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SilverStormm

The Closer

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the casting on this show has always been beyond excellent - in both incarnations as The Closer and Major Crimes.

Edited by treeofdreams

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Disappointing last night - I don't like gang storylines, and I don't like dumb blonde characters, especially such over-the-top ones.  I know they were going for comedy, but still...

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Let's see...Pope had  an affair with Brenda while he was married to his (first?) wife, then had an affair with Estelle while still married, got a divorce and then married Estelle, had an affair with this week's victim Maggie while still married to Estelle...

 

Did I get that all right?  Did I miss anyone?

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I think he and Estelle were been divorced when he was having his affair with Maggie, although it might have started while he was still married.

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When Brenda points out (accusatorially) that Will was still married to Estelle when he was dating Maggie, Will points out that Estelle had already filed for divorce and was seeing another man when he started seeing Maggie. Brenda then asks in a Why The Heck tone of voice why Will couldn't have dated an unmarried woman.

At the end, when Will sees Maggie's totaled car (symbol of her death, though not the cause) he is sad, but not devastated--which makes him seem a lot colder than I realized.

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Thanks for clarifying, I was having trouble following his love life!

 

And of course, there was the implication that he was interested in getting back together with Brenda.

 

 

--which makes him seem a lot colder than I realized

 

From other episodes I had the impression that he did not treat Brenda well in their past history.  Wasn't she upset when she found out he had gotten divorced so he could marry Estelle, when he hadn't gotten a divorce to marry her (Brenda) as he had said he would?

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Honestly, the thing that surprised me as the show went on was that people who had been more antagonistic toward her (Hobbs, Taylor, Sharon) started to warm up to her while her relationship with Pope got worse and worse.

 

When she told him that she'd been approached to apply for the Chief of Police job, he basically laughed in her face, which made me so mad.

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It's understandable that her relationship with Pope would deteriorate, given how often he had to deal with the problems she created.  And of course once she was officially together with, and then married to, Fritz, the warm fuzzies for her would be gone.

 

Hobbs, Taylor and Sharon came to respect her based on the results she always got.

 

I think the laughing was surprise that someone would think she would fit the job of Police Chief, given how much of it is about politics and how bad she was at that aspect.

Edited by treeofdreams

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...I think the laughing was surprise that someone would think she would fit the job of Police Chief, given how much of it is about politics and how bad she was at that aspect.

Yes, and rightfully so, but somehow at the time it came off as belittling and paternalistic.

I really liked how, in one of the 2 episodes that aired over the past weekend, Will ended a Brenda-directed rant with, "Please tell me I didn't just say all of that in front of you parents."

While I doubt Will was styled after Larry, Darren's boss on Bewitched, a Television and Film Studies student could probably write an essay on that comparison with Brenda being a type of Samantha.

Edited by shapeshifter

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I don't see the comparison - could you expand on that please?

It's a bit of a stretch, but she has power over people, including her husband, she's an outsider, and she's a blond, attractive woman. They both frequently cover up the truth in order to fix the situation, and they both always believe they are right. Edited by shapeshifter

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It's understandable that her relationship with Pope would deteriorate, given how often he had to deal with the problems she created.  And of course once she was officially together with, and then married to, Fritz, the warm fuzzies for her would be gone.

I think that went both ways.  She had to clean up messes for him too.

 

I certainly don't think she would have been a great chief.  She's too much of an iconoclast and throws way too many elbows to succeed in a position that's as much politics as it is police work, but the laughter just seemed to belittle her.  

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I doubt that anyone thought she had any chance of getting the job, but she was their token woman on the list to show how progressive they were.

 

 

throws way too many elbows

 

Love that expression!

Edited by treeofdreams
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"Til Death Do Us Part" - I'm so glad they put the 2 parts together on one night!

 

Anyway, one thing that really struck me - they didn't even consider that "Topper" might be a nickname?  I mean, really! Even Flynn said, "What kind of name is 'Topper'?"  Of course, Schafer might have lied if they had asked him, but still....

