Review: The Closer - Dead Man's Hand (season finale)
by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 22nd 2009 2:19AM
(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.