Rizzoli & Isles

Rizzoli & Isles Subtexty Recap 3.13 "Virtual Love"

In this week’s episode, our crime du jour stars a guy in a yellow poncho. I have one just like that from when I went to Disney. I used to wear it whenever I cooked up meth in my parents’ garage. Oh, did I say meth? I meant smores. I’m not even sure what meth is because I only saw one episode of Breaking Bad and all I learned is that sometimes you end up pantless in the desert.


Anyway, this dude is wearing a poncho and I think he’s making instant soup. His secret ingredient looks like vodka. Perhaps he’s practicing for Iron Chef: LOLWTF. “And your secret ingredient is … GAP jeans!” A la cuisine!

Unfortunately, before he can finish his oats-and-vodka soup and upload the recipe to the Lolfood Network website, he’s murdered.

I think Bobbie Flay did it.

But anyhoo, over at the Boston Police Department, it looks like Wellness Week is over, and coffee is safe to drink again. Thank God.

Mama Rizzoli is still wearing makeup and things have just escalated from there. Now she’s flirting — with men! And they’re flirting back!

Jane’s like, “UGH. This is so weird and gross and unfair.”

Meanwhile, Maura’s eye-sexing Jane like she wants to spread her on a whole wheat cracker and dip her in tea.

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I can’t read Maura’s mind, but I’m pretty sure from her perspective, this scene goes like this:

Jane: Blah blah blah… flirting… blah blah…

Maura: (internal monologue) Jane’s so sexy when she’s rambling on in that faux-rageful way of hers… she’s all angry-passion and expressive mannerisms…

Jane: Blah blah…Cavanaugh…blah

Maura:  … I really love how gorgeous she looks au naturel … She doesn’t need heavy makeup … no lipstick… Mmm, those lips … I’d really love to — Oh! I should probably be contributing to this conversation. Oh, I know just the thing.

Maura: (actual dialogue) You know the average woman ingests over seven pounds of lipstick over a lifetime?

It’s the only explanation I have for why Maura is talking about lipstick while Jane is talking about Cavanaugh and her mother.

Angela Rizzoli has gone fishing in the Man-Pond that is the Boston P.D. and has reeled in her catch of the day, but he’s pretty slimy and has really awful pick-up lines about cars, so Jane disapproves even more strongly than she normally would.

Jane says, “Watch this,” to Maura, who hasn’t stopped watching “this” since season 1 episode 1, if by “this” Jane means Jane.


Cavanaugh is moping around the cafe like a puppy that kicked himself, and you almost feel sorry for him, except that he’s got no right to be jealous about Angela and Slimy McGee. But then he goes to get coffee and there’s no coffee left, and that’s pretty bad, as far as First World Problems go. So I pat him gently on the head and say, “There, there.”

Next up, our favorite C.I., Rondo, drops by to introduce Jane and Maura to three homeless teens that he feels need some mentoring.


Jane assigns one boy to Frost, another to Korsak and she and Maura adopt, Donna (or is it Tanya? I didn’t catch her name), whom I presume to be their daughter from the future. The girl’s half badass and half science genius. She’s come back in time to steal some money from her grandma. But more on that later.

First things first: the crime.

Chef Dead Guy was actually cooking beer. That’s less interesting than oats-and-vodka soup, but whatever. Maura determines that he was stabbed with something that’s not the thing that it isn’t, but is the thing that it is, but she doesn’t know what that may be. Jane follows the drops of blood all the way to a mill, where, whoop dee doop, we find most of the murder weapon, except for the stabby bit, which is still lodged inside the victim. But we’ll get to that.


Back at the station, Maura Rizzoli Jr. wants to go look at an autopsy so she can get extra credit in her AP Bio class. Jane drags her along to visit Maura.

We discover the girl’s got Maura’s textbook smarts and Jane’s sarcastic wit. What’s not to love?


Maura finds the stabby bit inside the dead guy, and determines it’s got something to do with Vikings. There’s also some runic writing engraved on it because this episode was sponsored by Odin.

Frost and Korsak find evidence that leads them to suspect a burly motorcycle club guy, because of reasons that lead nowhere.

