PTR Guest Columnist
PTR’s second favorite (or is it a tie for first?) homicide detective came back this week – Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson – for a two-hour The Closer special that was … well, pretty darn good. When we last left off, we essentially had a shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. Mafia style. A mob informant in federal protective custody (who we will call Mafia Marty) was slated to testify against a major mob boss, but he was killed by one of Brenda’s detectives on the floor of her murder room after he went a little haywire thinking the Feds had set him up. He pulled a gun from Det. Lt. Provenza’s desk and … well, that was that.
If you recall, the entire case was essentially the LAPD vs. the FBI arguing over who had rights to investigate what – especially after Mafia Marty’s wife and the FBI agent assigned to watch over the two of them had been murdered in the city of Los Angeles. Thus, the case was classic Pope vs. Fritz (with Asst. Chief Will Pope – Brenda’s former flame – muscling in local LAPD jurisdiction over what was to be Special Agent Fritz Howard’s – Brenda’s current flame – federal jurisdiction). Pope wasted no time assigning the whole thing to Brenda to solve, which of course, stepped all over Fritz’s territory – in more ways than one. Nothing like making it
So, when we pick it up, Brenda has been out on paid administrative leave for four months as the investigation into the death of Mafia Marty continues. Brenda’s favorite nemesis, Commander Taylor, has taken over her Priority Homicide squad. Or rather, brought in his own Robbery Homicide detectives for a full-fledged coup. As we find Brenda at home, Kyra Sedgwick remains as entertaining as ever to watch. If there were a recipe for all-things Brenda, consider: 5 parts neurotic; 5 parts lovable; 10 parts fierce; add sugar and ice as desired.
Sedgwick continues to deliver priceless moments where you swear she MUST have been Brenda in another life – fidgeting around a house full of dead plants (clearly not a gardener), half-knitted sweaters (clearly not a knitter), dressed up to jog down to the pastry shop (clearly not an exerciser).
This woman needs to get her job back.
We also still find Fritz delivering the best one-liners – and comforts – to keep Brenda sane. Ah, Fritz … proof that a strong, attractive, razor-sharp, no-nonsense, completely devoted work-a-holic woman who lives for her job as a criminal investigator CAN find and keep a good man. (Hello, show runners of Cold Case? Are you listening, er, reading? Pointers could be
taken, here, on how to write – and KEEP – a good relationship for the eternally down-and-out-on-love Lilly Rush).
But alas, not to digress, when a dead teenager of Middle Eastern decent is found in the middle of nowhere, and Robbery-disguised-as-Priority Homicide is left scratching their heads (no thanks to Taylor’s ineptitude), Brenda is secretly asked to take on the case by one of her former CIA directors (played by William Daniels – the voice of the KITT car in that
love-it-or-hate-it 80s show Knight Rider).
In exchange for getting her job back, Brenda agrees not only to find the murderer of the young teenager, but in doing so, also help reveal a potential mole in the CIA who has been leaking information of a highly classified operation to the Army of Allah. This all, of course, would
then really help everybody find some seriously important missing nuclear weapons grade plutonium that, of course, has made its way into the wrong hands as a result of this mess. All in all, life is not so good for the CIA at the moment. Even though they are desperate to clean up the mess, they don’t trust their own people. So, Brenda becomes their gal, given she “was” CIA, so she gets “how” it all is supposed to go down.
It’s a complex weave of espionage, missing plutonium, everyone suspecting everyone, Brenda going out on a limb (like she always does, of course) … all of which further explains why the Department of Homeland Security wanted to hire her, but also, why she turned it down: “Handing over suspects to the CIA so that I do not know what they intend to do with them … I don’t do that anymore.”
With episodes such as this, it’s again hard to wait until next summer for Season 3 to officially premiere. In the meantime, TNT has begun an encore of Season 2 – so if you missed any of the action, be sure to tune in and catch up!
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