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September 2, 2014

PriorityHomicide

The Closer: Products of Discovery (season premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 9th 2009 9:40AM
Brenda trench coat(S05E01) The Closer season opener was a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that the show is back for the fifth year and the ensemble is clicking along like a finely tuned watch. Although Brenda Leigh is now a "Sadie, Sadie married lady," she's still as obsessed, determined and driven to do her job as ever, so there's been no major shift in the main character, thank goodness. The bad news, however, is that the premiere episode started out like a compelling drama but soon devolved into a case laden with coincidences and leaps of faith in plotting that were beyond my jumping abilities.

The emotional impact was intense when the Priority Homicide team arrived at the crime scene to find four dead bodies, two of them pre-teen children. Flynn was hot under the collar immediately, ready to prejudge the man of the house who had opportunity and possible motive in the quadruple killing.

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The Closer: Junk in the Trunk

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 3rd 2009 10:01AM
Brenda(S04E12) "Believing something to be true and proving it, two different things." - Pope

This is why The Closer is one of the best drama series on TV. When they choose to do a comical episode, which this episode was, they have the ability to hit it out of the park. Without question, this was a home run episode. Funny, clever, wry, involving and memorable. Starting from the moment Brenda said she was using a "personal" day -- as if a workaholic like her could even conceive of such a thing -- to the coup de grace ending when Keith (more on him later) slipped the cuffs and said, "Now you see me, now you don't" -- I rate this one of the best of all.

While Brenda was trying to enjoy the personal time, her parents are still there. Clay's grouchier than ever and fussing about his health and Willie Rae has her own timetable going for getting on the cruise ship to Hawaii. Both character traits, the irascibility and the determination are familiar to viewers because Brenda's a tintype of her folks; even if she would be loathe admitting it.

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The Closer: Split Ends

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 1st 2008 11:18PM
Brenda TNT"Oh, goodness. Is this where they do Dancing with the Stars?"
-- Willie Ray Johnson, Brenda's momma

(S04E08) Here was an episode that epitomized what I like about The Closer. This was an excellent mystery. It was complicated and drew you into the chase. Like Brenda, you're wondering how it was done, why and by whom.

Of course, it didn't seem like it was going to be a heavy duty episode, not when the opening was all about Willie Ray and Clay's unexpected visit. That damn RV has brought Brenda's parents cross-country, even with gas at $4 a gallon!

Don't get me wrong, I like Barry Corbin and Frances Sternhagen. They're great actors, but the roles are so broadly drawn. The show uses them for comic relief, even though they can do drama brilliantly. The scenes at the film studio were too jokey to me, especially in light of the heinous crime scene that Brenda was investigating.

The murder reminded me of the O.J. Simpson case. It looked like Ryan -- an actor with anger management issues -- was the murderer. He lied and had a history of beating his wife. The sight of him with the gym bag and then those black gloves were all vaguely reminiscent of O.J. Of course, since he was the prime suspect, I never thought that he was the killer. Too obvious.

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The Closer: Problem Child

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 18th 2008 11:36PM
Brenda in the door"What makes a child go bad? Nurture or nature?"

(S04E06) For the first act of tonight's show, I kept thinking, what's the deal with Sergei? The episode unfolded like an onion, revealing more and more about this kid. The more I heard, the less I cared that he was missing.

It makes you wonder, how does someone like Brenda remain neutral and not form an opinion too soon in the investigation? It must be her training, because while Pope was quick to remove the "critical missing" status from the case, Fritz -- who came along to provide backup -- was not. It was up to Brenda to make the tough call. For a while there, it seemed like she may have messed up by yielding to Will's point of view.

One of the virtues of The Closer is that even though it's a procedural drama, they let true feelings show. There are visceral emotions at play, like when the neighbor cried about how his dog was killed, and when Theresa showed the detectives Sergei's room and revealed how evil her brother was (to her), and when Jason confessed that Sergei was terrorizing him.

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