The Closer

Season 2 Episode 4

Aftertaste

2
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jul 03, 2006 on TNT
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
195 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Rated: TV-14-DLV
Brenda and the PHD investigate a high-profile case when a woman is brutally murdered at L.A.'s trendiest restaurant.
On the home front, Brenda tries to keep a low profile as she closes in on her 40th birthday.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Stimulating, Funny, Surprising

    9.0
    This is the kind of episode that makes this series worth watching, it was very stimulating trying to figure out who-done-it. (I admit, I'm not very good at figuring it out, therefor shows like this always keep me intrigued.)



    I thought the subplot of Brenda's 40th birthday was a good one, realistic and funny. I always love it when the group tries to feed her chocolate, or sweets. It's rather humorous. In addition, I loved that the team was trying to figure out why she was acting so 'goofy', it shows their concern and their ever growing trust in her.



    I found that this particular eppy was relatively suspenseful as it was difficult to figure out who was the actual culprit, I was surprised in the end at the 'arrest' I really didn't think the mild mannered critic would have the gumption to do something that heinous. Boy was I wrong (see ... I just don't have a knack for the who-dun-it). In anycase, I think all the episodes this season have been well written, and of course Brenda's character is a hoot. I look forward to the next one and the next one ... etc.moreless
  • Great show once again!

    8.1
    Each and everytime I am really loving this show a lot

    As Brenda and the team investigate why a woman

    Who apparently is rich is murdered in a trendy restaurant

    But also Brenda is turning forty and wants to keep a very

    Low profile in hopes of nobody finding out it is her birthday!

    Very funny and well-written but most of all, well acted!
  • dinner and wine...

    9.4
    So this was a different episode. A woman that pimps herself out to better his career – not entirely unheard of – the twist in this case id that the husband had no idea she was doing it – usually it is the husband making her. The ceramic knives were cool and I know that weapons can be matched to wounds, but the way that it was being done was all wrong. Poor Brenda, turning forty and not spending the day the way that she thought – at least Fritz was there. Pope tried to be there and GOD did I want to know that he gave her and in the end her squad was there and that is what is important.moreless
  • Brenda and her team get back to investigating the deaths of the rich and the glamorous. We got funny lines, a case with a twist, and another one of Brenda’s personnel crisis.moreless

    7.5
    Brenda: “Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, LAPD, party of one.”

    Gabriele: “Well, we have your crime scene ready for you, if you will just step this way.”





    Brenda and her team get back to investigating the deaths of the rich and the glamorous. We got funny lines, a case with a twist, and another one of Brenda’s personnel crisis. Overall it was a fun episode, but it was pretty much by the books, and it ended up just being sort of….bleah.





    There were many red herrings in this episode, to throw us off from the real murderer. First off, her emotionally crazed husband, who for the first half of the episode I was convinced was the killer. Then there was the restaurant owner (John Cleese, bearing a humorous French accent), whose restaurant Karen Beavis left and who she happened to be sleeping with. And last but not least the evil Dennis Dutton, who the team dealt with last year in the episode The Butler Did It. I actually began to suspect it was Tom Newman, the restraint critic around half way through the episode (Why would he so generously make up an alibi for Dennis?). Finally I figure out the killer ahead of time! Tom was very convincing though; he even offered the police help by pointing out that chef’s have their own knives.



    So Brenda receives a huge set of flowers (one of the biggest sets I’ve seen), and begins to act “weirder then usual” as Sgt. Gabriel pointed out. It turns out that Brenda, like many other humans, is self conscious about her age. This just goes to show, that on the outside Brenda may appear hard core and emotionless, but on the inside she really has many vulnerabilities just like everybody else. The ending scene with the team celebrating Brenda’s birthday with her, instead of teasing her about her age, shows just how much the team’s come together since the pilot episode. Good character development.



    It looks like Pope is trying to move in on Brenda every chance he gets. He even brought Brenda her own personnel delivered meal. I’m confident though that Brenda won’t move down that same path she already took. Right Brenda? You won’t right?



    Final Notes and Quotes



    - Detective Daniels finally made an appearance today. She’s been strangely absent for the past two episodes. I just noticed today though that she’s not in the opening credits with the rest of the core cast, she comes afterwards in the “also starring” section.



