"Rizzoli & Isles" eulogized Lee Thompson Young's character on Tuesday
The episode showed the cast grieving
Angie Harmon's Jane Rizzoli gave a moving tribute
The executive producer wanted to honor Young's memory
Lee Thompson Young’s “Rizzoli & Isles” character, Detective Barry Frost, was given an emotional farewell in Tuesday’s episode.
The 29-year-old actor committed suicide last August, and his absence from the show has been treated with sensitivity. Young’s Barry Frost has been written out of the show as a victim of a tragic car accident, and Tuesday’s episode, appropriately titled “Goodbye,” showed the rest of the cast coming to terms with their loss.
Angie Harmon’s character, Detective Jane Rizzoli, particularly struggled with her grief and gave a moving eulogy at Frost’s memorial.
“We shouldn’t be here today,” Harmon’s Rizzoli began. “Barry Frost was too young and too good for us to be here today. But yet, here we are. I’ve been given the incredible honor of talking about how much we all loved Barry, and I could say a lot and then go sit down, but it wouldn’t do him justice.”
As photos of Young flashed across the screen, Harmon’s character pointed out that “Barry was so many things to so many people. A son. A cop. A friend. I met Barry when he joined homicide. He was so nervous because parts of the job didn’t quite agree with him, but he didn’t let that stand in his way. … He always wanted to try new things and push himself. I admired the passion he brought to his work. I will miss him as my partner. I will miss him as my friend.”
It wasn’t a stretch to imagine that Harmon wasn’t just reciting dialogue as part of the episode’s story, but was speaking about her former co-star as well.
“Angie was absolutely amazing in that scene,” “Rizzoli & Isles’” executive producer Jane Nash told TVGuide.com. “She was focused on the eulogy being exactly right, that it be reflective of Barry Frost’s character and also be reflective of Lee.”
Young grew to fame as the star of Disney’s “The Famous Jett Jackson” and moved on to star in the 2004 movie “Friday Night Lights,” along with roles in TV shows like “FlashForward” and “Smallville.” He’d starred as Frost on TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” since 2010, and was in production for the final episodes of season four when he died in August.
“Our benchmark was, if his family chose to watch it, would they feel like we honored his memory?” Nash told TVGuide.com. “His family gets to decide if we did or not, but we feel we honored him and did what we set out to do.”