The Closer Review: Christmas & Cancer

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Brenda Lee's parents, Clay and Willie Ray, turned up on The Closer this week and everything turned funny in "Relative Matters." Thank you, Santa, for this welcome development!

After last week's fiasco, I needed something fun at the expense of Brenda and Fritz and I just knew the parental units would provide it. Having Provenza waling about all the calls Brenda was frantically making to her team and declining the calls was icing on the Christmas-themed cake.

However... as soon as I saw the name Jake Busey in the credits, I immediately thought I knew who the bad guy would be. Poor Jake for taking that role in Contact so many years ago. Of course, there was also a guest star with the last name Fischer-Price, so bizarre things were bound to occur.

Christmas Surprise

Sadly, Brenda's parents didn't fly in a for a pleasant visit, but to tell their daughter in person that Clay has cancer. He and the Mrs. handled it like pretty much everything else: With humor and joy. Even with his mood swings, Willie Ray never lost sight of her husband and his needs. I applaud their marriage. I also happen to know several people who have successfully battled thyroid cancer, so I have little doubt he'll be with us through the end of the series. Unless they decide to prove me wrong and hit him with a bus. Hey, it could happen!

Given last week's episode - that consisted of an entire squad of men drooling over Buzz's decent looking sister - I found it hard to believe that there wasn't a crowd of thousands in the camera room looking at Claudia Shipley's cleavage. I was dumbstruck by this chest, but nobody else noticed? Not only will I never understand men, but I will never understand screenwriters.

Something that drove me crazy was how the FBI found it so much more important to wrangle a burglary ring of the rich (and no doubt famous) rather than work with the LAPD to find a murderer. Who CARES about people who had their stuff stolen? Sure, it's a pain in the butt to replace, but you can guarantee they were well insured and replaced what they lost with items better than those that were stolen.

It was nice to know The Closer proved me wrong by not taking the easy way out and making Busey the bad guy. Sure, he was culpable, but not the actual murderer. A nice surprise! I have to say I wonder if people really spill their guts as quickly and easily as they do on cop shows. I've seen it a few times on real police drama, but mostly they spend hours and hours going around with their stories. Guess that wouldn't make for such compelling viewing in the long run.

I did appreciate how the killer said she never liked her brother-in-law as much as when she was blowing his head off. At the very least, she had her sister and nephew at heart when she was doing the killing. A real family woman, she was.

It didn't have everything I would have hoped for in a final Christmas Closer, but it did make up for last week. An absolute perfect ending to the episode? Fritz taking Clay's advice and bopping him over the head when he got a little out of touch with reality. Merry Christmas indeed!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (56 Votes)

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


Carissa is correct about Clay's future after his thyroid cancer diagnosis. I've had it and if you want to pick a type of cancer to contract (what a silly thing to say) then thyroid is your best bet. Although if Clay is as obstinate as I am about going to the doctor for his Synthroid prescription renewals, his mood swings could be quite epic. I hope Willie Ray keeps a head-bopper close at hand. LOL! Willie Ray and Clay are two of my favorite TV characters. I'm gonna miss them the most when this series ends. Not only did Fritzy bop Clay, he bopped him twice! The look on Clay's face was classic. Politically incorrect: The elder Johnson's gave Det. Sanchez maracas for Christmas. Really? Maracas? Pardon the pun, but I honestly did not notice Ms. Shipley's God-gifted maracas referenced in the review. It was nice to see Flynn show some sensitivity this episode. That's not something we've come to expect from him.


I think they are setting the stage to have Brenda leave to go back to Atlanta and be with her father. His cancer is going to get worst and that is going to make her decision to resign easier. I don't think the federal lawsuit will succeed.


I just read Carissa's week-old review of YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN JOLLY...huh? I thought the episode was hilarious...falling out your chair did many of my CLOSER fanatic friends. Maybe Fred Willard's unique brand of humor is lost on some viewers? Perhaps. But I thought the episode was spectacularly enjoyable...and meeting Buzz's sis wasn't a "fiasco" either. At any rate, I now have suspicions that something is off about Carissa's sense of humor. Adding to these suspicions is the fact that Carissa evidently found way more humor in Brenda's parents' cancer angst than I think was present, missing the poignant anguish that was just below the surface of the bombast and the denial...


I never miss Gavin. I loved the episode Brenda's father being sick was good and I'm glad it wasn't someting to kill him off. Sure didn't miss Mary McDonnell either. Love the Closer will miss it very much.


Yes indeed, the writers redeemed themselves this week. Brenda's crew were wonderfully portrayed, being funny, competent and supportive all at the same time. And Brenda's parents are a breath of fresh air. Of course my favorite is Fritz who is such a great foil to Brenda's hysteria. I will surely miss this show. Who in the world thinks Mary McDonnell can carry a weekly program?


I am sooooo going to miss the wonderful characters in this show! Nothing else like it anywhere on TV. Not really looking all that forward to the spin off, Mary McDonnel is just not "Brenda". I too wish there had been a little more about the law suit, but I think Pope is the leak. I think he has built up a rage against Brenda through out the seasons.


So enjoyed this episode!! Much mote like The Closer we know and love. Wish we'd gotten a liitle info on the lawsuit and who the leak is!! Also missed Gavin!

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The Closer Season 7 Episode 13 Quotes

Pope: You know, it might me a lot easier on your parents than you think.
Brenda: Why do you say that?
Pope: Because they're here right now, and they're giving out gifts.

No, it's my father. He's really sick. He's really sick. He just told me last night.