The Closer Season Premiere Review: "Unknown Trouble"

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Full disclosure: I hate rap music, and I cannot understand for the life of me why the industry would name their associated companies Death Row Records or the fictional Shanked record label of "Unknown Trouble."

It makes it very difficult for me to believe that anyone has good intentions under those strange circumstances. And, yes, it does color my take on the case of the episode. I can't understand why two good kids would want to disguise themselves as gangsters, especially kids Gabriel said came from a good family. Why get caught up in a world that could so easily tear you down?

The Closer Premiere Scene

More important than the case was the undertone of distrust and organized chaos taking place in the LAPD, Major Crimes in particular.

After what seems like eons, the new organization of the LAPD still isn't complete. Chief Pope found an organizational chart that showed him as Captain of Traffic and Commander Taylor as the new Assistant Chief, among other surprises. I can only imagine what this would to the department.

There is one thing for certain: Brenda lost her passion for the job. Quitting was on her mind. She mentioned it throughout the episode, and when I think back to how much she used to lover her job, it really brings me down. Who knew some place could suck the life out of spunky Brenda Lee Johnson?

Brenda was also being investigated because of the incident that occurred in "War Games" last season. If you recall, when unable to successfully prosecute a man everyone knew was guilty, Brenda gave him a ride home when he asked. This lead to his murder, and to a plethora of viewers questioning Brenda taking the law into her own hands.

I was one of the few who undoubtedly would have done exactly what she did. At what point do you let the bad guys get all the protection and the innocent none? He made his own choice to be a part of a gang; was the LAPD supposed to protect him for life because of that? It turned out that the case in "Unknown Trouble" had the FBI doing essentially the same thing with those involved, but with full support. That made the investigation even more confounding.

Brenda was in such a hot seat that she was virtually unable to do her job. Every step she took was being scrutinized, and it it made her angry and frustrated. The investigation and the intentional scrutiny of her work didn't do anything to breathe enthusiasm into Brenda's attitude.

Nothing in the show really meant anything at all. In the end, Chief Delk was thanking Brenda in front of the entire squad and suffered a stroke (I'm no doctor, but based upon the symptoms, that's my guess). Just as it seemed that things were moving on in copacetic manner, all the balls were tossed in the air and if he doesn't make it, that organization chart means nothing and we're back to square one.

Frankly, I love The Closer, the cops are like family to me after all these years. But watching an entire season of "who's the boss" doesn't tickle my fancy. I hope whatever happens within the LAPD and Major Crimes unit is resolved quickly.

Other notes:

  • Remember when Taylor and Pope were partners in crime? Things really have changed.
  • I still can't decide if I like Raydor or not. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I know there is a heart in there, but she does a damn good job hiding it.
  • Did I miss when Taylor got the promotion to Asst. Chief? I remember Brenda vying for the job, but it completely escaped me that Taylor was her new boss.
  • Something is going on with Gabriel. He is an altogether different man than he was two years ago. His racial profiling is beginning to wear under the assumption that everyone on the squad wants to point the finger at people of color. I hope we discover his motivation before the series' end.
  • It always amazes me that people being interrogated on television go off and scream a confession. Is the power of passion really that easy to fall under? Frankly, I hope I never find out, but I really don't believe someone sitting quietly across the room from me could push my buttons so far that I'd actually give away my life so simply.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (47 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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I am such a fan, I am going to miss Brenda and the gang. Sari I agree with you! But it is only an hour show, gotta flow for next week, lol.

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Oops, Taylor is in the cast photo, but not Delk. :-) Haven't watched the previews for next week, but I see the vid screen shows Brenda in her dress blues, so that obviously means Delk met his demise.

