Rizzoli & Isles Review: “What Doesn’t Kill You” (Season 3, Episode 1)

Viewers have patiently been waiting since the Winter finale of Rizzoli & Isles to see how Jane and Maura’s friendship would be affected after Jane shot Maura’s biological father, gangster Paddy Doyle. Much like the ending of last December’s finale, the beginning of this season picks up right where we left off.

Regardless of whether Rizzoli was right in shooting Doyle, Maura is still fiercely upset by the circumstances laid out before her. After all, earlier in the finale last year Maura’s mother was hit by a car that was meant for Maura and now her father is also in the hospital for trying to protect her.

As we begin, we flashback to the initial set up of the undercover operation that took place last year. As we watch, we realize how scared Jane is of actually losing Maura. This is of course confirmed after the shooting of Paddy Doyle, but not in the way that she once had thought. Maura continually makes light of the situation and Jane continues to worry. “Don’t get made,” says Rizzoli. “Don’t look so worried,” says Isles. Audiences are then transported back to the current day and the aftermath of the sting in the warehouse plays out.

To make matters worse for Jane, Lieutenant Sean Cavanaugh tells her to get back to the station as soon as possible. Turns out she’s in the middle of an Internal Affairs investigation by Captian Connors. Connors proceeds to grill her as if she is protecting Doyle, due to his connection with Maura. More doubt is created when her relationship with Agent Dean is exposed during the investigation. Jane’s good judgment is put into question and needless to say Rizzoli does not take this well, which ultimately strains her relationship with Agent Dean.

The investigation is put on hold when Cavanaugh informs Detective Korsak that a fellow cop has been shot.  Meanwhile, Jane continues to worry about what will happen when the captain talks to Maura, who has never been able to lie. Korsak insists that she find a way to talk to Maura about this because despite everything, Korsak knows what we all know, Maura will protect Jane.

The subpot this week involved a murder that takes place in a convenience store and it involves a cop by the name of Wally Wisniewski. After the convenience store clerk is shot, the suspect proceeds to shoot Wisniewski in the back. Detective Korsak, Frost, and Rizzoli all feel that this is not a classic robbery though. Forensic pathologist Pike, who annoys practically everyone, gives very little to go on that the detectives do not already know. Rizzoli’s brother, Frank, confirms there have been no other robberies in the area and Jane puts the pieces together to reveal that the gunman must have known that Wally was a cop.

Korsak insists that while the body is being transferred that Jane takes some time to go to the hospital to talk with Maura about the investigation. Though this is against protocol, she listens to him anyway. When Jane arrives, Maura suspects that she is going to apologize, as she does immediately, but soon realizes that Jane is merely there to talk to her about the investigation.

This infuriates Maura even more, but instead of having time to deal with her anger, Connors appears on scenes and orders Jane not to talk to Maura until after the investigation is concluded. As Jane walks away, the look on Rizzoli’s face as she is leaving shows us how all of this pains her more than she is willing to admit.

As Connors begins to talk to Maura about the incident, another convenient interruption is made when the doctor tells Isles that Paddy is coming out of sedation.  Connors follows Maura into the room with her father and asks her if she knows anything about a book. The book supposedly has a list of all the dirty cops, to which Maura promptly tells him Jane is not a dirty cop. Upon Doyle seeing John, he grabs the man and tells him not to hurt his daughter. The captain then promptly exits the room, determined to find this mysterious book.

Despite being told not to have contact with Maura, Jane shows up at her house to speak to Maura’s mom. The two of course begin to chat and we discover how Jane and Maura met, which turns out to be one of the funniest scenes in the episode.  The laughter between mother and daughter ends once Maura arrives home. Maura is not one to go against protocol, so she insists that Jane leave her home. Upon this request, Jane puts her mother in the middle of everything, forcing her to pick sides by reminding her that Maura is water and she is blood.

To me, this was one of the saddest parts of the episode because you can tell Angela does not want to abandon either woman. She even takes the time to tell Maura, “You’re like my daughter too.”

After Jane goes home, there is a moment between all of the Rizzolis that is interrupted by Agent Dean. Despite breaking protocol as well, he reveals to Jane that they have Doyle on a wire tap and that they know he has people on the inside. He also reveals that he thinks Jane is being set up to look as if she is the dirty cop working for Doyle and that he has been transferred back to Washington, ending their short-lived relationship.

The episode then jumps back to the investigation of Wally’s death, where Pike takes on the role of pathologist and everyone yearns to have Maura back. In order to gain access to the bullet, Jane sucks up to Pike so they can hopefully make some sort of leeway in their case. Jane asks Frost to run the bullet to ballistics and Jane takes another moment to talk with Maura, who is in her office.

While this starts out as a civil conversation between the two, the talk escalates into a full blown fight, which is broken up by Cavanaugh when Connors enters and requests that Rizzoli is put on leave. Cavanaugh insists that he is doing John one step better when he transfer Rizzoli out of homicide to evidence management. Soon thereafter, Isles gives her resignation to Cavanaugh and promptly exits the room.

The investigation into Wisniewki’s murder takes a turn as a “burglary” takes place in Wisniewski’s home. While Korsak and Maura are on the scene, Frost visits Rizzoli in evidence management. When mentioning melting down a desert eagle gun, she insists that she needs to test fire the weapons. Upon test firing them, Rizzoli discovers one of the bullet casings from Wally’s back. Not only is there a dirty cop on the force, but the gun has made its way into evidence and means that the killer is someone in the Boston Police Department (BPD).

Upon this discovery, Cavanaugh, Frost, Korsak, and Rizzoli head back to Wally’s home. While there, Jane discovers a sizable amount of cash for a cop’s salary.  Cavanaugh points out that Wally must have been playing a different game. The detective also produces a photograph of Wally and Paddy as altar boys, making the connection between the victim and Doyle. Cavanaugh reveals that on the wire, Paddy was about to make a big score and his assumption is that the score was seized guns.

When making the initial discovery, the four proceed to hunt for the seized guns in question. Rizzoli discovers the body of Cliff in a barrel, just as Connors enters the equation. Insisting that none of this be revealed for now, the five begin to wonder where the guns in question are. Rizzoli thinks to go back to evidence, where the stash is revealed to be hidden in Paddy’s boxes.

While looking through the box of evidence, Jane finds a surveillance photograph that is practically an exact replica of the drawing in Maura’s home. Upon questioning Maura’s mother, she reveals that Paddy had drawn the picture while in one of her art classes.  his is how they met and despite there being a gap between the time they met and Maura being born, she is the one who he brought Maura to in order to keep her protected from his father.

By going to the grave-site where Maura’s biological mother is buried, Jane discovers the book in question that Connors has been looking for the duration of the episode.  She reveals that Connors is the dirty cop, who not only killed Wally, but Cliff as well. To me this was the most predictable part of the entire episode.  From the moment Paddy grabs Connors in the hospital, I knew that Connors was the dirty cop.

In a way, I wish this had not been so obvious, but it still doesn’t take away from the excellent season premiere of the hit TNT drama.

Come back next week for our review of the second episode.

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