 

And Fritz: Usually I side with you in your arguments with Brenda, but she was right - this was a big deal! You should have told her that you're an alcoholic. I don't blame her for being mad, and you needed to give her some time to deal with it instead of jumping on her like she was being unreasonable.

 

Nice seeing a young Megan Hilty!

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...And Fritz: Usually I side with you in your arguments with Brenda, but she was right - this was a big deal! You should have told her that you're an alcoholic. I don't blame her for being mad, and you needed to give her some time to deal with it instead of jumping on her like she was being unreasonable...

I thought the same viewing that scene last night, but hadn't previously, I guess because the show had up to that point focused on how Brenda often disregarded how her actions negatively effected Fritz, including using his position with the FBI for her own agenda. I'm guessing they showed him being unreasonable in that scene so we wouldn't think Brenda was the sole bad guy in the relationship.

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"Til Death Do Us Part" - I'm so glad they put the 2 parts together on one night!

That really is one of their best episodes.  I still don't quite understand the cameos from Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and the late Dominick Dunne, but the show was often the most satisfying when the bad guy is almost, but not quite, smart enough to get one over on Brenda.

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but the show was often the most satisfying when the bad guy is almost, but not quite, smart enough to get one over on Brenda.

 

Yes!  Smart bad guys provide the best stories.  And it takes really intelligent writing to craft those episodes.

 

 

 

 

And Fritz: Usually I side with you in your arguments with Brenda, but she was right - this was a big deal! You should have told her that you're an alcoholic. I don't blame her for being mad, and you needed to give her some time to deal with it instead of jumping on her like she was being unreasonable.

 

 

I agree.  Being a recovering addict is not something you keep from the person you are about to marry.  Or even a person you are in a committed relationship with.  Apart from their having the right to know what they might have to deal with some day, I would think that staying in recovery would need the support of the partner in the relationship.

Edited by treeofdreams
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Fire Bug Bill!  One of their better villains, always entertaining, and really, really creepy...

I caught that one last night too. I had never noticed before that he gave her the candlesticks and candles, and that Brenda didn't tell Fritz--presumable because she didn't want to give Croelick the ability to impact her relationship with Fritz or her homelife in general. I don't recall, but I'm guessing those candles, holders, and lighter all went to the dumpster ASAP without Fritz noticing.

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"Cherry Bomb" - this made me think of the Bill Cosby accusations, and how those women must have felt they were alone.  Too bad they didn't have a Brenda going to bat for them. At the end, where she was hugging Allie in her office, I had tears in my eyes.

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"Cherry Bomb" - this made me think of the Bill Cosby accusations...

Me too. :(

On a lighter note:

Julio's version of the Miranda as delivered in "Live Wire," episode 4.4:

You have the right to shut up. Any stupid thing you may say can be used against you in a court of law. If your broke ass cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you...

. Heh.
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Yes, I noticed Julio's "Miranda warning" too - that was great!

 

But in "Live Wire", Brenda disappointed me (but alas, didn't surprise me). She showed Fritz that when it comes to her cases, he cannot trust her. She asked him for help, but then when HE needed help she lied to him.

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So which is more important, to put one murderer in jail or to take down a drug ring?  What do you all think?  Do you agree with Brenda?

 

I think far more harm will come to humanity from the drug ring.

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These episodes showed the crash and burn of the relationship between Gabriel and Daniels, and demonstrated the problems of having an inter-office relationship.  And shame on Gabriel for saying that the two of them probably would not be able to work together and for the good of the team Daniels should be transferred out.  Brenda certainly gave him the smack-down for that.

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These episodes showed the crash and burn of the relationship between Gabriel and Daniels, and demonstrated the problems of having an inter-office relationship.  And shame on Gabriel for saying that the two of them probably would not be able to work together and for the good of the team Daniels should be transferred out.  Brenda certainly gave him the smack-down for that.

Yes, and rightfully so. It's weird watching that smack down now knowing he becomes Brenda's right hand man in the end.

 

The Gabriel and Daniels issues paralleled with the Fritz & Brenda meltdown. I can't remember if Brenda apologizes or in some other way shows Fritz she's turned over a new leaf in the next episode.

