The Closer is an American police drama starring Kyra Sedgwick, who plays a Deputy Chief of Police at the LAPD. Sedgwick plays Brenda Leigh Johnson, an ex-CIA interrogator. She is a southern belle and her easy going charm has surprised more than one criminal during an interrogation. She always gets the bad guys. She was put in charge of the Priority Homicide division of the LAPD.
She’s had to deal with conflict from Commander Taylor, chief of detectives, since she was promoted over him from the outside to her current position. Her team are seasoned veterans, some close to retiring like Lt Provenza, others like Sgt Gabriel just a few years into their police careers.
Her personal life wasn’t always as stable as it is right now. She’s currently engaged to an FBI Agent named Fritz Howard, who helps her from time to time on some cases. They’ve just sold Brenda’s bungalow and moved into a temporary space as they search for a new house to buy.
Brenda is a severe workaholic, to the sacrifice of her personal relationships. She tends to micro-manage her investigations and take a close look at details. She loves junk food and sweets but is currently trying to lay off them. She usually hides all types of junk food in drawers, purses, and other places. She is also known to be a “bit of a slob”, commenting that she does not often get around to housework every day in one episode, and in another, during a small argument between her and Fritz over where her mail was, Fritz comments that “if she looked at her mail daily instead of once a week, she would know where they keep it”.
The Closer is one of the best police dramas on television right now and is in its fourth season on TNT. Each summer sees 13 episodes. A feature length episode is shown over the holidays.
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When a priest discovers two dead Tijuana police officers, the shit hits the fan. The chief isn’t aware that Pope and Taylor have been under a lot of pressure from the top brass. They don’t like what Ramos is writing about them. Things are even worse right now, becasue Ramos just published the first part of a two part investigative series on the police department and their Priority Homicide Division.
Pope and Taylor are in full damage control mode. Pope announces that by the end of the day, there won’t be any Priority Homicide anymore. The chief can’t believe this and seems shell-shocked. She manages to pull herself together to pierce the mystery of this murder inquiry.
I thought that this was a great episode. The chief ends up with something unexpected and Pope has to relent. I thought that the internal political struggle was really interesting. Also, the chief showed how ruthless she can be when she’s trying to get justice.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
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A strange man walks up to a pick-up truck and takes off the cover. He uncovers two bodies, takes on his priestly vestments and performs the last rites. He calls the cops.
Commander Taylor tells the chief that the dead guys are two Tijuana cops. Gomez and Gonsalez were their names. Pope wants Johnson in his office to deal with the fallout of the Ramos article in the LA Times. The IDs and guns were laid out on the car seats. The car was stolen.
The cell phone was registered to a Father Chris Donahue. One of the cops has a bracelet stuffed in his mouth. Sanchez says that the bracelets are linked to the Ocholo Cartel. It means that the victims are dirty cops, they’ve been dead for 69 hours and show multiple gunshot wounds from a 45. Provenza notices that the last rites were performed using olive oil. She wants to see Father Donahue.
Pope isn’t happy with Johnson. He wants her to go to their liaison to the archdiocese. Johnson says that this is Pope’s fault for assigning mostly white murder cases to her. It was also Pope’s idea to have Ramos involved in their investigations. Pope gets aggravated and says that it was also his idea to hire her and set-up Priority Homicide. He’s got trouble explaining her comments to the brass. Pope says that it’s only part 1.
Pope says that Priority Homicide is going to be shut down. Chief Johnson is shocked. Taylor and Pope will reorganize the homicide division before Ramos comes by later on.
The chief is visibly upset. The detectives aren’t aware what will happen. There were some gun shots in the vicinity. The night watchman at a chemical company named Mateo Hernandez denied hearing anything, but the other witnesses say that something happened. His place is being watched at the moment. The chief wants to head over to the chemical company, it might be the crime scene.
Fritzi comes by. It has to do with Hernandez. He’s a good CI for the feds, but Fritzi can’t reveal anything more. They find two casings at his work place. They find a bloody bucket and bloody walls. A lock on a door was taken apart from the inside. The bodies were there when the police come by. He panicked, cleaned up the best that he could and drove the bodies away. The detectives reign-in the chief from storming away to go talk with Father Donahue. Hernandez’s prints are on the pick-up truck.
Hernandez used to be a commandante in the Ocholo cartel. He quit the cartel and moved north. The two cops came to mop up. Mateo said that the Ocholo cartel went after his nephew to get to him. The nephew was beaten and torture. The investigating officers were the two dead cops.
Commandante Vasquez from Tijuana IA comes by to see the chief. Taylor says that he is working all of this out. Taylor is trying to save Pope’s job. Johnson is pissed off because she’s going to be losing her division as collateral damage.
Vasquez says that he used to work with Hernandez aka Riviera. The victims were killed while attacking someone else. Vasquez says that Riviera told the FBI what would happen last week. They didn’t do nothing. Vasquez says that he himself has to sleep in a different place every night, sometimes churches. This gives Johnson an idea. She’s going to the church, disregarding Gabriel’s prudence. She’s also going in alone.
Donahue was eating with someone. The chief suspects that it’s Riviera. Johnson knows that Donahue learned of the murders from confession. Johnson tries to tell the father that Riviera is in grave danger. Donahue says that the cartels are waiting for Riviera in the prisons. Riviera has a price on his head. He wouldn’t last an hour in prison. The killers would earn $50K. Johnson has her squad search for Riviera.
Johnson did this on purpose, so that Riviera is safe in the church. They are stopping everyone from getting into the church. Tao says that the blood on the stolen pick-up truck matches Riviera’s nephew.
Johnson goes to the sitdown with Ramos. Pope tries to do damage control. Priority Homicide was an experiment in team investigation. Pope tells Ramos that Chief Johnson will head up Major Crimes, which has multiple homicide units from across the city. The chief uses this opportunity to widen the scope of her investigations to include, rapes, kidnappings, and frauds.
The prints that the chief got from the church match Riviera. She knows that Vasquez is responsible. He’s got two passports. He crosses the border right behind Gomez and Gonsalez. The truck was registered to one of those passports. Vasquez’s prints match those from the truck. The chief decides to arrest Vasquez under Riviera’s name. Vasquez loses his cool and attacks the chief.
Johnson tells Father Donahue that a man named Riviera was killed in prison. The real Manuel is safe.
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