    - Flynn: “Gamon said she was a bossy micromanaging **** but he respected her even though she was stingy on the compliments, I mean you know the type chief.”



    - Once again a case of a character who did some bad actions (sleeping around with half the town, okay I may be exaggerating), but with good intentions (to help her husband.)



    - Fritz knows Brenda so well. He already knew to cancel the dinner date even before she called.



    - Provenza: “Son, I\'m too old to fight you, so if you don\'t drop that knife by the time I count to five I\'m going to shoot you dead. “



    I love having Provenza and Flynn paired up for stakeout missions.



    - Kyra Sedgwick has been nominated for a Emmy as Best Actress In a Drama Series. Congratulations are in order.







    Final Rating: Good episode, but not as good as the past three this season. 2 out of 4 stars.





    - Tim Bronx

    Find this and many other reviews at: www.motionpicturereviews.commoreless
  • You send the big basket of flowers, you just _know_ someone's gonna read the card. Happy 40th, Brenda. Your crime scene is ready. :D

    9.4
    Brenda's arrival on the crime scene is verr' arch. "Brenda Leigh Johnson, party of one." And Gabriel's response that "Your crime scene is ready if you would step right this way" seems a little bit over the top, but it illustrates nicely the rapport they've fallen into.



    The big plus this episode was their giving Det. Daniels some scope. We know -- because it's been told to us -- that not just [i]any[/i]body gets into the PHD. It's a position people aspire to and work for. So it seemed strange to me that for so long the one other woman in the room has been such a low-key contributor to the work.



    I mean, police work isn't the easiest vocation in the world, and certainly not for the women who take it on. And to be part of the PHD, Daniels would've had to be extra tough and extra dedicated (unless we are to believe she was fast-tracked for racial and gender quotas, which up until now has seemed rational).



    But if Gabriel singled her out as a love interest, even in passing, I'm thinking she's got more substance than that. Daniels certainly has her charms, but Gabriel is young and ambitious and has risen quickly through the force. He wouldn't want to put a lot of emphasis on those suspicions, if they existed, which certainly they must have among some. He'd choose what star he hitched his wagon to very carefully, so I'm thinking there's some status to Daniels beyond her race and gender.



    And tonight she got to demonstrate a bit. Actual contributions to the case. A little rapport with Brenda, even. I'm really happy about this, because it bears out what I've suspected about this season -- we're going to learn a little bit more about the team.



    Now, all that being said, we still don't know a lot [i]about[/i] her. Who is she? What's her background? What's her specialty, even? I'm admit my curiosity. We have so much insight into who Brenda is, and I really want to share her regard for her team.



    At least two seasons in I'm getting a handle on all of their names. Last season when assistant D.A. Powell came in I thought she [i]was[/i] Daniels at first (because be fair, up to that point, she really hadn't been on screen all that often, and I hadn't really even caught Daniels' [i]name[/i]).



    This was complicated, mostly because Brenda forgot the first rule -- suspend your prejudices. She might have made more progress faster if she hadn't been focusing like a laser on Dutton -- and a stray glance or two at the husband.



    Not that the reviewer was obvious by any stretch.



    And I [i]loved[/i] LaSalle. He was my absolute favorite character by John Cleese -- the haughty French narcissist. His observations on the victim's affair with him were hilarious and delivered perfectly. Also, his exchange with Brenda almost transferred his outrageous accent to her in one line, where he said yes, the knives were his, but he didn't use them. Her retort -- "Well, why did you [i]buy[/i] zem?" -- was just a scream, and it flew by too quickly.



    There was a lot of funny in this one, and I'm enjoying how so little of it was actually at Brenda's expense (Flynn's slighting characterization of her as a "bossy, micromanaging b----, but he respected her even though she was stingy on the compliments -- you know the type, Chief" to the notable exception, and at least it was to her face). The group mostly sympathizes with her turning 40, rather than hooting about it, and it demonstrated the level of affection they're starting to feel for her.



    As for the "sommy-liar"/"[i]sommelier[/i]" bit between Provenza and Flynn, those guys have such great chemistry. And I liked Det. Sanchez' input into the case as well.



