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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Closer: Next of Kin

I'm sorry to say that I didn't like this "special" episode. It was a little too cheesy, over-the-top, and far-fetched. Yes, yes, it was great to see the cast during this time of the year since The Closer only airs during the summer. It felt comforting to reunite with Brenda, Fritz and Lts. Flynn and Provenza... but the story wasn't really worth it. The whole thing didn't suck, but I did feel let down by the episode.

A few things seemed like too much of a stretch to me. First, the ending was a bit much. Brenda's parents decided to adopt the younger brother of a criminal? Wow. That's some serious Southern hospitality. Second, the RV trip from Georgia to Los Angeles. Brenda's parents are unbelievably giving. Maybe it was all that holiday spirit. It was the RV trip where I started to lose interest. It began with a bunch of goofy faces for the characters to react to Brenda's parents and that went on a little too long.

What I did like about this episode, however, was the different light in which Brenda was shown. I like her because she's quirky and obsessed with work. I laugh at how Fritz can put up with Brenda's obsession, but it wasn't as funny when she hurt her parents because work was her top priority. Brenda is very selfish. Or, maybe self-centered is a more accurate description. Either way, she thought she and Fritz could fly to Atlanta to apprehend a robbery fugitive and pretend like they were going to visit her parents for Christmas. Her father's disappointment in her was heart-breaking.

And, even though I thought it was sick and wrong, I was fascinated with Brenda's huge lie to get her suspect to admit to the bank robberies. She wanted him to believe that his little brother was dead because he fled to Atlanta and left his brother behind to become a victim of his partners in crime. It was a disgusting lie, but it ended up being justified because 1) Brenda pointed out that Wesley is the one who got people killed, and 2) Wesley never believed her in the first place.

Also? I liked the 30 seconds of work that Fritz got to do. Last season, he sort-of turned into a puppy dog who followed Brenda around everywhere. Even though Brenda one-upped him, he did get to spend a minute or so interrogating Wesley, the robbery suspect. He also got to tackle Wesley when he tried to escape out the RV bathroom window.

Ultimately, the episode ended predictably--with Wesley shooting his fellow bank robbers and then dying. It was hinted at by Lt. Provenza, who wanted to tell Wesley the truth about his brother before setting him loose on the city of Los Angeles. Wesley turned the tables on Brenda, calling her bluff about his dead brother, but still sought revenge on his fellow bank robbers. I presume he shot them because they killed his friend, Arnie, and tried to kill him. Anyway, the "surprise" reason for shooting the robbers wasn't a big enough twist for me to be shocked at the ending.

Best Line: "Brenda doesn't lie." - Fritz, after Brenda threatened to shoot Wesley if he angered her again.

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