Rizzoli & Isles suffered a huge rift in their friendship in the season premiere, “Burning Down The House”. In that episode, Jane (Angie Harmon) shoots Maura’s biological father, crime lord Paddy Doyle in the line of duty.
In the follow-up episode “Dirty Little Secret”, the women are still on a “curt courtesy with sniping” status. Local headlines exploit their rift with the headline, “Professional Frenemies? Cop Shoots Medical Examiner’s Mob Father”. Fate intervenes and sets the two on a course to solve the murder of a strangled yoga student and a body that has a skull fracture and a rash contracted from one of seven possible contaminated lakes in western Massachusetts.
Jane’s tension at work is compounded by the tension in her home life. Her dad, Frank Sr., (Chazz Palmenteri) is divorcing Jane’s mom, Angela, and wants Angela (Lorraine Bracco) to sign annulment papers. Not only is Frank Sr. planning to marry a 28-year-old woman, the new woman in Frank’s life slept with Jane’s brother, Tommy, (Colin Egglesfield) who recently was released from prison. This excess tension in the Rizzoli & Isles extended family does nothing to improve the relationship between the Jane and Maura.
Detectives Korsak and Frost (Bruce McGill and Lee Thompson Young, respectively) manipulate Rizzoli & Isles into working together to investigate the death of a yoga student of “Sensei Matta”. While on their way to the Sensei’s retreat, Maura continues to annoy Jane by giving directions based on GPS coordinates instead of landmarks.
When the pair arrives at the commune, they discover that the fraudulent holyman is using his non-profit status to cover up his “Dirty Little Secret”. The Sensei is using the controversial “fracking” method to remove natural gas from shale. His process results in extreme pollution of the water supply with dangerous chemicals. The Sensei’s thugs spot Maura taking samples the polluted water and the chase begins.
As Rizzoli & Isles try to escape the compound, another car rams them, disabling their police vehicle. Gunfire ensues and Maura is pinned in the car, injuring her leg. Jane extracts her from the vehicle, and the former friends hobble off into the woods to hide. While on the run, Maura’s leg goes into distress from compartment syndrome, and Jane is forced to operate on it, using part of the touch screen glass from her drenched, seemingly destroyed cell phone. Maura begs Jane to perform the “surgery” to relieve the blood buildup and avoid loss of the leg. Maura passes out from pain and the Sensei takes the women hostage.
Sensei Matta’s goons trap Jane and Maura in their car and park it in a reservoir spillway with the windows down. The poisoned water is scheduled to rush down the spillway and flood the car, killing the women. As Jane uses her smartphone to saw the seat belt that binds her, Maura hallucinates with fever. Maura spouts out the GPS coordinates followed by a series of “beeps and boops”, prodding Jane to use Morse Code on the slightly-functional cell phone.
Korsak follows the code and rescues the women before they are drowned. After saving each other’s lives, all is forgiven between Rizzoli & Isles and the extended family gathers at Angela’s when Maura returns from the hospital.
Kudos all around to the talented cast and crew. Watch for the comedy as Egglesfield and Young toss their cookies at the sight of a bloated body that Frankie Jr., (Jordan Bridges) finds fascinating. Alexander’s ability to vacillate between a disciplined upscale genius and a hallucinating chatterer is a gem to be enjoyed. Also, the pairing of Harmon and McGill posing as a married couple researching couples’ yoga is a laugh-out-loud moment.
As a promotion, the series is offering the chance to vote for Maura’s middle name. (Jane’s middle name was revealed to be “Clementine” in the season premiere.) It was foreshadowed that Maura got her middle name from a famous artist. Choices are names of 18th, 19th and 20th century artists, and the rules on how to participate are at http://www.tntdrama.com/