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