Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Sixth Season started with Homicide having one of its own investigated for murder and then, after a few episodes, began what came to be a campaign of destruction waged against Detective Jane Rizzoli – a campaign that threatened everyone she knew; but especially Chief Medical Examiner Maura Isles.
Despite starting out as a much breezier show, the continued darkening of Rizzoli & Isles has served the series well. It’s never lost the breezy banter, but acknowledges the effects/consequences of the job in sometimes disturbing ways.
Rizzoli & Isles has been, for the first few seasons at least, one of the lightest dramas on TNT. Although it had its moments of darkness (Hello! Cop show!), it capitalized on the chemistry of its cast and that breeziness to become a hit.
Over the last two seasons, though – beginning with the death of Detective Frost in a car accident, of all things – the show has taken on a bit of an edge. The sixth season premiere, The Platform – an otherwise unremarkable episode – continued the trend by putting Jane’s (Angie Harmon) brother Frankie (Jordan Bridges) under the IA microscope for a shooting that resulted in death. No one could find the victim’s gun, so Frankie was in a dire spot.
Moving back to the neighborhood of breeziness, the season’s second episode, Bassholes, found Jane and Maura (Sasha Alexander) investigating the murder of a bass fishing champion during a competition.
The writers of Deadly Harvest devised an intriguing way to dispose of bodies and gave us a mama’s boy who gave Rizzoli and Isles a bit of a start and the next ep had the pair at an art gallery trying to figure how (and why) an infamous thief was killed.
In Misconduct Game, Suzy – Maura’s favorite crime tech – is killed and it appears she might have been dirty. This is the second time in two seasons that someone from the team has been lost – only this time it’s definitely murder.
In some ways, the sixth season of Rizzoli & Isles resembled FOX’s Bones – intriguing, even inventive, ways for people to die/or intriguing consequences (a tai chi practioner steeping on a landmine); a murder (not a murderer) has a twin in Los Angeles; a shootout in a quiet neighborhood has international implications.
A fire, a dead set of credit cards and Maura’s kidnapping are all steps in a campaign to break Jane down – but no one knows who the perp is, or why they’re doing that.
Throughout the season – even when the eps aren’t particularly remarkable – the cast chemistry and the technical excellence of the crew keep things moving – and despite some lows, the banter continues to work thanks to Harmon, Alexander, Bruce McGill (Detective Sergeant Korsak), Bridges, Lorraine Bracco (Angela Rizzoli) and Idara Victor (computer wiz, Nina Holiday).
Between the arc of vengeance against Jane and lighter episodes, the sixth season of Rizzoli & Isles didn’t lose much steam – it even took a few turns for the better in Jane’s arc and Maura and Angela’s efforts to keep her focused properly.
There’s a man with facial-recognition blindness; there’s the 16-year old psychopath; an old watch is discovered inside a balloon of cocaine in a dead woman’s stomach; an attempted robbery at a marijuana dispensary, but things don’t add up. These are some of the cases that requires Rizzoli and Isles’ attention.
There’s a fear game that seems hit, hip and happening – but someone died there the last it went live.
Rizzoli & Isles are a classic combination opposing types who somehow find a kinship with each other. At the heart of the show, it’s these two seriously oddball characters who make the sing.
Rizzoli & Isles is not an average cop show; it’s a solid hour where friends can meet and work together and get stuff done.
In short Rizzoli & Isles is a steady series that play with conventions just enough to let us all feel like we’re in an adventure (plus, we finally got to meet Kiki!).
The sole featurette is From the Shadows: A Criminal Revealed – a brief look art the hows and whys of the mastermind behind Detective Rizzoli and the campaign to break her.
Grade: Rizzoli & Isles Season Six – B+
Grade: Features: C-
Final Grade: B