It’s the beginning of the end for “The Closer,” a landmark TV series that introduced the character of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) to viewers — and when it premiered in 2005, Brenda was unlike any TV character who had come before — a Southern woman making it in the man’s world of law enforcement by being one of the best confession getters — or case closers — in the world.
The series premieres the first of its six final episodes on Monday, July 9 at 9/8c on TNT and then wraps up for good on August 13. But as “The Closer” heads to its series finale, you can count on the episodes being just as jam-packed with action and twists and turns as before — if not more.
As the story plays out, Brenda believes she may finally have the evidence she needs to wrap up a case that has plagued her for years and she hopes that she will finally get lawyer/suspected rapist/killer Philip Stroh (Billy Burke) behind bars. It would be a nice case on which to wrap up her career with the L.A. P.D. — if that is what the producers have planned for her swan song. Also, Capt. Raydor (Mary McDonnell) and Chief Pope (J.K. Simmons) continue to investigate the department leak that brought a federal lawsuit against Brenda; and Brenda and Fritz (Jon Tenney) fly Brenda’s parents (Frances Sternhagen and Barry Corbin) to L.A. to take her father to a cancer specialist who can help him get back on his feet — with surprising results.
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But before jumping into the final season, Sedgwick took a walk down memory lane for XfinityTV.com and picked out several of her favorite episodes of “The Closer” from its seven seasons:
“Fantasy Date” — Season 1, Episode 6: While investigating the murder of a congresswoman’s daughter, Brenda and the Major Case squad become involved in the world of online solicitation of sex, and they discover just how vulnerable to abuse women are. “‘Fantasy Date’ was the first time that you saw Brenda get attacked and you saw her put on her own Band-Aid alone in the bathroom and she calls Fritz,” Sedgwick recalls. “It was the first time you saw her very vulnerable.”
“The Big Picture — Season 1, Episode 3 — or any episode with Kitty, such as “Blood Money” — Season 5, Episode 2, or “Walking Back the Cat” — Season 5, Episode 4: When Brenda moved into her first house, she had no idea that a cat came with it, and not having been a previous pet owner, she didn’t understand that cats rule. But by the time Kitty was diagnosed with kidney disease in Season 5, Kitty had won Brenda’s heart. “I loved a lot of the arcs with Fritz and the whole cat arc when this cat shows up at her house and she doesn’t really want the cat,” Sedgwick says. “The cat just wouldn’t leave and then Brenda grows to absolutely love it and then [has to deal with] its ultimate demise five years later.”
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“Ruby” — Season 3, Episode 4: “‘Ruby’ was one of our first really intense young kid episodes, which was a very high intensity, fast-moving episode called “Ruby,” Sedgwick says. “There is this young girl and she is missing from school. The whole first act is super fast, culminating in the night when we find her dead body in Griffith Park. Then you find out there is this pedophile and Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) beats him up and Brenda puts him into general population, knowing he is a pedophile and people are going to beat him up even more. It was one of the first times you saw her take the law into her own hands, or elicit a confession in a questionable way.”
“Mom Duty” — Season 2, Episode 2 or any episode with the parents: “I love many of the episodes with Brenda’s parents, where the great thing about seeing the parents is seeing the 12-year-old Brenda,” Sedgwick points out. “The Brenda that will always be lurking under the powerful and complex woman she has become.”
“The Closer” returns with its final six episodes on Monday, July 9/8c on TNT.