The Closer

Season 2 Episode 11

Borderline

3
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Aug 21, 2006 on TNT
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
182 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

Rated: TV-14-LV
Leaving the scene of an accident to get to a multiple homicide scene, Brenda finds herself unable to drive the streets of L.A. which she worked so hard to learn.
Once she gets to the crime scene, she and the Priority Homicide Division are faced with another challenge: the murdered bodies are nowhere to be found. In order to solve this case, they must first search for the victims before they can hunt for the killer.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • had a bad day...

    9.4
    Brenda is having a bad day. She is running late, the line for her coffee and sweets was super long, she drives away with the coffee on her roof spilling it everywhere, gets into a minor accident now that she can not see out the back window and steps on her phone breaking it. I know those days. For Brenda this was all before the first case of the day a possible triple homicide. Why possible?? There is blood and brains, but no bodies. Turns out that part of the blood is from a coyote and his illegals that he has been smuggling into the country. Brenda works hard to solve that crime while fighting with an officer from traffic upset at her for not following protocol about her accident.moreless
  • Nothing is going good for Brenda!

    9.2
    Ever had one of those weeks where nothing at all

    Is going go for you? Well don't get in Chief

    Brenda's way because she will let you have it. This is

    Another great show where some of Brenda's colleagues are on vacation and the case takes second fiddle to Brenda as the writing and the acting are first rate as she tries to stay within protocol. Funny and bittersweet IMO!
  • Brenda: "Okay, so we don’t have a gun, but we know it was used before in LA. We don't have a truck, but we know that it’s white. We don't have any bodies, but we're pretty sure some people are dead. Anything else we don't have?"moreless

    9.0
    Brenda's even bumblier and more on edge then usual, as a troublesome traffic officer is on her back while she tries to solve a twisty case. First off, I thought Captain West was a fun character, even though annoying (one of those characters you just love to hate), and I found his interactions with Brenda very entertaining. Even though traffic accidents really aren’t to be joked about, it was still pretty laughable at how serious he took Brenda’s fender bender. He just wouldn’t stop pestering her about it. In truth, though, the problem could have been solved easy and quick if Brenda had just completed the paperwork, but then we would have missed all the fun in watching Brenda build up frustration as the episode progressed. The banter in tonight's episode was highly enjoyable, and the writing seemed to be a bit sharper and more comical tonight then in the last couple of episodes. The tiny replacement coroner provided at least one good laugh out loud moment, and her insistence on talking into the microphone (in a strange robotic voice I might add) was very amusing. Terrence also provided some good moments as well. We even got to see Sanchez cracking a joke and breaking a smile tonight; which was something much needed, as his customary sobriety makes him one of the least interesting characters (at least that was addressed tonight - Fritz: "Does he ever smile?") I thought our "victim" turning out to be the coyote was a clever twist, and it was nice to have a fresh subject The Closer hasn’t touched on yet, immigrants, the topic of tonight’s episode. The case faded to the background a few times tonight though, as Brenda’s personnel crisis with Capt. West took focus, and it looks like next week more personnel trouble will be the forefront of the episode. I really am not minding at all how the writers are keeping the cases a backdrop to our characters and their lives. I mean, I still enjoy watching Brenda and the team solve the crimes (Brenda’s intense interrogations are usually a highlight of each episode), but the characters are the real reason I’m tuning in to this instead of a CSI clone.



    Final Notes and Quotes - I'm a bit confused on how Brenda wouldn't know Tao was on vacation. Doesn't he work for her? Shouldn't he know where he is? - Brenda and Pope really are becoming too close. Brenda certainly doesn't treat Pope like he's her boss. - Gabriel: "Witnesses reported seeing one of them toss a gun into the bushes, I'm guessing a sort of fichus, or the corpus or some sort of brown leafy cover...”



    Brenda: "Sgt. Gabriel, please finish."



    Flynn: "He must be channeling Tao from Hawaii." - Brenda: "Well, Captain West I can think of nothing I'd enjoy more then to sit here and listen to you read the rulebook to me for hours, but I have some actual police business to attend to." - Gabriel: "Well then are we still looking for another body, or a different killer."



    Brenda: "Yes." - Brenda: "Why kill the immigrants?"



    Gabriel: "Silencing the witness."



    Brenda: "Then why move the bodies."



    Gabriel: "Maybe he was trying to hide them."



    Brenda: (becoming frustrated with vending machine as she speaks) "How does hiding the bodies send any kind of message to other coyotes. If you were going to hide the bodies why put them (banging on machine) where they're So... EASY... TO FIND!"



    Gabriel: "You know I’m just thinking out loud here."



