beginning of a long, long, long episode.Missing: Jane's Ponytail of Righteous Justice (named by Dorothy Snarker) 

Forgotten: Rizzoli & Isles: She Works Hard for the Money (#1.4)" (2010)
Detective Jane Rizzoli: Did you play sports? 
Dr. Maura Isles: [proudly] Ballet. And fencing. 
Detective Jane Rizzoli: Those aren't sports. 
Dr. Maura Isles: Yes they are! What did you play? 
Detective Jane Rizzoli: Field Hockey. I was an Attacker. 
Dr. Maura Isles: I'm sure you were very aggressive. 
Detective Jane Rizzoli: [confused then amused] Attacker is a position. 

Jane could have bonded with the girl over field hockey.

Edited by Scamp

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4 hours ago, Scamp said:

Missing: Jane's Ponytail of Righteous Justice (named by Dorothy Snarker)

Forgotten: Rizzoli & Isles: She Works Hard for the Money (#1.4)" (2010)
Detective Jane Rizzoli: Did you play sports? 
Dr. Maura Isles: [proudly] Ballet. And fencing. 
Detective Jane Rizzoli: Those aren't sports. 
Dr. Maura Isles: Yes they are! What did you play? 
Detective Jane Rizzoli: Field Hockey. I was an Attacker. 
Dr. Maura Isles: I'm sure you were very aggressive. 
Detective Jane Rizzoli: [confused then amused] Attacker is a position. 

Jane could have bonded with the girl over field hockey.

This show's continuity is all over the place and it's showing even more this season. I'm glad it's ending this summer because Sasha more than anyone else on this show deserves better material.

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I knew it was hopeless, but the only thing I was really rooting for in this episode was for Jane's Gut to be wrong, wrong, wrong, and the daughter to have done it. That would have been much more compelling than an hour of "the evidence says he didn't do it." "But I KNOW he did it." "But look at the mountain of evidence that says he didn't." "But I KNOW he did it." and then them finally finding one piece of evidence that says he did it.

And even after that, I was rooting for a last minute reveal that he and the girl had been in cahoots. I know, I know -- I'm a dreamer.  

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I must admit, I empathized with the reactions to the bagels early in the episode. Heaven in a bag. Oh, yeah.

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Except for the magical post-brain-surgery-perfect-hair, and the appearance of Hope, I thought the plot held together pretty nicely. Well, except for: Did I miss something or did we not know the perp was not the daughter's father until toward the end when he blurted out something about "...my stepdaughter..."?

But, seriously, couldn't they have put a bandage on the low back part of her head?

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4 hours ago, abbottrabbit said:

I knew it was hopeless, but the only thing I was really rooting for in this episode was for Jane's Gut to be wrong, wrong, wrong, and the daughter to have done it. That would have been much more compelling than an hour of "the evidence says he didn't do it." "But I KNOW he did it." "But look at the mountain of evidence that says he didn't." "But I KNOW he did it." and then them finally finding one piece of evidence that says he did it.

And even after that, I was rooting for a last minute reveal that he and the girl had been in cahoots. I know, I know -- I'm a dreamer.  

The husband and step-daughter killing the mom (while engaged in an affair) did happen on the original Law & Order - during the Jill Hennessey years, as I recall.  I kept waiting for the plot to twist that way, but it didn't.

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Did I miss something or did we not know the perp was not the daughter's father until toward the end when he blurted out something about "...my stepdaughter..."?

I didn't catch that she was a stepdaughter until then, either.  I figured I'd missed an earlier reference, but now you have me wondering.

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I don't think it was stated until later. My guess is it was mentioned earlier and ended up on the cutting room floor.

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21 hours ago, l star said:

 

There were a few good things- that sweater on at her house and the bun to show off the neckline 

Maura has a good relationship with her mom, it's just very different from what Jane and Angela prefer. Her parents are wealthy, with highly accomplished international careers. Constance loved Maura but did not 'mother' like the Rizzolis use the word. I'm guessing a nanny helped. Then Maura went to French boarding schools, and as an adult she only sees her parents occasionally. So apparently Jane thinks she needs to learn Rizzoli 'mothering' and how to be a daughter to that kind of mothering.

 

 

Sasha looked so casually beautiful in that sweater with her hair up!  She should wear her hair up more often.

Why did Hope show up,  but not Constance...they didn't even mention Constance.

Angela is a SMOTHER. definition of a smother: an overbearing mother that smothers their adult child(ren) with too much love, affection, bossy demands and food.

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they didn't even mention Constance.

Well, they finally did, but not by name.  When Maura and Hope were having their "square peg, round hole" conversation, Maura said Hope has a daughter, and Maura has a mother.  Until then, I really wasn't sure the writers realized the latter.  But that was the sole reference to Constance, prompting my question as to Maura's relationship with her, because it was odd for everyone to be so focused on Hope to the exclusion of Constance.