But first, a fire alarm interlude, brought to you by: one of the mentees. But that’s not the worst of it, Angela’s wallet was stolen out of her purse. Logic dictates that whomever pulled the fire alarm, also stole the wallet.

Oh, but who? A UV light will help determine the culprit!


And voila. One more crime solved by the good cops of Boston.

We then take a roadtrip to the local motorcycle club to rule out our first suspect. You’d think the cop logic would dictate that a guy named Skullcrusher didn’t do it. They should be asking around to see if anyone there is called Ponchostabber.

Back at the lab, Jane drops by to check out her very pretty ladyfriend under the guise of asking work-related questions. Maura’s been busy trying to translate the runic symbols on the spear head. The words mean: Olaf the Boneless. Maura then tells Jane that perhaps they meant Ivar the Boneless.


Maura: There was a Viking leader named Ivar the Boneless. Scholars believe that he was a disabled dwarf. He was carried into battle on his shield. He was a great warrior.

Jane: How is a boneless dwarf on a shield a great warrior? (rethinking her words) How do you manage to do this?

The answer to this, and pretty much all of your questions, Jane, is that you’re in love with Maura. This is how she manages to drag you to yoga, and to spas, and to high school reunions, and gets you meditating, and out of your clothes, the hard way, if necessary, and so on and so forth. Making you wonder about boneless dwarves is the least of it, really.

Anyway, by some process of logic, they determine that the culprit could be a woman.

Jane, suddenly, desperately, needs a “swabby thing” and begins rummaging through Maura’s drawers.

Maura: Stop! I’ll get you whatever you’re looking for, but I need a more precise description.

Jane: I have to figure out what you’re saying all day long, you can’t figure out “swabby thing” — really?

Of course she can.


Jane and Korsak go on to interview the victim’s wife. She didn’t do it either, but she does provide them with a phone number that leads them to Chef Dead Guy’s casa away from casa, which he used as a video gaming lair.

Vikings of the Realm is the name of the MMORPG the guy was playing, and I really want to play it myself because it looks awesome. But even though it’s an MMORPG, which assumes hundreds of thousands, if not millions of players worldwide, this one only seems to have like 20 players, and they all live in Boston, and attend LAN parties at the local comic book store and Frost, who’s played the game a few times, even recognizes some of them.


But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Korsak is all, “Why would anyone waste hours of their life playing this game?” And Frost and I are like “EXCUSE ME?” Because MMOs are awesome, that’s why.


But then Frost is like, “TO COLLECT POINTS AND WIN.” And I’m like, “What are you talking about? You don’t collect points in an MMO. You collect weapons and armor, and the point isn’t to ‘win’ because there’s no ‘winning’ — the point is to get better weapons and armor so that you can then get even better weapons and armor. The point, Mr. Korsak, is to get stronger so that you can pwn everyone and everything and feel endlessly superior.”


So, Vikings of the Realm. Chef Dead Guy was a brewer by day, and Virtual Olaf the Boneless by night. He was also receiving letters written in the runic alphabet.

Clearly, playing a game called Vikings of the Realm, automatically grants you fluency in ancient Scandinavian languages.

Here’s what I don’t understand. As they’re standing there, an in-game message pops up on the screen, and it says, “Your whore is next.” First of all, the game is paused. It says so right there on the screen. But ignoring that…


If you are the killer, and you are sane enough, in that moment at least, to acknowledge that there is a next victim (meaning, the person you’re addressing was the first victim, and his whore is the next one), why are you warning him? He’s already dead!

Why am I trying to make sense of this?

Let’s move on. It’s night, and Maura and Jane are off-duty, which means Jane probably went back to her own apartment, and Maura went home to her house, because that’s what people who aren’t dating do. It’s even what people who are dating, but are not obsessed with each other, do.

But nope! Not these two.


These two walk in the front door, and Maura’s arguing, and Jane is carrying a box of pizza. What ever do two platonic friends who aren’t dating argue about?

Maura: I’m just saying it’s more cost-effective to get a quart of frozen yogurt if we’re sharing the same flavors.

