We all have skeletons in our closet. Some are minor; others are more life-changing. Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) makes up a part of the latter population. Risks are judgment calls in her line of work. Her mother (Lorraine Bracco) is often upset by Jane frequently skipping out on Sunday dinners with family. This time, the call comes from her rookie partner Frost (Lee Thompson Young) and the crime scene involves a gruesome murder. Upon arrival, chief medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) is already examining the body. Behind her back, nearly everyone calls her “Doctor of Doom” as she has an uncanny ability to discern so much from… well, dead bodies and knows a persons mood by facial expressions. A walking encyclopedia who has issues with speculation, Maura relies strictly on science whereas Jane makes educated guesses everyday. Not long on the scene Jane, Maura and Jane’s ex-partner (Bruce McGill) realize they are not just dealing with a corpse who has a severed artery and a missing wife, but that of an Apprentice to the one man Jane never wanted to see again – Charles Hoyt. A serial killer who enjoys torturing his female victims, Hoyt may still be in prison after kidnapping Jane and being caught by her then-partner Korsak, but somehow he still has connections to the outside world. The further Maura and Jane investigate, the more troubling the evidence becomes… especially when the FBI enters the case in the form of Agent Dean (Billy Burke) – and Hoyt escapes custody.
Worried over her safety, Jane’s hot-headed little brother Frankie (Jordan Bridges) who is also on the force – much to the dismay of his mother -- insists Jane not remain in her apartment. When she is overwhelmed and imposed upon by her well-meaning family, she heads to Maura’s house where there is a certain level of security in escaping her past.
Although it is a little “creepy,” I was thoroughly intrigued if not slightly confused before even a minute of airtime has passed in the pilot. Confused how it could be both, right? Opening is a crime-in-progress where a man is tied up with duct tape while his wife is screaming as a man circles them with a scalpel instrument – the scene is startling in its quick succession shots and indirect filming (although it uses some tact through that method of filming) but also sets a very absorbing scene in terms of the good guys investigating something mysterious. Writers actually took a bit of a chance in starting a series such as that. It is a little off-putting without being too graphic.
Many writers and critics have speculated as to whether or not the author was and the script will be exploring a homosexual relationship between the two women – likely all the more fueled by the episode “I Kissed a Girl.” How terrible is it now that society has pressed such beliefs on us? Now instead of it meaning nothing more than an innocent female friendship, seeing two women chatting while lying side-by-side in a bed has put such ideas into our minds – too bad since nothing of the sort is between Maura and Jane. Both women date the opposite sex, and Jane has crushed on one guy since grade school, only problem is, they both put up pretenses of hating the other and he is promoted to a new position that requires him to movie (that and the actor had a role as Tom Selleck’s son on the new crime drama Blue Bloods). Maybe not the cleverest show, Rizzoli & Isles is a fun summer stand-in. I love the chemistry between everyone and am looking forward to its sophomore season with much anticipation.
What is your favorite crime-fighting duo? Tell us about them!
(Cautions: the pilot episode can be a little troubling. Conversation revolves around medical terms and women being raped by the man who murdered their husbands; two victims are seen tied up with duct tape and blood running down their bodies after an artery was severed. Jane has visions of being in captivity; her hands were pierced with needles. After that, things settle down and with exception to a limited number of episodes, nothing is terrible. Victims are strangled in violent ways [always just out of camera range], rapes are referenced as are numerous other criminal activities. One episode revolves around exorcism; another is about a girl who resorted to prostitution to make money – other content concerns: “Born to Run” [a ten-year-old rape] and “I Kissed a Girl” [a lesbian-themed episode])