Television Review: The Closer - "Dead Man's Hand"
by R.J. Carter
Published: December 20, 2009
When one of her detectives shows up to work with visible bruises on her body, Police Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) wants the Major Crimes Unit to investigate, despite the fact that the female officer hasn't pressed charges against her husband and steadfastly refuses to do so, and Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) is reluctant to push the investigation harder, having been instructed by Chief Pope (J.K. Simmons) to "tread lightly."
However, things heat up quickly when the case turns to murder. Now both Pope and Raydor are both coming down like bricks on Brenda, for differing reasons. Raydor blames Brenda for the death, while Pope thinks she's slacking off on her job for personal reasons, not the least of which is her personal (and mutual) dislike of Captain Raydor.
Things aren't easy for Brenda on the homefront either, as new hubby Fritz (Jon Tenney) is suddenly moody, surly, and argumentative, with Brenda completely in the dark as to why.
Fans of The Closer expect the writers to pull a story in unexpected directions, and with "Dead Man's Hand" they won't be disappointed as confessions begin to unravel and forensic evidence confirms that things aren't the way they initially appear. The tension between the divisions -- particularly between Brenda and Captain Raydor -- keeps the viewer engaged by grabbing them by the schadenfreude, as we all like to watch two other people go at each other. But it's really the reveal that is nicely pulled off here, and the road to it. I'm sure the mostly ancillary subplot of the home problems (resolved a bit too neatly and quickly, for my money) will rear its ugly head once again in the future, and that's something that fans can look forward to fearing.
The Closer, "Dead Man's Hand," premieres Monday, December 21st, 9|8C on TNT.