"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Closer: Grave Doubts

This was one of those great episodes that went seamlessly from comedy to drama, something The Closer does better than any other procedural on television. Think about it: CSI slips the comedy in throughout the investigation, but The Closer gets serious when it needs to.

The beginning of the episode was laugh-out-loud funny thanks to some great one-liners from Lt. Provenza (I'm so glad the budget cuts didn't get him). When Pope's not around to bring the funny, Provenza can always step in. Some of the more memorable lines were: "Does the face ring a bell?" - Dep. Chief Johnson, referring to a rotting corpse"He's lost a little weight." - Lt. Provenza. "This kid went missing in 1992-- that's, like, three wives ago." - Lt. Provenza". "And you thought nuns were tough." - Lt. Provenza

A few more quirky moments came from Lt. Tau and the comparatively nerdy crime lab guy who sat Brenda down to describe to her how they handle ballistic evidence. It almost seemed like a humorous dig at CSI because, obviously, Brenda knows how ballistics work, but the forensics guy explains it anyway. On CSI, they're always explaining to each other how they're doing things.

Also... I noticed the framed photographs on Brenda's desk. There's one of Fritz and a really psycho-looking one of her cat. Classic.

While the episode started out as a comedy with Lt. Provenza and Fritz as the clowns, that slowly receded to the background as Dep. Chief Johnson got into the investigation of a body of a teen-age boy who was reported missing during the LA riots of 1992. Things got real tense for her when the boy's brother, a reformed gang member who is running for city council, starts to put pressure on her and gets Chief Pope's promise to handle the investigation delicately.

I enjoyed the rift that happened in the squad room whenever Father Jack was brought up in conversation. Some of the detectives got real hot under the collar about the way that the man lets gang members turn in their guns and turn over their drug money to him in exchange for a new start. Particularly Lt. Flynn, who got away with saying "asshole" in this episode to describe Father Jack. Dep. Johnson obviously didn't agree with Father Jack's methods and didn't handle him with kid gloves (as if she handles anyone that way), and that rubbed her No. 2 man, Sgt. Gabriel, the wrong way.

So that brings me to what is looking to be a theme for this season. Besides the stupid budget cuts, it looks like Sgt. Gabriel no longer thinks Brenda walks on water. She got a confession from a guy whom Gabriel thought didn't deserve to be charged with the murder of his own brother because of all the good things he has done for the gang neighborhoods since the crime.

I loved what Brenda said to him, "You think you can substitute your own personal sense of right and wrong for the law?"I think Sgt. Gabriel is going to get a lot of attention this season and the writers are setting him up for something big (at least, that's what I hope is happening). He saved Brenda's butt last week by coming up with a solution to her budget crisis, he's all bent out of shape over this latest confession, and also Det. Sanchez is flirting with his girlfriend? The guy is gonna go nuts soon!

Also, we're being set up for a visit by Brenda's father. Can't wait to meet the only man on the planet who has Brenda scared out of her wits.

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