Rizzoli & Isles “Stiffed” Review (Season 7 Episode 11)

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On the latest episode of “Rizzoli & Isles,” we got an oddball case involving a funeral home that was apparently double-dipping on their burials, until one of the owners found himself on wrong end of the casket; plus the return of Rizzoli’s brother, Tommy (Colin Egglesfield, “The Client List”) and a surprise proposal, in “Stiffed.”

The main case began with an weirdly disaffected family not nearly as shocked as they could have been by the appearance of a naked dead man in the casket of their dead grandmother, both of which fell out when it proved too much to carry for the pallbearers in question. Indeed, they behaved so strangely that I halfway expected at least one of them to be involved themselves, but such was not the case.

Instead, all roads seemed to lead back to the funeral home, owned and operated by brother-and-sister team Kate (Aynsley Bubbico, “Hart of Dixie”) and Sam (Brett Easton, “Adopted”), the latter of whom proved to be the naked dead man in question. Naturally, the main suspect was the sister, especially when it was found out that Sam was trying to sell the family business out from under her without her knowledge.

However, her alibi for the TOD checked out, so the team was back to where they started. A little more digging, if you’ll pardon the pun, revealed several other bodies that were also buried with a little company, with seemingly no connection at first, until it was discovered that all concerned just so happened to be models.

A closer look at the modeling agency also revealed nothing until an eagle-eyed Jane noticed that all the main headshots for the models seemed to be taken at the same location, indicating that the site was a commonly-used place for the photographer at hand. The team paid a visit to the photographer with a search warrant in hand just in case, and sure enough, found icky photos of all the dead people in question, thus making it clear that they’d found their culprit.

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Discovering that the man had a gig currently in process, they rushed to the Farmer’s Market, aka his headshot locale of choice, and found him there. Naturally, he knew the jig was up and ran for it, forcing Rizzoli to have to pursue and tackle, with Frankie handling the actual cuffing after she got her man. Why do these idiots always run? It never ends well.

Meanwhile, Tommy paid his family a visit, with little son TJ in tow, with the sad news that he and the child’s mother, Lydia, had gone their separate ways. Contemplating a move back to Boston from Chicago, as it turns out, there was a residence potentially opening up in that Rizzoli had that FBI job coming up, and would thus be leaving town, leaving her place unoccupied in the process.

To that end, Jane put in a good word for her brother, while also breaking the news to all concerned that she was likely going to take the job at hand, assuming everything checked out in terms of her employers, who were in the process of vetting her, which is how a lot of people found out about it in the first place, with the FBI calling to talk to both Frankie and Korsak.

Rizzoli also had to break the news to her mother, who was naturally glad she would be doing something safer with her life than police work, but crushed that Jane would have to move to do so. On the plus side, Tommy’s impending move back to Boston, along with her grandson, had to cushion the blow somewhat.

By the same token, all concerned were also upset to varying degrees about Jane’s potential move, with Maura in particular wondering how she’d cope without her best friend to talk and commiserate with over their latest case. I imagine a lot of viewers are also feeling similarly, as I can’t imagine a lot of us ever would have thought the show would end with the two lead characters going their separate ways.

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Granted, I didn’t necessarily expect the two of them to end up together as a couple, either, which I know a lot of people might have liked to see, but still, I have to question how wise it is to split them up in the end as well. I can’t say I would have hated them ending up together as a couple, either, for the record, even if a lot of that was in ‘shippers’ heads, as both have had boyfriends in the past- and even a husband, apparently!

Whatever the case, one couple that actually is ending up making it official is Frankie and Nina, after the former popped the question to the latter and she accepted. It would seem that this was a set-up meant to take the series out on a bit of a “high,” as nothing quite says finale like a birth, death, wedding, etc. Just be glad it wasn’t the “death” option, I suppose- we hope.

Yes, it was a little premature- after all, Frankie and Nina haven’t been together that long- but on a certain level, I get it. I mean, look at how the last wedding turned out! I can’t say I blame the show-runners for wanting a happier result this time around. Although I couldn’t help but notice that Maura’s whole brain trauma thing was all but swept under the rug after a certain point- tonight was the first mention of it in some time, in fact, and it was only in passing.

That said, as we cruise into the final episodes, I guess I’ll take a happy ending however I can get it, even if there’s some compromise involved. I don’t like that it seems to be headed in the direction of Rizzoli leaving town, thus breaking up the lead characters we’ve spent seven seasons with in the process, but what are you going to do? It is what it is.

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What did you think of the latest episode of “Rizzoli & Isles”? What did you think about that bizarre case? How about Tommy’s return? Or Frankie’s proposal? Is it all a bit rushed? Are you making your peace with Rizzoli’s exit? Or do you still hold out hope for an unexpected twist that keeps her in town somehow? Let me know what you thought down below and I’ll see you next week!