Jane (Angie Harmon) and Maura (Sasha Alexander) have cracked their last case for the Boston Police. “Ocean Frank,” the Rizzoli & Isles TV series finale, ran last night on TNT. Developed by Janet Tamaro, the Rizzoli & Isles TV show is based on the series of novels by Tess Gerritsen. The cast also includes Jordan Bridges, Idara Victor, Adam Sinclair, Bruce McGill, and Lorraine Bracco.
The Rizzoli & Isles TV show finale was directed by Michael Robin and written by Russ Grant and Jan Nash, the latter of whom has served as showrunner for the last three seasons. She talks about wrapping up the procedural drama. Warning: Rizzoli & Isles spoilers, after the jump.
In preparation for the “Bon Voyage” party, the gang made a goodbye video. In it, Frankie revealed he and Nina (Idara Victor) are engaged. Meanwhile, Rizzoli and Isles investigated the death of a man, who was found handcuffed to a bed in his own home.
TV Line asked Nash about bringing the series to a close.
TVLINE | At the timeRIZZOLI & ISLES (TNT) that you found out that Season 7 would be just 13 episodes, did you know it was also the final season and were able to arc it out accordingly?
We didn’t know, but we certainly suspected. And when we started thinking about the stories, we did sort of think about them in the context of “If we tell these stories, will they lead us to something that could be an actual end to the series? And if it’s not the end, could we pull back from it and have an additional season?” We felt like we had arcs that would allow us to do that — though obviously we would have made some adjustments to accommodate another year.
TVLINE | Was this all your design or did series creator Janet Tamaro leave behind a dusty envelope that said “Open in case of emergency”?
[Laughs] She did not leave behind a dusty envelope. To Janet’s credit, when she decided to leave the show and put it in other people’s hands, she in a very decent and I think probably difficult way allowed us to do what we needed to do.
TVLINE | Sasha and I had an interesting conversation about the decision to either leave the characters where they’ve always been, doing what we’ve known them to always do, or you can do what you did and send them off in new directions, demonstrating growth. What were the pros and cons as you decided how to approach it?
You could do exactly what you said and just let it sort of be the same, but from the perspective of both the actors and the writers, it makes for potentially a lot of stories that feel very much like the ones that came before. And that doesn’t give the actors the opportunity to stretch new muscles and do things that make a show that has run for a very long time continue to feel alive and vibrant and new to them. So we fell on the side of allowing the characters to have challenges that change then, and hopefully those experiences help inform the relationships that they have.
Also, this is a very rare thing, a rare bird, in the world of television. This is a show that has been on the air for seven seasons, we made 105 episodes, and things have happened on this show that don’t happen on other shows. This is a group of people that lost somebody [original cast member Lee Thompson Young, who died in August 2013] who was very, very dear to them. We the writers and, I think, ultimately the actors felt like they had things that they wanted to say about this experience, so we really wanted to give them a chance for the characters to talk about what this time has meant to them.
TVLINE | So that video isn’t just Korsak saying goodbye to Jane and Maura, it’s Bruce McGill saying goodbye to me, the viewer.
That is exactly how we saw it. This is not just characters saying goodbye to characters. These are actors saying goodbye to the experience of making this show, to the audience, but also to each other. Some of what Korsak says is specific to that character, but some of those words are about how Bruce McGill feels. The words Sasha said are about how Sasha feels. We tried to craft each of them to reflect where they were on the show.
Before Rizzoli goes to Quantico, she has a plane ticket to Paris, where she will join Isles for a few weeks. Nash said that while Jane and Maura are taking personal steps that, for now, are leading them in separate directions, they will always be best friends.
When asked about the possibility of a Paris-set Rizzoli & Isles TV movie, Nash said, “We’re ready! Let’s go to Paris.”
What do you think? Did you watch the Rizzoli & Isles TV series finale? Do you think it should have been cancelled or renewed for an eighth season?