Serena Hope Hohenstein ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Writer
In the final ten minutes of the emotional Season 3 finale of Rizzoli and Isles, a lot happened that affected the start of season 4. Maura decided she wanted to help her young half sister, Calin, by giving her a kidney, and Casey called it quits with Jane. The thing that wasn’t quite touched on was the effects of the collapsing building almost killing Detective Frost, Tommy, and baby T.J. Although the season 4 premiere was lacking this plot line, the show did a heck of a lot with the ramifications of Maura’s decision, and the state of Casey and Jane’s relationship.
At the start of “We Are Family,” we see Maura and Jane running through a park, with Maura dragging behind and whining (in a very comical way). The scene between the two friends is brilliantly acted by Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Through it, we find out that it has been three months since Maura gave her kidney to Calin, and she has been grumpy ever since. Jane tells her it’s because she hasn’t gotten a thank you gesture from either her mom or sister. Of course, Maura adamantly disagrees. Finally Jane gets Maura running again, and off they go.
Maura and Jane arrive at a parade and spot Mrs. Rizzoli who is holding T.J. Frankie arrives with an old, broken down motorcycle that Mrs. Rizzoli does not approve of, stating “It’s dangerous!” Then, a secret comes out. “I’m getting promoted to Detective!” Frankie says enthusiastically. For longtime viewers of the show, this is a very exciting moment. Frankie has been working towards the promotion for about two seasons now. His promotion is his reason for buying the bike. A treat for himself for working so hard (and getting a higher pay). The bike apparently needs some work and Maura offers to help. There’s a slight hint of flirting between the two. Could they become a thing?
Soon after, the Senator rides in a car in the parade route, with her father carrying her banner. Her father was the previous Senator. Not long after Mrs. Rizzoli sings her and her father’s praises, Senator Erika is shot and killed from a window in a tall building. Jane and Frankie take over the streets and sprint to where the shot came from. When they return to the crime scene, Erika is dead and her father is weeping over her body. Her sister, who is carrying Erika’s baby, also arrives, sobbing. This ends Act 1.
Well, Dr. Isles is still in a bad mood. Jane finds Maura on her gravity inverter (exercise equipment) and pushes for information. She tries to get her to accept the fact that she’s angry neither Hope (her mother) nor Calin sent any form of a thank you. Finally, Maura breaks and tells Jane, “You’re right! I did want a fruit basket!” In one of the funnier scenes, she goes on to describe everything that should have been in the basket including chocolate, tropical fruit, and spa supplies. Jane is happy that Maura has accepted it, but tells her she needs to move on.
Of course, Maura can’t, and asks Jane to accompany her to spy on her kidney. Jane, beyond annoyed, agrees and the two end up sitting in the car watching Calin in a coffee shop on her college campus. Maura gets mad when she sees Calin adding three pumps of caramel into her coffee. Jane tries to talk her down, but suddenly, Calin walks out. Rizzoli and Isles slink as low as they can into the car, but it’s no use. Calin has seen them. Jane tells Maura she has to talk to Calin. She can’t just let her go without saying anything. Although she briefly hesitates, Maura gets out of the car and calls out to her sister. It turns out, Calin knew all along that her new kidney was Maura’s. She even thanks her for it. Then she gives her older sister a package, saying it belonged to Maura. Oh, and there was also a note. The siblings say goodbye, but not before Calin asks Maura if it would be alright if she texted her sometime. This was quite the “Awww!” worthy moment of the episode. Maura says yes and gets back in the car as Calin goes off to class.
In the car, Maura opens the package. Inside is a necklace made out of elephant tooth, according to Jane. The note says Calin received it from her mom on her eighteenth birthday, and Hope received it on her eighteenth birthday from whom other than Paddy Doyle (Maura’s mob boss father who is going on trial for ten murders). Maura has purposefully distanced herself from her father, and doesn’t want any part of him. For her, the pendant is a symbol of her horrible father, and the life she never wants to have.
That night, after doing all they could at the precinct, Jane and Maura take a run back to Jane’s apartment. When they get to her building, they spot a man on the stairs. It’s Casey. And he doesn’t have crutches! Maura runs off to give the two time to talk. There is an awkward pause where neither knows what to say. Jane spits out that she has to walk her dog, Joe Friday, and Casey offers to go with her. They discuss his treatment and how to train Joe Friday, then return home. Casey kisses Jane rather passionately and there’s a montage of their night together. In the morning, Casey tells Jane that he’s going back to Afghanistan to treat soldiers with the same kind of injury he had. At first, Jane is worried and sad, but then tells him that she thinks it’s good, and they resume their earlier activities.
Back to the case now! It looks as though Senator Erika had been testing water from a city called Reedville. And she ate breakfast at a diner there just a half hour before she arrived at the parade. When they ask an employee about Erika, she shows them a wall of pictures of the Senator with kids who now have cancer or who have died from cancer. Jane and Maura speculate that the cause had something to do with the water. While sitting at a table, Jane notices a group of men wearing uniforms for a new battery company in town. The friends figure out that the men are probably covered in take-home-toxins, otherwise known as THT, something that Erika had written in her calendar.
At the precinct, Detectives Korsak, Frost, Rizzoli, and Doctor Isles discuss who would have known about Erika’s work and their motive for killing her. They discover that Erika gave the battery company a 2 million dollar grant to be environmentally friendly which included using disposable uniforms, which obviously they weren’t doing. Maura knew that someone had to be in charge of inspections of some sort, and Jane read on a document that Erika’s sister was the person in charge of compliance. The detectives arrested the sister for taking a bribe from the battery company to keep quiet and killing her sister. The motive? Erika was going to resign and expose all the bad things her sister had done.
The episode closed out with Jane, Frankie, and Maura (do I dare say, more flirting?) working on Frankie’s bike and joking around. Suddenly, Mrs. Rizzoli returns home with the Lieutenant of the police department in toe. They enter the house quickly to “make dinner together.” The kids are disgusted and the episode comes to a close.
Overall, this premiere was fantastic! The scenes between Maura and Jane were brilliantly written and acted. It definitely left a lot open for the rest of the season (Paddy Doyle, Calin and Maura, Frankie as detective). If the rest of the season continues to be like the premiere, I can see it potentially being the best season yet!
Catch Rizzoli and Isles on Tuesdays at 9/8c on TNT.
Serena Hope Hohenstein ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Writer