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The Closer Review: It Hit The Fan

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The last two years of watching The Closer have all come down to "Armed Response."

Were you satisfied with the conclusion of one of the biggest story arcs ever to grace the major crimes department? While I didn't want it to be Ann because it seemed too easy for it all to fall onto an unknown after so many months of speculation, the way it went down felt pretty darn satisfying. 

Without a doubt we witnessed some of the best acting yet both Kyra Sedgwick and Corey Reynolds. It was a fitting final exploration of the friendship they forged years ago when she first stepped into Los Angeles. At the beginning, Brenda counted on Gabriel for nearly everything, and as time went on he learned to lean on her, as well. When she made the decision to dismiss his thoughts about leaving Terrell Baylor at a place they both knew would end in certain doom, their relationship fractured.

Brenda's Team Is Called In

It was never more apparent than during this episode just how integral the association of Brenda and Gabriel was to the success of the department. Together, they were the heart of major crimes. When Brenda said she couldn't do it without him, she genuinely meant it. What Gabriel set aside to stay and support her was a testament to everything that they had built together. So much trust, once lost and found again.

Not to say it wasn't touch and go. Pope and Raydor had hoped to find the leak and take care of the situation before Brenda returned from bereavement leave. Just like her first days in Los Angeles, Brenda was like a fish out of water wherever she went. She didn't feel comfortable with all the people mourning at her parents' house, she refused to go home to her own home where her mama had passed and they weren't ready for her to return to work. 

The looks on both Brenda's face and Gabriel's as he was called in to talk to Pope, Raydor and Taylor spoke volumes. Brenda was both shocked and disgusted. Gabriel looked like a child seeking his mother's approval. Should he go with them? Why was he being summoned?

I'm curious. For everyone who thought Gabriel might have intentionally been the leak, how did you feel once he was in that room with Ann? Gabriel's goodness was just oozing in those scenes. There really was not a mean-spirited bone in his body. It makes me want to cry to even think that someone could do such a horrendous thing to someone with such a good heart. Yes, I know it's a television show, but I feel like I knew the man! The ultimate insult, that Ann infiltrated his church to set up the sting, was like a dagger straight through his soul.

The reaction of the rest of the squad was quite interesting, as well. Rarely have we run into situations where Flynn and Provenza were on different sides of an argument but Flynn was one of the only holdouts not to quickly forgive Gabriel after his apology. Provenza made the most sense out of the situation:

Gabriel: I was not the leak.
Flynn: But you were the source.
Provenza: Unless you've never said anything stupid to a woman you were in love with, why don't you just stop what you're doing for a minute and let the man finish. | permalink

Brenda could hardly point fingers when sharing so much of her job with Fritz. Who wouldn't share their feelings with someone they loved? Who in their right mind would expect their significant other to be bought and paid for by an attorney trying to get information about your job? There's no way that could be anticipated.

With the exposure of the leak coming so quickly on the heels of the death of her mama, Brenda had to take a long hard look at what her life had become. Who she saw in the mirror wasn't someone she was proud to see. She cared more about her work than the people she loved. She had to admit that she listened more thoughtfully to murderers and rapists than she did to the people she cared about. Because of that behavior, she will never know the last thought her mother wanted to share with her, although she tried to tell her more than once.

Fritz can tell her to let it go, but that's something that will haunt Brenda until the day she dies: what did mama want to say to me? She may never forgive herself.

It will most likely be this new found understanding of herself that will bring her to leave the department. Pope made it clear that he already promised the City of Los Angeles that she would not become the next Assistant Chief and major crimes was only standing due to his deal to ensure Commander Taylor got the position. Gabriel is staying only so long as she needs him. We were promised that by the end of The Closer Phillip Stroh would be dealt with, so I expect next week to deliver us a kick ass finale where Brenda gets the closure she needs to move on in her life. 

What are you expecting of the finale? Did the leak arc end to your satisfaction? How much will you miss Brenda and Gabriel after watching this episode?!?!?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (146 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 wanted to yell at that screen when I found out it was Ann I wanted to say that b**** so badly. That is one of the coldest things I have seen or heard of happening on any show and to do it to someone as earnest as Gabriel made me hurt even more for him. I am glad it was not a member of the team because it would have been too easy to make them go away and I agree Provenza's candor in handling the situation was great. All in all, it was a great captivating episode.

