“The Closer” Ends…

August 22, 2012

Above: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen Sketch in my 9 x 12 inch Fabriano Venezia in-studio journal.

It's over. I'm not happy about that at all. I have enjoyed spending an hour each week with the characters on "The Closer." There have been times, when like any fan, I have disagreed with the way storylines veered but overall I was so happy with the show I was dreading its end. The characters have had "real life" and interconnection and because of that (and my wildly active imagination) I have become invested in them.

That and they all have interesting faces. I enjoy sketching them late at night.

I've been a bit troubled about the wind down and the way the character of Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson has become a bit more erratic and emotional as the stresses around her have mounted. But I can forgive that too.

What leaves me puzzled, as we move into "Major Crimes" the spin-off show that includes most of the original cast and features Mary McDonnell's character Capt. Sharon Raydor as the lead of the division after Johnson's departure, is how there was no follow through to find Rusty's parents (you know who this is if you watch the shows). 

I find it inconceivable that Johnson would leave to go and take care of her ailing father in Georgia, without first trying to find, or organizing an effort to find Rusty's parents. She promised and the circumstances of that promise were so vital to her own self-realization.

So the new show, "Major Crimes," begins with a couple handicaps: No Chief Johnson and a certain lack of continuity. Additionally the focus of the division is now on plea bargaining as an effort to dispense justice more efficiently and economically. 

Like Lt. Provenza I'm not in agreement with that. The old mode had its dangers and pools of quicksand (into which Johnson stepped), but I will need to be convinced that plea bargaining can be transparent enough to satisfy my sense of "justice." (Which is after all why we watch crime shows isn't it, to see things neatly put up in a package that real life doens't give us?)

And I have another reservation. I don't believe plea bargaining is inherently as dramatic as the previous show's "methods."

But I'll watch for the first season and see what's what. Even if I don't get satiation dramatically I will still be able to see and sketch my two favorite characters.

Below: Det. Julio Sanchez on one of the final episodes of "The Closer." (From the same journal as above, also with a Pentel Pocket Brush pen.)


    • donnamcm
    • August 22, 2012

    I love this show! Since we only discovered it this year, we have been watching all of the reruns. The cast is great! And yes, I have set up Major Crimes to record. But I will miss Brenda Leigh Johnson!

  1. Reply

    Donna, you have a great treat in store for you watching all the episode from the start! After the second episode of Major Crimes aired I’m still on the fence about the new show, but still happy to see familiar faces.

  2. Reply

    I loved the Closer, my husband couldn’t stand Brenda’s ‘fake’ Southern accent… he reminded me of this once a week, at the start of every show, just in case I forget he hated her accent. I’m also concerned about Rusty’s parents, doesn’t seem like something she’d just forget does it. I’m glad they didn’t have some wackko shoot her… at least this leaves the door open for her to come back from time to time. I also am not too thrilled with the plea bargain story lines hope that goes in the trash bin fairly quickly or they’ll all be out of a job.

  3. I discovered the Closer only last spring, and I have had the unmitigated pleasure of watching all 7 seasons in only a space of 4 or 5 months. I am devastated at the loss of it. And I am right on the same page with your criticisms – but, like you, I intend to give the Major Crimes show a season’s grace period.

  4. Reply

    Brenda wouldn’t forget her promise. She left it with C. Raydor who is out of her depth as the head of major crimes. As far as the plea bargains are concerned – cities don’t have the money for trials and they see this solution as better than nothing. The victim’s families would not agree. And let’s not forget the people responsible for the financial meltdown that has caused such devastation. They didn’t even have to do a plea bargain.
    My question is why is Fritz still on the job when Brenda undoubtedly would need his support?

  5. Reply

    Molly, Brenda already DID forget her promise. The first episode of Major Crimes had a complete subplot about how she didn’t follow through and Capt. R didn’t follow up either.

    I guess my problem with plea bargaining is that I think jury trials important. Though I’m one of the first to acknowledge that they are skewed, and that a disproportionate number of low income and minority people end up in jail, so they aren’t “fair.” But I have a problem with those same people not having legal representation and a transparent (and non-manipulative) bargaining process.

    You sort of make my point when you talk about the rich folk who made the system work for them.

    I’d like to see the system work for citizens at the other end of the spectrum.

    As for Fritz—not everyone can take family leave, though with the FBI I imagine he has some government time off that is pretty nice (it is for a relative who works in another part of the government). She’s taking care of her father, I don’t really see that she needs much help from him. I’d expect a good working couple to behave in this way so that doesn’t bother me, just her behavior towards Rusty.

    Oh, and the insane little speech about being down the street and seeing people. Folks who work in a tight knit group like that for 80 hours a week never see anyone outside of that group.

    AND there is another thing—why after all this fighting with the DA does his department want to hire her. That made no sense to me at all.

    I have to stop typing or I’ll never watch any more episodes of Major Crimes!

  6. Reply

    Jeanette I hope you can find stuff to enjoy in MC.

  7. Reply

    Capt. Elaine. You need a tag that you can put on when the show comes on that says, “I know, I know.” I don’t know Southern accents like your husband obviously does, but I always just thought it was over the top in the way that a lot of the character was over the top (but in a good way). I think she’s done a great job in the role so I forget about the accent (as you seem to do also).

    • Jeannie
    • August 23, 2012

    Roz, I feel your pain. I don’t have cable, but picked up a dvd at the library a couple of years ago. I was hooked. (The show that did it was the one where the hooker’s body rolls out of the casket for a buddy of Flynn’s.) Provenza and Flynn have to be my favorites. Their friendship reminds me of the great cop shows of my youth – Dragnet and Car 54. I will miss the Closer. I watched the premire of Major Crimes on line and I’ll give it time. I like Mary McDonnell, but her character isn’t very complex. Thanks for capturing my favorite guy with your fantastic talent.

  8. Reply

    I love Provenza and Flynn’s relationship too. As with any tv show one ends up enjoying at least we have the good memories and now of course there are DVDs!

    We’ll see what happens.

    • Caroline
    • August 24, 2012

    You are soooooo lucky to actually get to see the end of the series! It was always on far too late at night to get a following and has not been picked up this year by any of the channels in Australia – well not on free-to-air tv! Its probably on (expensive) satellite, owned by Rupert Murdoch, but I’d rather spend my money on art supplies. I haven’t even seen dvd’s for sale here, but there is always Amazon!

  9. Reply

    Caroline, won’t they eventually show the episodes? When I lived in Australia (which is decades ago and before the whole DVD thing) we waited a year or two, but eventually got the stuff. Can you see it on the internet? (I haven’t checked on that as I hate to watch TV on the computer.)

    If it’s a choice between tv and art supplies I’d go with the later as well.

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