The Closer: Til Death Do Us Part (Part 1)
Getting to that, I liked how this one started right from the beginning. Between Buzz's video opening and the mixed up format that has us seeing the courtroom drama and the investigation at the same time, they have set the two part finale apart as a bit of a special event. That idea is helped right along with some nice casting. I was particularly happy to see Stephen Culp (late of Traveler) and the return of James Patrick Stuart as D.D.A. Garnett. The two of them hold up the courtroom end of the story very well, which is no small task when trying to balance out Brenda on the other side.
There were a few different elements at work here. Let's start with the murder case. Had this been a normal one hour episode with no real ongoing repercussions, this thing could have wrapped up rather quickly. Bring the suspect in, search the car while he is being questioned, get the evidence, make him confess. Of course, that isn't what we got, and the result makes for a lot of interesting possibilities. The fact that Dr. Shafer is sticking to his fishing trip story, albeit with the mysterious Topper Barnes as an alibi makes one wonder. As does the fact that both Garnett and Pope questioned whether or not Brenda really has the right guy. Given the dog hair evidence, I think it will turn out that she does in fact have her man, but the idea that she's wrong presents interesting possibilities.
Speaking of the dog hair, I really enjoyed the courtroom scenes. The noticeable change in the Brenda that testifies was a nice contrast to the hectic, perpetual chaos that we are accustomed to. Even on her best behavior though, it's the same crafty Brenda, as we saw as she baited Cordry (Culp) into letting her introduce the dog hair into the proceedings. And of course, the big shocker revelation that Topper had been found was perfect moment to cut the episode. How can you not come back to get a look at how that all plays out? Maybe it's the 39 episodes of watching and rooting for Brenda and her team, but I wasn't buying that story for a second, despite the all too rehearsed confirmation from the buxom receptionist, Michelle (Megan Hilty).
And that brings us to the relationship part of the episode. I've actually been a fan of how they have slowly progressed Fritz and Brenda. This latest stumbling block really didn't ring true for me though. The combining of assets and accounts all makes perfect sense, but asking me to believe that a) Fritz never told her about having two DUIs, and b) if he hadn't he would let her go anywhere near anything that has to do with his insurance, is asking a little too much. Years of watching late night television has taught me that there are crazy insurance companies that specialize in insuring motorists with DUIs and the like, and Fritz would be all too aware that this would come up. It's not anything that killed the episode, and the previews seem to imply that there is some good drama coming from the aftermath, but the revelation was somewhat lost on me as the setup didn't work.
Not really a complaint, but something I found a little surprising, was the fact that nothing from the DHS auditor from the last episode carried over. That had the makings of an ongoing story, but perhaps that will be something to look forward to in season four. Overall, I'd call this a solid episode, with a great setup for the big finale next week.
|Absolutely, dog hair DNA doesn't lie.||95 (67.9%)|
|I don't know, the dog hair could have been planted.||31 (22.1%)|
|Not at all. How can you argue against a fishing captain named Topper?||14 (10.0%)|