I know the Frankie/Maura kiss was awkward (as fuck) and the way he kissed her wasn’t exactly respectful (let’s face it, she wasn’t expecting it and he more or less gave her no choice), but let’s analyse a couple of things.
The relationship (in the general sense) between Frankie and Maura has never really been documented on the show, apart from random moments (what I’m thinking about is the parade and the motorbike in 4x01 and the various exchanges in 4x15) and I guess that’s what people are not liking. It feels like Maura and Frankie have been thrown onto the stage and told to have some awkward (and cute tbqh) moments that could hint to a deeper connection between the detective and the M.E..
Suddenly Maura was holding a package that could have been an exploding device and Frankie did what any other Rizzoli (Jane would have done the same) would have done: he stood by Maura’s side, helped her out and supported her, while risking his own life. I loved that scene where they are told it’s was a false alarm: Frankie doesn’t hold a grudge, doesn’t say a thing other than what he says to comfort Maura, who’s obviously feeling guilty as hell. He holds her hands and hugs her (friendly reminder that Maura isn’t a hugger, but she shies away from hugs, except when she’s the one who takes teh first step).
And the it’s time for the Jane/Frankie exchange in the elevator. Jane is obviously worried about both Maura and her brother: Maura’s never had a decent enough man in her life (the love of her life was a felon) and Frankie gives his heart away too easily (remember his girlfriend, who left him after taking his money and then came back saying her kid was Frankie’s?). Jane warns her brother that by trying something with Maura, he could disrupt their families.
In the same episode, Frankie visits Maura in her office and the whole thing is so awkward because let’s face it: Maura is a peculiar human being and I bet she’s prone to awkward moments (just like any of us, really) and Frankie’s thinking about how Maura is so out of his league (thanks to Tommy’s comment) and would never settle for him. She’s making him coffee and once again he is reassuring her that what happened the day before was nothing, that she shouldn’t feel guilty. And then comes the thing: the “sometimes we think things are more than what they truly are”. I can see what’s going on in Frankie’s mind: has Jane told Maura something? Does Maura know what he feels for her? And that’s exactly why Frankie retreats, says he doesn’t have time for coffee and walks out but not before saying that he came to check she was fine. And now to the look on Maura’s face: when she’s making coffee and talking about “making things bigger than what they really are”, she looks genuinely happy that Frankie and the others aren’t really mad at her (because that’s what I think she was referring to and not to the idea that Frankie might have feelings for her. Why do I think this? Because Jane in the next episode asks Maura what’s going on between her and Frankie; they had obviously never talked about it other than when Jane made fun of Maura with the HazMat guy); and the next look on her face is what hurts me the most, her smile falls. Since the moment she spotted Frankie at her door, Maura had been smiling, even through the awkward moments; but when he suddenly changes him mind about coffee, she starts to feel something, maybe. Perhaps she realize that Frankie could want more from her or vice versa, that she could want something more from him. So many different things could be going on in her clever little head. But yeah, let’s keep in mind that her smile falls when he walks out of her office.
In the season finale we got some other moments.
At the crime scene, Frankie proves that he’s not a bumbling idiot and that if he has made it to detective, it’s not for a matter of luck. He has a brain to and knows how to use it.
Second scene: the whole Frankie/Tommy debacle. Yes, he goes to the morgue looking for Jane, but he no where nears, as some people said, “settle” for Maura. Maura is part of the family after all and having someone else to back you up when you’re trying to make your shit faced brother see reason is not a bad idea. Of course Maura can’t really do more than just talk to Tommy and reason with him, whereas Jane could have helped Frankie during the first fight.
