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September 4, 2015

The Closer: Til Death Do Us Part (Part 1)

by Brett Love, posted Sep 4th 2007 9:00AM
Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer(S03E12) Anna is off attending to other things, so she asked me to step in for the last two episodes of The Closer. I was happy to take over as this has been a really good season, and it looks like they have pulled out all the stops for the big, two part, finale.

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.

Did Brenda get the right guy?
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%)

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Toby OB

I forgot to rewind and check before deleting it from my DVR, but did we actually see the Shafers' daughter? Is she old enough to drive? Keeping her parents from divorcing might be motive for murder.....

September 07 2007 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Topper Banks = Keyser Sose

September 05 2007 at 7:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the ex-wife and the floozy receptionist might have worked together to frame the ophthamologist (I'm not spell-checking that ...). Just as pepper spray is a woman's weapon of choice (last week's episode), poison is more of a woman's weapon - less messy, needs no force to administer - but it would require both women to get the body in the pool. I'm looking forward to the resolution next week.

September 04 2007 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode. Ironically enough, I yearned for the Law & Order style storytelling while watching the marathon of The Closer yesterday afternoon. I was pleased to see my yearning fulfilled later, while watching Brenda inside of the courtroom explaining her process.

September 04 2007 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that it's the ex-wife; I did not buy that phony sad act she played with Brenda about her Boy Scout husband.

What I did buy was Brenda not picking up on Frtiz's alcoholism; he's given her enough clues, for heavens sake. And she's always so involved with the job, with her team, and running away from her feelings for Pope (in my opinion).

Brenda's always running away--when her parents are in town, when its time to put an offer on a house (HOW many times did she try to fax the house offer to fritz before he found her?), etc.

I cannot wait for part 2 either, especially to see the elusive Topper Barnes.

September 04 2007 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the ex-wife IS involved and it's over custody of those dogs!

September 04 2007 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was already established that Fritz was a recovering alcoholic. Didn't he tell her parents that he's "allergic to alcohol"? Brenda should know that those are code words for being in AA.

I thought we were going to find out that the suspect's receptionist/lover or ex-wife actually killed the lawyer. But it would look awfully bad for Brenda if she discovered that after putting the guy on trial. (Although they do that sort of thing on "Law & Order" all the time.)

September 04 2007 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mm. she is eating a striped shortbread cookie....mmmm.
(I am jealous of you Kevin!)

September 04 2007 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

can't wait for next week. i actually hope he gets off free. i always hate it on procedurals when they never make any mistakes and always win (CSI) and love it when the bad guy wins 5% of the time (L&O); it just seems a little more believable.

And the dog hair isn't evidence technically, its inadmissible as evidence but the fact that she was able to bring it up doesn't help the defendant's case.

Fritz probably forgot about the DUI's. He wanted her to pay her bills on time and didn't remember that there was a skeleton in his closet - she wouldn't have found out if pope didn't try and help.

September 04 2007 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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