RIZZOLI & ISLES‘ fifth season has only started, and already there are massive shifts in store for the characters: on the lighter side, Jane is newly pregnant and struggling to keep her secret. (As far as Jane knows, only Maura knows the truth, but Maura knows Angela has figured it out as well.) And, sadly, the team also recently learned that Detective Frost was in a fatal car accident. (Which was the show’s way of dealing with last year’s tragic real-life events.)
“This season is definitely tonally – it’s the same, but it’s shifting,” RIZZOLI & ISLES star Sasha Alexander ( acknowledged on the show’s set earlier this month.
Among the shifts? Maura’s getting a new man in her life! Alexander teased a bit of what’s in store with that relationship, the cases Maura will be helping with, and more…
We saw a bit of the fallout of the Maura/Frankie kiss in the season premiere, but it was basically dismissed. Will the show touch back on that thread any time soon?
Sasha Alexander: I don’t know if I’d say it’s a fallout, as much as the morning after regrets of some sort. Or not regret, but confusion.
I really do feel that there’s something between Maura and Frankie. Whether it will ever be explored, or whether they will allow themselves to go there – certainly not this season. But I don’t put it off as never happening.
I don’t know why, I feel like his character is really changing and growing: much more of a man and taking control of things.
I think for Maura, she does get a possible love interest/boyfriend, who doesn’t seem to be a crazy person/killer. I think Maura has been burned so many times it’s hard to trust her instincts on who is a good person. Frankie has that. Frankie is a good person, he’s a good man. And she hasn’t seen a lot of that…I think there’s something about that. I think when people fall in love with their brother or sister’s best friend, it’s because they know them. There’s a comfort in that. So, I definitely do feel there’s that element to that.
But this season, Maura meets someone else she likes, and I think she handles it in a very socially awkward way. I think anyone who is a fan of her and when the way she becomes neurotic, it’s pretty funny.
If she does get in a relationship that is longer than a few episodes, how do you think she would actually be?
SA: It’s so funny you ask that, because I feel like this is show is these independent working women who are not married. They don’t have kids [yet]. And that’s OK. It doesn’t mean they’re not looking, and it doesn’t mean they’re not doing what many women do, which is say, “I’m hoping, but it’s not happening.” Which is very realistic. I look it always as a case by case [situation]. And in this case, this man appears to be a very smart, talented person who really has a sense of himself — he’s a brilliant man. And I think that really throws her. She’s so in control of her own universe, that it was the first time I was thinking, “Wow, what would she be like if she did go out with him and this guy became a boyfriend. Would she be cool?” Because in the beginning, she’s rather neurotic. She’s really anxiety-ridden, and she’s overthinking it. And Jane is having to say, “Calm down, it’s fine.” It would be curious to see what she would be like.
I hope she wouldn’t be a complete mess. That would just be not fun to watch.
Might be fun to play temporarily, but long-term, I could imagine it would wear thin. Since Jane is pregnant, is that making Maura think more about motherhood for herself?
SA: The show’s not exploring it. I definitely feel that she would love that to happen, but I don’t know if she’s the kind of person to make that happen. So it hasn’t been there yet. But I do feel someone who has a maternal instinct and a desire to do it right, even if that’s over-thinking scientific facts about certain things, in her way, that’s the way of doing it right. But right now she’s just being supportive.
Is there a particular case that Maura gets really involved with this season?
SA: We have different cases for everyone so far. I wouldn’t say there’s one particular one. We did just do one, it was a cold case, and Maura and Korsak worked closely on it. And it’s a homicide that has been left for we don’t know how many years. It’s a really fascinating case. And the special effects of the mummy and all of that are really, really cool. I do think Maura gets really, really fascinated by that one. But not one that’s spilling into – we don’t really deal with Maura’s personal life for most of this season. We deal with her having a boyfriend, but we’re focused more on the cop stuff and that world. And Maura’s part of it.
After all these seasons, are you enjoying things like the realistic special effects of the corpses? Or is it still a bit icky?
SA: Both! When it’s so realistic, you’re like, “This is absolutely disgusting.”
We had a man and part of his face was ripped off. And the way it was ripped off was very gruesome. It’s just looking at this actor who spent three hours in makeup and it looks so real, and I’m so close to it, and it’s frightening. But then you have one like the mummy, where you’re like, “Oh my God! That is so cool! Look at that!” It’s really interesting how they do it. Makeup people are so talented – I don’t even know how they envision this stuff. So I have both [feelings].
And then I have days, like where Maura makes a maggot milkshake – she has to test these maggots to see what they were poisoned with, so she has to get a ton of them to put them in this milkshake. And she scoops into it, and Korsak is disgusted. And then she has a scene where she has to take a kidney and she has to understand something about the kidney, and she puts it into water, and she’s so into it; super into this science experiment and smiling with joy, like at a carnival. And Jane’s like, “What’s going on?” And Maura’s like, “I have to experience this by myself, because you do not care about this thing which is scientific experimentation.” It’s really funny. Maura definitely has some very classic episode scenes that really made me laugh. And I have to really put that aside when I’m going into play that, because I have to be so earnest and serious as her.