Third scene is the morning after in Jane’s kitchen. Frankie is truly grateful that Maura stitched him up without much of a fuss and Maura is happy to be of use (she’s an M.E, not a Medical Doctor working at a hospital. But because of what situations have forced her to do, from a medical point of view, in the past few years, she’s starting to see herself as someone that isn’t a Medical Doctor but can help when the situation calls for it: she re-set Jane’s nose, saved Frankie’s life, helped Patty Doyle, etc). Once Jane is out of sight and Maura has checked Frankie’s lip, it’s obvious that the proximity, the “coffee pot gate” ordeal and the fact that Maura helped him the previous night, do something to Frankie. He gets suddenly braver and attempts something, only to be interrupted by Jane. When he grabs Maura’s hand, she’s obviously taken aback, everyone would have been, but she doesn’t really have time to react. Once again, Frankie walks away without coffee (will the poor man ever get to drink his coffee?) and leave Maura and Jane to talk. Jane has already talked to her brother and she knows both Frankie and her best friend more than anyone else: she knows that Frankie is falling (or, better, has fallen) for the gorgeous doctor and she also know that Frankie is different from any other man Maura has ever been with. It’s a dangerous territory for the whole clan and Jane is worried that something is going to ruin the equilibrium in their dysfunctional family. And because Jane is putting it lightly with an “are you planning to see my brother naked” in true Jane style, Maura replies with an awkward laugh and an “I don’t wanna talk about this with you right now”. Why did she react like that? Because it’s all so knew to her, so foreign. Frankie, a man she had come to refer to as family the brother of her best friend is suddenly shower interest in her. Anyone would react like Maura did. She’s not ready to talk about it because she doesn’t know what she feels: does she return his feelings? Or doesn’t she? And if she does, is she (are they) willing to give it a go, knowing that is either of them were to screw it up (and with their track record, it’s a high probability), the Rizzoli family will resent them for it? Both Maura and Frankie probably thought at least once during the episode or after the kiss about this. About the fact that if they were to be together, stay together or break up, it will affect the family.
And then there’s the kiss. It wasn’t a nice one, we can all agree with that. Frankie takes her completely by surprise and you can see her that by her reaction she doesn’t really know what to think of it. But yet again you can see what’s going on in her mind, thanks to Sasha’s great ability to show every single, possible, fleeting emotion with just a slight movement of an eyebrow or whatever (it’s acting magic). Her face displays so many different emotions: shock (what is going on? Is he really kissing me? damn it he’s actually kissing me), confusion (why is he kissing me? He obviously feels something for me, but do I feel something for him too?), fear (what would Jane think? What is going to happen after this?). And then she seems to come to a conclusion: she smiles and says “wow”.
Now, there are people saying that the kiss was more or less rape. Well, fuck you. You don’t know what being raped feels, do you? To feel brutally violated? If Maura thought it was disrespectful and completely out of line, don’t you think she would have reacted differently? Wouldn’t she had shoved him away? Or slapped him? Don’t you think Maura is a strong enough woman (emotionally speaking) and perfectly able to talk to Frankie about the fact that she wasn’t comfortable with what he had just done? Plus I don’t think Frankie is an aggressive man; at the first hint of Maura pushing him away, he would have taken a step back; if Maura had said anything to him, he would have listened and things would have been more clear for everyone. But what did Maura do? After she recovered from the shock, she smiled at him and remained there. She didn’t move nor said anything more than “wow”. And when Frankie walks away (again), she is left alone to stare at his retreating back (again.)
I have one more thing to say and this is directed especially to those people who shipped/ship Tommy/Maura and bash Frankie/Maura because apparently to some people, Frankie is a stupid, bumbling baboon. I’m not saying that Tommy is dumber than Frankie, but let’s just say: Frankie can made sounder decisions in his life; he has made it to detective and has proved to be a good cop. Whereas Tommy is more troubled: alcohol abuse is at the top of the list; getting his girlfriend pregnant etc; yes, he was starting to get his life back into gear before Frank’s cancer scare, his plumber exam thing and the proposal to Lydia, but he screwed it up all over again. Why do you people think Maura and Tommy would be a more suitable couple? I don’t see it, probably just like you don’t see why Maura/Frankie could work. It’s a matter of how our minds work differently, I guess.
With this, I’m not saying that people should ship Frankie/Maura because it may (or may not) have more probability to become canon (I don’t know what the writers have in mind). All I ask is for people to stop harassing other people with comments full of hate. You don’t see non Rizzles fans ruining tumblr posts with “you’re never gonna be canon” or stuff like that, but you see Rizzles shisppers going nuts over Frankie/Maura posts.
Some of the hardcore fans are ruining the experience of watching Rizzoli & Isles and sharing opinions online. Let’s try to be civil, okay? You don’t like a ship? You can write your hate post, tag it however you like. What you really shouldn’t do for respect is ruin someone else’s post about something they like. There’s a thing called divergence of opinion, but you don’t see me write nasty comments, do you?
Things get really awkward after that kiss. Maura hates it and she tells him that in one of her nervous fits where she just cannot seem to keep her mouth shut (she’s talking and talking and talking and she’s no longer sure what she’s talking about).
And then he shocks her (though in hindsight it really shouldn’t) when he rolls his eyes, leans in and does it again.