The return of summer TV is one of the most anticipated events of the year. We wait nine months for our favorites to return, and with the way Rizzoli & Isles left us, the season 4 premiere was an hour eagerly awaited by both fans and critics alike.
The episode opened with Jane (Angie Harmon) pushing her best friend Maura (Sasha Alexander) through a workout post-kidney removal. The two almost switch roles from past seasons, Jane being the mother hen and Maura having to take the advice. Some good news soon follows: Jane’s brother Frankie Rizzoli is getting promoted to detective, sporting a brand new (used) motorcycle as his prize for earning the job. However, as is typical, things can never remain joyful for long. A newly appointed senator is gunned down during a parade, leading to an in-depth investigation into her campaign.
Maura’s reluctance to admit to her feelings on having given her kidney to her half sister (thereby saving her life) without recognition from her biological mother is a constant source of tension. Her and Jane yet again switch roles, with Maura being the snippy, moody part of the duo and Jane simply trying to encourage and make her talk about it. When Maura comes up to the bullpen to relay news on the bullet in the senator’s head, she attempts to turn Jane’s thoughts to Casey, but fails. Jane sees right through her and finally gets her to admit that, yes, she wanted a fruit basket in thanks for generously giving her sister the gift of life.
In typical Maura fashion, Maura drags Jane away to go “spy on her kidney.” This leads to a rather heartfelt apology and possible new relationship for Maura. While Kaylyn is not her mother, texting with her little sister could lead to something more in the future. As a parting gift, Kaylyn gives Maura a family heirloom that was passed down to the women in her family on their 18th birthday starting with her mother, Hope. This lovely gesture is soon turned sour with Maura finds out it came from Paddy Doyle.
As events unfold in the case, the senator’s husband becomes the prime suspect. With a hate organization also involved, it is hard to nail down a single suspect. Frost (Lee Thompson Young) finds an address for the hate group which sends him and Korsak (Bruce McGill) on a man hunt. When they return with a suspect, he turns out to be a computer geek with a nervous tick where women are concerned.
Maura talks Jane into running home from work and the best surprise of the episode is waiting on her doorstep: Col. Casey Jones (Chris Vance). After a bit of awkward conversation, Maura dashes off, leaving Jane and Casey to get caught up. The bet line of the episode goes to Casey: “I want us to be in love before we do this.” Welcome back, Col. While he may be heading back to Afghanistan, he doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Analysis of some dirty water found under the desk of the deceased senator leads the Rizzoli and Isles to Reedville in search of blueberry waffles, the odd sock in their case. They uncover a town full of sick children being poisoned with something in their environment – it turns out that the senator was trying to uncover the source of “take home toxins” affecting the children. While the case was well thought out and did a good job of leading the audience astray, it was obvious who the killer was as soon as they entered the senator’s office early in the episode. Her sister Jennifer could have gotten away with it had she not lost her breakfast after pulling the trigger.
Ending with a cute family moment as Maura and Frankie work on his bike, interrupted by Mama Rizzoli with Lieutenant Cavanaugh, the episode as a whole was a fun way to welcome back a beloved summer drama. Tune in next week as an old flame of Jane’s reappears on the scene and Maura is wanted by the FBI.