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Gabriel often (always?) seemed to be entitled.  His assumption that Daniels should be transferred was so damned chauvinistic that I wanted to smack him through the screen.  That Daniels wound up voluntarily transferring when an opportunity presented itself was a detail I liked.

 

And of course at the end, Gabriel, with his entitlement, wound up being the leak because he was entitled to tell his girlfriend about his work.  I liked Gabriel, but I also liked him reaping the consequences he sowed....

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Gabriel often (always?) seemed to be entitled.  His assumption that Daniels should be transferred was so damned chauvinistic that I wanted to smack him through the screen.  That Daniels wound up voluntarily transferring when an opportunity presented itself was a detail I liked.

 

And of course at the end, Gabriel, with his entitlement, wound up being the leak because he was entitled to tell his girlfriend about his work.  I liked Gabriel, but I also liked him reaping the consequences he sowed....

I didn't start watching live until the last 2 seasons, so I was very sympathetic towards Gabriel at the end. I've now seen the reruns about twice each, but until I read your post, kassygreene, I never before made that connection. Now I see it.

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Last night 4.6 "Problem Child" aired, in which an almost 14-year-old boy disappears and is found murdered. Towards the end, the boy's adopted mother describes to Brenda (and to us, the crime show watching audience) that her adopted son was basically a sociopath who exhibited all the behaviors common to budding serial killers (from http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=the-closer&episode=s04e06):

Sergei was the monster. Killing that dog was only the last in a long list of horrible, horrible things.

A list that starts with stuffing his pet hamsters in the garbage disposal, cutting up squirrels, killing cats, stepping on baby birds.

And I I thought we could work with him, and I tried.

We took him to anger camps, to psychiatrists.

We sent him to boarding school, to to a military academy.

We even tried to return him to Russia, - and they wouldn't take him back.

Throughout the episode Fritz and Brenda are looking at houses to buy, beginning with one Fritz finds in a "good school district," but after Brenda closes this case, Brenda says to Fritz :

Look what I have.

[Fritz] A brochure.

[brenda] The Hollywood Hills.

House is between my shoes and the tissue box, or your work and mine.

Two bedrooms, office, pool, great views.

[Fritz] I take it, then, you're not interested in what school district we buy into?

[brenda] I don't think we need to worry about schools, really.

[Fritz] I see.

[brenda] So, unless you absolutely have your heart set on a bigger place...

[Fritz] Well, I go back and forth, but a bigger place that needs to be something we both want.

[brenda] Maybe in this case small is better.

So I guess they assumed at that point that adopting was their only avenue towards parenthood, right? I never noticed that before.

And when Brenda says, "Maybe in this case small is better," does that mean after "this case" she cannot imagine adopting, or...?

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I didn't hear anything about adopting; I thought it was Brenda's way of saying she didn't want to have children at all.  And honestly, with her schedule and the way she works, how could she possibly take care of a child?  I think she knows herself well enough to realize that children just did not fit into her life.

 

I enjoyed the first episode, where Provenza had a chance to shine.  I wish there were more episodes that would focus on squad members - not their personal lives, but their parts in working the cases.  Mostly we just see "get this information" or "bring in this suspect".  The Provenza/Flynn buddy episodes were always favorites of mine.  Sanchez and his anger issues, Gabriel and his mole, etc., gave the actors something to work with and let us see more of the characters (of course I'm combining The Closer and Major Crimes here, but I tend to think of them as one unit).  Has there been a Tao episode?  I would love to see more of his participation.

 

Regarding the boy, couldn't they have had him institutionalized?  Certainly he was  menace to society.

Edited by treeofdreams
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I didn't hear anything about adopting; I thought it was Brenda's way of saying she didn't want to have children at all.  And honestly, with her schedule and the way she works, how could she possibly take care of a child?  I think she knows herself well enough to realize that children just did not fit into her life.

 

.

Or the commute when Fritz laid out the map on the bed and the house in Calabasas was so far away that it was off the screen.