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Raydor was never petty, flighty or despicable. She was a pro, doing her job, which made others unhappy. Whether the show can survive the loss of Brenda is another question. I felt slightly let down by the mole, but at the same time it was very well acted. Bravo, Corey Reynolds. The recent episodes that have seen Pope, Daniels, even Taylor reinforce their bonds with Brenda have been great. Pope was not just trying to get the top job, he was doing his best for Brenda. I thought it was excellent that Sanchez refused the apology - he was right all along and he just couldnt forgive. Provenza showed class in pushing the squad to listen. Flynn once again showed style and yet still wanted him to transfer. Why did Buzz have a badge?
Will millions of fans not get their desire to see Goldman get his comeuppance?
What a great show!

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Pope isn't going to be part of the new series.
Fritz is.
The producers have made pretty clear that Fritz and Brenda aren't breaking up, and also that Kyra will be doing occasional guest shots. So she is going to remain in LA. I think from all of the above it is pretty clear that she will be made Chief of Police. She was after all the second choice in the process, and Pope never made the cut. In the real world she would have been named to the post months ago.

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after spemding serveral seasons introducting Raydor as a back stabbing, petty,flighty and all out dispicable character, I can't believe they expect us to start likeing her a as a lead character. Give me a brake. Bring on full epoisodes of Provenza and Flynn and the others - and drop the witch!

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Carissa, I'm with you. Poor Sgt. Gabriel! And, poor Brenda, too!! You're right; to the day she dies she'll wonder what her Mama's last words were going to be. . . I don't want it to end. :'(''

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I may be in the minority here, but I am disappointed in the last several episodes. With this being the final season for the Closer I would have expected blowout storylines but we're given rehashed storylines about her parents, the leak crap and the rapist lawyer. And, in each episode so far this season Brenda is portrayed as week and flighty. Goodbye Brenda Leigh - its unfortunate that you're going out with a fizzle instead of a bang.
I can't stand Mary McDonnell (Capt Raydor) so I'll not be continuing on with the spinoff, major crimes series. I'd rather have a spinoff focusing on Flynn and Provenza in a sitcom.

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Provenza was right - any one of them could have been the source (including Sanchez) in the same way; it just happened to be David. I knew Ann had to be the link but did not think she had been directly recruited for the role from the start by Goldman. I just thought SHE was unintentionally dropping bits of information in her work that were picked up on by him. David was just shattered.

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Just for the record, I give this episode 5 stars. I give the whole series 5 stars. I can't think of a bum episode in 7 seasons. How/why will Brenda leave the unit? Will she leave to return to Atlanta to be with her father?

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Another explosive episode! I think it was so well written, filled with drama and suspense. Just like the previous episode.
I'm so glad that Gabriel wasn't intentionally leaking. His friendship with Brenda was just so special, I knew he wouldn't sell her out.
I too could feel that there was no mean bone in his body. I felt like he was the victim, maybe even more so than the others.
Because the person he loved and trusted the most, betrayed him beyond belief. Brenda's reaction was so touching...so real. And I also liked how Provenza handled this whole situation. I felt like he really helped made everyone feel at ease again.
I'll really miss this show once it's over, definitely one of the best shows ever.
I am not sure I'll be able to watch Major Crimes with Brenda not there..

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I'm very happy that Julio chose not to accept Gabriel's apology. Julio is super loyal to Brenda. Let's not forget that even though Gabriel got in her face over the ex-gang member who killed his brother, Brenda, with Taylor's help covered for Gabriel when he beat the child/rapist/murderer.
I felt the girlfriend was a throwaway character when she first showed up, so it was easy to suspect Gabriel as being the leak, albeit unknowingly, but still the leak.
As for next week, I hope Brenda blows Phillip Stroh away, and that no one else close to her dies. I also hope to see Provenza slapped down by Raydor on a fairly regular basis. He might think he knows more than she does, but his behavior shows that he's not nearly as smart as she is.

The Closer Season 7 Episode 20 Quotes

Well, I'm not an attorney like you are, but we found the guy lying in the street with his face blown away so, yeah, I'm comfortable calling it murder.

Provenza

Flynn: We still gonna take this case?
Provenza: I'm up, I'm dressed, I'm making time and a half. Let's go.

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