Season Premiere. Things don't add up when an LA cop turns up dead. Brenda and her team race against the clock to get to the truth, while tension increases between the Priority Homicide Division and the Robbery-Homicide Division.
In the meantime, Brenda's relationship with Fritz elevates to a whole new level.
Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson
Assistant Police Chief Will Pope
Sgt. David Gabriel
Commander Russell Taylor
Detective Lt. Louis Provenza
Detective Lt. Andy Flynn
Det. Lawrence Xavier
James Duff and Mike Berchem were nominated for the 2007 Edgar Award for "Best Television Episode Teleplay" for writing this episode.
This episode is the first co-authored by Mike Berchem, who also serves as technical advisor for The Closer. Known as "Detective Mike," Mike Berchem is an LAPD Robbery-Homicide detective with nearly 30 years experience. As technical advisor, his role is to help maintain the show's authenticity. In addition, Berchem is always present at "crime scene" locations to assure their technical accuracy.
Provenza: Gimme $100.
Flynn: I already gave you $100.
Provenza: You're way up.
Flynn: So what? You know where the ATM is. Besides, I say we cash in.
Provenza: Fine, fine, fine, we'll cash in. (grabs Ari) C'mon, Ari. You're cashing in, too.
Ari: Hey, don't touch me. (looking at Provenza's shirt) Who the hell are you, anyway?
Flynn: LAPD. We're here to give you a lift home.
Ari: Put that away, you stupid... look, I'm not leaving. And you can't do anything to me here anyway.
Provenza: Oh really? Hey! Hey everybody! Listen up! I wanna tell you about my friend Ari here.
Ari: Hey! Shut up, you idiot, you're gonna get me killed!
Flynn: Hey moron, now imagine us doing that, only on television, and all your cousin's friends find out that you're a snitch.
Provenza: (shoving all of Ari's chips to the center) And don't forget to tip the dealer.
Flynn: Let's go.
Hubbard: (agitated) I'm his father! Charlie's my son! I taught him how to walk! And I taught him how to read! And I taught him... I've been with him through seven surgeries and 38 procedures! And where was the great Tim Martin when it mattered, huh? Huh? Where was he? When Charlie's life was on the line? Where was he? Where was Tim Martin?
Brenda: I don't know, Det. Hubbard. But I know where he is now. I saw his brains splattered all over the floor of an abandoned warehouse while his body was being eaten by flies, and I can't help but think you may have overreacted.
Hubbard: You can't. You can't tell Charlie about him, this, you won't do that.
Brenda: I can and I will.
Taylor: Hey, hey, hey. Write it all down and we'll get you a deal from the D.A.
Brenda: You can wear a bracelet and stay with Charlie until his illness...resolves itself.
Brenda: Good morning, Det. Xavier, and the elusive Mr. Cohen. Here you are! So kind of you to join us.
Ari: I was dragged here against my will, and all I'm going to do is plead the Fifth.
Brenda: You can't plead the Fifth.
Ari: I can't?
Brenda: It would be a violation of the agreement you made with the D.A. to be a cooperating witness. So if you plead the Fifth, I'll arrest you as an accomplice in a double-homicide. So please, Mr. Cohen, do take a seat.
Capt. Leahy: Ma'am, I want to note you've used your investigation to smear Tim Martin's reputation and in this department that's just not the way we play ball.
Brenda: Well, Captain, if you don't like the way I'm doing things, you're free to take your balls and go straight home.
Brenda: Did you make the match?
Tao: Any minute.
Brenda: You don't have it?
Tao: It's coming.
Brenda: Lt. Tao, I need to start this interview, and if you don't finish I could be up a nasty-smelling creek without a paddle!
Tao: Just go slow. As soon as the match comes through I'll bring it directly to Gabriel. (Hands her two small chocolate-covered eclairs) Here. For all our sakes. Please.
Brenda: (accepts them) Thank you.
Brenda: Are you wearing your gun?
Fritz: (smiles) Yeah.
Brenda: Can I have it?
Fritz: What's wrong with yours?
Brenda: Well, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm off duty. So, would you let me borrow yours? For a minute, please? (Fritz hands her his sidearm) Could it really be that simple? (aims at mirror) Bang.
Fritz: What are you doing?
Brenda: Trust me... Trust me. (crouches down) Now walk towards me like you're trying to find out what I'm doing.
Fritz: (still smiling) I am trying to find out what you're doing.
Brenda: ("aims" hairbrush at Fritz) Bang. See? That's how I shoot Barak with Martin's gun, and then I shoot Martin with Barak's. That's how. 'Cause he knew Barak was coming. That's how. (kisses him.) That's how.
Brenda: (looks at phone as it's ringing, sighs) How do they always know? (answers it) Hi Mama. How are you?...I'm good. I'm at work, but I have a minute. Is everything all right?... (Fritz enters) Great Aunt Who? Mama, is this someone I've even met?...No, I just ran upstairs and I'm out of breath. ... I don't know where Santa Clarita is.
