I was hoping to make just one post about Rizzoli and Isles series. Just one long post and that’s it. But, as a fan of Tess Gerritsen’s work and detective stories, I just can’t resist not writing more.
I finally finished the first season and I guess I now have the right to judge it. Rather late but hey, better late than never! (says the person who’s almost always late to class)
If this series was set to have a dark theme or if people thinks it is, it’s not. To my standards, it’s not. Not with how they presented Dr. Isles. Take it from someone who has read the books it’s based on.
General thoughts for this Season
This show lacks complexity. It’s not as dark as I initially imagined it to be, not even close. But, what the show lacks in complexity is made up with wit and humor in their lines. If you love witty lines and humor, you might enjoy this series. If you’re after the details of each case and the challenge of guessing who the culprit is, then I suggest you look elsewhere. Like I mentioned on my other post, this series is like a detective version of Grey’s Anatomy. It has the elements that makes it a detective series but it’s more focused on character personality and relationships than on the cases. It sorely lacks supporting details.
The characters are lovable and enjoyable and that would be the bigger (if not the only) factor on why one would watch and follow this series through. If there some improvement in details in the following seasons then I’ll have to wait and see. I still hope it does improve in that aspect.
Some observations per episode:
Episode 1: “See One. Do One. Teach One”
I already wrote about this here. Just scroll down or read the whole thing if you want to.
One thing you should note in this episode is how Jane assigns specific ring tones to people she’s close to like Chopin’s “Funeral March” for Maura who is known as the “Queen of the Dead”. It was a fun idea but go observe if that holds true through out the season.
Episode 2: Boston Strangler Redux.
Many said that this episode is the start of the show deviating from the books. I’d like to agree with that thought but something tugs at me that this story is oddly familiar. It’s either a side story in one of Tess Gerritsen’s book or I’ve read something similar somewhere else. I’m sure of it because I knew what generally was going to happen and who the culprit was the moment “Boston Strangler” was mentioned. It’s either that, I’m psychic, or I time traveled. I know… time travel is definitely not an option. I’m psychic.
Episode 3: Sympathy for the Devil
The thing that has gotten clear to me, after 3 episodes, is that the series lacks details to supplement the whys in the episodes. Jane sees a blue flower which she has absolutely clueless about, dreams about it, it somehow matches the poison, and becomes their “somewhat” proof for the murder?! Seriously?! Detective Rizzoli in the books would never even accept this kind of idea. But this isn’t the books anymore. No longer Tess Gerritsen’s master work. This episode sounded like a bad fanfic.
Episode 4: She Works Hard for the Money
This episode felt like a Disney movie where everything is alright at the end. Jane is suppose to be a good cop so why is she not pegging everyone involved with the victim a suspect like what Beckett would have done? They simply say ” I didn’t really know her very well”, or something along those lines, and they’re off the hook? Then again, we don’t see who Jane puts in her suspect list assuming she has one. The show has yet to show case what exactly makes Jane a good cop because good cops aren’t just athletically good.
Episode 5: Money for Nothing
The guess-who-done-it game on this series has definitely been too easy so far. I give up on the complexity factor.
This episode shows us more on the relationship between Jane and Maura. It also shows us how different they are in terms of social status. Maura is up in the high class society which is in contrast to the Dr. Isles in the book who resented them and lived a low profile life, sort of. This was displayed in “Keepsake” if you’d care to read it (UK version: Keeping the Dead). I hope this somehow would mean that the Mephisto Club would be introduced into the show sooner or later if at all. Then again there was no mention of it or any of the members. Yet.
I hope you’ve been noticing the ringtones.
Episode 6: I kissed a Girl
This was enjoyable seeing them set up Jane to go on a lesbian date. It reminded me how tempted I was to do the same thing to my cousin for the heck of it. I see a lot of “gay” comments on the net which I’m assuming is referring to Jane and Maura’s relationship. I’m guessing most of those who dropped such comments are guys. It’s a girl thing dudes and not necessarily “gay”. We don’t expect them to understand anyway.
The case again lacked complexity. The spouse with a solid alibi, too solid alibi, was clearly questionable. If this was Beckett on the case, she’d question that right away. Sure, the team mentioned that detail over and over but didn’t seem to really question it ’till rather late in the episode. A good cop would pick up on it. I’m still not convinced with Jane. Not like how convinced I was with Beckett. Jane is a good cop because they say so but doesn’t act it or the story doesn’t show it.
Episode 7: Born to Run
Jane finally shows some wits! Not meaning she was previously insane mind you hahaha… This is one of the better episodes. I pity the scout boy. He had his role but there was no closure to his being there. After fulfilling his role, he dropped off the face of the earth. Sounded like a typical fanfic where characters appear, do something important for the story, and suddenly disappear without a trace. Also, there was no proper closure on the media’s involvement in the case. Yes it was mentioned that the media should not know of it or there would be panic, but what about after? Plus, wouldn’t the little commotion reach the media anyway?
Episode 8: I’m Your Boogie Man
Warren Hoyt appears again! Hurray! *throws confetti* But wait! Did the letter say “Charles Hoyt”?! Oooookaaaayyyyy… For a moment there I thought he had a brother who would be his new apprentice. Or not.
Episode 9: The Beast in Me
The list of suspects reminds me so much of Castle Season 5 episode 18! Okay.. Book difference again! Like that matters anymore. *sigh*
In the book, it’s Dr. Isles’ mom who is the bad blood and is in fact crazy. In the series, it’s her dad who’s bad blood but he isn’t crazy, just involved with the wrong people.
One episode away ’till the finale and the series still hasn’t failed to leave unanswered questions. Who informed Maura’s dad on who the culprit is? That doesn’t need a direct answer but at least an indication that someone tipped him off would have been nice and not just a “someone must’ve tipped him off” line. This episode had the potential to add some future drama but I’m starting to think people in charge of this show only think of the present episode and not consider linking previous episodes to future episodes. Again, lack of complexity.
Episode 10: When the Gun Goes Bang, Bang, Bang
Of the number of cops in the building they’re only concerned of four. Wow. Someone please tell me how Frankie got hurt that bad after getting shot in the abdomen while wearing a bullet proof vest?! He got shot in the abdomen twice. He was wearing a bullet proof vest. He suddenly has blood in his lungs?! What did I miss? Lesson: Don’t wear bullet proof vests. They don’t really save you. In fact, they make you spit blood over time when you’re shot at your abdomen while wearing it.
In other news, I know sternocleidomastoid sounds medical and is less common than biceps or triceps but I’m not sure how a neck muscle can be complemented in someone working on their arm muscles. Err.. yeah. Did I mention this series has little attention to details?
This episode introduces Jane’s other brother, Tommy, who is apparently the black sheep of the family. No physical appearance though, just a mention. He might appear on the coming season I hope.
Still, I am yet to be convinced of Jane being a good cop. She’s done things but I’m still not convinced. Maybe it’s because my ideal good female cop is of Kate Beckett level and frankly, the Jane in this series pales in comparison.
So have you noticed the ringtones?
Despite my complaints, I would still watch the next season because I’m stubborn like that. Like I said, the characters are enjoyable and lovable and this would be what would keep me following it through. We’ll see in the following season how things would go.