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'The Closer' - 'War Zone' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 31st 2010 1:15AM
kyra_sedgwick_jk_simmons_the_closer_TNT(S06E08) If you watched the Primetime Emmys last night and saw Kyra Sedgwick winning the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for her role on 'The Closer,' I hope you were curious enough to tune in to watch tonight's episode.

As Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, Kyra fills the role completely ... and this particular episode was especially dynamic and dramatic. This was perfect timing, because it was proof positive that she deserved that Emmy.

For more on the episode and how the military fit into a gang drive-by shooting, read after the jump.

If you've ever watched 'NCIS,' you're probably aware that the military often butts heads with other security agencies or local police when it comes to solving a crime. That meant that when Brenda was investigating the death of three soldiers at a drive-by shooting at an L.A. club, the military was bound to intervene. Brenda saw the crime as gang violence and wanted to pursue that angle.

Gary Cole guested as the military rep, Major Dorsett, and his angle was that it was a terrorist attack. He formed an instant dislike of Brenda, likely misogynistic. In an attempt to impress Dorsett, Brenda revealed her military connections, her father's veteran status as well as her being born on a base. Dorsett gave her a little leeway, but it took Fritz's intervention -- as the FBI liaison -- to keep Dorsett under control ... for a while.

Dorsett had tunnel vision about the drive-by. He didn't care about Major Crimes wanting to close the Newton convenience store murders, too, even though Terrell (T-Ball) was clearly linked to both cases. Dorsett was pushing for an immunity deal, but Brenda wasn't because she didn't want to see a killer walk.

Brenda's hope that Pope would get Dorsett to trust Brenda's strategy backfired when Pope forced her to cough up the immunity deal for T-Ball. Pope was actually watching out for Brenda, from a political point of view. He knew that if she went to war with the Army, she would jeopardize her chances for the Chief of Police position.

The case turned when Reggie Moses, No. 3 in the gang, was apprehended for the convenience store murders. Brenda had to offer the immunity deal to T-Ball, but when he confessed that he killed both victims, you could see the hatred for Terrell fill her eyes. You just knew Brenda had to find a way to right this wrong.

The team sprang a trap on Reggie, feeding him misinformation to get him to recant asking for a lawyer. And rather than let T-Ball get away with lying about Reggie, Reggie spilled the beans about the Newton murders. When Reggie learned he had incriminated himself in the drive-by, he flipped out.

Brenda killed the feed so Pope and Fritz and Dorsett wouldn't know that she was giving Reggie the wherewithal to order a hit on T-Ball. See, Brenda was going to stand by the immunity deal after all and let T-Ball walk away. Street justice would have to compensate on this one.

The final scene was intense. Brenda had given T-Ball one last chance to revoke the immunity as they drove him home. The L.A.P.D. didn't have to stay with him any longer, according to the letter of the agreement. T-Ball was a sitting duck for Reggie's minions. They swarmed in front of his house like the birds gathering around Tippi Hendren while she sat in the park in that scene in Hitchcock's 'The Birds.'

Gabriel was uncomfortable leaving T-Ball to be killed. Brenda had made up her mind that justice would be served. To underscore her decisiveness, she called Gabriel by his first name, saying, "David, I want to leave ... Please."

The implications of the ending are huge, because Brenda has likely sealed her fate when it comes to getting the promotion to Chief of Police. She made her choice. She wanted justice for the murder of the clerk and his grandson rather than the politically wise move of protecting T-Ball.

Will it put Pope back in line for the position? I doubt it. But don't be surprised if Commander Taylor or Captain Raydor move into line for that top job.

Other points of interest

-- When Dorsett met Fritz, the Major disparaged Brenda by suggesting that he needed help dealing with her. Fritz raised an eyebrow at that line.

-- Pope was MIA for a lot of the show, still licking his wounds because he didn't make the short list for L.A.P.D. Chief of Police. Brenda needed his help because of the "national security implications."

-- Dorsett wasn't happy about how things worked out with the immunity deal, but not nearly as ticked off as the prosecutor.

