Police Officer: You
do realize, ma'am you can't question him without his lawyer?
Deputy Chief Johnson:
I don't intend to question him. I
intend to have him revoke his right to an attorney and then I intend to
The Closer returns for a
fifth season and the show isn't
showing any signs of slowing down. These
15 episodes are just as good as the ones that preceded it, which is a
surprise. Usually by the fifth season a
program starts to show its age, but that's not the case here. The mysteries are still intriguing and the
way that Brenda pulls confessions out of a defendant are just as
ever, and all feel realistic.
This year there's a slight change in the line up in the
Major Crimes department as Detective Irene Daniels (Gina Ravera) leave
unit, and there's a change at home too, as Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick)
loved one and temporarily adds another when her niece (played by real
daughter Sosie Bacon) takes up lodging at the Johnson household. In the squad room the detectives have some
personal issues too, with Sgt. Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) pining for the
who has left him and Sgt. Provenza (G. W. Bailey) starting to date a
twenty-something year old woman who decides to update his wardrobe.
The real meat of this season is the cases of course, and
this year they've added a new foil for Lt. Deputy Johnson, namely
Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica) from Internal
Affairs. Raydor butts heads with the
head of Major Crimes in three episodes, always insisting that her
of possible misconduct on the part of the LAPD takes precedent over
murder, something Brenda strenuously disagrees with.
It was nice to see Brenda dealing with strife
in her work life once again, which was a big part of the first couple
seasons, but this trio of shows was only partially satisfying. They demonized Raydor a bit too much, making
her the unequivocal bad guy and not really making her likable at all. The best conflicts are between two people who
are both partially right, and that didn't happen in this case. Also in her final appearance she asks Brenda
to bend the rules for you, something that was breaking from her
she's was such a stickler for following the rules in the earlier shows.
This season has a couple of light, humorous episodes as the
previous years did. These are always
highlights of the season, and that true for season five too. The first one was Tapped Out,
where Chief Pope, Sgt. Provenza, and Lt. Flynn come
across a murder scene after eating breakfast.
They talk to the detective on the scene, a Richard Tracy, who
scene over to major crimes. Pope hands
him the evidence he's collected so it can be logged in, a loaded gun
spent shells, but when he contacts the evidence room later he discovers
they were never sent down. It takes
Brenda to point out that handing a loaded gun to a man claiming to be
Dick Tracy probably wasn't the brightest idea.
consistently one step ahead in the investigation, searching the
apartment and interviewing the closest relatives before Major Crimes
arrive. It's frustrating for them, to
say the least, but quite hilarious too.
The best episode this season was one directed (quite
expertly) by Sedgwick's husband actor Kevin Bacon.
This rather serious episode involves a man
who dresses up like a ninja and murders woman.
It turns out that there have been over a dozen murders with the
across the country and Brenda teams up with an officer from Texas to try to
capture the villain with the
understanding that the person who has the strongest evidence when he's
apprehended will be able to try the murderer in their state. It's a very exciting episode, with an
car chase scene, some excellent detective work, and a wily serial
As always the acting was top-notch with the ensemble cast
doing a wonderful job. Sosie Bacon was
the most surprising element to this year's cast. She
did a fantastic job. I was fearful that
she wouldn't be able to
act and just got the part because her mother is the star of the show. While the latter certainly played a part, she
played the role of a grumpy teenager perfectly.
(I have a pair of teenagers myself, and I can tell you with some
authority that they really act just like Sosie did.)
She's got a bright future in acting if she
chooses to pursue it.
fifteen episodes that comprise the fifth season of The
Closer are presented on four DVDs. These
come in a single-width keepcase with
two 'pages' that hold all four discs.
This is housed in a slipcase. A
very nice compact set. The only gripe I
have, the same with previous season sets, is that Kyra Sedgwick's photo
cover, as well as on the DVD menus, has been heavily touched up to make
look like a blond bombshell. That's too
bad because that's not the role she plays in the show, and she looks
series comes with a DD 5.1 English soundtrack, which fits the show well. The dialog is clear and the range is
adequate. There is some use of the
soundstage, but since this is a dialog based show much of the audio is
centered on the screen thought he surrounds are employed at times. The only subtitles available are French and
Spanish. Inexplicably there are no
As with the earlier season sets, this show comes with a nice
1.78:1 widescreen picture which is anamorphically enhanced. The image looked very good.
colors were strong, the image was sharp and the detail was fine. The show was a tad dark in some places, and
there is some grain but that is undoubtedly the way the creators
it. On the digital side, there was a bit
of aliasing present in the background, but this was minor.
The extras are similar to what has appeared on the last
couple of sets. Unfortunately there are
no commentary tracks. There are a few
deleted scenes that accompany five episodes, a brief gag reel, and a
comments by the producer about each episode.
This last featurette is presented as a map, and by highlighting
locations viewers can access the comments.
Unfortunately there isn't a 'play all' button for this.
The Closer is my
favorite detective show that's currently in production.
A police procedural that doesn't end when the
crook is captured, the ways that Deputy Chief Johnson drags confessions
the perpetrators is both compelling and makes for some excellent drama. Highly Recommended.