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Jane was focused on Hope to the exclusion of Constance. For once even Angela took a backseat to Jane's meddling. Maura didn't appear to have any want or need for Hope's presence, and was the only one to point out that she already had a mom. Plus she has Angela whenever she wants to be s-mothered. If I remember right though, Jane doesn't like Constance at all. I remember her confronting her about being a bad mother to Maura. Maura and Jane's diverging views on Maura and her family have created varying degrees of conflict since Paddy Doyle though. That at least is one degree of conflict that hasn't been dropped or brushed aside.

4 hours ago, Bastet said:

I didn't catch that she was a stepdaughter until then, either.  I figured I'd missed an earlier reference, but now you have me wondering.

I caught that then too and got totally thrown out of the story trying to figure out if they'd already mentioned it and did it matter.

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3 hours ago, l star said:

Jane was focused on Hope to the exclusion of Constance. For once even Angela took a backseat to Jane's meddling. Maura didn't appear to have any want or need for Hope's presence, and was the only one to point out that she already had a mom. Plus she has Angela whenever she wants to be s-mothered. If I remember right though, Jane doesn't like Constance at all. I remember her confronting her about being a bad mother to Maura. Maura and Jane's diverging views on Maura and her family have created varying degrees of conflict since Paddy Doyle though. That at least is one degree of conflict that hasn't been dropped or brushed aside.

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I didn't catch that she was a stepdaughter until then, either.  I figured I'd missed an earlier reference, but now you have me wondering.

I caught that then too and got totally thrown out of the story trying to figure out if they'd already mentioned it and did it matter.

Maybe another cutting room floor line had Jane suggeting they bring Hope into the loop because she is a medical professional? If so, it would still be akin to when my ex called me at work for advice with his sick baby--which amused only me; everyone else was outraged on my behalf.

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I guess because the show is winding down I don't feel as pressed about the stories and if the characters are necessarily consistent with past things because for me, I just want to see them all get their happy ending. I never considered this show as anything more than fluff really, so I'm not as put off by Jane's actions regarding Hope and insisting Maura call her. I wasn't a fan of Constance either, and Hope did have another daughter so she did learn how to mother and take care of a child whereas Constance only had Maura. Maybe that's why Jane was more focused on Hope, she has seen Maura's sister and how she turned out so she knows Hope does have the ability to care and act accordingly. I just saw it as pretty much what Jane told Maura - that she wanted her to have the chance to create new neural pathways, and exploring a relationship with Hope would definitely do that.

I can also see at the end of the series, Maura deciding to work at one of Hope's clinics and giving up her job as an ME. As far as standard TV tropes go, I'm fully expecting an episode soon at the clinic where Maura helps a real live person and that starts her on the path to her decision. They didn't do all that referencing for no reason lol.

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12 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Except for the magical post-brain-surgery-perfect-hair, and the appearance of Hope, I thought the plot held together pretty nicely. Well, except for: Did I miss something or did we not know the perp was not the daughter's father until toward the end when he blurted out something about "...my stepdaughter..."?

But, seriously, couldn't they have put a bandage on the low back part of her head?

The official R&I Facebook page is full of angry comments and genuine post-surgical photos posted by actual Chiari Malformation sufferers (5-6 inch incisions, long stays in ICU, etc.)  Whoever chose that diagnosis for Maura did a great disservice to the show's fans.

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The case of the week seems to have been pulled from the real life crime that was made into a GREAT documentary series called "The Staircase."  Available on YouTube and recommended for anyone who enjoyed Serial season 1 and Making a Murder. Some facts have been changed, but others were in the real thing.  Episode one here: 

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...and then there is the supposed "owl attack".

Owl theory

In late 2009, a new theory of Kathleen Peterson's death was raised: that she had been attacked by an owl outside, fallen after rushing inside, and been knocked unconscious after hitting her head on the first tread of the stairs. The owl theory was raised by Durham attorney T. Lawrence Pollard, a neighbor of the Petersons who was not involved in the case, but had been following the public details. He approached the police suggesting an owl might have been responsible, after reading the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) evidence list and finding a "feather" listed. Peterson's attorneys had determined that the SBI crime lab report listed a microscopic owl feather and a wooden sliver from a tree limb entangled in a clump of hair that had been pulled out by the roots found clutched in Kathleen's left hand.[15][16] A re-examination of the hair in September 2008 had found two more microscopic owl feathers.[17]

Although Pollard did not speak of the theory to anyone else, the Durham Herald-Sun newspaper published an article ridiculing him and discrediting his theory. Other media picked it up, propagating the Herald-Sun story, which was later criticized as inaccurate.