    Did Lt. Tao honestly not appear in this episode? I'm wracking my brain here -- usually he's all over her like a big toadie and she has in the past tended to rely upon him for a lot. I guess if more screen time goes to Daniels, others fade a bit. Last week was Sanchez' big front-and-center production, and this week was Daniels'.



    I felt bad for Paul being locked up, but that temper is gonna get him into trouble. As Sanchez said, he needs a keeper, and his keeper is dead.



    And I loved the resolve. I guessed when she was going after Dutton's alibi that she was zeroing in on Billingsley (G-d I love that man. In every appearance he makes, he completely owns his role, and all of them -- Dr. Phlox on "Enterprise," the witness in "The Practice," the werewolf guy on "Angel," Ben White on "Nip/Tuck" and this one -- are a little bit different).



    Quick bit of trivia: I caught an episode of "Quantum Leap" in which Kyra was playing a deaf dancer back in the mid-80s. With her appearance with Billingsley, that's at least two "Enterprise" actors she's worked with.



    Certainly it's a coincidence, but an interesting one all the same. :)



    But the [i]way[/i] she tracked in on the reviewer was cool. Tracking down the receipts for ostrich meat, presenting it so elegantly, after confronting Dutton and Paul, getting him to break down the way she did -- that was just some really cool storytelling.



    And I loved this: "Has Chef Paul done anything incriminating like walkin' around Hollywood wavin' a knife in the air saying 'Hey there! I killed my wife! Who wants to be next?'"



    Fun, fun stuff. :D



    I wonder what Pope got her for her birthday?



    I wonder if that guy's ever gonna give up?



    It'd be fun to see a big confrontation between him and Fritz -- whose application for sainthood ought to be on the fast track, dating this woman with her impossible schedule -- but it also seems more than a little short-sighted on Pope's part if it [i]does[/i] happen.



    She is -- quite appropriately -- in love.



    Now ...



    ... bring on the domestic squabbling. :D



    Such a good show, and such great character development happening. :Dmoreless
J.K. Simmons

J.K. Simmons

Assistant Police Chief Will Pope

Corey Reynolds

Corey Reynolds

Sgt. David Gabriel

Robert Gossett

Robert Gossett

Commander Russell Taylor

G.W. Bailey

G.W. Bailey

Detective Lt. Louis Provenza

Tony Denison

Tony Denison

Detective Lt. Andy Flynn

Jon Tenney

Jon Tenney

FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard

Paolo Seganti

Paolo Seganti

Paul Bivas

Guest Star

John Billingsley

John Billingsley

Tom Newman

Guest Star

François Giroday

François Giroday

Walter LaSalle

Guest Star

Phillip P. Keene

Phillip P. Keene

Buzz Watson

Recurring Role

James Avery (I)

James Avery (I)

Dr. Crippen, Medical Examiner

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The restaurant L'Amboise is "played" by Hollywood's famous French restaurant L'Orangerie. In operation for nearly 30 years, L'Orangerie is considered to be LA's finest French restaurant, as well as one of its most expensive. Known for its formal French style, it has adapted to American practices to some degree after it was criticized for its practice of giving women menus without prices, even when business women hosted business meals.

    • Brenda celebrates her 40th birthday in this episode.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Brenda: Last night, after her husband left, Karen stayed late to do the books. She made a lovely dinner for two, and then something went terribly wrong. And this is the woman with whom you were having an affair.
      LaSalle: The "affair" as you are referring to it, was four years ago and lasted maybe six weeks. And if Paul knew about it, it certainly didn't prevent him from coming to work for me.
      Brenda: Are you saying you hired him while you were carrying on with his wife?
      LaSalle: No. She stopped "carrying on" with me the day after I gave Paul the job. I'm certain it was the only reason she slept with me to begin with, stupid cow. Well, so what. Who cares. Life goes on. But this notion that Karen was cooking up a romantic late-night dinner for two is absurd because the woman could barely (knocks table) crack an egg.

    • Pope: Karma's a b----, and her name is Estelle.

