The Closer: Smells Like Murder
by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 11th 2009 12:19AM
(S05E10) One of the reasons The Closer is a good show is that it's smart. It presents challenging situations and complicated crimes, and as Brenda and her crew figure out what happened and how to get the guilty to incriminate themselves, the viewer is along for the ride. The title of tonight's show was Smells Like Murder. I think the subhead should have been, smells like a dud.
There was a good premise, a decent set up, suspects that were interesting ... all the elements were there. What went wrong was character. Things happened that were so out of character that it sunk the entire episode. More on that -- and Jack in the box -- after the jump.
It all started with the box in Brenda's office. Would the Major Crimes Division really accept delivery for a mysterious over-sized box -- which is questionable right there because wouldn't that be going through some kind of security check? -- and then open said box in the boss's office? You sorta, kinda knew that there was a body in there, didn't you?
While Major Crimes was engaging a new murder, Brenda was at Graumann's Chinese Theater with Fritz and Charlie. I didn't mention it last week, but that's Sosie Bacon, Kyra's daughter with Kevin Bacon, playing Brenda's bratty, 16-year-old niece. Whatever progress Brenda made with Charlie last week was short-lived. In keeping with the theme of the show, Fritz accepted a package delivered to the house for Charlie.
I didn't want to believe that The Closer would stoop to a plot line as lame as Charlie having pot sent to her. I didn't want to believe that Brenda would see homemade brownies and not guess that they might be baked with marijuana. Seriously, the brownies were ridiculous. Puh-leeze. Brenda's a top-notch investigator and she's oblivious to the fact that homemade brownies, baked by a teenager, might not be purely chocolate? Come on. Doped up Brenda was meant to be funny, but it was just insulting to the viewers.
Brenda being hungover the following day and unable to focus on solving the crime was also a cliché. The only good part was that it gave Gabriel a chance to shine, especially since he'd been studying for the sergeant's exam.
The high point of the episode -- and yes, despite my carping, there was one -- was sending the coolers back to the four likely suspects. The only one who wouldn't open the cooler would be the one who knew a body was inside. The best friend/real estate mogul was the culprit. The motive was Doug's lottery tickets. One had come through for $15 million and Wallace killed him for the cash, then boxed him up and left him in a storage unit where he was never supposed to be found.
One last thought, one final nugget, was worthwhile. Brenda stopped Fritz from shipping Charlie back to Atlanta. She called him on giving up on a child, reminding him that if they couldn't handle Charlie, how would they ever handle their own child. It was hokey, but true.