Fritz: It's just north of here.
Brenda: (shushes him) Alright, I'll send her a get well card or something. Can you spell the last name? E-U-L-E-S-S...Mama, I have never met this woman before in my life, I swear...Well, what's wrong with her?...Oh for heaven's sake. If she's been in a coma for two years, how much worse can she get?...Look, I can't talk about this right now because I'm about to, um, interview a serial killer who just stabbed 30 people to death. Alright, alright. OK. Bye!
Flynn: So, he's not in his room. (Provenza keeps playing) And I think we've pretty well determined he's not over here. And where'd you get that shirt anyway? The '80s?
Provenza: Your ex-wife loved it. Said it was easier to unbutton than anything you ever wore. Put your glasses on, old man; turn around and take a gander. Ari's right over there playing blackjack. And there's two open seats next to him. Now I say that we put him under tight surveillance for an hour or so.
Flynn: You're kidding me, right? That's a $25 table.
Provenza: There's an ATM next to the cashier, and I am feeling luck-eeeee.
Hubbard: I'd heard Xavier had an alibi.
Brenda: Oh, it'd fall apart in a dryer.
Taylor: Chief Johnson?
Taylor: I just want to make sure I understand why you're bringing Det. Xavier back in?
Brenda: I want to question him.
Brenda: Because I need more answers.
Taylor: Did you ever ask him where he was last Saturday morning when the murders were committed? Because I looked into it, and he was at home, on the phone for two hours.
Brenda: Well, his line was busy. That doesn't mean he was on it.
Taylor: I'm trying to help you here, Chief. Xavier has an excellent record, and yes, Tim Martin, he might have been a womanizer, but if you can't tell how much people respected him around here, you're not looking.
Brenda: Trust me. I see it.
Taylor: If you end up smearing a man who gave his life to the badge ...
Brenda: I have factored your concerns into how I'm dealing with this case. Anything else commander?
Taylor: No ma'am. Just trying to be of assistance.
Linda: If you're gonna treat me like a criminal, shouldn't I have an attorney?
Brenda: Oh, we'd get in such trouble if we gave legal advice. I was trying to get you in and out, but if having a lawyer would make you feel more comfortable, you just call one, and we'll wait. That's the nice thing about working for the government. You get paid for just being here.
Linda: That's how you're treating Tim's death? As an overtime opportunity?
Brenda: Well, I was going to ask you some questions ...
Linda: What do you think I could know?
Brenda: Well, I'm not sure, ma'am. But there was a third person in that warehouse and we're trying to figure out who that could've been. I'm only bringing it up because you were the first person to report him missing, and you are licensed to carry a handgun.
Linda: And I carry a handgun because it is my constitutional right to do so. And I have an ex who is also a cop and likes to drive by my house sometimes at night and flash his brights in my window. He even knocked on the door at Tim's one night. Drunk.
Brenda: Are you talking about Lawrence Xavier?
Linda: I am.
Gabriel: If he intimidated you, why didn't you report him?
Linda: Because Tim talked me out of it. He said he'd put a stop to it, and he did. And I only got one more call from Lawrence complaining about how much money he had wasted on our dates. So I sent him a check for $1,000 by messenger and y'know what? He cashed it, too. A------.
Brenda: We'll talk about this...all this...later...this evening or something...
Fritz: This reluctance of yours, it has nothing to do with what's going on with Pope, does it?
Brenda: What's going on with Pope?
Fritz: His wife served him with divorce papers last Friday. You didn't know?
Fritz: What do you do for a living again?
Buzz: (Cleaning up his workstation, handing the snack wrappers to Sanchez) Guys, this is a surveillance center, not a concession stand. And I'm not your maid, ok?!
Sanchez: Why don't you calm down, Buzz?
Brenda: I can manage this. You look tired. Why don't you head on home?
Pope: (Rolls eyes) Please don't use the techniques you employ in there (pointing to the Interrogation Room) on me. Something you'd like to know, ask me.
Brenda: Well, I didn't think it was any of my business. I just...I heard you were getting a divorce, that's all.
Pope: I'm not getting a divorce. Estelle's getting a divorce. The job, the hours. She's seeing someone else. They're getting married. So no alimony. She doesn't want our kids because he doesn't want them. So there's that. And y'know, at some point it will...stop hurting and I'll just...hate her and go on with my life.
Brenda: (to Fritz, on the subject of their moving in together) There are all these problems that would have to be worked out.
Fritz: Like ... like what?
Brenda: Like gettin' a new phone, for one thing, because you couldn't answer mine when my parents called.
Fritz: That really isn't a ... problem ...
Brenda: And I can be just impossible.
Fritz: I like that you're impossible sometimes.
Brenda: Well, what if you stopped? Stopped liking me?
Fritz: If I was gonna stop liking you, I would have done it already.
Brenda: Good. Well, look, I haven't had a lot of success living with guys, and it could just ruin everything.
Fritz: Yes, but if, uh, we're trying to sort of become closer, more like full partners, living together would give us a chance to see what that would be like.