    • Brenda: Det. Sanchez, you interviewed the Spanish-speaking employees?
      Sanchez: Si, mi jefe. Kitchen staff, mostly.
      Brenda: Did they say anything about Chef Paul?
      Sanchez: Drinks too much, needs a keeper, last week threw a half-cooked duck at his wife, but he missed, so they think that he loved her.

    • Flynn: Bernard, the sauci-er said she was polite but firm.
      Provenza: (whispering, pronouncing correctly) Saucier
      Flynn: Gamon, the sommy-liar ...
      Provenza: (whispering, pronouncing correctly) Sommelier
      Flynn: ... said that she was a bossy, micromanaging b----, but he respected her even though she was stingy on the compliments. You know the type, Chief.

    • Daniels: He's the chef. The "Paul" in Chez Paul, and he wants in.

    • Brenda: Her lip is swollen. Is that from the fall?
      Provenza: No. Whoever did this probably started with a punch to the mouth.
      Brenda: I wonder what she was saying.

    • Brenda: Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, L.A.P.D. Party of one.
      Gabriel: Well, we have your crime scene ready for you if you'll just step right this way.

    • Fritz: You see? Turning 40 isn't so bad. It all depends on how you view life in general. Is the glass half full, or half empty?
      Brenda: What glass?
      Fritz: (chuckling) That's my girl.

    • Provenza: Guess she didn't get her wish.
      Flynn: How do you know?
      Provenza: 'Cause you're still here.

    • Buzz: (to Provenza) She said not to touch her flowers.
      Provenza: I'm not touching her flowers, I'm touching the basket. She didn't say anything about leaving the basket alone, now did she? (opens card on flowers)
      Buzz: Now you're reading her card.
      Provenza: Shut up, Buzz. Do you see a stamp? She's been a nutjob ever since these flowers arrived and I want to know why. (Provenza looks at the card and gives a low whistle) This also explains why she's off sugar. (Reading card aloud) "Happy Birthday. You're 40 years young and I love you. Fritz."

    • LaSalle: You must know I intend to press charges against the police.
      Brenda: Well, Mr. LaSalle, my detectives certainly wish they hadn't hurt you in the process of saving your life.
      Provenza: (In the electronics room) Yeah, we're all broken up about it.

    • (Flynn and Provenza are trying unsuccessfully to get Chef Paul to drop the knife he has against a restaraunt owner's throat)
      Provenza: Son, I am too old to fight you, so if you don't put that knife down by the time I count to five, I'm going to shoot you dead. One... Two...
      Chef Paul Make him confess first!
      Provenza: I don't negotiate. Four...
      (Chef Paul drops the knife, after which the restaraunt owner tries to attack both Chef Paul and Flynn, causing Flynn to knock him out)
      Provenza: We should have shot 'em both.

    • Brenda: (to Gabriel and Sanchez) What about Lt. Provenza? Have we heard anything from him? Or has Chef Paul done anything incriminating like walkin' around Hollywood wavin' a knife in the air saying "Hey there! I killed my wife! Who wants to be next?"

    • Brenda: I know you wanted to take me out to a restaurant, but I just...I really don't think I'm in the mood...
      Fritz: It's all right. I already canceled the reservation.
      Brenda: You did? When?
      Fritz: A little after you got called in this morning. You are calling to cancel, right?

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: May 1, 2007 on Prima

    • In a rather humorous scene, Provenza suffers as Flynn grossly mispronounces the French names of three kitchen/restaurant positions. In a modern kitchen, a team of chefs work in stations with a specific heirarchy, each with a different responsibility. The entry level position is the garde manger, who is responsible for all salads, food served cold, and some hot foods such as soups, which demands the greatest range of cooking skills. The saucier is responsible for sauteed items and sauces, a much more advanced position. The sommelier is the restaurant's wine steward, who serves the wine to patrons.

    • This episode seems to be the first in the series to employ any significant on-screen input from Det. Daniels, including a brief exchange with Chief Johnson in the ladies room.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Dutton: If you want to talk about old unsolved murders, I'll put you in touch with my new attorney...

      This is a throwback to the Season 1 episode "The Butler Did It," in which we first meet Dennis Dutton. In that episode, his longtime attorney was found to have committed double homicide, which concerned the affairs of Dutton and his siblings.

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