Rizzoli & Isles “2M7258-100” Review (Season 7 Episode 8)

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In the historic 100th episode of “Rizzoli & Isles,” the show opted for a serious tone over a comedic one for the most part, as well as a bit of a place-setting bent that likely pointed the way overall towards the show’s endgame, in “2M7258-100.”

I’m assuming that the numerical title is both a nod to the whole 100th episode thing, as well as to Jane’s undercover stint in the county jail, where she went by the faux name of Lisa Carroll, with the title being her prisoner number. The case involved the gunning down of two bikers, members of the so-called “Lords of Thunder” gang, which might have also been a subtle nod to a certain KISS track, given the show’s previous reference to the band.

Someone left a kiss on one of the biker’s faces, which seemed to indicate that there was either a witness or someone who was there after the fact- if not a remorseful killer. It turned out to be a little of each of the first two, as one girl witnessed the killing and knew who did it, while another stopped by to confirm, apparently, as one of the vics was her boyfriend.

However, complicating matters was the fact that the girls were half-sisters, as both had been raised by the same Foster parents. Not wanting the younger sister to get hurt for what she’d seen, the older sister, Kelly took the fall, when Frankie apprehended her for trying to run, which turned out to be a parole violation. Refusing to out her sister, Kelly took the jail time instead of cooperating.

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This led the team in between a rock and a hard place, especially after an investigation of the Albanians that the gang were in league with turned up little, beyond a guy who was likely guilty of something, but not necessarily killing the bikers. Either way, there was no real connection between the two, beyond some theatrical murders that would seem to be similar to the way the bikers were killed.

Then, Kelly tried to solicit someone in prison to kill someone else for cash, only for the former to snitch to the cops in hopes of getting some leniency on their sentence. This gave Rizzoli a idea: what if she went undercover in the jail and tried to get Kelly to do the same with her? As in, ask her to kill someone?

If Rizzoli could pull it off, they’d get the name of the person Kelly suspected really did the crime, as well as keep her from doing something that would only land her in more trouble if she was successful. To that end. Rizzoli had Isles paint a temporary tattoo on her to look more authentic, and off Jane went to jail.

In no time- perhaps a little too little time, TBH- Rizzoli managed to help Kelly out, even going so far as to get in a fight to save Kelly from some prison thugs who were looking to jump the girl. Earning her trust, Kelly finally confided in Jane who her target was, with the intention of hiring her to kill him.

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Sure enough, with that accomplished, Rizzoli was let out of jail and confronted Kelly, this time outside of jail, down at the precinct. Kelly had no choice but to cooperate then, and admitted that she was only trying to protect her half-sister. A sting operation was set up to capture the culprit, which proved to be another biker, and which went off without a hitch.

That done, Kelly and her half-sister were offered a deal to roll on not just the killer but others as well, in exchange for which both were put into the witness protection program, so all’s well that ended well. Well, save maybe with Angela, who was none too amused about her daughter doing the undercover thing, and hasn’t yet forgiven her by the end of the episode, admitting to Isles that she would never stop worrying about her sometime reckless daughter.

Speaking of which, Nina also got a little overprotective of Frankie, when Kelly attacked him with the lid of a garbage can, which led her to draw her weapon on the woman, nearly pulling the trigger in a panic. We later discovered that she was still suffering from a bit of PTSD from what happened with her ex-boyfriend, but Frankie reassured her that all was well, and she did the right thing.

Beyond that, there was a neat guest-starring bit from one-half of the “original” Rizzoli & Isles, some might say, former “Cagney & Lacey” star Sharon Gless, best-known these days for her role on “Burn Notice.” It was fun seeing Gless play a prisoner that was in too deep and knew it, and just wanted to serve her time for what she did and GTFO of jail while she was still in one piece.

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Though she bugged a focused Rizzoli at first, Jane eventually warmed to her and later on helped to get her an early release for her help while Jane was undercover. That was a nice bit of business, and the passing along of her card to Gless felt a bit like a full-circle moment between the original girl-on-girl cop show and her more recent successor.

All in all, a worthy 100th episode, with some funny lines here and there, despite the overall serious tone. I liked the bit about fairies, the “natural enemy of the biker,” and Isles’ reaction to it: “I’m not sure I believe in your Tinkerbell theory.” Said Rizzoli: “Too small to carry the gun?” Isles: “No, there’s no pixie dust on our crime scene.” Lol.

There was also some silliness about Rizzoli’s tough veneer: “Don’t talk about my under-veneer,” scowled Rizzoli. This and the talk about how Isles couldn’t find any photos of her and Rizzoli together, seemed to be a nod to the fans that have complained about the two not working together as much as of late, as well as to the sometimes too gruff demeanor of Rizzoli in some people’s eyes.

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Yet, there was a sense of where the show was headed in the end, with Isles getting more serious about her writing, while Rizzoli called up Agent Davies from Quantico to discuss the teaching position that the two had talked about on the last episode.

Meanwhile, we already know that Frankie and Nina are a committed thing, and we got to see Frankie’s rare sensitive side when Nina was struggling with her situation, which was nice.

Overall, it was a worthy episode, with a solid directorial debut by star Angie Harmon and a happier tone than one might expect, given the main case at hand. I can live with that. How about you?

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What did you think of the landmark 100th episode of “Rizzoli & Isles”? Was it a step in the right direction toward the finale? Did the case zip along a bit too quickly to be realistic? (Jane certainly closed that case in jail pretty quick, and the sting operation for Kelly’s sister was also pretty swiftly accomplished.) Did you have a fave line I missed? Sound off down below, and see you next time!