Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Closer Returns with a “The Big Bang”

Photo from TNT

Last night’s premiere of season 6 of ”The Closer” (TNT) was titled “The Big Bang”, not just because the case involved the killing of a philandering stargazer, but because Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson’s (Kyra Sedgwick) comfort zone had exploded. Assistant Chief Will Pope (J.K. Simmons) has moved the Major Crimes division into a new building, and Brenda clearly was not comfortable with the new digs.

Brenda’s team gets called to work the case of a man murdered while he was taking pictures of the night sky, with his sophisticated camera equipment found pointed instead at the home of the woman with whom he was having the affair – and who was with him at the time of his death. Her husband seems to be the likely suspect. But, Brenda is off her game because she’s not settled at their new office and not all the amenities work properly or are suited to her manner of working. As a result, she makes a mistake when questioning the suspicious husband, and he lawyers up.

While questioning some of the employees who work with the murder victim, Paul and Melanie Ryder, Paul (Currie Graham) seems innocent enough, but his wife seems to be a little defensive of the victim. Since Currie Graham always plays characters that rank high on the smarm-o-meter, I figured that he was likely the killer. After Brenda has the cheating wife of the first suspect wired, hoping to trap him saying something incriminating, the team is barely able to stop him from killing her. Eventually Brenda and her team find their attention back on Paul, who killed out of jealously when he found his wife also had an affair with their philandering boss.

The case was entertaining but average at best – the real show was watching Brenda suffer a complete meltdown just by a change in her work environment. She also wonders why Pope was so intent on moving to what seems like a higher profile building, and she gets her answer at the end of the show when the Chief of Police (Played by Gil Garcetti, a producer of “The Closer” and also former LA District Attorney) has a press conference announcing his retirement. Brenda suspects that Pope thinks he’s next in line, but we never actually hear the Chief announce his successor.

Brenda’s home life still seems normal, with a new cat and her husband FBI Agent Fritz Howard (Jon Tenny) trying his best to keep Brenda grounded while she gets more frazzled with adjusting to a new workplace.

“The Big Bang” marked a good start to the 6th season. As always, The Closer entertains with a good murder case. The change in workplace will help keep the show fresh and energized, almost as if they’ve added a new cast member. It may also signal that the producers see a long life for “The Closer.” But the real draw for this show is the great ensemble cast with Sedgwick as the anchor, all who are well suited for their roles and make the characters believable. On a side note, congratulations to Kyra Sedgwick for her Emmy nomination; she certainly deserves it and I would be thrilled to see her win.

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