Rizzoli & Isles

[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from the Rizzoli & Isles Season 2 finale. Read at your own risk.]

What could possibly drive BFFs Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles apart?

We found out in the Rizzoli & Isles Season 2 finale after Jane (Angie Harmon) shoots Maura's estranged father/crime boss/No. 1 on the FBI's most wanted list, Paddy Doyle (John Doman), as he was trying to defend Maura (Sasha Alexander) from the culprit our titular crime-fighters were attempting to apprehend. Paddy takes a few hits before falling off a sky-high ledge. He's not dead yet, but he might as well be given Maura's uncharacteristically primal and ferocious order to Jane to back away from her dad, who had earlier told her about her biological mother and explained that he wanted to be a good father.

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If that's not enough for one person to deal with, Paddy's shooting came days after Maura's adoptive mother, Constance (Jacqueline Bisset), was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident intended to harm Maura. "I wanted the finale to be big and complicated and gothic and overwhelming for Maura," executive producer Janet Tamaro tells TVGuide.com. "This intersects her family, her job and most importantly, her friendship with Jane, which is now at risk."

Can Jane and Maura find their way back to BFF-dom again? What will happen to Paddy? Will Maura meet her biological mother? Tamaro answers our burning questions about the finale and what's in store for Season 3.

First of all, I think everyone wants to know: Does Paddy die?
Janet Tamaro
: When I was doing my research about how high that catwalk was and how big a fall that was onto rock-hard concrete, let's just say it's touch and go. I love John Doman. He won't be coming back as a ghost. It wasn't a dream. I think there's more life to Paddy Doyle, but he could survive and then die. I [have decided] what I'm going to do.

How did this ending come about?
Tamaro
: I decided midway through the season. It's not mandated by the network that you have to do a cliff-hanger, but as a writer, I like coming up with a good cliff-hanger. As a viewer, I hate it! [Laughs] I hate that final frame where you go, "What?! You're kidding me!" I knew I wanted to leave them at odds with each other and I knew I didn't want to do a repeat of Season 1 where there's some sort of deadly shooting cliff-hanger involving one of them. I wanted to leave the two women with some massively unresolved conflict and a conflict where you can see both sides.

We've seen Maura and Jane have little tiffs, but never at odds like this.
Tamaro: Right. That's when I think both actresses are best. Their chemistry is wonderful with the comedic moments and they both have a different level of intensity, but they're both really interesting when they're in conflict because of what they do and how they process their work. Hopefully, those last few seconds, where we're going off of Jane's face, where she's feeling something so palpable and so upsetting, it shows what I'm intending: In those horrific moments in life, you don't act in predictable ways.

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How will this affect their relationship? Jane was doing her job, but will Maura see it that way? Can she forgive her?
Tamaro
: That's something we're going to explore as they find their way back. There won't be a whole lot of time passed. It's a big rift. No matter how Maura tries to look at it, all she can see is Jane pulling the trigger and her father falling. ... I'll kind of bust myself and say I wrote myself into a corner with that scene. Maura processes things in a logical manner and that was just pure emotion that I think we can all relate to. I don't know that we've seen that kind of fierce, raw emotion from Maura before.

Are they going to be on speaking terms? They do have to work together.
Tamaro
: We will play with that for a while. The fun is seeing them together, obviously. As a writer, I can't just wrap that up quickly because it's a big moment in their lives and it's not something that's going to go away. They have to work together, but it won't be easy. I don't think their friendship is beyond repair, but it will take a bit to get back there, if they can. They're almost starting over in a way. A lot of people are curious about how they met and we may get into that.

We just see how stunned and taken aback Jane is. Will she stand her ground and use "doing my job" as her defense or will she feel guilty?
Tamaro
: We're going to do something that's not expected. I think we all think we know what Jane Rizzoli will do, but it's more interesting if she doesn't. She even surprises herself with her response. I think she feels more shock and upset than guilt at what's implicit: the loss of that close friendship. Maura is almost filled with intense hatred when she looks at her. I have a 14-year-old, so I know exactly what that feels like! [Laughs] It's really awful! In the moment, her inability to process what's happening is alarming her.

Maura goes through a whole range of emotions when it comes to Paddy, from anger and bitterness to care and concern. Do you think her reaction surprised her?
Tamaro
: Who could not feel some tenderness when he pulled out his wallet and showed her the photographs he took with long-lens cameras through her life? When he said, "I wanted to be the guy who could be this little girl's father, but all I could be was a thug," your heart breaks for him. Maura's did too. We're all a combination of good and bad, and no matter how logical it might seem to Maura to not feel anything for him, clearly in the moment he gets shot, she's feeling all kinds of uncomfortable things. I think she was a little surprised, but whether or not she's admitted it, there was genuine concern. Now she has to reconcile those feelings.

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It was a very Maura-heavy episode — both of her parents' lives were hanging in the balance — and she and Constance have grown closer this season. Will this be a springboard for more family-centric story lines for her?
Tamaro
: Yes, there are a jumble of family stories we're going to pursue. One of the things I like writing about is the family dynamic. Maura's family is very different from Jane's and we're going to find out a whole lot more about Maura's. I wanted this to propel her to learn more about them. Now [that we're going into Season 3] you can really get into background, and Maura's is so mysterious. She's going to learn a lot about herself.

That must mean she'll look up her biological mother.
Tamaro
: Yes, I'm certainly curious about her. Aren't you? I think it's too tantalizing not to introduce her. And let's just say if dad dies, dad is the only one who knew who her mother was.

Paddy mumbled "Hope" after he was shot. I take it that's her name?
Tamaro
: Yes! He did say "Hope." I'm getting pulled in a lot of different directions in my head [about how to write her]. That's a pretty interesting character. Whoever was involved with Paddy Doyle and had a baby at 18 and is as intellectually gifted as Maura — who is she? I have a pretty strong idea of who she is and where she's been. I'm looking forward to writing that episode and to be able to delve into all that.

How will Constance figure in this? Will she and Hope meet?
Tamaro
: That's assuming they haven't met before! They may or may not have met before depending on what kind of adoption it was. It will be complicated for Constance too, as I think it is for any adoptive parent when their child connects with their biological parents. On top of that, she was just in this huge accident, in which she risked her life to save Maura, so that makes it even more difficult.

We can't forget about Agent Dean (Billy Burke). I assume he'll be back given the part he's played in this.
Tamaro
: We've got a whole Dean betrayal story to play out. Jane confided in him as a boyfriend about Paddy being back and he said he wasn't going to do anything until she said it was OK, but he does. It's a gray area. The season opener will have massive repercussions from what happened in that warehouse for all of them, and not just emotional.

Season 3 of Rizzoli & Isles will premiere next summer on TNT.