"You cannot trust the police. They lie about everything." - Brenda
The story actually tied in nicely with last week's episode, "Speed Bumps." With that one we saw Flynn obsessing over a case, and this week we find Taylor, and then Brenda, in a similar predicament. Perhaps that's why it was bumped up in the rotation. Originally this one was slated to be number four.
What really made the episode work for me was the interaction between Taylor and Brenda. They've always had a very tenuous relationship, but at the core of it there is a respect. It showed here as Taylor had to ask for Brenda's help cleaning up his mess. Of course, she couldn't just agree without making it perfectly clear that he had screwed up. "You left your victim exposed while you busied yourself with the political ramifications." Once she was on board though, she quickly became as obsessed with it as he was, and understandably so.
It really was a grisly crime. They managed to convey just how much so without actually showing us the crime, or even very much of the evidence. The small peeks, and the reactions of everyone involved, were more than enough. And those political ramifications, those serve as another ongoing theme this season. It's a game that Brenda is just not going to play, and it's going to keep Taylor and Pope awfully busy.
Getting to the case, I was curious by the 'twist' at the end. It seemed pretty obvious to me from the moment that the friends provided the alibi that the younger Yates didn't commit the murder, and that Brenda would be arresting the father for lying about his alibi. You knew it couldn't end well for him when he called Brenda a bitch. It's worth mentioning that it was a nice guest performance from Daniel Baldwin.
As part of the case, I also got another great example of how hard Brenda's job is. Not just from an investigation standpoint, but from an emotional one. The most telling bit of that was her scene with Ally. She, essentially, abducted the girl and put her in a place that she really didn't want to be. Ultimately, she did it with good intentions, but it still has to take a toll to put someone through that. There was another quick look at that as Brenda confessed to Fritz how much the case was getting to her.
The only real negative I have for the episode is that it might be too stand alone. The Closer is certainly not a serial, but I do like a little something to tie it all together from week to week. Some kind of hint toward the Daniels/Gabriel story, or a little more Brenda/Fritz, would have been nice. I actually don't mind that the ending was predictable.