Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Closer “The Life” A Complex Case, a New Kitty

Photo from TNT

”The Closer” (TNT) returns in December with a few new episodes, a nice Christmas present for all of us who are already being bombarded with reruns. Last night’s episode “The Life” involved the killing of a 12 year old boy, a case where the killings rack up quickly and the case gets more complex as it progresses.

The only problem that I found with this episode was that the case seemed to get a little too complicated. Maybe my feeble brain at 9:00 PM can only handle a limited number of names of characters. I had a hard time following who was who and who did what at some point. But typical for Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick), she cuts through all the details to get to the bottom of the case. What they initially think may be the beginnings of a gang war turns out to be a killing by a victim of rape, and later, revenge killings by the father of that murder victim cause the other deaths.

But I find that I am less interested in the murder than I am about other things happening in the background. Brenda’s husband Fritz (the woefully underutilized Jon Tenney) surprises Brenda with a kitten to replace her beloved and deceased “Kitty,” and Brenda does not react well to Fritz’s gesture. Fritz’s first error is he calls the cat “Joel,” probably the weirdest name for a cat, and something that clearly does not help Brenda bond with the adorable kitten. She doesn’t seem to think any new cat can replace Kitty.

It also seems that Detective Lt. Provenza (G.W. Bailey) has broken up with his fiancée, and finally admits it to Lieutenant Andy Flynn (Tony Denison). Flynn helps Provenza to realize he can discard that stuffy pocket square, and Provenza proceeds to cut up his tie and throw away his fruit.

When Brenda takes over the subsequent murder cases from Detective Ranski (Josh Cooke), she doesn’t realize that Ranski seems a little smitten with her. Later, he shows up at her office to thank her for taking the case, and presents her a box of chocolates, which of course makes Brenda very happy. But when Ranski also asks her out to dinner, she realizes what is going on and tells Ranski she is married. He already knows that, and says it is just dinner. Brenda didn’t get to be the Deputy Chief by not being able to read people, so she knows that “just dinner” isn’t what Ranski likely has in mind.

Interspersed throughout Brenda’s work on this case are comments from Fritz that he considers the cat his, and if she could have a pet of her own, so can he. Of course, after the horrific day Brenda just had, when she gets home, she realizes that she can, in fact, accept “Joel.” (Let’s hope they give the cat a proper name, though.) The best moment of the episode is when Brenda presents Fritz with a present of a box of chocolates - the same ones she got from Ranski. I admit I was worried that when Fritz opened the box he would find a note from Ranski in there, but instead he opens the box to find that Brenda seems to have eaten most of the chocolate.

“The Closer” continues to be one of those shows to which I always look forward, not just for an interesting case, but for the great characters on the show and their back stories. While we always get a little bit of personal drama in each episode, it is not to the point that it overpowers the main case, and it only serves to make the characters more realistic. I know I say about almost every episode of The Closer that the character of Fritz is not used in quite the way that I would like. Maybe I should just realize that Fritz will always just be a footnote in Brenda’s day, a human version of “Kitty” who is there to provide stability and comfort. I hope that one day they can give Jon Tenney an episode or two where he can actually contribute more to a case.

Two more episodes are scheduled to air this December, “Make Over” on December 14th, and “Dead Man's Hand” on December 21st. It’s a great holiday present for Closer fans!

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © iliketowatchtv.blogspot.com unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

No comments: