As the episode began, I was cleverly reminded of what occurred last week via numerous news programs reporting on the progress of the trial. Larry King was even thrown in for a great touch a reality. All the key ingredients were pointed out: the dead divorce attorney, the drugs found in his system, the black car witnessed at the scene and the sudden arrival of Topper Barnes. Turns out Jonathan Schafer, the man on trial, wasn't completely truthfully with Brenda regarding his alibi. Topper's actually name is Eugene, and the boat they claimed to be fishing on was "Sugar Plum," not the "Super Plum" the squad had been looking for.
Brenda's interrogation of Eugene "Topper" Barnes was very entertaining. At first, Topper wasn't very cooperative, but Brenda slyly convinced him to answer her questions using her knowledge of his past criminal activity. Most enjoyable was watching DA Garnett attempt to control the interview by directing questions to Brenda through an earpiece. Brenda, of course, couldn't stand the man's impatience and was quick to rid herself of the auditory nuisance.
Though the interrogation was supposed to find a hole in the alibi, it instead produced footage of the men on said fishing trip. It was later established the footage was in fact filmed on the weekend of the murder. But as the case was falling apart, Brenda and her team refused to give up.
In a rare pairing for the show, I got to see Brenda team up with Lieutenant Daniels (who's been criminally absent most of this season) to follow some financial leads. Their path of investigation took them to Schafer's secret second home, which housed room after room of marijuana plants. At this point, the big picture started to come together. Schafer's pot house was discovered by his wife's divorce lawyer and the threat of his dealings coming to light led to the murder.
But what of that perfect alibi? How could Schafer be found guilty when he was clearly out to sea the weekend of the incident? I couldn't figure it out, but Brenda had all the answers.In another great interrogation scene, Brenda pulled out all the stops to get Schafer's wife to confess to being a part of the conspiracy to murder the divorce lawyer. Brenda even had the couple's daughter brought in to essentially wave in front of Mrs. Schafer's face as a reason to avoid the death penalty and testify against her husband.
These intense scenes bringing each case to a close are one of the major reasons I love tuning in to The Closer and I'm happy the finale gave me one of the season's best.Brenda also confronted Fritz about the fact he kept his DUIs a secret from her, prompting a fierce argument between the two characters. Fritz admitted to his alcoholism, but was set off by Brenda accusing him of being dishonest. It was great to watch their fight. Not only did they both make great arguments (I loved seeing Fritz calling out Brenda for her own dishonest behavior), but it was also the most passion I've seen from this couple in quite a long time. The entire issue may have been too quickly breezed over, with everything forgiven at episode's end, but it was worth it to see a little fire in Fritz's eyes.
Though there was no murder room shoot-out season ending cliffhanger like last year, this solid episode (solid two-parter, really) was a perfect way to end a season that delivered consistently entertaining television all summer long.