Just when it seemed that season two of Rosewood was going to sink into a morass of mediocrity and yellow-tinged colours, along comes an episode like “Pufferfish and Personal History” to set things back on course. Guest starring the ever talented Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, American Mary, Hannibal) – whom we have had a mad crush on since her bad-girl werewolf role in “Ginger Snaps” – this Rosewood starts on a classical note.
Amidst the musical backdrop of Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” there is a montage which features four people, five if one counts the baby held by the running woman. Rosewood, an unidentified man, woman and baby, and another woman who is losing consciousness behind the wheel of her car.
All four are connected but we do not learn how until towards the end of the episode. Rosewood, however, is only connected to one of the players in this multifaceted vignette. The dead woman behind the wheel of the car.
Last week’s episode ended with Rosie learning that his Tawnya bender took a toll on his heart condition. He is told that he needs to get his affairs in order in case the medication does not reverse the damage done.
As he prepares to meet his day, Rosewood replays the message received as the woman dies while driving and crashes her car into a local farmer’s market. The victim’s name is Naomi Bauer and she was a documentary filmmaker.
Rosie arrives with Villa who is dismayed to see Mitchie on scene already. The body is delivered to the Magic Lab for a pathological exam. On the table, Rosewood begins his incision and Mitchie says, somewhat surprised, that there is a lot of blood for a “dead person.”
Naomi is still alive and Team Rosie bring her back to life with some CPR and a few jolts of electric paddles. Bauer was poisoned by a substance known as TTX; so too was her biggest rival, another documentary filmmaker whose mother taught them both in school.
There was a lot going on in this episode. Naomi, we learn, was a “system child” someone who was shuffled from foster home to foster home. Her biggest rival, Emmett Townsend is number one on the suspect list until he turns up dead. He was killed by the same substance that caused Naomi’s paralysis.
The parallel plot line has Rosie and Villa talking about rivals. Rosewood maintains that he never had rival and Annalise does not believe him. Later in the episode Naomi realizes that Rosie’s rival was not a person at all but his health problems.
Clearly, Rosie feels an affinity with the filmmaker after her very close brush with death. Throughout the episode, when Rosie looks at Naomi, he sees himself in the hospital bed surrounded by friends and family. Her continuing health issues, a type of cancer, puts them in a category as ethereal twins.
Naomi finds out that her mother was an escapee from a religious cult who gave evidence to law enforcement to put the leader in jail. (The running woman with the baby in her arms.) The man’s son turns out to be the murderer of Emmett and the attempted murderer of Naomi.
Leaving the main storyline alone for a moment, it has to be said that the real draw of this episode was Katherine Isabelle. The performer effortlessly ruled every single scene she was in, easily dominating the action. Her presence insured that everyone upped their game and brought the show’s standard back where it should be.
There was another issue in the show brought about by Rosie’s somewhat grim diagnosis last week. The pathologist needed an investor in his company and Donna Rosewood opts to take her payout from Gerald to do fill that requirement.
This episode also benefitted, somewhat, from the lack of Villa’s new fella, Adrian Webb. Nothing against this new romantic attachment in the detective’s life, but the combination of Rosie and Villa works best when they are the focus.
As noticed by Naomi Bauer, these two have a special chemistry that makes them very interesting. She tells the duo that perhaps she will “do” their story next.
Rosewood, despite the interesting storylines this season, has palled somewhat. This episode, with a powerful guest star and brilliant presentation, headed back to “Rosie-Land” and it is a welcome move.
The series airs Fridays on FOX.
- 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
- Lisa Vidal – Daisie Villa
Guest starring Katherine Isabelle as Naomi Bauer, Chandler Rylko as John Teller, Lony’e Perrine as Greta and Patrick Cage II as Craig