The Closer, Season Two (2006)

October 25, 2011
After starting this highly recommended show, my family couldn’t wait to get our hands on a second set. Only we had to wait much longer than usual because of a backorder on seller Amazon’s part. When it finally arrived, we were thrilled to be able to jump right into the next series – and discovered it was well worh any wait. 

A year after relocating to a new city and assuming command of a new squad, Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) has finally made herself a new, comfortable life in L.A., much different than that of her former life in Atlanta; after those first few challenging months, she has at last earned the respect of her squad. When one of their own is found shot to death in an abandoned warehouse, Brenda, again takes a lot of criticism for her handling of the case, most especially from her opponent, robbery/homicide division commander, Taylor (Robert Gossett). Overly protective whenever a fellow officer is found in what could be a compromising position, even Brenda’s suddenly  irritable immediate superior, Will Pope (J.K. Simmons) finds fault with her indelicate manner of investigation, one of the few who is usually looking out and supportive of Brenda’s sometimes strange methods.

Juggling personal issues – which include an unexpected visit from her mother, and taking a big step in her relationship with FBI boyfriend, Fritz (Jon Tenney) – Brenda finds that she’ll have to rely on her team in this case, no matter where the evidence leads, whether it clears or implicates the officers’ name, she wants to find the truth. Brenda and Sgt. Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) welcome the first lead that comes their way and interview the detective’s former and present partners as Lt. Tao (Michael Paul Chan) looks at the forensic evidence which doesn’t add up to the actual picture of the crime scene while Lt. Provenza (G.W. Bailey) and the newly transferred Lt. Flynn (Anthony John Denison) find themselves in a pickle after withholding evidence in order to enjoy a ballgame.

There is much to love about this show but two of the most memorable things yet to be written come in this sophomore season.  The most entertaining episode to date comes in “To Protect and to Serve,” where a body is discovered in Lt. Provenza’s garage. No words would properly describe the dry-witted humor in which everything comes together… or more appropriately, as everything falls apart. Secondly we are privileged to meet Willie Rae Johnson. That’s right, Brenda’s “mama” enters the dynamics and goodness, are we tickled to include her in a two-episode arc. Her visit coincides with Fritz and Brenda taking a big step in their relationship and the ways Brenda attempts to cover that relationship because she doesn’t want her mother to find disappointment with her life, is how comedy was intended to be. Thank goodness, The Closer realized that! This leads me to Fritz. I really, really like him. Before continuing on, I’ll just say, he is imperfect but he seems wonderful compared to what he must put up with from Brenda on a personal level. She is a crack investigator who doesn’t let anything pass her by even as the criminals assume they are wise to her, but when it comes to all matters of the heart, she is grossly negligent. Two other friendships come to a head in season two, one a new romance brewing and the other is a comical sort-of-buddy friendship between Flynn and Provenza who once hated each other and now seem more like old, grouchy friends.

Because this is a paid cable crime drama, there are certain themes or scenes that might be troubling to certain viewers. If you do not much like crime shows to begin with, I wouldn’t even bother looking into these. I cannot say much about one particular episode because it would give too much away, but there is one that guest stars James Frain and it makes us waver about its outcome – and for the first time, Brenda’s hunch. Even with the drastic measures the murderer took through a nauseating scenario, this is one of the cleverest of the bunch because you just cannot get a handle on the case… or the “why” of it. For those of us just now enjoying the seasons on DVD, you need only read reviews or blurbs (or beg spoilers from friends who have watched it! *wink*) to know that there are a lot of memorable events to look forward too and for those of you that watch the latest seasons on TNT, you already know that when your favorite fall shows take their annual hiatus, this is one of the best things to look forward to on Monday nights.
(Parental review, the show rating is TV14: “Head over Heels” involves the murder of a porn star complete; the team watches tapes for identification purposes and conversation revolves around HIV. There are drug overdoses and one show suggests a woman slept with various wealthy businessmen who were potential financers towards her husband’s business. Crime scenes involve gang-related shootings, another case is rather sickening as it involves a mother and her child tied up together then dumped in the water with a diving belt attached, others still find victims with stab wounds or being decapitated post death. Video of a hospital surgery gone horribly awry is viewed; later a man is murdered out of revenge. Consistent profanity includes uses of a**, b***h, and b***s***. Less obtrusive, we learn that an unmarried couple moves in together and there is a pregnancy scare.)

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