Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Third Season (DVD)
Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander are back on the case as Rizzoli & Isles continues for a third explosive season. As the chart-busting second season came to a close, Jane shot Maura's estranged father, crime boss Paddy Doyle (guest star John Doman), as he tried to defend Maura against an assailant - an incident which has driven a deep wedge between the two friends and colleagues. Jane and Maura will work hard to set aside their differences as they investigate a number of complex and troublesome crimes, including the murder of a female college student, a killer who has turned the transit system into his personal hunting ground and the brutal murder of two young homeless veterans. Brian Goodman joins the cast this season as a series regular, starring as Lieutenant Detective Sean Cavanaugh, whose knowledge of the hardscrabble back alleys of Boston and history as a detective make him the perfect choice to head the Homicide unit.
Talk about hitting the ground running: as this third season of TNT's Rizzoli & Isles
(with 15 episodes, plus bonus material, on three discs) opens, Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) has just shot the father of her best friend, forensic pathologist Dr. Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), who had only recently discovered that said dad is a notorious mob boss suspected of multiple murders. The shooting itself took place at the end of the previous season, but the ripple effect is strong this time out, as the usual banter between the brilliant but somewhat clueless Maura (Rizzoli calls her "the dumbest genius I know") and the more roughhewn and street-wise Jane takes on a decidedly nasty, if still amusing, edge for the first couple of episodes (Maura: "Drive straight past the coniferous spruce." Jane: "Sure, maybe I'll pass the hemlock, too"). The repartee continues throughout the season, as the pair trade witty bons mots while they and the other cops are solving various murder cases, some of them gripping (human trafficking, a serial killer) and others laughably absurd (two brothers in a rock group kill their third bro, who's also a member, thinking it will boost the band's record sales; an ex-Army Ranger turned yoga guru garrotes a young environmentalist who was on to his sinister oil-fracking scheme). Looming large over all of these scenarios are Rizzoli and Isles' crazily tangled family dramas. Aside from her gangster father, Maura has a birth mother (a doctor played by Sharon Lawrence) who thinks she's dead and doesn't react well when informed otherwise. Then there's Jane's dad (a cameo by Chazz Palminteri), who wants estranged wife Angela (Lorraine Bracco in a recurring role) to grant him an annulment so he can marry a much younger woman--who just happens to have had an affair with Tommy (Colin Egglesfield), Jane's brother. Throw in the two leads' various romantic entanglements, and you've got a show that's as much supermarket tabloid as cop drama. So Rizzoli & Isles
isn't as hard core as, say, Southland
. That's cool; all it's trying to be is entertaining, and on that level, this show is a winner. --Sam Graham