The Closer: “Fool’s Gold”

Flynn and Provenza in the squad room

If you love Flynn and Provenza, you’ll love this week’s episode of The Closer.

Provenza’s ex-wife calls his cell phone. He ignores the call, but the ex-wife knows Provenza well, so she is calling him from inside the squad room. He cannot escape. The rest of the squad playfully tries to figure out which of Provenza’s many ex-wives it is.

Her name is Liz, and she’s there because she needs Provenza’s help. She got ripped off when she tried to sell her wedding ring to a gold buying place called Goldibucks so she could afford health care for her dog. The dog, a pug named Frank, looks more than a little like Provenza.

Flynn and Provenza agree to go back to Goldibucks with Liz and Frank and try to get the ring back. Once there, Andy tries unsuccessfully to flirt with the attractive woman behind the counter who helps them. They get the ring back.

As our intrepid trio walks away, Liz sees the helpful counter girl running out the back door with a friend. Both of them are holding bags—turns out they were robbing the place and two of LAPD’s finest didn’t even notice.

The Dog Ate the Evidence

Our boys remember that the counter girl was wearing gloves, one of which she removed as they talked, and they notice it on the floor right as good old Frank, the dog, eats it. And then they find a dead man in the back of the store.

Flynn, Provenza, and Brenda
Umm…no, we didn’t notice the dead guy.
They call in the crime. Flynn tries to explain, but Brenda won’t listen. She is furious.

The squad talks about whether or not they may be able to get a print from the glove once it goes through Frank’s digestive system. Tao tells them it can be done, but the chain of custody must be maintained. This means that Frank has to stay at the police station and Liz won’t allow him to be separated from her. So now both Liz and Frank must stay in police custody.

The squad is now literally waiting for Frank the dog to poop out the evidence in case there is a usable print.

Captain Raydor tells them there have been similar robberies previous to this one and that the criminals also impersonate police officers. This leads Pope to determine that it’s a job for Sharon and professional conduct, not Brenda and the major crimes team. Raydor convinces him that they should work together. For me, this marked the beginning of the transition from Brenda to Sharon. It also shows how Pope continues to go against Brenda in every possible way.

The team brings in the surviving owner of the store (the other owner turned out to be our body) to be interviewed.

“You have to help me get my stuff back,” says the slimeball co-owner of Goldibucks who doesn’t seem to care at all that his partner is dead and won’t tell Brenda and Sharon what’s really so valuable in his safe. Brenda doesn’t think it’s the autographed photo of Bruce Willis that he mentions as one of treasures.

It turns out the victim died of a heart attack, but since it happened during a felony act, it is still murder.

Setups and Stings

Provenza feels bad that all of this happened, so he wants to play fake dirty cop to lure the store owner into telling them more. Brenda sends Liz and Frank home with Provenza to wait for the store owner to approach them.

He does and, once caught, he confesses that the missing safe treasure consists of two Double Eagle coins. All Double Eagle coins were stolen from the U.S. government, which makes them worth more to collectors. It also gives the writers a reason to have Fritz show up now that stolen government property is involved.  

Flynn and Brenda
What could go wrong now?
A sting operation is put together with Brenda and the slimeball Goldibucks co-owner go off to meet the double-dealing bad guy buyer. Brenda and the squad take down the bad guys including the male half of the Goldibucks robbers.

Back at the office, Raydor helps Liz walk Frank, and Flynn gets to pick up the evidence after Frank produces. Raydor is literally taking all the jobs related to dog poo from Brenda in this episode and she is happy to do it, further echoing the imminent leadership transition. Raydor takes the glove to get the prints.

The team learns that one of the crooks is an unemployed chemistry teacher (reminiscent of Breaking Bad). And the fingerprint from the glove leads to the identity of the counter girl/robber. Brenda convinces the girl to confess by having her watch her partner write down what he wants for lunch while implying that he is writing down his confession.

Now all the bad guys and girls have been caught, but Frank the dog still needs expensive medical help.

What a Guy

Flynn thanks Liz for helping LAPD. She hugs him and invites him to join Provenza’s wives when they get together every few months to vent, “We think of you as the fifth,” she tells him. And so do we, Liz. (Rumors have Liz returning in episodes of Major Crimes.)

Provenza tells Liz that he will buy the ring from her so that she can afford Frank’s medical bills and because the ring still means something to him. She thinks the check he writes is very generous. He then gives the ring back to Liz saying he owns it now and he can give it back. He puts the ring back on her finger in a sweet moment. They go off to dinner together.

Jon Tenney (Special Agent Fritz Howard) directed this episode. He will also direct at least one of this season’s episodes of Major Crimes. Tenney is on a roll—he also did a guest appearance on the new Aaron Sorkin show, Newsroom, this week.

You can catch “Fool’s Gold” on TNT’s website starting Tuesday morning. I am looking forward to more Flynn and Provenza on Major Crimes. What did you think?

We only have four episodes left. If you want to hear from the cast of The Closer as they wrapped up and prepared for Major Crimes, watch the video below.

Deborah Lacy likes speakeasies, yellow heirloom tomatoes, and crime fiction. She blogs over at Mystery Playground. You can meet her on Twitter @quippy.

Read all Deborah Lacy’s posts for Criminal Element.


  1. Mary Saputo

    Let me clarify first that I love this show. I did NOT like this episode. As a matter of fact, I shut it off before it was done. The thing that ruined it for me was the co-owner of the jewelry shop. Couldn’t stand his character. I did love Flynn and Provenza standing next to Brenda while the other officers told Brenda what happened. They kept trying to interrupt and she kept gritting her teeth and telling them to shut up. Pretty funny. I do hope next week is better. Not too many left.

  2. Deborah Lacy

    @bitsy08 – I didn’t like the co-owner either, but what can you expect from a guy who opened a store called Goldibucks. The end was sweet though.

  3. Kerry

    I don’t watch the Closer, but now that it’s wrapping up I have decided it’s something I need to rent on DVD and watch from the beginning. The stuff they get themselves involved in seems hilarious. The writers must love their jobs.

  4. Deborah Lacy

    @Kerry – the best episode ever was when Flynn & Provenza left a dead body in Provenza’s garage and went to a Dodger game instead of reporting it. If you get the DVDs, you have to make sure you see that one.

  5. theMelinda

    I agree with any who felt the surviving store owner ruined the episode of one of my favorite shows. His acting was straight out of a melodrama or a farce. Scenery chewing, over-the-top, Monty Python. Whoever thought it was a good idea to either allow or actually encourage his style of acting was WRONG!

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