This episode of Rosewood could actually be a two season highpoint. “Tree Toxins and Three Stories” was a sort of “part two” to the story of Gerald and Donna Rosewood. With part three still to come.
After meeting Gerald and going over the evidence from his trial, Rosie decides he is too close to the case. He enlists the help of some doctors in training. He and Villa ask a professor’s class to help find the thing that he has been missing. The element that will prove Gerald’s innocence.
Out of all the stories told on Rosewood, this one dealt not only with the victims but their families. It also revealed much more about the man Donna has always been convinced was innocent of the crime he had been convicted of.
It is this attention to detail of both the convicted “murderer” and the victims as well as their families that gave the episode that bit more depth. There was the same old Villa and Rosie double-act thing going on but the crime and the way they approached it was different.
There was a touch of How to Get Away with Murder, sans Viola Davis, where Rosie and Villa are the experts hoping to learn something from students while teaching them about solving a crime. This could be seen as sort of homage to the ABC series starring Davis who, incidentally, plays a character named Annalise.
“Tree Toxins and Three Stories” sidled into the case so smoothly it took a moment to realize that these were the murders Gerald was convicted of. The episode starts with Rosie trying to connect with Kayla, Tawnya’s daughter. The kid is used to meeting with her mom’s new boyfriends and she runs rings around Rosewood.
He and Villa then address the class of a friend who allows him to take over teaching duties for a short while. Rosie introduces the new doctors to Misty and Elena, the two murdered teenagers. Elena was murdered horrifically, repeatedly strangled to the point of death and then revived expect for the last time.
Misty was stabbed to death while running from her attacker.
Initially, the students are split into Team Rosie and Team Villa but as the investigation intensifies all the doctors combine their efforts into one team. A connection is made to an underground bunker and a toxic tree. The sap causes blisters, the same ones found on Misty were also evident on Gerald’s arm.
Rosie and Donna visit Gerald in prison and he talks about his missing daughter, the one he was looking for in the woods the night that Misty’s body was found. He had been set up by someone and as Rosie listens to Gerald he realizes that his mother was right.
The man is innocent.
As well as the quality of this storyline being quite good, it looks like Pippy and TMI are getting that little bit closer to becoming a couple again. Although Pippy is dating, humorously she is going out with the woman that TMI dated the week before, she and TMI are starting to connect again.
Mitchie was nowhere to be seen and there was no reason given for his absence. Annalise finally agrees to go out with the new M.E. Adrian and by the end of the episode Rosie has made good impression on Kayla.
The “Gerald” storyline will obviously continue until the real murderer is caught. Right now, the number one suspect is Carlos Santiago; the father of Elena who refuses to allow Rosie to exhume her body.
This was an episode that kept Gerald’s innocence in question right up till the end. Morris Chestnut and Jaina Lee Ortiz are still the best double act on crime television this year and this episode proves it.
Rosewood airs Thursdays on FOX. Tune in and catch some of that Rosie and Villa magic.
- Morris Chestnut – Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr.
- Jaina Lee Ortiz – Det. Annalise Villa
- Eddie Cibrian – Captain Ryan Slade
- Gabrielle Dennis – Pippy Rosewood
- Anna Konkle – Tara Milly Izikoff (TMI)
- Domenica Lombardozzi – Det. Ira Hornstock
- Lorraine Toussaint – Donna Rosewood
- Sam Huntington – Mitchie Mendelson
- Robert Wisdom – Gerald Kelly
- Leroy Luckett – Tawnya
- Eric Winter – Adrian Webb