It goes without saying to any fan of Rizzoli & Isles that last season was a heavy one. The unexpected death of actor Lee Thompson Young in the middle of the season meant that his character’s story line had to be resolved the same way you might expect a season finale to do, which also meant that the actual season finale wasn’t dripping with any cliffhanger drama. So to those of us eagerly awaiting tonight’s season premiere, we weren’t exactly expecting to be thrown for a lot of loops.
Yes, there’s a standard issue Rizz & Isles en media res opening: Jane’s putting her Ann Taylor Loft suit into overdrive while chasing what appears to be a cyber-criminal, based on his scrawny build and streak of fluorescent hair dye. Frankie rounds the corner, he and Jane follow him down to the subway platform together, more running and “You take that side” talk ensues, a gun goes off, and Jane makes a slow-mo WTF face. But let’s just get this out of the way right now: The evening’s most shocking turn of events doesn’t kick off until we flash back to a day earlier when Jane’s mom, Angela, drops by Maura’s place with a plastic covered armchair she inherited from her Uncle Enzo. Someone needs to take this chair, Angela proclaims.
Yes, teasers may suggest that this episode centers on whether Frankie shot an unarmed man on the subway platform—and there’s a whole lotta chitchat about a new doctor coming to apprentice in Maura’s office, a Scottish former soldier just back from Afghanistan named Kent Drake. But trust, all the action comes back to Uncle Enzo’s chair. And all of this happens before we hear the kicky Rizz & Isles theme song (which, incidentally, sounds exactly like the theme song to Crossing Jordan).
Post-opening credits, Maura, Jane, Frankie, and Detective Korsak are treated to a crime scene tour, which reveals a dead young woman rolled up in what appears to be a lovely woven silk rug and left in a construction site dumpster. Quick cut and we’re back in Maura’s examining office, where we meet Kent, the aforementioned newbie doc—in tinted glasses, batik print shirt buttoned to the top, and Five Fingers running shoes. If there’s one thing Dr. Maura Isles cares more about than ruining a joke, it’s footwear, so this is an inauspicious start for the two. But Jane looks more troubled than Maura. Something is off here.
Still Rizz & Isles let their heads wander into the case at hand, getting after what Kent might have found in the rug and why he’s wearing Five Fingers shoes, since not only are they unattractive, they’re also not recommended for all-day use. It turns out the victim was wearing a tee from a place called Internet Village—See! Cybercriminals love Internet Village! Who’s the detective now?—and Jane heads over there to investigate. Jane quickly learns her name is Mona and she was a cyberrista at Internet Village. The guy with the mean, er, green streak, is Mona’s high-strung boyfriend Spike, a name that gives him a slight edge until you remember that was also the name of the pregnant girl on the first season of Degrassi Junior High, so he’s not fooling anyone.
NEXT: Frankie, we need to talk.