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Closing out The Closer

The Closer poster

Written by : published Wednesday 15th August 2012

TNT's The Closer ended much the same way as the show lived. In "The Last Word," Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) investigates a murder that she is sure Phillip Stroh (Billy Burke, Twilight) is behind. She is reminded of her restraining order, but is allowed to pursue Stroh based on legitimate evidence. Brenda crosses the line a bit, maybe more so here than before, and then the bad guy is caught.

But a few things are a bit different about "The Last Word." Brenda is fired / retires, depending on who is telling the tale. She has crossed the line many times. In fact, she's kind of known for it. But attacking Stroh in an elevator because of some verbal bait is just one instance too many. She knows she won't have a job heading Major Crimes anymore because she's stepped out one time too many. So she accepts a career change when the offer comes along.

The Closer is, by and large, a crime procedural. Even the finale episode focused on the case of the week quite a bit. One might wish for a series finale to stray away from that formula, and it does, a little. But as a fan of story and character, spending even this much time on some random crime seems a waste of a good actress, Sedgwick's swan song being almost every-day mundane, rather than a super special episode.

Yes, there was some personal meaning to Brenda, as the suspect had been in two other episodes, establishing him as a character in this world before now. She is also at a crossroads and takes a witness's words to heart. But Brenda has been so close to having to leave before that it doesn't seem that spectacular or different that this is the time that she flames out. The rest of the world will go on, but she will no longer be a part of this corner of it.

It's kind of a shame she takes a job so close by, then. Viewers are going to anticipate each episode Sedgwick to drop by, and it doesn't feel like she will do many, if at all. Moving her into the job they do leaves the door open, but when the actress is made it clear she doesn't want to continue the character, why tease people like that? Maybe it's to allow Fritz (Jon Tenney), her husband, to appear in Major Crimes on a recurring basis, but it's still kind of a jerk move.

The thing is, with the sets staying up, and most of the cast continuing in Major Crimes, there isn't too much of a sense of closure here. Sure, Brenda is given a purse by her men to replace the one she shoots Stroh through. It's a touching moment for her. But then they all go back to work the next day, as we soon see in the first episode of the new show, airing right after this. In such, it's only a goodbye to one character, and does not feel the end of much of anything.

Well, technically it is a goodbye for three characters. Pope (J.K. Simmons) moves into a new position that, like Brenda, should come into the department's circle from time to time. Unlike Brenda, he may actually pop in periodically. And Brenda takes Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) with her, so he, too, could show up once in awhile, but won't continue on as a main character.

Will Brenda be missed? Of course. Many tuned in for her. But that's the thing about crime procedurals. You can lose a character and continue on just fine. The main point of these kinds of shows are the cases that flit in an out in an hour, never really taking the time to go deep into the characters. That's why Major Crimes will just feel like The Closer continues on. And why neither are really worthy watching on a regular basis.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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