For Rizzoli & Isles, 'The Anger Is Still Fresh' - Can a Deadly Crisis Bring Them Back Together?

Rizzoli and Isles Season 3 PremiereWhen last we tuned into TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, a heat-of-the-moment gunshot may have left more in critical condition than Maura’s father, given the reaction she had to her partner in crimesolving’s shocking act.

“We start Season 3 maybe 20 minutes later, so the anger is still fresh, the resentment of [what Jane did],” Sasha Alexander tells TVLine of tonight’s premiere (airing at 9/8c). “For both Jane and Maura it’s very unclear – like, What just happened?”

So, things are a little complicated between the ladies? “I would say a lot,” Angie Harmon corrects us with a laugh. “But if you’ve ever had a fight with someone that you love or care about, this is the show for you. It’s very high stakes that these two are fighting for.”

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As such, don’t expect tensions between the two to smooth out in a jiffy – a wrinkle that delighted the series’ leads. “I like the way [series creator] Janet [Tamaro] wrote it, because it’s not tied up in a bow after the first episode,” Alexander shares. Adds Harmon: “It takes a little bit to bring them back together.”

Helping Rizzoli and Isles reach that eventual détente is the reveal of precise circumstances surrounding Paddy’s shooting. “As the story unravels, you get to the bottom of what really happened in there,” Alexander previews. “Why was Agent Dean (played by The Closer‘s Billy Burke) there? Why was Jane in a position to shoot him? What was behind it all? Once that settles, you get to it being just a bad situation.”

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But it is perhaps the strength of the ladies’ bond and the feelings they have developed for one another over the first two seasons that keeps them from straying too far apart in the wake of the tragic incident.

“They realize that not only do they like each other very much and care for each other, but they need each other,” says Harmon.

That said, a bit of drama will give them a final, helpful nudge back toward each other. “In the second episode, they end up in kind of a life-threatening situation,” Alexander teases. “So they earn their way back to their friendship.”

As for the future of Paddy himself, “He ends up in the hospital,” Alexander allows, “but we’re not sure if he survives the [surgery].”

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Elsewhere this season, on the romantic front Maura will be wooed by, at the very least, Eddie Cibrian, while Jane will juggle Agent Dean (Burke is back for a couple of episodes, though he now fronts NBC’s Revolution) and Chris Vance‘s Sgt. Major Casey Jones, to name but two fellas.

“I’m very proud of Jane, because she’s handled the things thrown at her in a very grown-up fashion,” Harmon notes. “She’s grown up a lot when it comes to matters of the heart.”