The Closer: Maternal Instinct
by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 18th 2009 12:19AM
(S05E11) After last week's show, it was great to see The Closer bounce back with a particularly strong episode. The case itself wasn't overly complicated or multi-layered, as some Major Crimes are, but that's probably because Brenda literally wandered into this one. And she wasn't alone. Charlie, her niece from Atlanta, was in the car. More on the Brenda/Charlie relationship as well as the case, after the jump.
In every way, this episode was a showcase for Kyra Sedgwick. In fact, if she wasn't already nominated for an Emmy, I would have guessed that this was the show they'd have submitted to show her best work. And Kyra did get a chance to shine. We were able to see Brenda in action, the first on the scene of the crime, gun drawn. And we saw her single-mindedness when she bent the rules to get the information from an inadmissible recording included in her case. Stepping on Charlie's feelings was simply the cost of Brenda doing her job. Charlie was disgusted by her tactics, and Fritz disapproved, but Brenda didn't care.
It was Brenda's involvement with Jake, the surviving victim, that was most telling. Brenda fought to remain emotionally detached, but it wasn't quite that simple when he looked to her as a mom-substitute. When Jake ultimately was on the verge of succumbing to his injuries, he was so doped up that she let him believe she was his mother. The cost of that lie was Brenda lowering her guard and letting herself feel the pain of his death.
There was maternal material all over the show, including the contentious relationship between Brenda and Charlie, and early on, Brenda was still smarting over last week's hash brownies to the point of treating Charlie with a major dose of tough love. By the end of the show, though, Brenda realized that tough love can be as harmful as it is helpful. If Vanessa's father had been more understanding, if she hadn't felt the need to lie to him, might Jake have never been killed by Vanessa's brother?
For the rest of the Major Crimes unit, this was mainly a week for support, although Provenza was terrific. I appreciated the subtlety of his offering the chief a hankie, and it was interesting to note that he's carrying an engagement ring to ask Lauren to marry him. Why he would think that Flynn would be gung-ho about his proposing, however, is a mystery!
Next week is the season finale for The Closer, so the story arc with Charlie (Kyra's daughter Sosie Bacon) will be wrapping up.