By Mandi Bierly
Updated June 05, 2012 at 02:00 PM EDT
Rizzoli Isles
Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

The third season of TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles picks up right where we left off — the aftermath of Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) shooting medical examiner Maura Isles’ (Sasha Alexander) Mob-boss father. While Maura’s anger is directed at Jane, so is an internal affairs investigation questioning whether, as the best friend of Paddy Doyle’s daughter, she’s a dirty cop. Will their friendship recover? “We don’t hug and go get our nails done at the end of the episode,” Alexander says, with a laugh.

They’ll need something equally as dramatic to bring the two back together, and in episode 2, the duo gets trapped in a car with water rising around them. “Maura is very, very hurt, so Jane has to do surgery on her in order to help her not lose her leg. It’s pretty intense,” Alexander says. “They really earn their way back.”

Here are five more things fans have to look forward to this season, which premieres June 5 in a new Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET time slot:

• Seeing how Maura and Jane met: That would be the photo pictured, a flashback in the season opener.

• Meeting Maura’s birth mother: The season premiere sets Maura on a path to find Dr. Hope Davis (recurring guest star Sharon Lawrence), who we’ll meet in the July 3 episode. “Maura, Jane, and Angela [Lorraine Bracco] stop in their tracks when they hear this woman speak. It’s like you’re listening to Maura,” Alexander says. “And Maura physically cannot talk around her. She’s so scared to interact with her because she doesn’t want her to know [she’s her daughter], so it’s actually very comedic.” Even once Maura does speak, she’ll still keep her identity a secret. “There are moments when she’ll do something that somehow moves me, and I just burst into tears. She’s like, ‘Why are you crying?’ And Jane will be like, ‘She gets really emotional when we break a case,'” Alexander says. Maura will also learn she has a half-sister (Emilee Wallace). “She’s a pretty angry 18-year-old girl, and that’s gonna be an interesting relationship,” Alexander says.

• A possible love interest for Maura: Eddie Cibrian will guest star in the June 19 episode. “Maura meets him on her autopsy table,” Alexander says. “Let’s just say his ‘special part’ gives him away.” Wait, we need her to explain that. “We think his character just had a stroke and died, so he’s still in his clothes on the table, and the girls are commenting on how hot he is when he’s on the autopsy table. It’s so inappropriate,” Alexander says. Look for Cibrian to return later in the season.

• The return of Jane’s old flame, Lt. Col. Casey Jones (Chris Vance), on June 19: “He’s hurt, and he doesn’t want Jane to know. Maura finds out and then tells Angela, which was a big mistake,” Alexander says. “It’s a really sad but also really good story line.” It’s also a chance for Maura and Angela to be “the two Stooges,” which we’ll see more of this season. “Maura seems to keep telling Angela everything, not realizing that she will never keep a secret,” Alexander says.

• Jane and Maura go undercover: They call it their Eyes Wide Shut episode, but it’s also “very Lucy and Ethel” Alexander says, when Jane and Maura go undercover to bust a sex ring. “Maura is very excited to be dressed up as a high-class hooker, but unfortunately they get cater-waiter outfits and clogs, so it’s not as much fun as she anticipated,” she says.

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