I said in last week’s season premiere review that I’d like at least another episode of the Rizzoli & Isles fallout. I got my wish, and how brilliantly handled it was too.
One of the episodes main subplots was the return of Rizzoli’s father, Frankie Sr. (Chazz Palminteri) who we haven’t seen since Season 1. Being British, I’m not one for Americanisms, but geez, what a jerk. I haven’t a clue what the ins and outs of an annulment entail, but in this particular plotline it means that Frankie can marry his 28 (that’s TWENTY-EIGHT folks) year old partner. Sugardaddying aside (that’s younger than his kids) it completely severs all ties with mama Rizzoli (Lorraine Bracco) and in the process forces her to state that her children, Jane (Angie Harmon), Frankie (Jordan Bridges) and Tommy (Colin Egglesfield), were in fact not planned. An accident. My main problem with Frankie Sr. here is that, if like he says it’s ‘just a piece of paper’, then surely that can be flipped to say “why do you have to marry this woman?” If he loves her as he claims, then being with her should be enough whilst not bastardising the kids. Geez. Jerk. Whilst Frankie Jr. and Jane were appropriately peeved, Tommy was more concerned by his previous encounters with his Daddy’s new girl. Yes, that kind.
I now count that as two reasons this girl is too young for Frankie Sr., along with her being younger than his children. But hey, it’s perfectly legal and I’ve no problem with them being together if they truly love one another – it’s just the way he went about it that bugged me. And Frankie Jr. And Jane. And Angela. And most of the audience. This isn’t an indictment on the episodes quality, as I’m sure were supposed to be on Angela and the kids side on this one. In fact, it was the source of some good family drama to go alongside the central conflict and weekly case. The subsequent and aforementioned dilemma Tommy found himself in allowed the show to revisit his wonderful dynamic with Maura (Sasha Alexander) from last season, a rekindling of sorts. They bonded once again, showing that they would actually make a rather sweet couple. There’s no doubt he wants to, and I actually think she’s intrigued also – it’s her relationship with Jane and the affects it may have on that that stand in the way.
Speaking of the Jane/Maura relationship, their fallout continued to be both wonderfully dramatic and hilariously bitchy in this episode. “Frenemies” is how it was described, I believe. A perfect word, too, as the former BFF’s laid on the insults throughout. One of my favourites:
Isles: “I am not listening to Led Zeppelin.”
Rizzoli: “I’m not listening to Yo-Yo Ma.”
Isles: “I don’t listen to Yo-Yo Ma….in the…car.”
Rizzoli: “Oh, that’s right. Pardon me, Yo-Yo Ma’s just for the Jacuzzi PUT YOUR SEATBELT ON.”
Isles: “IT’S ON.”
From then, it was most certainly ON. Whilst the first half of the episode focused mostly on the (always brilliant) humour brought on by the rift, the second half laid on the drama and ultimately reconciliation between the two. Seeing Maura struggle with both pain and the realization that she may lose her leg, and Jane’s horrified and caring reaction, really brought home just how close they are, and what a loss they were to each other as friends. Maura knew Jane of all people would ultimately be willing to do what needed to be done – it’s just unfortunate that it involved slicing her leg open, which understandably lead to her passing out. I’m not a sucker for realism (we all love escapism) but seeing Maura faint from the pain as most people undeniably would was quite refreshing, even if only done for the sake of further drama. We get lots of gunfire and Rizzoli being a badass, which is always a pleasure to see. As Korsak (Bruce McGill) arrives and lifts Maura out of the car, two simple lines between him and Rizzoli offer a poignant and simple summation of the two women’s relationship:
Korsak: “You stayed with her.”
Rizzoli: “I wouldn’t leave her.”
That one tugged at the heartstrings. Beautiful, beautiful writing. The fallout plotline was handled PERFECTLY. Not resolved in 5 minutes but not dragged out either. On top of this, it managed to be both funny and heartbreaking. Massive props to the writers for their handling of this one. As they both share the love with “I missed you”, tears and hugging – the ever dependable Angela Rizzoli puts it in simple and hilarious terms, “you were both assholes”. Aint that that truth, but they’re two assholes who love each other and nothing was getting in the way of that. Not even Yo-Yo Ma.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: No prizes for guessing this one. The aforementioned exchange between Korsak and Rizzoli wins out easily.
- Korsak and Frost (Lee Thompson Young) were funny as always. Korsak’s couple act at Yoga class with Rizzoli was a hoot, whilst bringing up Frost’s weak stomach when it comes to dead bodies offered up both continuity and laughs. As well as a sequence of (almost) projectile vomiting. Yuck.
- Frankie Jr. seems closer than ever to becoming a Detective, doing some great work this week that surely didn’t go unnoticed by his superiors. Shouldn’t be long now before we see him suited up.
- Given everything else going on, I didn’t mention the case much, but it WAS good. Summed up in two words, it was creepy and gruesome. Agreed?
- Speaking of which, this is the 2nd week in a row I’ve noticed a distinct explicitness to the violence and bodily harm on display. Keep pushing the envelope!
- Great to see Tommy back, his character is charming and fun. Good to see Frankie Sr. back also, even if he’s in our bad books for the time being.
- The ‘TP tail’ sequence was fun. The best thing about it was how Korsak and Frost dodged around it before Frankie Jr. immediately pointed it out and had a laugh at Rizzoli’s expense, because it was all SO in character for the 3 of them to react in these ways.
- Excuse me for constantly switching between using the central pairs first name and surname, I feel that each of them feels appropriate in different contexts.
- Wow, that leg incision was nasty. Ugh.
- Joe Friday!
All in all, this wasn’t just a good follow up to the premiere, but a perfect one. It carried on the brilliance from last week, and this really could prove to be the best season of ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ yet. Big props to all involved for a fantastic opening to the shows 3rd run. Wherever will they take it next?
Please hit the comments to let me know your thoughts on the episode and my review.
Check back later this week for my review of 3.03 ‘This is How a Heart Breaks’ to find out.