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August 27, 2015

The Closer: Sudden Death

by Brett Love, posted Aug 26th 2008 8:05AM
Kyra Sedgwick and Raymond Cruz - The Closer
(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.

Raymond Cruz - The CloserThe 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.

Other bits:

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.
Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon - The Closer
Assuming you get that gig as head of programming at TNT, do you order up more Fritz/Brenda?
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%)

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Shouldn't Detective Daniels at least been at the hospital with EVERYONE else, including characters that have never even been mentioned before? If there had been some kind of comment about where she was, then it wouldn't have been SO bad; but to not include her in ANY way, shape, or form in an episode about her colleague while everyone else from the "squad" and such were there was a really inappropriate decision. What was this normally great show thinking? I counted at least two different times when the various members of the "squad" were panned, showing each specific member, EXCEPT the one other woman in the show. Was this some evil macho decision? Or is some lead female so insecure that the only other female has to be left out; not to mention that she gets less screen time than any other member of the supporting "squad"??? I would never have thought that a show with Kyra Sedgwick would ever be so unsupportive of women; and yet it's exactly what seems to be happening (including the way she behaves at times, like she needs a "man" to protect her). What a disappointment from what used to be my favorite show!

August 31 2008 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Morjana Coffman

The Closer is awesome entertainment and I look forward to each new episode. Unlike my other passion, Stargate Atlantis, I have no clue what each episode is about, as TNT airs the promo for the next week's episode during Saving Grace, which I don't watch. (And I don't watch TNT that much as well...)

Raymond Cruz was marvelous in this episode...but he's always good in his performances. I've enjoyed watching him on TV since the late 80's, and enjoy rewatching 'A Clear and Present Danger' because of Raymond's (oh well, yeah, and Harrison Ford and Willem DaFoe's) performances in the movie.

I do wish for a little more of the Brenda and Fritz relationship development. Have they found a new home? When is the wedding? But more importantly are the cases that Priority Homicide investigates, and the politics involved in investigating those homicides.

Excellent series. Thank you, TV Squad, for the behind the scenes photo with Kevin Bacon, and for your continued support of this fantastic series.

August 27 2008 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wonder how this show would fare on a normal network in a regular seasonal run instead of a cable summer show? Don't take it as bashing the show, I've watched it since S1E1. Or is it too much rooted in cable much like The Shield and Rescue Me to be a viable network show. Would it be dumbed down too much I suppose?
Great episode with character development.

August 27 2008 at 1:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved that Sanchez finally got some screen time and back story, though it was certainly a sorrowful one. The acting of Cruz, "Puppet" and "Guz" was beautiful and the direction (the dizzying feel at the beginning and the reveal especially) was top caliber. In my book, Raymond Cruz should get a Emmy, and Kevin Bacon should get an Emmy.

August 26 2008 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was such a powerful episode, once of several so far this season. It was great to see Detective Sanchez step into the spotlight. Did we ever hear his first name before this episode? What I always find so interesting is how even though Provenza is the comic relief so often, all of the team have a tacit respect for him. That final scene between Sanchez and Provenza is probably the most emotionally raw we've had all season. Hell, even I got a little misty eyed.

August 26 2008 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

JennieO you took the words right out of my mouth about Raymond Cruz being nominated for an Emmy next year. I really do hope this episode gets submitted to the academy for him.

As for the Brenda and Fritz continuity issue or the lack thereof, I think part of it may also be the producers wanting the episodes to be "stand alones" as much as possible so that they can be aired out of order later without causing too much confusion for the casual viewer, especially in syndication. I think they're trying to strike a balance between us regular week-to-week viewers and those who just want a nice tidy "beginning-middle-and-end" hour of television. And Tim, you might be right about a build up to a spectacular blow up right at the worse possible time. And since, from the previews, it looks like Brenda's mom and dad will be back in town next week it might happen sooner than we think. :D

August 26 2008 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

About the poll, I certainly wish there was more time for the Fritz-Brenda personal storylines. I enjoy both aspects of the show, the case and Brenda's personal life. I wish there was some B/F development in every episode.

August 26 2008 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was very impressed with this episode and cried freely at the end - it wasn't just the family loss, but the hopelessness associated with a random killing. Raymond Cruz thoroughly inhabited his character.

I was impressed by the scene in which the guy in the interview room (the gap-toothed ex-boyfriend) said that people in his neighborhood got murdered "because it's Tuesday." Imagine being the parent of a young male in a place like that. The faces of the team at the end - after the young perp told his story - spoke volumes about the challenge the police face.

August 26 2008 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was another fantastic episode of a truly well-written show. We're in season four, and it just keeps getting better.

I hope Raymond Cruz is submitted for a best supporting actor emmy next year. He was that great.

August 26 2008 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Det. Daniels was in this episode briefly. She was at the neighbor's house and Pope asked her to obtain a search warrant.

I actrally cried at the end of the episode. I'm glad that it was Provenza that was there to comfort Sanchez. They have always had a close relationship and this scene really solidified that.

August 26 2008 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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