Rizzoli & Isles “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” Review (Season 7 Episode 12)

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On the penultimate episode of the final season of “Rizzoli & Isles,” we got a case spanning back to the mid-70’s that our own Vince Korsak (Bruce McGill) was involved with, albeit tangentially- in fact, it was the very case that inspired him to become a cop in the first place- in the aptly-titled “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.”

We began with a scene set way back in 1975, as a young Korsak’s then-girlfriend, Mary, and her sister Wendy attended the birthday party of a local rich kid, Robbie Davenport. Alas, tragedy struck when Wendy was brutally killed by what was thought to be blunt force trauma with a shovel, for unknown reasons. Even worse, the killer was never caught, which had always haunted poor Korsak.

Flash-forward to now, and much to Korsak’s horror, Wendy and Mary’s father also met a premature end when he was suffocated to death by another unknown perpetrator. Determined to not let this one slide, Korsak made sure all hands were on deck to solve this one, if only to ensure the family didn’t have to endure yet another unsolved mystery in their lifetimes, least of all Mary (Bonita Friedericy, “Chuck”).

At first, it seemed as if it might be connected to the father’s work as an advocate for others who had suffered similar fates, as he helped a woman whose son was also murdered testify against the murderer getting early parole. This didn’t go over so well with the brother of the accused, who made death threats against them both.

However, he was quickly cleared of the crime, having an airtight alibi and plenty of witnesses to his whereabouts at the time of death. Mary confirmed that her father never quite let go of her sister’s death and, insofar as she knew, never stopped looking for her murderer. Suspecting the two deaths might be connected, Korsak had the team go back over the evidence in the original murder, hoping the use of new technology might shed some light on who did it.

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Sure enough, DNA was found on her blood-spattered dress which was a match to DNA found on her father, concretely proving that both crimes were committed by the same perpetrator. Unfortunately, said DNA was not in their database, thus leaving them without a suspect, beyond the knowledge that a white male was responsible.

A second look at the Davenport family showed that the three sons had had their fair share of scrapes over the years, including one that was accused of rape, though none of the charges against them ever stuck, hence their DNA not being in the database. Hoping to get at least one of the Davenports to cooperate- or at least get close enough to get a DNA sample, Rizzoli & Korsak staked out their family’s law office, and sure enough, were able to confront birthday boy Robbie.

Though admitting he was devastated by the occurrence and had anxiety attacks for years afterwards, he refused to cooperate, saying that they’d need a warrant to get anything else from his family. Unfortunately, with no hard evidence to prove anything but a hunch, the team had nothing that could stick enough to get them one, so it was back to the drawing board.

One thing Korsak noticed from what amounted to his first “murder book”- aka a collection of articles, photographs and notes he’d compiled about the case, which was technically his first, though long before he was an actual cop and still just a kid- he noticed that Wendy, the murdered daughter, had a locket, which no one could account for.

Suspecting that the father might have been on the hunt for it, he had the bright idea to look and see if anyone had bought any lockets with a matching description on eBay. Sure enough, a look at the father’s account showed that he’d bought several lockets on the website over the years, most recently two weeks ago. Was that what got him killed?

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Mary had a key to a safety deposit box in her father’s name which the two of them had a look in, only to discover that, while there were a lot of lockets inside, the most recent one was not among them. As the locket was a pricey one, Korsak remained convinced it had been given to Wendy by one of the Davenports, so it was back to the family house they went.

Though denied entry, a quick-thinking Jane managed to finagle her way inside by posing as a mover and slipping in with the rest of the workers. Once inside, she spotted the patriarch of the family, but he proved to be no help, obviously suffering from dementia and mistaking her for someone else. However, Rizzoli was able to secure a DNA sample from the man at least, which did indeed prove to be a familial match to the killer.

Now armed with enough to get a warrant, the team began actively looking into the sons, only to find that one of them, Garrett, had fled the country and did so the day after the murder, which was awfully suspicious; while the others remained in the area- for now. As everyone was put on the trail of Garrett, Isles did another test, this time on the dress itself, which she was able to use to get fingerprints that she wouldn’t have been able to get without modern technology.

Sure enough, the prints matched one of the Davenports, but not Garrett. Instead, the prints were a match to none other than Robbie. Rushing back to his office, the team was able to determine from his secretary that Robbie left on the fly just before they arrived, and was headed to a local airway to catch a helicopter out of there, knowing good and well the cops were onto him.

Thankfully, they were able to get there just in the nick of time to stop him and arrest Robbie before he was able to take off completely. Though we never really got a reason for his actions, in terms of why he killed Wendy, it would seem that he did so because she spurned him somehow- though it’s possible the guy was just a psycho, I suppose.

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While all of this was going on, Rizzoli continued to prepare to leave town, stressing more and more about whether it was the right thing to do. Helping matters considerably was the unexpected appearance of Agent Davies, who asked Jane out to dinner, after which the two hooked up, after the decidedly off-kilter pillow talk of discussing who had been shot more.

Davies won with a whopping five, though Jane held her own with two, one of which was self-inflicted! (It was all kind of somewhat reminiscent of the scar-comparing scene in the classic “Jaws.”) What’s more, Isles got an eyeful when she showed up at Jane’s, only to be confronted with a shirtless Davies, much to her bemusement. Sorry, “Rizzisles” fans, looks like there will be no last minute coupling off of our two favorite females, though I didn’t really expect there to be, TBH.

Meanwhile, Isles coped with her editor’s vaguely harsh criticism of her submitted manuscript, which he felt had a good story- and apparently death by stiletto heel!- but lacked in terms of location and sense of setting, which took place in Paris. So, to that end, Isles determined to visit Paris as “research” for a second draft. Must be nice, being able to pick up and go to France at the drop of a hat.

Finally, Frankie and Nina continued to plot their impending nuptials, with Frankie transforming his grandmother’s earrings into an engagement ring, while Nina entered a host of contests online, in hopes of garnering a free trip somewhere for their honeymoon. The former did not go unnoticed by Angela, of course, who provided the jewelry for the ring’s materials, while Nina fared well and won a trip on the sly after all.

With both concerns dealt with, Frankie and Nina planned to tell everyone at the post-case-solving celebration, but were scooped by Korsak, who announced his early retirement, seeing the closed cold case after all these years as a solid excuse to go out on a high note. Knowing when to say when, the two held off for the time being, though I don’t doubt we’ll get a wedding in the finale.

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This was a decent enough episode, and I liked the idea of two interlocked cases in two different time periods, but ultimately there was too much going on with the other stuff to devote to making it as compelling as it could have been.

Don’t get me wrong, I was fine with that, as it meant more time devoted to these characters we’ll be saying goodbye to soon enough, but at the same time, the case could have been pretty cool, if done with a little more finesse.

Oh well. At least there were some cool character moments throughout, from Rizzoli’s snarky comments on her mother’s obsessive attention to detail in regards to her sauce- “I want to eat it- not settle down and have kids with it,” she quipped- to one last insanely-involved coffee order from Isles, which elicited more snark from Rizzoli: “Was there even any coffee in that [order]”?

I also liked that the girls had a moment in which to finally address what now seems inevitable- that they will all be going their separate ways soon enough, and that Rizzoli was second-guessing her decision to that end. Could there still be hope she won’t even end up going? Probably not, but it never hurts to wonder.

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What did you think of the latest episode of “Rizzoli & Isles”? Did you enjoy the case? Do you like where all this is headed? Or does it seem forced to you? How would you like to see it all end? What all do you think will happen in the final episode, beyond the obvious wedding? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next week for the big finale!