Rizzoli & Isles “For Richer or Poorer” Review (Season 7 Episode 10)

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On the latest episode of “Rizzoli & Isles,” it was time for star Sasha Alexander to follow in the footsteps of co-star Angie Harmon and take the reins in her directorial debut, “For Richer or Poorer,” the tale of Isles’ heretofore unknown short-lived nuptials to a college paramour who was a person of interest in a murder at a park. But was he a suspect or a potential victim? And were those nuptials as short-lived as Isles thought?

Of course, the old marriage on the fly that someone thought was annulled turning out to be still very much a thing years later is a trope straight out of a soap opera, and it was no less dubious here, a matter not helped by the fact that the real culprit for the murder was painfully obvious. But that said, it was a solid enough debut on Alexander’s end, helped immeasurably by plenty of action and gratifyingly emotional turns from both our leads.

It all began when a man was seemingly chased through the woods adjacent to a local park, only to slip and fall and knock himself unconscious, later waking up in a hospital, after Rizzoli and company found him while investigating a nearby homicide-by-shotgun of a forensic accountant/whistleblower.

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When blood and gunshot residue was found on the man, he immediately became a leading suspect, but the matter was complicated when Rizzoli discovered a picture of him and Isles, seemingly just after a wedding. The man turned out to be Edward Dunn (Kristoffer Polaha, “Castle”), an old flame of Isles’ from college.

When his mother, Tilly (JoBeth Williams, “Poltergeist”) objected to their relationship because she felt Isles wasn’t “good enough” for her son- as if- the two ran off to Vegas and eloped. Thinking better of it the morning after, the two had the marriage immediately annulled, but unbeknownst to either one, it never successfully went through, as the lawyer in charge of the paperwork died of a heart attack before filing the appropriate papers.

Obviously, this was a bit of a stretch and more than a little out of character for Isles- albeit not as much as the later revelation that she once tried out to be a wrestler for the WWF, complete with costume, as “Maura the Mauler” back in the day, as some sort of feminist protest. (Oh, to have seen a picture of that!) Still, this sort of wacky back-story is par for the course on a lot of TV shows, least of all ones a bit long in the tooth, so we’ll let it slide, as ridiculous as it all is.

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Whatever the case, it was up to Isles, who maintained Ed couldn’t have done such a thing, to clear his good name, and hopefully, get her last name back once the appropriate papers were finally filed and the divorce went through for real this time. To do so, however, she had to get past his overprotective mother, who also refused to cooperate on any level, down to allowing her son to even answer any questions about the case.

Thankfully, Rizzoli was able to work around the problem and make a call to distract Tilly while Isles got Ed’s attention, which led to his dismissing his mom to go get him some food while he talked to Maura. Sure enough, it turned out that Ed had hired the accountant to investigate some questionable records in his dad’s computer files, which seemed to indicate he had been embezzling some funds from his own company to pay off some clients, for some mysterious reason.

In fact, the accountant had discovered the reason and that was why the two had met in the park, only to be blindsided by a man hiding in the bushes, who killed the former man with a shotgun before taking a shot at Ed, who managed to elude the killer. Unfortunately, it had happened before Ed could find out what his father as up to in the first place. On the plus side, he still had copies of the files in question and sent Isles to recover them so that the cops could take a closer look themselves.

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Alas, when Isles got there, Tilly was waiting for her, insisting at gunpoint for Isles to turn over the files. Thanks to Rizzoli digging up some dirt on her associate Noah (Robert Curtis Brown, “Perception”), who was found out to be the owner of a rare weapon used in the homicide at hand, Isles was able to gain Tilly’s trust and leave with the papers.

It seems that Noah had been a perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that Ed’s father found out about and subsequently was seeking to reimburse people Noah had duped, hence the mysterious payments. Noah got wind of it, though, and killed Ed’s father, and was tying up loose ends by killing the accountant and attempting to kill Ed to keep things from getting out, knowing it would ruin him.

Noah also realized that Ed had sent Isles after the papers at hand, which was why he sent Tilly to retrieve them. However, once Rizzoli found out what was really going on, Tilly immediately turned on Noah and cooperated with Isles, but before she could get the evidence of Noah’s crimes to the precinct, Noah came after her, causing Isles to wreck her car.

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Pulling his rare shotgun on her afterwards, he threatened to kill Isles if she didn’t turn over the papers, but fortunately for her, Rizzoli and Korsak were nearby and able to sneak up and get the jump on Noah, arresting him and getting ahold of the papers in question for themselves before Isles could come to any harm. That accomplished, Noah was arrested, Isles got her divorce and all was well than ended well.

In terms of side plots, Frankie met Nina’s mother, Catherine (Juliette Jeffers, “Silk Stalkings”), which sent Nina into a frenzy, as she wasn’t expecting her in town. As she had hated all of Nina’s previous boyfriends, Nina went into overdrive by quizzing Frankie within an inch of his life with questions she figured her mother would ask him before opting to pull the plug on the meet altogether and lie about the nature of their relationship.

Catherine was a smart cookie, though, and saw right through the two and realized they were dating and ended up grilling Frankie anyway, much to Nina’s chagrin. Fortunately for her, Catherine loved Frankie, because why wouldn’t you? She not only gave the two her seal of approval, she told Nina that if she screwed it up, she’d kill her- a sentiment shared by Nina, as well.

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Meanwhile, Angela ran into Joanne (Heather Ankeny, “Battle Creek”), who you’ll recall was the daughter of Ron (Gregory Harrison, “One Tree Hill”), Angela’s ex. In fact, it was because of what Joanne said that Angela broke things off with Ron in the first place. However, once she talked to Angela, she felt bad for her actions and told her dad what really happened, leading Ron to confront Angela at her bar and tell her he didn’t accept their break-up and that he loved her.

So, sure enough, a blown away Angela opted to give the guy a second chance, which he certainly deserved, as her reasons for dumping him- the fact that she inadvertently put him in danger during the shoot-out at the bar- were thin at best, a fact that did not go unnoticed by fans of the show.

Finally, Rizzoli told Isles about the job offer she got from Quantico to be an instructor there. Isles, as ever, was completely supportive, as the two weighed the pros and cons of taking the job. Pros included the fact that running after perps was “good exercise” and no one would likely be shooting at her- though Rizzoli wasn’t so sure that was a good thing. Regardless, in the end, she decided to accept the position, which isn’t that surprising, what with the show coming to a close soon, after all.

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With all the elements in place, it would seem that the show is setting us up for a predictable, if not necessarily bad ending with a a reasonably happy outcome for all concerned, though it would seem that said ending would cause Rizzoli and Isles to go their separate ways in the future, which is unfortunate. Still, I can think of worse potential scenarios, such as Isles’ oddly uncommented on as of late concussion turning out to be bad news after all, so I can live with predictable.

Alexander did a fine job with the episode, handling action and drama alike with equal aplomb, which is nice. There were also some nice directorial flourishes here and there, and it was fun seeing Isles get a more elaborate plot line than usual, even if it was pretty predictable. With only a few more episodes left, it would seem that the show is putting its ducks in a row moving forward, to set up the story for a happy ending for all concerned. I’m okay with that, but I do hope there are nonetheless some surprises along the way, regardless.

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What did you think of the latest episode of “Rizzoli & Isles”? Did you also think Alexander did a good job with her directorial debut of the show? Did you also figure out the culprit ahead of time? What did you think of the business with Nina and Frankie, or the stuff with Angela and Ron? Or with Isles and Ed, for that matter? Let me know what you thought down below, and I’ll see you next episode!