Review: Rizzoli & Isles

by - 16:17

There are only a few more episodes to go before Rizzoli & Isles comes to an end after seven seasons.

The buddy cop show, about a Boston homicide detective and chief medical examiner, has seen good times and bad both in terms of the storylines and its evolution.

The current season starts with the story of a stalker – just like the very first episode of the series. Back then, viewers were immediately thrust into the middle of an investigation of the stalker-slash(in more ways than one)-serial killer, Charles Hoyt. His backstory was cleverly revealed in an arc that ran through the season and everything was tied up in a pretty exciting way. It was a good start to the show and subsequent crimes have kept viewers interested.

Last season closed at the bar where Jane Rizzoli’s partner Vince Korsak has just married his life coach Kiki (wedding and reception in one place – smart). We hear a gunshot and know someone’s been hit, but we only find out in the first episode of Season Seven that technical analyst Nina Holiday is badly injured and Maura Isles sustains what appears to be a superficial head wound but turns out later to be more serious brain trauma.

Rizzoli & Isles

The dynamic duo in Rizzoli & Isles will bid farewell to viewers after seven seasons.

With so little time left in the series, it’s quickly revealed who’s behind the shooting – Jane’s stalker from Season Six. Just as swiftly, and a little too easily, we see the end of Alice Sands.

That whole storyline wasn’t great to begin with, I thought, but the mystery was never really fleshed out, making all the stalking from the season before a complete waste of time. Unlike the story way back when Rizzoli & Isles made its debut.

It’s just the latest less-than-interesting plot on the show – enough to make a person stop watching. But I’ve come this far; might as well see it through to the end.

I still want to know what Korsak (Bruce McGill) gets up to. He’s a B character but always fun to watch. While the others look and sound exactly as they did when they started, Korsak began the series with an accent (apparently a New England accent) which later disappeared. His sloppy way of dressing was also replaced with smarter suits and ties.

Korsak has been in some pretty hairy situations, not least the time he stepped on a mine at a crime scene and had to remain standing for practically the whole episode.

Although most people are exasperated with Maura (Sasha Alexander) when she starts talking about things that only she understands, that science brain of hers and the tendency to pluck random trivia from out of nowhere is charming. She’s the smartest person in the room but can be gullible – Jane (Angie Harmon) has told her, “You are the dumbest genius I know.”

I envy the fact that she can turn into a good fencer or softball player just by reading up on the science of how to fence or hit a softball. That must also be how she learnt to walk in stilettos on uneven ground without falling over.

Another lovable character was Susie (Tina Huang), Maura’s assistant. Susie would be very comfortable in any CSI lab or on Mythbusters. The character was killed off, though.

But the saddest storyline has to be the death of Jane’s partner Barry Frost, whose fictional passing matched the real-life loss of the young actor Lee Thompson Young. The characters gave Barry a beautiful send-off, and the touching eulogies delivered on screen appeared like genuine goodbyes.

The show didn’t forget Barry. His desk remains empty and the characters continue to deal with his absence.

Some of the things I won’t miss are Jane’s unflattering pantsuits and her wardrobe of T-shirts in every colour, and the way the Rizzoli family (especially mother Angela) treat Maura’s home as their own.

Serial watchers of the show are, of course, wondering how the series will end.

The series has not forgotten the late Barry Frost (played by Lee Thompson Young, left), seen here with Rizzoli (Harmon) and Korsak (McGill).

The series has not forgotten the late Barry Frost (played by Lee Thompson Young, left), seen here with Rizzoli (Harmon) and Korsak (McGill).

Korsak bought The Dirty Robber for his retirement so it’s likely he will run it full-time, and Angela (Lorraine Bracco) could still be working behind the bar. I don’t see Jane leaving the force – she loves it too much – but perhaps a promotion is due and she has to dress up in pretty lady suits. As for Maura’s brain injury, that will surely be repaired?

And the burning question: Will Rizzoli and Isles find love?

I wasn’t aware until just recently that the show has a huge fanbase who have been rooting for the two lead characters to end up together as a couple. Jane and Maura obviously have chemistry, but “Rizzles” campaigners will have to settle for a womance.

As for the final scene of the series, I’m going to take a guess here – drinks at Korsak’s bar.

Rizzoli & Isles S7 airs every Wednesday at 9pm on WarnerTV HD (HyppTV Ch 613).

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