The Tuesday, June 24 episode of “Rizzoli & Isles,” 502, “Goodbye,” sees the team deal with the loss of Detective Frost. While they’re planning his funeral, they also have to work a case when a woman walks into the station covered in blood and holding a gun but with no memory of what happened or who she is.
This “Rizzoli & Isles” episode manages to do something that honestly wasn’t expected: produce a case that doesn’t make you angry for taking time away from the team grieving. Episodes of this nature are always the toughest, especially when talking about a procedural drama. Everything else seems to take a backseat to the loss of a team member, but that’s not the case with “Goodbye.” Instead, we get a case that makes us care about Jane Doe and hope she’s not playing them because Jane wants to believe her when she thinks there’s a reason why she saw Frost standing across the street.
Meanwhile, there’s a fine line that shows have to be very careful not to cross when dealing with a character’s death, and in this case, it’s even finer because it’s not just about saying goodbye to Detective Frost. It’s about saying goodbye to Lee Thompson Young as well. Fortunately, “Goodbye” doesn’t cross that line as each team member handles the grieving process in his or her own way. For Maura, it’s by trying to think of it in the stages of grief. For Jane, it’s doing what Frost would have wanted: the job. For Angela, it’s taking care of her daughter.
Ready to get into what happened in “Goodbye”? Keep reading for the recap.
Jane Doe, in the police station, with the gun and covered in blood. She doesn’t remember her name or what happened, but she can talk about the Red Sox, her favorite player and the delicious mustard on the hot dogs at the game. Her prints are a bust, but the gun was recently fired, so there is someone likely dead somewhere. “Any dead bodies lying in the street that are in need of a suspect to go along with them?” Jane asks, and that becomes the question of the case.
Maura explains the girl’s amnesia with a dissociative fugue state; what happened was so traumatic, she forgot everything associated with the experience. Korsak thinks the girl’s faking it, but they do have a few clues to go on: drug traces on her skirt, a ticket in her pocket and traces of Indian food in her teeth. Jane and Korsak take her for a ride around to the Indian restaurants to see if someplace looks familiar, and after Jane sees Frost standing across the street, she can’t help but wonder if he made them stop for a reason. Maybe he did, because that’s when the girl begins singing along to a children’s song with a group of kids and remembers she’s a teacher.
Frankie stays late calling schools trying to identify her, and when he does, Korsak makes a call for a search warrant for her place when Frankie has no luck getting a judge to sign one. Lily’s place has obviously been searched, but they’re still short one dead body. She does have a boyfriend, Toby, who has been unemployed for months, so they speculate that she had enough of supporting him, he searched her place for money, and it ended with him dead. Well, they are right that he’s dead because Frankie traces his phone to his body. However, the crime scene reveals that Lily was kneeling next to him when he was shot execution-style and would have to have elastic arms to reach around him to shoot him. Someone else killed him and Lily fought the person off and got the gun.
Lily remembers what happened when they show her Toby’s photo. When he lost his job, he turned back to selling drugs, and when he needed money to pay bills, he took it. The guy found out, and though they gave him everything they could, it wasn’t enough and it didn’t matter. They track down the shooter, with help from Frankie’s drug guys, and Lily’s father comes to the station to get her.
The stages of grief Though Angela thinks that Jane and Maura need to “let it out” and cry, they both head into work, dealing with the loss in their own ways. Korsak too thinks that Jane should go home, but that argument is interrupted when Frost’s mother stops by and admits that she doesn’t know how to answer the funeral director’s questions. Jane offers to take care of the service, and everyone gets assigned a task, with Jane’s being the hardest: the eulogy. Korsak is a bit stuck with the music until Frankie brings in Frost’s records and the one on the turntable.
Maura cries after a coworker offers his condolences as she’s leaving work, but the funeral comes and Jane still hasn’t cried. She delivers the perfect eulogy, ending with, “I really loved how he made me laugh, and I will miss that infectious smile and the joy that he brought to every day. So, in this moment when it feels like there is none, here is the good news: death may have taken Barry, but it can’t take our memories of him, those wonderful and perfect and beautiful memories. Those, thank God, are ours to keep.” It’s when she gets home and finds a postcard from him in her mail (“Couldn’t be better here, but I miss you anyway”) that she breaks down.
“Rizzoli & Isles” season 5 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on TNT. What did you think of episode 2 “Goodbye”?