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October 6, 2015

The Closer: Homewrecker (season premiere)

by Anna Johns, posted Jun 19th 2007 11:43AM
the closer
(S03E01) I was very happy that The Closer didn't attempt to go with a big blow-out episode right out of the gate. This week's was really a pretty typical crime and subsequent investigation. It allowed us to get comfortable with the characters again and reminded us why we like the show. The characters are quirky and there are always plenty of twists and turns in each investigation. Sometimes we can see where they're going, sometimes we can't.

The opening scene featured a series of shaky camera shots and frequent fades to black as an LAPD cameraman stumbles through a crime scene where Brenda and the rest of the high priority homicide team are investigating the murders of a husband, wife, and daughter. The crafty open was a two-fold mechanism to reintroduce us to the team and to establish the case. Pretty successful, I thought.

Brenda and the detectives find a teen-age boy hiding in the attic. He's high on ecstasy and he's the only survivor in the family, which automatically makes him a suspect in the brutal stabbings of his parents and his kid sister. The fact that he lies about his whereabouts that night doesn't help him. But we all know he's not guilty, right? It's too early in the episode to be picking out a real suspect. I loved the scene where Brenda was interrogating the teen-ager in the hospital room where she pretended to stab herself with plastic cups and screamed and wailed and hit the walls. I've seen this show enough and I know the Brenda Leigh Johnson character well enough that I knew exactly what she was up to. And, it turned out I was right: she was trying to make the kid feel guilty and want to die so she could hold him longer and put him on suicide watch. It was a tad bit immoral, really, to make the kid think he was responsible for his family's deaths and you could see that in Sgt. Gabriel's face as he reacted to Dep. Chief Johnson's screaming scene.

I also figured out ahead of Brenda that the father who was killed was a bigamist. Sometimes that happens with this series and I'm just thankful that it happened with this interesting plot twist that didn't necessarily reveal the killer. It's a little corny how she always gets a flash of brilliance about her case based on something inconsequential that someone else says in conversation. This time, it was Dep. Chief Taylor's mention of "breaking up a family" that made Brenda realize who her victim really was.

She eventually got the father's other son to cop to the crime. If there wasn't a constant stream of snot running into the actor's mouth, I'd say he rocked that scene. But the quivering lip and the spit and the snot was just a bit much for me. I mean, who just lets snot run into their mouth? I still felt so bad for the kid, though. His father was living a double life and the one he had with the other family was much nicer than the one he had with that kid. Heartbreaking, really.

As for the side stories, I'm hoping this is the last we'll see of the budget cuts plot line. That's not sexy at all, baby! It seems as though Sgt. Gabriel came up with a way to save the homicide team and get Chief Pope some federal dollars to help with overtime. I've been wondering what was going to happen with Brenda and the team this season since a lot of their conflicts are in the past. The first season, she was trying to prove herself to some strong-willed detectives. By the second season, she had won them over but she faced some trying times due to her past relationship with Chief Pope.

This season? Hopefully not budget cuts. I did read that one of the executive producers hinted that Sgt. Gabriel and Dep. Chief Johnson will not be getting along very well. I'm not sure that this episode set that up, really. She suggested to him that he transfer to another homicide division, but really left it up to him. And he was the one who saved her ass so I'm not sure where this conflict will stem from.

It looks like we're in for more relationship tension between Fritz and Brenda as they move into a larger house together. I've seen casting information and I see that her mother is returning this season, and her father will make his first appearance. So that should make for a couple of entertaining episodes.

What do you want to happen on The Closer this season?
Brenda and Fritz get engaged103 (46.0%)
Brenda and Fritz break up31 (13.8%)
More budget cuts!3 (1.3%)
Brenda screws up a case royally and can't talk her way out of it34 (15.2%)
A new member joins the high priority homicide squad53 (23.7%)

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Love, love the season premiere. Loved the snot because that was one dedicated actor. Loved the twists and turns. I am glad everyone's back and staying, even if they have to be shared with CTU. I am so glad this show is back - one of my favorites.

June 20 2007 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

See my take on The Closer at http://mytvmusings.com/2007/06/19/the-closer-review/

June 20 2007 at 12:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok, as lame as the rating system is, why is it that some of you use it and some don't?

Sorry, I guess I'm just a sucker for continuity.

June 19 2007 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh yeah, and we get a quick glimpse of the "office romance" that was hinted at last year...

June 19 2007 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This Monday's ep. begins the friction between Gabriel & Brenda (conflict about the case they're investigating), and there's also friction with her & Fritz (regarding a phone call from her father)...

June 19 2007 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tess Capra

I'd be disappointed if there were long-lasting tension between Johnson and Gabriel. I really enjoy the give and take of their relationship.

June 19 2007 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kyra is excellent in the role of Brenda. I love her performance in the interrogation room as she confronts brutality with a conflicted sense of compassion and justice. You can actually see the conflict in her face as she did last night when she confronted the young murderer.

June 19 2007 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gabriel saved Brenda from having to make a decision she didn't want to make in forcing Provenza to retire or sharing Gabriel with the other unit.

I think a possible future source of conflict was hinted at by Pope enlisting Gabriel's help in reigning in Brenda's extravagant spending.

June 19 2007 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree...the snot was a bit excessive...gross!

June 19 2007 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Exactly how did Gabriel save her? By suggesting Pope take her entire team and put them in counter-terrorism--on paper? Methinks when she figures out it was his idea, she'll wish she hadn't given him an option, and just kicked him from her team.

He just came across very slimy with that scene. Why are brown-nosers like that? The always kiss your ass, then go behind your back and work their agendas.

Here's hoping Pope goes to Brenda before making any decisions. Then, here's hoping Brenda gives Gabriel the reading he's been needing for two seasons now.

June 19 2007 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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