The Closer Review: RIP, Turrell Baylor
"Silent Partner" finally brought the murder case of Turrell Baylor to a close. It should come as no surprise to any of us that it was members of his own gang who killed him, and would have done so whether Brenda dropped him into his own neighborhood or not.
The lawsuit against Brenda also wrapped up, wonder of wonders, as Peter Goldman was using unscrupulous methods to recruit new members for his case, and, in the process, lied while being interrogated. He had the names of five witnesses to Baylor's murder, but didn't give them up. Litigation dropped.
There were, however, many downsides to this mid-season (seventh season? I'm still not sure how they are counting these episodes) finale. The end of the case was rather anti-climactic. Unfortunately for Mr. Baylor, it never really mattered who killed him. The legal system created an entire production around a gang death that is probably very similar to deaths that happen in other areas of Los Angeles every day.
Out of the melee came the "Johnson Rule," which essentially says the LAPD cannot let any suspect go into a potentially hostile environment. The ridiculousness of that wasn't lost on Raydor, who was understanding of Brenda's severe reaction to the rule being named for her, inadvertently making it appear she was guilty after all.
Goldman had oodles of information on a lot of people who now would want to harm him. He could comply with a security detail, or they could hold him, citing the Johnson Rule. After all, they can't let him on to the street knowing someone may want to hurt him. That would lead me to believe Curtis Armstrong will be riding out the last six episodes next summer.
The worst part of the episode? We didn't learn who, or what, the leak was. Pope, Sanchez and Raydor were all extremely faithful companions to Brenda during this particular investigation, knocking them out of the potential suspect list. The speech Sanchez gave to Brenda about not being able to trust anyone, making her own decisions, and not letting any of them know her course of action was depressing, but showed his loyalty to her.
When you get down to six remaining episodes and think back to the beginning, the distrust and inability to accept Brenda in her new position, and where the team is now, it's heartbreaking to think that someone on that team could be out to injure them all. Might it be Provenza? I noticed a weird look on his face, one that I had never seen before, and I started to question his integrity. He's a character I absolutely adore. I can't have that!
The one thing I wanted before we headed into the back six of the series was to know who the identity of the leak so we could deal with it and see what it meant to the team, its ability to recover, reconnect and move on... even if it meant preparations for the departure of Brenda. Alas, it was the day after Christmas, and I did not get my wish.