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Review: The Closer - Dead Man's Hand (season finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 22nd 2009 2:19AM
brenda_fritz_the_closer
(S05E15)
I can't believe we're already at the end of the season for The Closer. Alas, it's true. Until next summer, this is it for Brenda and Fritz and the Major Crime Unit. Fortunately, they saved a good one for the finale. Has Brenda been so hip-deep in work that she's neglected the important things in life? That seemed to be one of the concerns, as well as the fun of dealing with someone who -- at best -- is a thorn in Chief Johnson's side. For all that and more, jump to the next page and tell Joel the cat he's not allowed on the table.

The Pope had spoken and whether or not Brenda was thrilled, she was forced to deal with Captain Raydor and the potential spousal abuse case involving one of Raydor's detectives. The minute you saw the uniformed cop -- Dunn -- on the scene having killed the husband in self-defense, you knew something was hinky.

Still, it was great to see Will chew out Brenda for dropping the ball on the investigation. She really did screw up because if Major Crimes had interviewed the husband before he was shot it may never have escalated into a homicide. How scary is it to think that the interdepartmental tussle between Raydor and Johnson was responsible for a man's death? What's scarier is knowing that probably happens in real life.

Raydor was hardly blameless in all this. She was pushing Brenda's buttons, and using Will to get him to force Brenda into action, too. Clearly, the Major Crimes Unit wasn't pursuing the case aggressively until the husband turned up dead. Considering how the unit usually operates, it surprised me that Gabriel -- who's the most politically savvy of the bunch -- didn't offer to take the lead for Brenda. But he didn't, so the two good-looking cops who looked guilty of conspiracy were, in fact, guilty of conspiracy. Actually, he was her dupe, but still...

There were two interesting relationship developments in this episode. The first was obvious. Brenda and Sharon do not like each other. They are like oil and water. They may be on the same LAPD, but they are not sisters in blue. Pope would be wise not to keep throwing them together, although Commander Taylor and Johnson eventually worked out their differences and now are best buddies. Still, the scene with Mary McDonnell and Kyra Sedgwick explaining how they dislike each other was very good.

The other relationship issue at hand was Brenda and Fritz's marriage. Brenda really does seem oblivious to her husband's problems. I'm not talking about his job offer in D.C.; that was up to Fritz to tell his wife, not to Brenda to figure it out. I'm talking about her not taking her turn caring for him the way he takes care of her. Brenda is messy and self-involved and I think Fritz was right to call her on it.

But why is Brenda still drinking in front of Fritz? I was sure when he wrote that note to her about "needing a meeting" that we were going to learn that he wants her to stop drinking wine at home because the temptation was too much for him. But, no, it was the job thing. It seemed to me that the writers were setting up how The Closer will end someday. The FBI will offer Fritz a new job and Brenda will give up the LAPD and relocate with him. And Joel will go along, too, of course.

Other points of interest

-- Tao gets so excited about ballistics and he's really good at it. I'm sure he was the one who figured out the gun barrel switch, even though it was great the way they intercut Moore and Dunn taking the guns apart with Raydor and Johnson doing the same thing.

-- Brenda's fallen for Joel. I'm sorry he won't stay a kitty a while longer; he's adorable.

-- Did you catch Buzz's plates on the car? El Buzzo. He would have the top of the line GPS.

-- Have you ever tried the Happy Family from the Chinese food restaurant? It's great.

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January 31 2010 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
poisme

It's nice to have a fresh series during the summer but whatever happened to shows that started in Sept and ran through May. There should be plenty of new shows to show instead of re-runs all the time. I see the husband needed the work and ended up on Brothers and Sisters. I really like him but looks like that is over now.

January 11 2010 at 10:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Arleigh

Who was the actor playing Sgt. Dunn?? He looked very familiar to me and he's not credited anywhere that I can find. TIA!

December 23 2009 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Arleigh's comment
Maria

It was driving me crazy too. He's Grayson on Drop Dead Diva http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1938755/.

December 23 2009 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NerdMom

Who was the actress that played the bad female cop? IMDB didn't have her and she was so familiar to me!

Brenda was right in not pulling in the husband with out proof. It could be seen as an abuse of power.

December 22 2009 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

Pope was absolutely not right to chew out Brenda, and she would have been justified in punching him in the face (not that a southern gentlewoman would do such a thing) for speaking to her in such a fashion after she did precisely what he told her to--he's blaming her for his own failure.

The thing which you seem not to grasp is that having the police talk to the husband was part of the wife's plan--she plainly stated that. Unless he confessed to something he didn't do, he's free to go. Whereupon the enraged abuser severely beats his wife and is killed when her police buddy responds. When the police didn't talk to him, she shifted gears and said she told him he was suspected of abuse, and enraged, he severely beat her and was killed when the police responded. The only ways he doesn't die is if he's so sincere and believable that Brenda begins suspecting something is up with the wife--unlikely, since she's a cop and Brenda confronts sincere liars all the time--or the husband decides something is so wrong he avoids meeting his wife. But I don't think he'd suspect she actually wanted him dead and would confront her to find out how what's going on, at which point he's done for.

As for Fritz, one can feel for him, but he lived with Brenda for several years and thought she was going to change after they were married? Please. Live with her faults or leave her.

December 22 2009 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy_MO

The mystery was actually quite boring and easily solved. It was Raydor and Brenda's interaction that made this episode so enjoyable. Whenever I watch Mary McDonnell I'm reminded just how great she was on Battlestar Galactica.

December 22 2009 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
miles

I thought something was wrong when raydor said she saw the bruises because the detective had on a short sleeve shirt. You don't wear something that shows off what you're trying to hide.

December 22 2009 at 8:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

Good ep, but I knew there's was a rotten mackeral somewhere with that female cop from the first moment. I was glad to see Tao back, he was missing last week and i missed his technical explanation for everything.

Brenda has a real treasure in Fritz and I hope she looks to care for him once in awhile.

December 22 2009 at 8:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aaron

Fritz: Me or your job
Brenda: I choose....sex!

December 22 2009 at 4:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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