Edited by Raja

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Caught "Problem Child" last night. The boy was a sick little freak, but the parents certainly weren't any better, and the fact that they acted like it after they tried to frame another boy for the murder and almost let their own daughter take the rap was just despicable. And yes, why didn't they institutionalize him or turn him into the cops??

Poor Ralphie the dog...

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Tonight they aired 4.7 "Sudden Death," in which "The entire squad searches for the person who shot Detective Sanchez's brother." When it began I had a kind of feeling of dread that this was not an episode I wanted to watch, but didn't recall why until the closing scene with Julio sobbing that it was all his fault. With untimely death, there's always enough blame to go around. Although Elena had only known Oscar 3 weeks, likely she too would blame herself if she heard the killer say that they initially picked Oscar because he was walking with a "smokin' hot chick." Really it wasn't the hat from Julio that made him a target. And, like Puppet and Julio both said, in that neighborhood you could get shot because it was a hot day. In Chicago the murder rates always rise with the thermometer; it's a good thing there are long cold winters there. Bad neighborhoods in LA don't have that benefit.

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That was an excellent episode all round. The murder itself was pretty intense with twists and turns, but my favorite part was the relationships between all the squad and how they tried to help Julio, each in their own way.

 

When The Closer focused on the squad - with all its well drawn characters and great actors - there was nothing better on television!

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Some thoughts on last night's episodes...

 

Why does Julio still live in that dangerous neighborhood?  Surely he should be able to afford to move out of it.

 

I liked Brenda's little aside when she said something about informing your parents where you live and then added in an undertone "though I wouldn't recommend it", her parents having just shown up unannounced at her door.

 

Fritz seems to be learning from Brenda how to lie; a bomb threat at the airport?

 

And I didn't appreciate his ultimatum to Brenda at the end.  Pressuring someone into getting married when they are not ready is never  good idea.  For all the things he complains about (with justification) about Brenda, he knew what he was getting when they began the relationship.

Edited by treeofdreams

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Poor Julio. It's a pity he couldn't beat the crap out of that little asshole. But he'll always have the memory of grabbing him and shoving his face into the wall.

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Some things I didn't understand about last night's second episode:

 

When Brenda went back into the first boy's apartment and found the pipe bomb, why didn't she just get out of there instead of waiting to be rescued?  "Help me"???

 

At the mall, with only one conspirator left, and he was already on the roof, who set off the fire alarm?

 

Did they really blow up the bomb in an apartment building without evacuating the building first?

Edited by treeofdreams

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I missed the first half of the first episode, as my cable company decided to show only a blank screen, but I did get to see Bulldozer Brenda blindside Pope and Taylor with her version of the new Major Crimes division.  Which was only fair, since they blindsided her with shutting down Priority Homicide.

 

I also got to see her knowingly send another perpetrator to be murdered.  She has a rather questionable moral compass...

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Some things I didn't understand about last night's second episode:

When Brenda went back into the first boy's apartment and found the pipe bomb, why didn't she just get out of there instead of waiting to be rescued? "Help me"???

Yeah, I didn't get that either. I would have gotten out of there so fast my shadow would be left behind.

It really annoyed me that when everyone was getting out, they just picked her up like a sack of laundry. But then she goes back in, like an idiot.

 

At the mall, with only one conspirator left, and he was already on the roof, who set off the fire alarm?

Good question. Maybe there was an alarm pull on the roof?

 

Did they really blow up the bomb in an apartment building without evacuating the building first?

I'm pretty sure they said they evacuated the block.

What really struck me about this episode was all those detectives and FBI shooting at him, and NO ONE could hit him?

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Did they really blow up the bomb in an apartment building without evacuating the building first?

 

Commander Taylor mentioned that the building was evacuated before the robot was sent in

I missed the first half of the first episode, as my cable company decided to show only a blank screen, but I did get to see Bulldozer Brenda blindside Pope and Taylor with her version of the new Major Crimes division.  Which was only fair, since they blindsided her with shutting down Priority Homicide.