    Brenda: "Well let's try thinking quietly for a little while; it might be a little more productive."



    I just loved how unorganized and out of it Brenda was this episode. I don't think she even knew what she was talking about half the time. Final Rating: After a couple of serious episodes, it was fun to be able to laugh out loud again. 3 ½ out of 4 stars. - Tim Bronx

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  • Funny, Aggravating, Excellent

    9.5
    You know, we all keep rooting for the underdog who also happens to be, Assistant Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. We've seen her struggle with her team, struggle with the chief, struggle with the DA and the Coroner. Now, in an EVERYDAY situation, she has to struggle with the ... wait for it ... wait for it .... TRAFFIC division. That was really funny. It's a nice twist. It's my opinion that the conflicts that BL Johnson has internally are nearly as important as her determination to close a case and find out who-done-it. Which is what makes this show so much different and more compelling than some of the police type drama's we've seen in the past. It was so apparent the aggravation BL was experiencing while trying to get her information processed throughout the solving of the 3 body murder. In addition to the processing of information, a seemingly innocent fender bender stuck in her side like a thorn. (UGHS I can only imagine the frustration)



    Again another excellent and humorous episode from the show. I can't wait for another.moreless
  • Another instace in where the case is second fiddle to the goings on at Parker Center...

    8.5
    I dunno. I mean, I get how the case was a little boring (except for the missing bodies part--priceless) and how the ep wasn't really about that at all.



    What I noticed was that it was about another internal war---Brenda Leigh Johnson and her squad vs. practically the entire LAPD. Focal target: "Ms. Atlanta." (Yeah, I caught the snide comment from the traffic dick. He forget to eat his bran flakes that morning?)



    Consider the luck she's had recently---a DA who only wants slam-dunk cases, a Narcotics division that is even more inept than the Keystone Kops (honestly, you knew something was up when they were balking on the handling of Gennifer Rowley's case), and Traffic (though Brenda was wrong about that, and she did try to make nice in the end.) And then there the odd demeanor about Taylor. Something just don't sit well with me about him. Un-uh.



    Seriously, PHD is gonna have problems. Good thing they're a tight-knit group now, and that they have the heavy-hitters on their side (ie Flynn and Provenza) as well as people who can work diplomatically (Gabriel and Tao).



    Though this quote is from the previous ep, it makes sense here: "You don't answer to anybody...that's your damn problem!" It's from Taylor the snark, and it plays both ways---Brenda didn't feel she needed to answer to anyone about the accident, and it seems a lot of the other departments don't feel they need to answer to other divisions either.



    It's looking like the end of the season will result in an all-out war, teeth bared and fists flying. Any odds on what department's gonna win that match?moreless
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

Jesse Garcia

Jesse Garcia

Carlos

Guest Star

Luis Antonio Ramos

Luis Antonio Ramos

Hugo

Guest Star

Lauren Tom

Lauren Tom

Dr. Tan

Guest Star

Phillip P. Keene

Phillip P. Keene

Buzz Watson

Recurring Role

Robert Clendenin

Robert Clendenin

Terrence Hynes

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Brenda is told Section 440 is the Section of the LAPD manual governing her actions following the accident. That section of the manual actually covers media relations.

    • The Latino actors describing the Coyotes, the "guides" bringing illegal immigrants in from Mexico for huge sums of money, almost universally mispronounced the term. The term is pronouced coy-oh-tay, not in the same way as the animal's name, as was done in the program. Coyotes seldom bring their cargo as far north as Los Angeles themselves because of secondary U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Border Patrol) check stations on the major highways leading out of San Diego County. Instead, they typically release them to the south of the checkpoints, where the immigrants are either met and broken into smaller groups by elements of the network, or left to their own devices.

    • The number on the house where the men were shot was 25211. LA city addresses are either three or four digits; all five-digit addresses are in LA County, which would be policed by the LA County Sheriff's Department.

    • At one point in the episode, we hear Lt. Provenza tell Brenda victims they are discussing were taken to "St. Joe's" and "County" hospitals. "County" is Los Angeles County General Hospital, located in East Los Angeles, and "St. Joe's" is St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, in Burbank. County and St. Joe's (as they are generally known) are the two largest Level I Trauma Centers in the central Los Angeles area. County is located in the community where much of the story is set. Not entirely coincidentally, St. Joe's is located across the freeway from Burbank (Warner Brothers) Studios, where both The Closer and ER are filmed.

    • Brenda's not having a very good week: both Lt. Tao and her usual coroner are on vacation, putting a crimp in her speed in the forensics department.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Brenda: I need to borrow your car.
      Fritz: No.
      Brenda: Why not?
      Fritz: It's new and your recent driving record isn't exactly spectacular.
      (Brenda glares at him)
      Fritz: NO!