-- Pope apologized for his behavior over the new job. He didn't want to lose what he had with Brenda. It was an admission that Brenda felt deeply. She nearly ate a Ring-Ding.

-- The last shot was on Brenda in the back seat of the car, wearing sunglasses so we couldn't see her eyes. She stared straight ahead and didn't look back to see what the gang was going to do to Terrell.

Quotes We Liked

"Sweet deal." -- T-Ball's comment about getting immunity

"It's the L.A.P.D. unlimited calling plan." -- Brenda to Reggie when he learned that T-Ball was going to walk because of the immunity deal

"Those things come back on you. On the streets." -- Reggie about why he wanted to clear his name of the convenience store killings

"In my opinion, she needs to get laid." -- Dorsett about Brenda
"Hmm, I don't think that's the problem really." -- Fritz

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Jan Crump

Them driving away, and leaving it up to street justice is exactly what that a$$hole deserved. I think it shows an inconsistency though, when a few shows back, a dying man's mother had killed his wife, so the granddaughter would be safe. When the squad wanted to let her go so she'd be available to the now orphaned granddaughter, Brenda made a grand statement that justice was not theirs to decide. While I agree with them driving away, they need to be more consistent in her character's thoughts and feelings. LOVE this show and can't believe there are only 2 more before the season ends??? What's up with that?

August 31 2010 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was disappointed in the Dorsett character, how it was written. The notion that he would have absolutely insisted on, when informing the families, telling them that in all likelihood their loved ones death was an act of terrorism with zero proof, when they were gunned down leaving a nightclub? I mean, I get it; he was supposed to be a jerk (the part with Fritz was hilarious), but that was a bit much.

Pope has always been a political animal at heart. He wants things done the easiest way possible- for him.

August 31 2010 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pope's apology to Brenda was pure politics, too. He doesn't want to be on her bad side if she becomes his boss.

August 31 2010 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked her decision but I think it will come back to haunt her. She just lost a little of Sgt. Gabriel's respect. Flynn was okay with it but he is an older cop with much more experience and understands her decision better.

It could be said that they gave T-Ball another chance to change his mind. They were sitting in front of the house for a few minutes before driving away. He could have gotten back in the car before Brenda drove off. He made his bed.

The Army guy was an idiot. So was Pope. My problem with Pope is, he knows what Brenda is capable of, why can't he pull his head out of his ass long enough to let her do her job. He always interferes with only political concerns and it always ends badly. He doesn't deserve to be Chief and I am glad he is not in the running. He does not put police work first only the politics of the position.

August 31 2010 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gina's comment
BC McKinney

She lost the respect of a man who has beaten suspects to obtain information he believed was critical? How tragic for her.

I don't like the direction the writers have taken Pope's character, especially since it's not always consistent. But police command is a political job, so this isn't surprising. What I really hate is the couple of times when Pope has given Johnson specific instructions, which she follows against her judgment, and then he vocally and publicly blames her for not doing her job and the resulting problems. This time, at least, he owned up and apologized.

August 31 2010 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really, really liked this episode, especially the final third. Brenda's insistence that no plea deal be given was ignored, and we all saw how that worked out. There are some devils you should never make deals with, and T-Ball was one of those devils.

The show really seems to be going out of its way to show us that Brenda is right 98% of the time and everyone else...isn't. Honestly, I think they're doing a better job of keeping the audience guessing as to whether Brenda will get the promotion to Chief than any other show I've ever seen this kind of plot development in. Usually when this kind of thing happens you write it off immediately because they would never promote the main character out of the position the show is named after, but I really don't know what they're planning to do.

As for the end of the episode, I thought it very fitting. We know T-Ball killed those people. He confessed to executing an eight-year-old. We aren't supposed to like this person. At all. Justice was served.

The line delivery from Kyra Sedgwick when she asked "David" to please take her home was spectacular. She had made her decision and wasn't going to waiver from it. Wonderful acting. Great episode.

August 31 2010 at 8:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Intense episode! That last scene was chilling though...kinda foul.

August 31 2010 at 8:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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