Closing in on the Close of The Closer

The Closer’s Brenda Leigh Johnson Kyra Sedgwick
Brenda Leigh Johnson: considering her future, perhaps?

“They may dislike me because Captain Taylor don’t [sic] want me here. Relax, Will, because once I get to work, and they see me in action, they’ll have a whole other list of reasons to hate my guts.”
  – Brenda Leigh Johnson to Will Pope in pilot episode of The Closer

In the first season of TNT’s The Closer no one in the department wanted to work for Brenda Leigh Johnson. In fact, her entire department submitted transfers to get out of the department in the very first episode. But over the years watching and helping Brenda bring murderer after murder to justice, the squad has evolved to not only understanding and accepting Brenda, but even being loyal to her . . . or so we thought.

When we last left Brenda Leigh she was facing a potentially career ending lawsuit for dropping off a murderer in gang territory despite the fact she supposedly knew that he would be killed by his fellow gang members. The man was murdered, brutally, within hours of the drop-off.

Granted, this particular guy admitted to killing an innocent man and his young grandson because he didn’t want to pay for a beer . . . and LAPD wouldn’t be able to prosecute him for the crime because of a deal. As Sanchez put it, this man had no regard for human life and would kill again.

But were Brenda’s actions justified? At least one member of her squad doesn’t think so, and is cooperating with the lawyer who is bringing the lawsuit. We don’t know who is leaking information and neither does Brenda.

The big question is: Are the streets of Los Angeles safer with Brenda or without?

The Closer returns tonight for five episode season extension that I hope will answer these and other questions. You can look for a recap of Monday’s episode here on Criminal Element. The Closer will return next summer for the final six episodes of the entire series.

TNT has posted a video of the stars of The Closer talking about this season’s extension to tide you over until tonight’s episode.

Deborah Lacy is an avid mystery reader who lives in California.


  1. Terrie Farley Moran

    All these months of waiting and I almost forgot this is the big day. Thanks for the reminder–I am running for the DVR right now. And we’re going to have a recap!! Life is good.

  2. Saundra Peck

    I may miss The Closer more than I have ever missed any show…Brenda was the perfect blend of hard and soft. She did not just demand respect, she earned it. The combination of her lovelife with Fritz, the old history with Will, her sweets obsession and inability to say no to work made her perfectly flawed. Her squad was smart, loyal and funny, and as a retired police officer, I can assure they were close to the real thing. Provenza as the old wise one always knew how to take care of business, Julio always knew the ways of the streets and David always knew how to take care of the politics. I could go on and on…the streets of LA will be VERY lonely without Brenda and her squad. I wish The Closer would go on forever!!! Thanks for the great run TNT…I will be a loyal rerun watcher forever!!!

  3. Deborah Lacy

    @sk1336 I totally agree. The Closer will end, but it looks like they are doing a spin off…more on that later.

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