The Closer, the Final Season (2011)



Legions of fans and critics alike let their displeasure be known when Kyra Sedgewick announced that she wouldn’t return to TNT’s fabulous crime drama. Though her stubborn, southern-born Brenda Leigh Johnson’s absence will be sorely missed on our living room television sets, her final curtain call is memorable.

Seven young people have been found dead in a music producer’s home. With a briefcase full of cash found in the home, it is automatically assumed that the five boys in the home were involved with gangs and drugs but two of them – brothers, suggest otherwise. Wanting to solve her case and give the victims her full attention, Deputy Chief Johnson (Sedgewick) soon finds she has bigger problems that revolve around politics and a re-organization in the LAPD’s divisions. The best thing about it is that Brenda is keeping her job and the Major Crimes division will stay but one of the most notable changes is that interim Chief Will Pope (J.K Simmons) will not be given the position permanently. Chief Delk (Courtney B. Vance) has been given the job and Commander Taylor (Robert Gossett) promoted as Brenda’s immediate boss. Upset over having to answer to the man who she has butted heads with from the beginning, Brenda gets another shock when she is slapped with a wrongful death lawsuit of Tyler Baylor and I.A Captain, Sharon Rayder (Mary McDonnell) is again a thorn in her side. Only this time, Rayder’s investigation is Brenda’s entire squad.

Clues in their murder investigation lead them to a missing girlfriend and a cocky music producer. Meanwhile Lt. Provenza (G.W. Bailey) wants to know what Rayder’s presence means in their squad room. Lt. Andy Flynn (Tony Denison) seems less interested while techie genius Lt. Tao (Michael Paul Chan) and Detective Sanchez (Raymond Cruz) also see their murder case as more deserving of attention. It isn’t until everyone but Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) is served a subpoena in the case that they learn what Raydor’s internal audit was all about. Brenda’s guilt over being the one that made the decision leading to the lawsuit of not just her entire squad but also the city, and their tech guy, Buzz (Phillip P. Keene) is something she doesn’t handle well. Even her one source of encouragement, her FBI husband, Fritz (Jon Tenney) may not be immune from the lawsuit.

Despite the logic of when you are at the “top of your game,” you bow out because it doesn’t get any better, I still am terribly sad that by finishing this box set, this is all I will see of the crack female investigator whose southern “please” and “thank-you” have become an icon while her binge chocolate-eating has made this one of the TV female characters who has paved the way for those who have followed in her footsteps. Though I have never been fond of the opening titles in The Closer, the frame constantly switching to black for a dozen or so times seems too distracting, I found the opening of the premiere episode of this season phenomenal. The slow motion and introduction to the beloved characters was poignant because viewers understand this is the beginning of the end. Season seven had a challenging set of goals that was twofold to complete in these installments. First and foremost it needed to offer loyal fans a fitting good-bye to the memorable Brenda and secondly it was a launch of the series spin-off, Major Crimes.

Before I get too far into my thoughts about the end of Brenda’s reign, may I just say, “Death Warrant” is the first episode where Sharon puts on a kick-butt performance that made her a tad more… likeable and her “big scene” was TOTALLY AWESOME. What that all entails will be for you to discover. Prior to watching the finale, I had heard that the end was “good” and didn’t jip Brenda out of the farewell she deserved but then I also read some brief Amazon review snippets that claimed the conclusion was clichéd and in fact, some writers even wrote about a perspective I did not glean from the finale AT ALL. Curious how we all parallel things to mean something different, isn’t it? All I felt in those final moments was regret that TNT valued their ratings more than leaving The Closer in tact and ending it because it was on top of its game. Having said that, the end was perfect – especially considering all that had cumulated until that moment. Horribly sad (some in traditional ways, others not so much) but still… perfect in every way.

Unfortunately for writer’s, there is one cliché or two that didn’t need to be a part of the “big” reveal in who the snitch was. I can appreciate it but I don’t like who was indirectly involved because it was too obvious. Less of a cliché would have been flooring us by implicating another person. Still… I appreciated that Brenda left on her own terms and wasn’t forced out like the police brass desperately wanted. Nothing until this point felt “rushed” or as if writer’s really didn’t know what to do with the plot so they hurriedly propped it up. The Closer, thankfully showed no such signs. Though I have my “issues” with Kyra Sedwick’s decision not to renew a contract and the subsequent decision of TNT to end the show then spin off a new show from it, I thought those final moments were fantastic. It is hard to say “good-bye” to a character after being a part of your life for seven years – especially the loveable mess that was Brenda, but there was so much at stake in this final season and the writer’s rose to every occasion. The show surprises by presenting Brenda with an unexpected loss – one that forces her to rethink everything, excites us in with so many of its cases and even brings a tear or two. If a show must end, The Closer goes out in style. And, that is said with the highest regard.

(Parental review: cameras capture dozens of bodies in various states of decomposition. Occasionally, there are also scenes involving the autopsy. Conversation certainly revolves around how the person died [gunshot wounds, strangling, stabbed, etc.], and some murders also suggest rape and the victim’s condition when she was examined. Two episodes re-visit a serial rapist. Some characters are shot or are forced to shoot at suspects, in the finale, Brenda is beat up. There is some mild profanity and some mild sexual innuendos. The rating is TV14.)  
QuickEdit
Rissi
3 Comments

3 comments:

  1. I think it was a great season, the perfect balance of fear and love. It was also nice to see Sharon and Brenda become friends before the end.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww I liked this show!

    http://eternal-simplicity.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Charity - this season was AWESOME. If a show has to end, it should take lessons from The Closer as it seemed ready for everything and yet writers never seemed to rush anything which I appreciated.

    Seeing Brenda and Sharon on better footing? Yep, that was great. Their friendship was unique but it was "real."

    Lydia - my thought exactly. :-)

    ReplyDelete

Have a thought? Don't be shy, go ahead and leave one... or two... or three! I reply to every comment. If you're new to the blog, please don't hesitate to introduce yourself and your blog - we love chatting around here!

Feedback and every comment is appreciated and read - I always leave a response; your opinions are respected and I ask that you show mine the same courtesy.

(If you post under “anonymous,” please leave a name. If you don't have a Google account, you can type your name into the Name/URL and if you have no site, just leave "URL" blank.)

If you are still reading my ramblings, thank you for following this little blog and for being one of its supporters. I’ve enjoyed getting to know each of you, friends!

[name=Rissi] [img=Your Image Url Here] [description=auburn-hair. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. silver petticoat contributor. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/FindingWonderlandBlog/) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rissijc) (instagram=https://instagram.com/rissi006) (bloglovin=https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/dreaming-under-same-moon-3249983) (pinterest=Pinterest Profile Url) (tumblr=Tumblr Profile Url)