Brenda: Lt. Provenza, are you eatin' chocolate in here?
Provenza: (With a guilty look) Sorry.
Brenda: I thought we'd agreed to keep snacks with processed sugar out of the murder room. If y'all have to have candy please do so in the hallways or the electronics room. Or you could try givin' it up. Since I stopped eatin' all that crap I have more energy. And I'm sleepin' better too.
Flynn: What about nuts?
Brenda: Excuse me?
Flynn: Are my nuts allowed in here?
Brenda: Do they have sugar on them, Lieutenant?
Flynn: No, they're salty.
Brenda: Well, there's your answer, then.
Pope: (into cellphone, presumably with Estelle) You could've told me about it in person. In advance. Yeah, I can't talk about this now, I'm sorry you feel that way, but we've just lost a 15-year veteran in a shootout and that's actually more important than you are at the moment. (clicks off) Leahy, is it true your men were circulating 100 flyers of some guy who was not connected to the crime?
Leahy: I got 98 of them back, sir.
Pope: And where is Det. Martin's partner?
Leahy: Det. Xavier is waiting in Cmdr. Taylor's officer with the murder book and the informant packet.
Pope: So unless you'd like to start collecting your pension tomorrow, Central had better back off and allow Priority Homicide do its job. You're dismissed.
Brenda: Captain, I'm so sorry, but we're gonna need all of these flyers, because otherwise ...
Pope: That's good enough for me. Ninety-eight percent is fine. Go on Captain. (Leahy leaves)
Brenda: You understand that this is not a picture of the informant Det. Martin was working with.
Pope: I don't want to talk about this anymore. (closes door) You left a police officer lying next to the man who shot him, and that is never done.
Brenda: The reason I left Det. Martin lying there is that police officers are trained to fire in bursts. And Martin only put one shot into Barak. One. And the bodies were lying close together. Too close. And what was Martin doing there in the first place? Now, he and Det. Xavier were working with an undercover informant and I need to question him.
Pope: You can't release the informant's name to law enforcement.
Brenda: Well, how am I supposed to talk to him, Will? What if he's not just ... just waitin' by the phone?
Pope: Why is it you can never do your job without constantly complaining about everything? The informant was guaranteed anonymity. (calms down) You can release his name to one other member of your squad and that's it. Now I've upheld your authority with the entire department looking on. But when a police officer is killed, we expect closure quickly and completely. Is that clear?
Brenda: Yes it is. Your attitude, however, is a complete mystery.
Brenda: So Lt. Provenza, summin' up what we know so far. Alone and on his day off, Detective Tim Martin enters an abandoned warehouse in downtown Los Angeles 30 miles from his home in Long Beach. By coincidence, Mr. Barak, a murder suspect in a double homicide Martin is working happens to enter the same warehouse. They both draw their weapons and fire at the exact same time. Fatally wounded they instantly drop dead where they stand. What would you say the chances are it happened like that?
Provenza: Apparently, 100 percent.
Original International Air Dates:
Czech Republic: April 10, 2007 on Prima
The episode allowed us to examine several piece of LAPD insignia. Badges of rank parallel traditional military insignia. Assistant Chief Pope wears three stars, one fewer than LAPD Chief William Bratton. As a Deputy Chief, Brenda would wear two, and Taylor as Commander, one star. Captains and Lieutenants wear two and one bar respectively, as do their military equivalents.
The LAPD badge is oval in shape, considered innovative at the time it was adopted in 1940. It features a representation of LA City Hall and the city seal, as well as the officer's rank and badge number. The black bands worn across the uniformed officers' badges are a traditional sign of mourning on the part of many police departments.
In the opening scene, a number of personnel were seen wearing navy blue jackets with an arm patch identifying them as Los Angeles Police, carrying a cross in the center. A green cross frequently appears on LAPD insignia, and represents safety.
The evening Fritz and Brenda discuss moving in together, Fritz brings them salads for dinner, but tells Brenda he'd have picked up a pie at DuPar's if she hadn't sworn off sugar.
DuPar's is a group of family restaurants in the LA area, known for their hearty, basic American cooking, their Sunday brunch and especially their pies. The original DuPar's is at 3rd and Fairfax, in the Los Angeles Farmer's Market.
Apparently, Sgt. Gabriel and Det. Daniels were romantic in the past. The murdered police officer's romantic m.o. was to make his move on women who are already in a relationship, which contributed to Gabriel and Daniels' breakup.
Flynn: Guys! We're all wearing the same color!
Flynn is seen in a blue shirt, navy vest and navy trousers as he attempts to restrain the uniform and off-duty officers from Central Division at the scene of Martin's shooting. This is visual representation of the notion of the thin blue line that represents the connection among police officers, as well as line between order and anarchy that they defend.
In his blog on TVGuide.com, James Duff notes the theme for the second season of The Closer is partnership, first explored in this episode's show of unity and honor for a fallen comrade by the LAPD personnel present at the crime scene.
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