Advocates of this theory assert that other evidence supports it, namely that the scalp wounds were tri-lobed and paired, consistent with marks left by talons, the feathers are similar to those on owl feet, cedar needles were found on her hands and body indicating she had fallen over outside shortly before entering the house, that Kathleen's blood had splattered up the staircase rather than down, that Kathleen's footprints in her own blood indicated that she was already bleeding before she reached the foot of the stairs and that two drops of Kathleen's blood were found outside the house on the front walkway along with a finger smear on the front door consistent with her pushing the door shut. Advocates also note that owl attacks on people are common in the area, with one victim stating that the impact was similar to being hit in the head with a baseball bat.[18]

According to Pollard, had a jury been presented with this evidence it would have "materially affected their deliberation and therefore would have materially affected their ultimate verdict." Prosecutors have ridiculed the claim and Dr. Deborah Radisch, who conducted Kathleen Peterson's autopsy, says it is unlikely that an owl or any other bird could have made wounds as deep as those on Kathleen's scalp. Dr. Radisch's opinion, however, was challenged by other experts in three separate affidavits filed in 2010. Dr. Alan van Norman wrote "The multiple wounds present suggest to me that an owl and Ms. Peterson somehow became entangled. Perhaps the owl got tangled in her hair or perhaps she grabbed the owl's foot."[19]

Dr. Patrick T. Redig, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Minnesota wrote:

In my professional opinion, the hypothesized attack to the face and back of the head resulting in the various punctures and lacerations visible in the autopsy photographs is entirely within the behavioral repertoire of large owls.[19]

Kate P. Davis, executive director of Raptors of the Rockies, a western Montana education and wildlife rehabilitation project, wrote:

The lacerations on Mrs. Peterson's scalp look very much like those made by a raptor's talons, especially if she had forcibly torn the bird from the back of her head. That would explain the feathers found in her hand and the many hairs pulled out by the root ball, broken or cut. The size and configuration of the lacerations could certainly indicate the feet of a Barred Owl.[19]

Davis further noted that owls can kill species much larger than themselves and that it is not uncommon for them to attack people.[19]

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I also could not figure out why Constance (and Daddy) were not even notified, while Hope rushes to her bedside.  Constance does care about Maura in her own way, she is just not a touchy feely person.  This should not be a surprise, since she raised Maura, and Maura is not touchy feely either.   I also think they show the mother- dad - daughter relationship with a tip of the cap towards money and class traditions.  Maura went to private boarding schools.  Jane and Frankie went to either Catholic or public schools like the rest of the masses.  The Isles family is not like the Rizzoli family. 

I thought the entire brain surgery plot was silly.  Maura comes out of surgery with all of her hair, no tubes, no bandage, no nothing.   There was no way that was realistic and I didn't even bother to look up the malformation.   I have yet to get the point of the entire malformation plot, other than it is being used as a device to set Maura up for another career in the series finale. 

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What I find weird about this whole Constance v Hope thing is that Jan Nash is a lesbian so she should be more sensitive about non-biological family ties and since she took over as showrunner the biological aspect has been emphasized even more. Don't even get me started about the lack of intimacy between Jane and Maura that we saw when the show first started. It's really weird and puzzling and this episode is the perfect example of these changes.

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13 hours ago, maraleia said:

What I find weird about this whole Constance v Hope thing is that Jan Nash is a lesbian so she should be more sensitive about non-biological family ties and since she took over as showrunner the biological aspect has been emphasized even more. Don't even get me started about the lack of intimacy between Jane and Maura that we saw when the show first started. It's really weird and puzzling and this episode is the perfect example of these changes.

As a lesbian and Rizzles shipper, I have been puzzled about Nash's approach to R&I since she took over for season 5.  Just because she's gay, that doesn't mean she's gay-friendly on the show.  More than distancing Jane and Maura, also not having LGBT characters (which Janet Tamaro did).  There was Alexandra the blonde firearms instructor, married to a woman, but she was a joke about Frankie's eagerness for a relationship.  Of course, we also got cellmates Alice Sands (psychopath and bisexual) and Wendy Allen (naive and ???).  I'd love to read Nash's contract with WB/TNT to see what she pledged to do/not do with the show.  Fortunately, there are some very skilled gif-makers who spot the Rizzles moments that leak through, and there's fan fiction.  Sigh.

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On July 2, 2016 at 8:57 AM, mythoughtis said:

...I thought the entire brain surgery plot was silly.  Maura comes out of surgery with all of her hair, no tubes, no bandage, no nothing.   There was no way that was realistic and I didn't even bother to look up the malformation.   I have yet to get the point of the entire malformation plot, other than it is being used as a device to set Maura up for another career in the series finale. 

I've come up with a plausible reason for the lack of bandage and Maura having none of her hair shaved: The writers, acknowledging their ignorance of neurosurgery, did some Googling, and stumbled across 4th century B.C.E. Aristotle's claim that the heart is where the brain/mind is located, and since the writers knew Aristotle was an important science dude, they decided Maura's bandage would be easily covered by her blouse.

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