Monday, July 9, 2012

The Closer - Close to the End

Tonight, the first of the last six episodes of The Closer airs. The TNT detective show is a classic ensemble show with quirky characters who work together to solve a crime each episode. Even after seven years, the show has a fresh, modern feel with interesting camera angles, well-thought out costumes, and the use of music giving some crime scenes a "music video" element.

I've watched the show from the beginning.  Brenda Leigh Johnson is the main character. In novels, she would be the "point of view" character. In the first episode she appears in the Los Angeles Police Department as the new "Deputy Chief" of a major crimes unit. Originally from Atlanta, and CIA-trained, Brenda has a reputation as a Closer in other words, she gets confessions that lead to convictions

Conflict is built into her appointment – the detectives who report to her resent an outsider coming into the department and grabbing a coveted supervisory position, others in line for the job feel cheated and work to undermine her, and her new boss, Assistant Chief Will Pope who was someone with whom she'd had an affair some years back while working in D.C., is less than helpful in smoothing her transition. It took several seasons for her to establish good working relationships with her team of detectives – trust came very slowly.
Over seven years Brenda has done what any good character does – she's grown and changed based on experiences that the audience has shared with her. She married her FBI friend Fritz and we attended the wedding and the not so smooth ever after. She learned to drive in L.A. and find her away around, much like she learned to navigate the L.A. Police Department. We became acquainted with her foibles – her use of chocolate to self-medicate during times of stress, her oversized purse (a security blanket substitute in my opinion), and her distain for sugar coating the truth. We learned to like her, but it wasn't automatic.  A loner, she never wanted a pet but was forced to take one that came with a dead hooker's house. Finding affordable real estate in L.A. was a problem so as soon as the crime scene tape came down, Brenda moved in. She fed the cat but refused to name it – her attempt to keep from getting attached. It didn't work. Over the years "Kitty" gave Brenda the unconditional love she craved. When the cat neared the end of its life, Brenda finally admitted just how much emotion she'd invested in the animal.

The next six weeks will be interesting. Will the "mole" in the department be revealed? Will Brenda continue to deal with the fall-out from the "Shooting Newton" murders and her role in the murder of the killer? Will she and Fritz decide to have children? Will her father recover from his thyroid cancer or will that be the reason for Brenda leaving L.A.?

I can't believe I'm the only one who'll be sorry to say goodbye to Brenda Leigh Johnson. The character, along with the actress who played her, broke a lot of glass ceilings in the female detective realm. She solved crimes while dressed in designer heels, flouncy skirts, sweater sets, and wide brimmed hats. She was a good shot, but never overpowered a suspect physically. She really did "fight like a girl" and only survived by outwitting her opponents and with the help of her team. Brenda did the best she could with what she had.

I guess it's too late to invite her to join the Stiletto Gang.

aka The Southern Half of Evelyn David

Zoned for Murder - Kindle (Exclusive at Amazon this month)
Trade Paperback

Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
A Haunting in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Lottawatah Twister - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Missing in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Good Grief in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

The Ghosts of Lottawatah - trade paperback collection of the Brianna e-books
Book 1 - I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries (includes the first four Brianna e-books)
Book 2 - A Haunting in Lottawatah (includes the 5th, 6th, and 7th Brianna e-books)

Sullivan Investigations Mystery
Murder Off the Books Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Murder Takes the Cake Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Riley Come Home (short story)- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Moonlighting at the Mall (short story) - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

Love Lessons - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords


  1. Rhonda, I've never watched The Closer, but reading your post about the show makes me wish I had. Very fine post!

    I stopped watching TV many years ago--NOT from some stance of "I'm too good/intellectual for TV," but simply as one of the things I gave up to make time to write. From what I hear lately, they've started putting some really fine series on the tube, usually based on mystery series. I may have rethink that decision. Perhaps I could give up sleep instead.

  2. I love the Closer too. Linda, what you can do is rent the DVD's of the Closer from Netflix and see them all without commercials. That's what I have done with a lot of shows.

  3. Thanks Linda and Marilyn for commenting. As you can tell I'm a big fan of the show. The DVDs are wonderful. I've preordered Season 7 from Amazon which will be released after these last six episodes air. And best of all the cast minus a few players will continue their roles in the spin off series - Major Crimes. It will start after the last Closer episode. Can't wait for tonight's episode!

  4. My daughter's sweet mother-in-law got me hooked on The Closer, and I'm so torn. While I'm so excited about tonight's new episode, I'm so sad that it means there are only five more left and that's the end.

    I've thought for some time that Pope is the mole because he is threatened by Brenda & doesn't want to risk her getting becoming Chief. But I'm beginning to wonder if it might be Gabriel too. I still really feel it is Pope though.

    Looking forward to other's opinions though.

  5. Marilyn, thanks. My youngest buys DVDs of TV series and often forces us to watch them, and sometimes (for instance, Downton Abbey) we become fans also. But I don't think he sees any of the mystery series. I'll look for The Closer DVDs, for sure.

  6. I love The Closer and I'm going to miss it. I hope the show ends on a positive note for Brenda. I have my guess who's the mole and if it comes true, I'm not going to like it. Okay, my guess is either Gabriel or Buzz.