The Closer: Sudden Death
by Brett Love, posted Aug 26th 2008 8:05AM
(S04E07) The Closer continues to get some great mileage out of the supporting cast in season four. With episodes featuring Flynn and Provenza already in the books, this week Sanchez steps to the front of the stage. The resulting story was quite a bit darker than what we saw with "Dial M For Provenza." As Sanchez dealt with the murder of his younger brother, we got to take a closer look at him than the usual episode provides.
I actually came into this one knowing nothing about the story. Because of that, the "sudden death" at the beginning of the episode caught me completely off guard. Seeing Sanchez at home, working on his Moto Guzzi, I expected we were finally getting a little peek at the man away from work. And, I suppose that's what we did get. It just wasn't what I thought we would be seeing.
Gallery: The Closer: Season Four
The murder, and the aftermath, painted quite a picture of Sanchez and his environment. The fact that his brother was gunned down in the street, the ambulance drivers afraid to enter the neighborhood, and his reaction at the hospital combined to provide a whole load of back story for the detective. They also set the stage for what I found to be the most interesting scene of the episode. Seeing the whole team, and their spouses, gathered at the hospital was both strange and moving. Everyone wanted to help, but nobody knew what to do. That feeling rings so true.
The case itself was interesting in that, much like the team, we didn't have a suspect in sight for most of the episode either. So often, a parade of possible perps is presented right away, and the game is narrowing the field down. This time, there was nobody. It really helped to amplify the tension the team was feeling as the days passed and they were no closer to finding the killer.
That lack of suspects was also a good point to bring back Ramos (Stephen Martines). His question, about why priority homicide was focusing on this case in particular, while other cases were being handled by robbery/homicide was so thinly veiled, but it seemed fitting for his character. I really enjoyed how Brenda spun it back on him with how his paper covers those same cases.
And in the end, the big break that ended up solving the case came from Fritz. It's nice to see that relationship work out on the professional level, but it does leave me thinking about what we haven't seen from the relationship on the personal level. After seeing no followup on the big fight in "Live Wire" and now no followup to the "good schools" discussion from "Problem Child", I've resigned myself to the fact that we are not going to see the Brenda/Fritz relationship develop. We are just going to see snippets of it as it goes along, and be left to fill in the blanks.
For me, that story is good enough that I do want to see more of it. At the same time, I get that The Closer is a cop show first, so I'm ok with it. Even if you find those strange gaps from the end of one episode to the next somewhat frustrating, what the show does do, it does very well. And really, it's enough to keep me tuning in every week.
In the midst of all the drama, Provenza did provide the comic relief. His whole scene, from pulling up his pants to get in the boat/pool, to the 12ft/16ft law game, was very funny.
I totally fell for Brenda's cell-phone ruse too. I thought that she just wanted the photo, not realizing she was going to use it to uncover Tao's indiscretion. T-Mobile is getting some good product placement.
Kevin Bacon returned to the director's chair for the third time. He also directed "Blindsided" and "Serving The King: Part 2." Here he is at work.
|Yes, these gaps in the story drive me crazy.||81 (31.9%)|
|Maybe a little more continuity, but not much more time for the story.||131 (51.6%)|
|No. It's a cop show, and a successful one. Leave it be.||42 (16.5%)|