“The Closer” — Third Season

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
July 1, 2008

Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) is back in season three of TNT’s crime procedural The Closer.

With a couple years at the Los Angeles police department already under her belt, Brenda has proven that her eccentric method works at getting confessions from even the most hardened criminals. But even she’s not quite sure how to handle the season opener, where a slaughtered family’s sole survivor is the stunned, stoned teenage son. Bleak, dark and wonderfully scripted, the opener sets the tone for the 14 episodes that follow it.

With an exaggerated Southern drawl that belies her hard edged attitude, Brenda is at her best in the field. But when dropped into personal situations, she often flounders.

For instance, though she commands a team of officers underneath her, she still doesn’t know how to tell her parents she lives with her boyfriend, FBI special agent Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney, Fools Rush In).

The awkward (and sometimes poignant) moments between Johnson and her folks humanize her, giving her added dimension. Sedgwick is adept at comedy, and a couple of the episodes take advantage of her skills.          Jostling with an over zealous bridezilla at a crime scene, Johnson becomes the subject of a popular Youtube video. “You’ve become the most downloaded fully-clothed woman on the Internet,” announces her boss, Will Pope (J.K. Simmons).

There is some internal drama when Brenda is ordered to make budget cuts by firing someone in her group.

But the best moments occur when Brenda–calm as a cucumber–does what she does best: closes cases. Aside from a couple episodes that allude to past years, this third season (which originally aired in 2007), is easy to follow even for new viewers who haven’t seen previous episodes.

July 1, 2008

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