Oh. Okay.

Look, I’m not saying that platonic friends who aren’t dating don’t argue about how to save money on the ice cream they’re sharing — I’m saying platonic friends who aren’t dating don’t argue about how to save money on the ice cream they’re sharing.

Besides which, since when does Maura care about saving a couple of bucks on ice cream? This is a woman who spent $500 in the blink of an eye, just to make Jane’s mom feel good about her artwork.

So basically Maura’s just arguing because she wants to share her ice cream with Jane and Jane’s like, “I want my own,” because Jane doesn’t like hers swirled and Maura does.

Jane: If you swirl it, it becomes one flavor: coffee toothpaste.

Jane opens the box of pizza, and how cute is it that they’re sharing a pizza and each has their own half? So cute.


Maura: Don’t get your pepperoni grease on my half.

Jane: Then get your mushroom off of my half.


Can I just–

Can we just–

I mean really?

The subject of Angela’s lovelife comes up as a way to douse the flames of their sexual tension, and right on cue, it sounds like Mrs. Rizzoli has a man-friend over. It’s Slimy McSleazy.


Jane does not approve, and interrupts. I kind of love how no one at the police station seems at all surprised, ever, that Jane is always with Maura at night.

Jane calls her mom over for a heart-to-heart on the business of dating.

Maura decides to give them some privacy, and steals a slice of pizza to take “upstairs” because she forgot to charge her “electric toothbrush” which I interpreted as, “Jane, when you’re done, I’ll be in the bedroom… just follow the buzzing sound.”

Jane tells Angela dating that sleazebag is beneath her, and Angela’s happy that she raised a feminist daughter. We’re all very proud. Now if she’ll just come out of the closet already, we’d be even prouder.

The next day, we’re back on the case, even though I’m disappointed that we didn’t get more of Rizzoli & Isles: Afterhours. Can that be its own series? I’m sure Showtime can pick up the rights.


But we’re now watching Rizzoli & Isles: Breakfast Time, where Jane and Maura are once again at the cafe, eating breakfast. So basically, they spend all day together at work, pick up dinner together, argue about the price of shared dessert, have sleepovers, get changed in the car on the way to work, and then have breakfast together, only to repeat the process?

Why should anyone think they’re more than friends?

Maura tells Jane that at least her mom isn’t drawing attention to her mouth because that’s a sign of flirtation. Something like this, you mean?


Jane and Maura continue watching the Angela Rizzoli & A Bunch of Men show, starring Angela Rizzoli, as herself, Detective Gibson as Sleazy McDouchebag, and Lieutenant Cavanaugh, as Jealous Ex. In this episode, Jealous Ex walks in to find Sleazy McDouchebag flirting with Angela, and starts arguing with him in that manly way that men have.

Maura turns to Jane and says, “I think they’re crotchblocking each other.” Maura knows a lot about crotchblocking because people do it to her and Jane all the time, and she’s actively searching for a way to have it banned in the state of Massachusetts.

But anyway, Rondo and the kids found the missing wallet. It turns out that Maura Rizzoli Jr. was the one who stole it because she needed $100 for a textbook. If she didn’t buy this textbook, then the events that lead to her moms finally getting together and having her, won’t happen, see? So that is why she did it. We understand. Time travel is complicated.


A short time later, Jane drops by Maura’s office because her “you’ve been away from Maura for too long” alarm goes off. Maura’s talking to her old Scandinavian Studies professor, who’s there to translate those letters they found at Olaf’s apartment. As it turns out, they’re love letters.

Professor: … your velvety beard stills hums against the bosom of my tender flesh.

This is like Viking PWP fanfiction. Jane’s ready to GTFO because she doesn’t ship Olaf/Killer, and would much rather head back to her desk to read some Pitch Perfect femslash, but the professor wants her to stay, listen, and drink tea. Maura is inordinately pleased by this, and hides it not at all.


Lab results come in, and it looks like they are indeed searching for a female killer. They narrow the suspects to the online avatars: Gunnhild and Undirmaor.

They pick up Gunnhild first. Going by her player avatar, she’s a busty blonde twenty-something, Korsak’s like, “Rawrr.”