 

I also got to see her knowingly send another perpetrator to be murdered.  She has a rather questionable moral compass...

Mine did too about a quarter of the way in. All I saw was a previously scene where Chief Pope was shutting down Priority Homicide and then Chief Johnson at he crime scene identifying herself and wanting to reshoot to say "Major Crimes" when Buzz said he couldn't. Before the cable blackout it was looking like a comedy episode but then when we came back to the major shootout at the end it was plain that was no comedy episode.

What really struck me about this episode was all those detectives and FBI shooting at him, and NO ONE could hit him?

It was like the North Hollywood bank shootout, . they were getting hits but the body armor absorbed the rounds. Since they were armed only with pistols they did not have the accuracy to shot and hit a relatively small head at that range while under fire. After Lieutenant Flynn was shouting for head shots in the final scene Chief Johnson was screaming to shoot at the bomb bag

Edited by Raja
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Somebody asked (maybe on the Major Crimes board?) how long Provenza has been wearing the white hat. He wore it in this episode ("Time Bomb," 4.10).

In the first viewing of the episode, viewers cannot anticipate the import of when the squad makes fun of Provenza by saying Babs moves as fast as he runs, and Provenza replies, "I don't run." But then Provenza actually does run when Julio has been shot, and which Julio acknowledges in the helicopter even though he seems to be in shock from blood loss. I knew it was coming though, and teared up when Provenza ran.

I also got to see her knowingly send another perpetrator to be murdered. She has a rather questionable moral compass...

She never sets up anyone to be murdered who couldn't a) be legally put away, and who b) is not determined to kill more innocent people.

But she does get in trouble for it in the last season--in a campaign spearheaded by a vile (if not violent) attorney.

And in the last season (I think--maybe earlier too) Fritz calls her on her hypocrisy, although I'm not sure if it's ever specifically the hypocrisy of telling people that she follows the law and that she doesn't convict people, she leaves that to the system, but then at another time playing judge and executioner.

Edited by shapeshifter

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I missed the first half of the first episode, as my cable company decided to show only a blank screen, but I did get to see Bulldozer Brenda blindside Pope and Taylor with her version of the new Major Crimes division.  Which was only fair, since they blindsided her with shutting down Priority Homicide.

 

I also got to see her knowingly send another perpetrator to be murdered.  She has a rather questionable moral compass...

Considering the fact that the suspect in question was a psychopath shooting and throwing pipe bombs at innocent people, Brenda gets a pass on that from me.

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I was referring to the commandant from Mexico she arrested and sent to jail under the other guy's name, knowing that he would be killed because of that.

Edited by treeofdreams
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I was referring to the commandant from Mexico she arrested and sent to jail under the other guy's name, knowing that he would be killed because of that.

Yes.

Brenda didn't need to worry too much about the pipe bombers since they all seemed to plan on dying anyway.

Ironically, it seems they all planned on suicide by cop, but only one of the 3 survived long enough for that to happen.

Was it Brenda who directed them to shoot the backpack of explosives? I don't recall.

Edited by shapeshifter

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Yes.

Brenda didn't need to worry too much about the pipe bombers since they all seemed to plan on dying anyway.

Ironically, it seems they all planned on suicide by cop, but only one of the 3 survived long enough for that to happen.

Was it Brenda who directed them to shoot the backpack of explosives? I don't recall.

Yes moments after Lieutenant Flynn was screaming about his body armor, take head shoots before he ran out of ammo and ran for the bomb bag,

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So I guess we could chalk the Home supply store guy as another of Brenda's convicted, sentenced, and executed murderers since she ordered to shoot the bomb bag.

But again, like I said above about the others, he was going to kill more innocent people if she didn't make that decision.

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So I guess we could chalk the Home supply store guy as another of Brenda's convicted, sentenced, and executed murderers since she ordered to shoot the bomb bag.

But again, like I said above about the others, he was going to kill more innocent people if she didn't make that decision.

No that was an active fight with a sniper/bomber. If he stood with his hands up and they continued to shoot at the bombs then it would have been an illegal execution.
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