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November 25, 2014

The Closer: Til Death Do Us Part (part 2 - season finale)

by Brett Love, posted Sep 11th 2007 12:01PM

John Tenney - The Closer(S03E13) And so ends another season. To tell you the truth, the way The Closer has been running this season, I could go for another 9 or so more episodes before season three ends, but you know what they say about wishing and hands. We'll have to make due with the fact that there is a boatload of shows ready to premiere right around the corner, and take solace in the knowledge that after 41 episodes, this show just keeps getting better.

I suppose I have tipped my hand there. Yes, I really enjoyed this episode. The case got a little bit squirrely there for a moment, but they got it back under control just in time for the good guys to win, and to cap off the season quite nicely. As fun as that was though, my favorite part of the episode was the Fritz/Brenda relationship drama. More on both of those, after the jump.

Ok, let's get to the case first. I was mildly pleased that Jonathan Schafer (Michael Wiseman) ended up being guilty, only because that was my best guess. I did completely miss on the conspiracy angle with the wife though. But then, how could any of us have seen the house full of weed coming when, somehow, the entire investigation team missed it too. That part of the story fell a little flat for me actually.

D.D.A Garnett (James Patrick Stuart) was working my last nerve with his constant badgering of Brenda, but I have to admit, he kind of had a point. Failing to find that your murder suspect owns a house, a house where things like evidence of a murder could be, is pretty shoddy police work. The team needs to count themselves lucky that they were dealing with the criminal mastermind equivalent of a three toed sloth. I can't be the only one questioning the idea that Schafer was going to set himself up as a suspect, but 'not' remove the 4000 plants from his house? That's pushing my suspension of disbelief so very near the breaking point, but they didn't quite get there.

Despite the questionable police work, and the so dumb you have to wonder how he doesn't fall down more often criminal, I still liked the story. I liked it because it wasn't easy for Brenda, and there was doubt. I also liked that they brought in Fredric Lehne to play Topper Barnes. And as cheesy as it might sound, I liked it for the payoff of the celebration at the end. It was a great way to wrap up the season for the team. On screen it served as a celebration of a job well done, while it also worked as a celebration of another successful season. Most watched cable drama, and all of that. So, if you want to hammer them for the case, I get ya, but I'm giving them a pass because I'm really happy with the series as a whole right now.

Moving on, how about the Fritz and Brenda showdown. They set it up very well last week and I thought the payoff was great. That scene where Fritz finally snapped and let Brenda have it was far and away my favorite Jon Tenney moment of the season. I often think that he gets overshadowed by Sedgwick because Brenda is such a huge character, and there is a reason that she keeps getting nominated for awards. But here, this was all about Fritz.

"You've got a lot of nerve calling me a liar..."

Damn. That was some of the good stuff. And I'm a big enough sap that I got sucked in to the makeup at the end too. We're far enough into the series now that we're heavily invested in this relationship, While I am sure there is plenty of story to tell in a breakup, it's not the story I want to see. I want to see Fritz and Brenda living happily ever after, with a good amount of bumps and quirkiness along the way.

So, there you go. Three seasons in the books and a fourth on the schedule. I think the show is as strong as it has ever been right now and am already looking forward to season four. And finally, I'd like to thank Anna for all of her posts on the show this season, and for letting me step in for these last two episodes. And of course, all of the TV Squad readers. We'll see you again for season four.

How did season four stack up for you?
TNT keeps telling me it's the best drama on cable. Who am I to argue?190 (57.4%)
It's still good. I'll be back for season four.137 (41.4%)
They've lost it and I will now rant about where it all went wrong in the comments.4 (1.2%)

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Rebecca Irwin-Diehl

Rewatching some Season 3 on DVD tonight and was stunned yet again by the resemblance between J K Simmons and Michael Wiseman--the face, the mannerisms, the charm/sarcasm with "Brenda Lee." But I've searched for any reference on the web to a biological relationship there and can't find anything. IMDB says Simmons has 2 kids but no names. I appreciate discretion, I suppose, but the toupe effect drives me nuts every time I watch this 2-part episode! Can anyone confirm a relationship???

May 25 2011 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carl

Am I the only one who thinks that Jonathan Schafer (Michael Wiseman) is Pope's (J.K. Simmons) long lost son? He's a younger version of the chief - with hair.