IRL, she looks almost the same.


Anyway, she and Chef Dead Guy the Boneless were cyber-sexing, but never had any contact IRL.

Korsak: IRL?

In real life, Korsak. In real life. He likes this new vocab term and proceeds to use it for the rest of the episode by finishing sentences with “in the IRL.” I like this. I may use it in the IRL.

Lady Gunnhild texts Frost to let him know there’s a “secret gaming event” because EL-OH-EL, LAN parties are like super cool underground cult groups that must be kept secret lest too many people catch wind and want to join.

This top secret LAN party, is being held at a deserted warehouse in the middle of nowhere where you need a password to get in. No, just kidding. It’s being held at a comic book store in town. But shhhh, don’t tell anyone.


Frost and Jane arrive at the party and they’re the only ones out of costume. Frost starts pointing to people and telling Jane who they are because he can just tell from their costumes. He’s memorized all the players of this MMO. So walking into this random “gaming event” in Boston is like walking into his high school reunion: Oh, there’s Flaffernutter the Beardless, and next to him is Brunhilda the Fabulous. And who can forget Thor? And some of these guys actually recognize Frost back! Because when you log into an MMO you get automatically friended by everyone on Facebook.

But the point is that Gunnhild is dead. She got stabbed in the middle of this gaming event and no one saw a thing because why would they?

The good news is that in the magical place that is the Boston Police Department, you don’t need things like witnesses or trace evidence or DNA samples. What you need is new technology that tells you what someone ate.


And that is how this crime is solved. It just so happens that the killer drank some sheep’s milk or had a whale cheeseburger, which they don’t serve at the local McDonald’s, but you can easily get in Scandinavia. And it also just so happens that the dead guy’s assistant was coming back from Scandinavia the morning of the murder, which at first gave her an alibi, but not anymore, because she actually took an earlier flight.

They keep saying Scandinavia. I have no idea whether they mean the Scandinavian Penninsula in general or if they mean Denmark, Norway or Sweden. Or if they roped Iceland into the term, too, because earlier they mentioned the guy’s assistant had arrived from Reykjavik. But I don’t think that’s accurate, and wouldn’t Maura correct them into using a more appropriate term, like ‘Nordic countries?’ Why not just say Iceland if they mean Iceland?

I digress. The point is whale’s meat. And also, we know who the killer is now.

She didn’t show up to work that day, maybe because she’s the assistant to a guy that’s dead? Just a thought. But Frost somehow knows that she’s playing Vikings of the Realm, so he creates an avatar named “Frost” to find her in the game. But then Jane has this idea that maybe the whole point of this whole thing hasn’t been to “win” at this MMO. The point is love, man. Love. So she suggests that perhaps Olaf’s character is on.


And it so happens that she is online with Olaf’s avatar, and is playing from his man-cave because he fell in love with her in TG (the game) and she fell in love with him in the IRL, but he didn’t know that she was the girl from the game, and when she told him, he sent her to have whale meat in Scandinavia. So she left, but then came back early to kill him. And then decided to kill that other lady, too, because why not.

And I’m just glad this is over so I don’t have to watch them butcher MMOs anymore.

Let’s move on to safer gaming territory: Monopoly.


Maura’s house is now filled with Rondo & his merry band of homeless teenagers and Maura is making dinner for everyone. And you know who brought them there? Jane. Because Jane was feeling charitable and instead of taking them to her own apartment, she brought them to Maura’s.

It makes perfect sense — if you’re married.

Maura: You pretend to be such a badass, but you’re really just a pushover.


You’re both pushovers when it comes to the other.

Anyhoo, it’s dinner time and Maura has over-garlicked the bread in preparation for a vampire invasion, but everyone’s hungry and grateful for the free food provided by their hostesses, Mrs. & Mrs. Rizzoli-Isles — or is it Isles-Rizzoli? It’s still unclear who’s going to win that argument, but my money’s on Dr. Isles.

But the point is, they’re totally married.


So enjoy your super duper garlicky bread, my friends, and until next time, bon appétit.