Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson: Sir, I've had a terrible
day. I'm anxious, I'm stressed and I'm a little shaky, so if you don't
your gun right now I'm gonna put a bullet through your head. Are we
After seven enjoyable and murder-filled seasons The Closer
wraps up its last case. TNT's first
original series, the show garnered
critical acclaim, won several major awards, and was highly rated. Even thought the sixth season of the show was
the top-rated drama on cable television, star and executive producer
decided to pull the plug and end the program while it was still on top. A show that never jumped the shark, this
final season of The Closer is just as strong as the rest, and sees many
Johnson's sins come back to haunt her.
Viewers who have been watching the series all along will be
with this final collection.
Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) was
brought to LA by Assistant Police Chief Will Pope (J.K. Simmons) to
lead up a
new special murder investigation task force; Major Crimes.
She was recruited because of her uncanny
ability to 'close' a case; obtaining confessions that ensure a
conviction and her
group is charged with solving high profile murder cases quickly and
little drama in the press as possible. Johnson
At the end of the last season the fate of Major Crimes was
in doubt. The Chief of Police was
stepping down and while Chief Pope was a favorite to take over the job,
ultimately it was given to Tommy Delk (Courtney B. Vance).
Chief Delk started off by reorganizing the LAPD,
minimizing Chief Pope's position and giving Brenda's sometimes foil,
Taylor (Robert Gossett) a much more prominent role.
That comes to a surprisingly abrupt halt when Chief Delk
drops dead unexpectedly of a brain aneurism.
Pope is given the job as Interim Chief.
That may seem like a good thing for Major Crimes, but with
responsibilities he has new priorities and protecting Chief Johnson
nearly as high as it once was.
On top of that Brenda and the LAPD are being sued by a slimy
lawyer, Peter Goldman (wonderfully played by Curtis Armstrong), over
wrongful death of Turell Baylor. At the
end of the previous season, Turell, a member of the Crips, was given
(over the objections of Chief Johnson) after which he admitted to
store owner and his grandson over the price of a can of beer. The store in question was under the
protection of Turell's gang however, and Brenda made sure that they
exactly who killed the beloved man. She
then took Turell home where he was beaten to death by his own gang.
One of the key problems with the lawsuit is that Goldman
knows much more than he should. For
example, he's aware that Sgt Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) had strong
about leaving Turell unprotected which he aired in the police car while
were dropping him off. The only way that
Goldman could have know that was if someone in Major Crimes was feeding
information, which means that Brenda has a mole in her division. The suit also means that Internal Affairs, in
the form of last season's antagonist Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary
McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica), is breathing down
her neck. With all of this going on it's
surprising that Chief Johnson has time to do her job.
This final season does a great job of wrapping things up as
well as setting the groundwork for the sequel program, Major
Crimes (the first episode of which premiered immediately
following the final episode of The Closer). Things start off badly and soon get worse,
and the amount of crap that Brenda has to take is staggering. The fact that a lot of it she brought on
herself only makes it worse for her.
The show did a good job of making Captain Raydor more
likeable, without changing her personality or position.
They flesh her character out only slightly,
but it's enough to see her side of things and while she's still a
following rules to the letter, it's made clear that she's not the
While watching Brenda get a confession is still the
highpoint of every episode, the murders are just as interesting as ever. One involves the body of a sex offender who
is found buried under a retaining wall that was just installed, and
flagged for a permit offense, or was it just luck.
Another favorite involves a kind and caring
cancer doctor who treats the indigent for free and was found murdered
The best episodes this season, as with every season, are the
ones (there are two this time) where Detectives Provenza (G. W. Bailey,
M*A*S*H) and Flynn
(Anthony Denison) get into trouble by doing something on their own. In the first one, they decide to make a
little extra money on the side by serving a warrant, and they use the
equipment to track down the individual to a nice hotel room in a high
building. They sever the warrant and get
back down to the ground floor just in time to have the man's body land
of their vehicle. Too bad the videotaped
themselves serving the warrant and the man saying that he feared for
Flynn and Provenza have some more explaining to do in a
later episode where they help Provensa's ex-wife (his first ex, he has
get a ring back from a store that buys gold.
The nice lady behind the counter helps them, they the get the
and leave, and it's not until they see the woman running out the back
climbing into a car that they discover that walked in on a robbery. One
left the owner dead.
The series ends with this season, and it's wrapped up quite
nicely. The mystery of the mole inside
Major Crimes was resolved in a very satisfactory and unexpected manner,
actions that every takes seem realistic and natural.
The one complaint I have is that the final
episode isn't the greatest. It is one of
the few installments of the show that has some fairly large plot holes,
given what's happened earlier in the season it's easy to determine just
going to happen, but it wasn't bad. This
is a fine coda to a great program.
21 episodes that comprise the seventh season of The Closer
are presented on five DVDs. These come in
a single-width keepcase with
two 'pages' that hold the discs. This is
housed in a slipcase. A very nice
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 various episodes, a brief gag reel, a
video, and a roundtable discussion with the cast and crew.
This last piece is good, all of the major
actors were present with one exception, and the group has a good time
discussion the show and the part that they played in it.
It is a bit odd hearing Kyra Sedgwick
speaking without her southern drawl though.
The Closer is one of my
favorite detective shows. A police
procedural that doesn't end when the crook is captured, the ways that
Chief Johnson drags confessions out of the perpetrators is both
makes for some excellent drama. This
final season does a great job of wrapping up the series.
It's refreshing to have a show willingly end
on a high note before it becomes tired and stale. Highly