One of my favorite parts of the show is the relationship with Fritz. He's a good guy who is very accepting of Brenda's quirks and issues. My biggest fear is that she will ruin the relationship because that's what they do in TV shows. Strong characters aren't allowed to have successful romantic relationships.

About the missteps: You think they are written in on purpose? It seems there are a lot of assumptions that turn out to be plot twists. The PCH killer approaches beaches from the highway. (You mean boats can land on beaches? Doh!) No one ever lies about alcohol use. Daddy is the only one to drive his car.

I love the show and am going to miss it during its offseason.

September 12 2007 at 8:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg L

I loved when Gabriel whiplashed Tao in his desk chair -- was that a scripted bit of physical comedy, or something unintentional they decided to keep in? Either way, it added a nice touch...

September 11 2007 at 10:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
danielle

As much as I love Brenda and Fritz, I wasn't completely convinced that she was truly in love until this last episode. I think she had every right to be angry with him. I also think that he was entitled to his reaction to her. Of course, I'm sure she will never tell Fritz that Pope is the one who let the cat out of the bag about his drinking...and she has the nerve to call Fritz a liar.

September 11 2007 at 9:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
La-Di-Dah

You know, the best scene for me was when Brenda lit into Fritz and told him, "I want an explanation," as if she was trying to get a confession from one of her suspects. I thought it was a well-thought line, which completely meshed with her nature of being "The Closer," and sold that tiff they were having for me, from her perspective. Then of course, Fritz lit into her with "you've got a lot of nerve calling me a liar," which is also an excellent line.

I cannot wait for season 4.

September 11 2007 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
FloridaGirl25

In response to an earlier post, I own both Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and I watched about half of Season 1 last weekend. The kinds of gaffes we saw this season were not in the Season 1 episodes, and I don't think there was much of that in Season 2. (Failing to get the boat cleaner's name in the PCH Killer episode was a jarring note in an otherwise incredibly good episode, just for example. Brenda is not the kind of cop to let someone like that walk away.) I will be surprised if that continues in Season 4.

Re-watching some of Season 1 also demonstrated that Fritz is a non-drinker, from his very first scene with Brenda in a hotel bar. I had missed that, but it was definitely established.

It was also fun to see Buzz in a suit, in the background in two scenes in the pilot, playing a detective unaffiliated with Priority Homicide (no lines). He must have made an impression since he then shows up about halfway through Season 1 in the role we now know and love.

Here's to December!

September 11 2007 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat

One last thing, does anyone remember the same level of apparent procedural error in the earlier seasons? I'm going to have to go back and rewatch (no hardship there!) but it seems to me any potential errors were caught and corrected by Brenda before they derailed an investigation or led her squad down a rabbit hole.

September 11 2007 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat

I'll be back. Aggravating as I found some of the contrived case errors or oversights, I still love this show -- for the clever twists, for the Brenda/Fritz relationship, for Brenda's less-than-perfect personal style and grace...lots of reasons.

But come on! How could someone on that squad not have wondered early on if 'Topper' was a nickname? And not to look at the financial records of anyone attached to the defendant? And not examine both cars in the garage? Add these missteps to earlier episode missteps: the boat cleaner allowed to walk away without collecting any personal information, immediately leaping to the conclusion that Brenda was the target rather than young turk reporter in the car shooting. Makes me wonder just who do they have advising them this year on police work.

I'm hoping for a bit more solid police work next season and truly clever plot twists that don't depend on squad gaffes to provide some of the twists and tension. But regardless, I'll be back. Still love the show.

September 11 2007 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

I liked how Flynn gave Brenda perspective on the alcoholism. The theme this season was family and I think that was evident in that families have squabbles (Gabriel & Brenda) and downright fights (Fritz & Brenda) but in the end family is all you have. This was summed up nicely by the toasts.

I definitely will be back for season 4 and can not wait for the December special I have read is in the works.

September 11 2007 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

Just an amazing season. I agree, Fritz stole every scene this episode, for good reason. His response was spot-on, and Brenda was out of line.

"The other family member did it" angle was the plot twist de jour this season on The Closer. Let's hope it dies with this season.

I'm glad Gabriel turned around the last few episodes. He was starting to tick me off. We're cool now.

September 11 2007 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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