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A couple of things for clarification ... Brenda was never going for Asst. Chief of Police (Pope's job). She was shoved into the runningn for CHIEF of Police by Capt. Raydor in some twisted and sadistic attempt to a) uncover dirt on Brenda and Will's prior relationship ... way back in DC years prior to LA and b) to try to force a wedge of discontent between Brenda and Will. The wedge thing seemed to have worked to a degree, with Will getting all snippy as Brenda made the "short list" for Chief and Will didn't ... also, Brenda quickly grew to resent his sexist attitude ... remember he was going to "allow" her to go for the position, etc. I found this first episode of season 7 rather odd in a few ways, first being that Chief Delk would turn on Brenda so quickly and promote someone so obviously beneath her capability as Taylor to Asst. Chief. Remember, very close to the end of season 6, the newly-appointed Chief Delk was all peaches and cream around Brenda, now THIS?! It makes ZERO sense ... UNLESS ... you are trying to find a way to wrap up a series and shuffle the deck all at once ... in which case you would have to get Delk out of the way in a hurry to elevate Brenda (who was already on the "short list") to Chief of Police. Having Taylor momentarily think he's above her in rank only sweetens that deal! Sad that Delk had to go out with such a demise, but that's showbiz! This is how she can give Will back his job too, and perhaps elevate one of her own squad to Asst. Chief ... Provenza perhaps?! She's always had a (daddy-esque) soft spot for him afterall! I submit in evidence the official cast photo show on TNT's home page for the series ... there is NO Delk ... NO Taylor ... but there IS Pope! The only sticking point to this scenario is Brenda being under investgation herself ... that could go away in one of her maneuvers (with the aid of Pope and her hub, and maybe Raydor too, to soften up that character a bit). The only other thing I can think of is maybe (if not immediately, eventually) Brenda WILL quit the LAPD ... for the FBI. That would be a very interesting twist. She's never given Fritzy's job the credit it deserves, and if ht has to pull her butt out of the sling it's currently in she might think twice about it. Raydor is going to have to soften up ... that's the new spin-off star. Read that in some article the other day ... "Major Crimes" spin-off. Maybe Raydor gets in trouble herself by helping newly-minted Chief Johnson get her butt out of the sling and she's forced out of IAD and into Major Crimes to take Brenda's old job?! Ouch!! That has the makings for a lot of internal strife and points of conflict ... exactly what a drama needs! Enjoy! :-)

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Well, I hate how they started the show, wondered what audience they were trying to appeal to. And it almost wasn't the same show anymore. That is, until the end. That's the show I remember. Delk had a stroke - and all those false pieces, those planned changes are not meant to be. Here's how I see it. Pope is still Assistant Chief - there was no formal announcement of the changes. Therefore, Pope will become acting chief as Delk is incapacitated. Pope will put Taylor's butt back in the cubicle and Brenda will be back on top. At least for now.

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i thought it was good....wondered what was up with Taylor...and ducking around the wall all the time....then, i understood after Pope showed brenda the chart.....didn't see the end coming though. looking forward to more. alisa

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It was on the chart that Pope showed Brenda that Taylor would be taking Pope's job - that's why he was behaving that way.

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You have to remember they are criminals, who in reality a lot of times, are not too bright.

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No, you didn't miss Taylor getting promoted ... I rewatched the entire series getting ready for tonight's start of the final season, and I'm certain it didn't happen earlier. Taylor? Bleh ... so I guess that means she did turn down the job first (she was offered it last season, with no resolution). I agree with your last comment, too; I miss the episodes where the criminal confessed because Brenda outsmarted them, or where she made them think confessing to her was getting the "lighter" punishment ... And thinking of quitting? Jees ... a lot of life seemed to have gotten sucked out of her in a short amount of time. I'd believe it more if she actually wanted the position of Chief then lost out, but she spent most of last season saying she didn't. I also miss the relationship between Gabriel and Brenda ... maybe he is planning to make his move into politics soon? I don't know. I love the show, and so much of it was done so well in earlier seasons, but I worry they are overextending themselves trying to wrap all this up in a season.

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omg i love that last comment. i been saying that for the longest time. it happens on all these cop shows. its so annoying to see people just confess in a matter of minutes. who gives up that fast??

The Closer Season 7 Episode 1 Quotes

Provenza: Nine times out of ten, Chief, rap means gangs.
Tao: And gangs means drugs.

Gang members, empty vodka bottles, joints in the ashtray, half naked, girls. I mean it's like a murder had to happen.

Provenza
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