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September 4, 2015

The Closer: Smells Like Murder

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 11th 2009 12:19AM

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.

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My family and I think we have seen this plot before, i.e., body in a box and the culprit being caught burying the body. Anybody know what I am show I may be remembering?

August 14 2009 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Lawler

Brenda Lee not realizing that she was eating weed brownies was completely unbelievable and blew the episode. She's this great investigator but can't tell when brownies have an extra ingredient, or when she's high herself? Nah. Leave some BS like that for a show like CSI or NCIS, not The Closer.

August 13 2009 at 10:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've watched this show since day one, and I love it. I have never been bored, and I love all the characters. I knew the brownies were laced with pot, because I seen it delivered, and I knew Brenda's sweet tooth couldn't pass them up. I thought it was funny.
One thing I learned from the above article that I didn't know that the niece is Kyra and Kevin's daughter, she's a doll.

August 11 2009 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the episode was fun. The Prius commercial in the episode was also done well. I think writers have more flexibility with advertiser demands than network executive edicts. Your average network exec seems to have an IQ similar to that of a preschooler.

August 11 2009 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cindy Gibson

Come on people, lighten up. This episode was funny and entertaining. I disagree with this post completely. Even dramas need a lighthearted episode now and again. I really enjoyed that they showed another side of some of the characters. Brenda helping Sgt. Gabreal was great and Brenda eating the brownies that she stole and getting high was very funny. Fritz's reaction was true and very well done. The story line of the murder was still well done and I am glad they aren't giving up on the girl. The closer is a great show and It is one of my favorites, Bravo for going out on a limb once in awhile and just entertaining us. I loved it.

August 11 2009 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, the best part of the episode for you was the worst for me.

If you placed a body in a storage facility with no ties to you and the body suddenly showed up at your doorstep addressed to you wouldn't you be a bit suspicious?

The idea that this killer just figured that someone luckily happened to send him the body that HE killed was bit much.

August 11 2009 at 8:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can get that Brenda didn't connect the dots of the package and there being pot in the brownies, since she wasn't there when the package arrived. Fritz was.

And since Brenda has little if any control over chocolate I can see her sneaking a few of them. But it was just an insult to me as an avid fan of the show that she wouldn't quickly realize she was high from pot and not just chocolate.

And with that said, I agree with everything else you said. A pretty weak episode on just about every level.

August 11 2009 at 7:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sgt. Gabriel is already a sergeant, so he's going to be going for the detective's exam, not the sergeant's exam.

August 11 2009 at 6:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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