The kidnapped police officer has become so common on crime dramas that it's often predictable. Usually, the cop gets rescued just in time to avoid a grisly fate, then deals with the aftermath alone.
Rizzoli & Isles handled things a bit differently, and that made the winter season opening doubleheader much more powerful.
In Rizzoli & Isles Season 6 Episode 13, the detectives raced to find Maura, while Rizzoli & Isles Season 6 Episode 14 featured both women dealing with what happened in between working on an interesting case.
"Hide and Seek" might have been a typical crime thriller episode in the hands of less talented writers. A good deal of time was spent on watching Maura try to escape, only to be recaptured and tormented, while Frankie, Jane and Vince chased after her through crumbling, rat-infested tunnels.
I enjoyed seeing Maura hold her own with her abductor. Even in 2016, it's not often that we see strong women actually stay strong when they are in danger.
Maura almost escaped, pretended to be passed out, used psychology on her captor and when all else failed left clues for her friends. Ultimately, she was able to stab her abductor and get away from him. Go Maura!
What really made the show, though, were the emotional reactions to Maura's kidnapping. Angela's was the most effective. She did her usual concerned mother thing, with just the right amount of pathos to demonstrate how hard this was for her to deal with.
Jane: How are you doing?
Angela: All I can do is make sandwiches, so lousy.
Angela ended up being important to Maura's rescue, too, though she probably will never know it. She not only remembered the tunnel cave-in, but encouraged Nina to keep trying when she couldn't find blueprints indicating where Maura might be.
The ending was weirdly satisfying.
Jane: Who you working for? You don't even know me! Why me?
Harris: Why not?
Jane got Maura back, but she got no answers to why, exactly, she was kidnapped in the first place or what's behind this vendetta against her. The rest of the season may well be devoted to figuring this out.
The drama didn't stop there, either. "Murderjuana" masterfully integrated an interesting case with Jane and Maura's problems dealing with what had happened. There were even some lighthearted moments!
Pot smoker: Dude, what if I smoke this all up and I don't like it? Is there a refund policy?
Vince: There totally is, dude. Just return the smoke in this jar.
Vince pretending to be a pothead so that he could sell weed to other stoners while keeping an eye out for robbers was hilarious. So was Maura and Kent getting high, though their reaction to inhaling weed smoke was just the tiniest bit over the top.
On a serious note, while the case of the hour kept my interest, it wasn't really all that important. The security guard being involved in the robbery wasn't very surprising, but that's okay. The case was pretty much the backdrop for the real story: Jane and Maura's PTSD.
Jane seemed to be taking it much worse than Maura. Maura is seeing a therapist, getting back into her regular routine and trying to move forward. Jane, however, does not seem to be able to let go of her fears.
In my dream I chase a killer into a crowd of people, and I can't see any faces. I can't see who's good and who's bad and I just keep circling.Jane
Jane's dream was very revealing. It sounded like she is not only frustrated by not being able to catch the guy behind these attacks, but afraid that her inability to crack the case will lead to more violence against the people she loves. Thankfully, by the end of the hour she was finally ready to admit she needed help.
In the meantime, she was driving everyone else crazy. Vince asked if Maura should really return to work yet, but Jane seemed to be the one who was not functioning well.
Jane, this has got to stop. You are not responsible for me or Maura.Angela
Maura's analogy with the rocks might have sounded silly, but she had a point. For Jane, though, this is difficult not only because her friend was almost killed but because as a detective, she feels responsible for ending these attacks.
Call if you're up in the middle of the night. Especially if you're up in the middle of the night.Martinez
It was great to see Martinez again! I'd have liked to have seen some interactions between him and Frankie, but his support of Jane, with a hint of something more than friendly interest, filled the hole left by his absence. It would be nice if he stuck around, but it's highly unlikely now that this case is solved.
So what did you think, Rizzoli & Isles fans? Did the season opening doubleheader knock it out of the park, or did it leave you wanting something else? Do you think Jane will catch the bad guy by the end of the season, and will therapy help her find some peace? Comment below!
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.