    • Pope: Brenda, you were wrong. You left the scene of an accident without following LAPD protocol. No matter how right you think you are, them's the rules. Okay? So make time [to fill out the forms].
      Brenda: Like I did for your deposition?

    • Brenda: (on learning she'll have to wait on ballistics reports) Lt. Tao can get me those results in about an hour!
      Flynn: That's because Tao knows their secret handshake. He also gives Sheila down there a bottle of Kahlua every Friday.

    • Brenda: Lt. Tao... (notices that Tao is nowhere to be found) Where's Lt. Tao?
      Provenza: Oahu.
      Brenda: Uh-whoo hoo?
      Provenza: (enunciating) Oh-ah-hoo. Hawaii.
      Gabriel: Chief, Tao's on vacation. He took his kid surfing. I'm actually handling the ballistics.

    • Brenda: Sgt. Gabriel, where are the bodies?
      Taylor: There are no bodies.
      Brenda: Excuse me?!
      Taylor: Responding officer could see a blood trail from the side window, but when we got inside...no bodies.
      Brenda: Commander Taylor, I was told to rush to the scene of a triple homicide. Could you please tell me what makes you think that this is a priority or a homicide?

  • NOTES (6)

    • Michael Paul Chan (Det. Lt. Mike Tao) does not appear in this episode. According to Lt. Provenza, he is in Oahu, Hawaii surfing with his children.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: June 19, 2007 on Prima

    • This episode explores with greater sympathy than is typical the issue of illegal immigration into California, and the impact it has on the city of Los Angeles. While often viewed as overburdening LA city and county social services, and placing tremendous demands on the schools of LA and surrounding counties, the immigration has also resulted in rich, culturally diverse communities. Many of the cultural practices have filtered into the larger American society. Among them are the small roadside shrines, built at the site of traffic deaths. These shrines typically include a religious icon, flowers, photographs and other meaningful items, and veladoras, colored devotional candles. Candle colors tend to have meaning, and often are decorated with saints' images. The episode featured three: one with Our Lady of Guadalupe on white (prayer), one in blue (spirituality) and one in yellow (devotion to saints.)

    • One of the most iconic symbols of the Mexican-American community in East LA is Our Lady of Guadalupe, representing an apparition of the Virgin Mary believed to have appeared in Mexico. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico City, is the most revered of shrines to her. In the Mexican-American communities of Los Angeles, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a favored symbol of Mexican heritage, and of reverence of motherhood. Her image is seen widely in folk art, religious iconography, and as a tattoo, particularly among gang members of both genders.

    • Much of the action in this episode takes place in East Los Angeles, portions of which lie within the city of Los Angeles. East LA is a large, culturally rich traditionally Mexican community with long, sometimes colorful history and an oftentimes tense relationship with the LAPD. LA's notorious 1942 "Sleepy Lagoon" murder took place in East LA, as did the equally well-known Zoot Suit riots.

      The LA city portion of East LA includes the neighborhood called Lincoln Heights, where the Ellsworth Ave. apartment of the shooter is located. Its Lincoln Park, originally called Eastlake Park, which forms the center of the family-oriented community, was laid out as a companion to MacArthur (Westlake) Park, featured in the episode Show Yourself.

    • In this episode, Brenda has her first encounter with one of LAPD's four Traffic Divisions. The LAPD is broken into four Bureaus: Central (which includes Parker Center), South, West (including Hollywood, where her accident took place) and Valley. Each Bureau has at least four Divisions, each with a community police station, and a Traffic Division. Each traffic division is headed by a Captain; West presumably was assigned to West Traffic. Capt. West wore accurate insignia for officer in a Traffic Division, which includes a cross set in a green circle and navy blue lettering. One version of the patch includes a background of reflective material.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Provenza: (with the side of his fist moving like a mouth) Thank you señorita. Have a nice day. S'all right? S'all right!

      This exchange recalls Señor Wences, a Spanish ventrilloquist who frequently appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950's and 60's. Wences drew a simple face on the side of his fist, added a wig and a body, and created a character that he called "Johnny". Johnny and another character, "Pedro", would converse, including the "S'all right? S'all right!" exchange. Johnny also had the tendency to reach out and kiss Sullivan or another person standing nearby, as Provenza did with Sanchez.

    • In the opening, Brenda is walking in front of a bookstore/newsstand/coffee shop called "The Daily Planet." The Daily Planet bookstore, where this was filmed, is located on Franklin Ave, in Hollywood. The Daily Planet, as we all know, is the place where Clark Kent worked in all of the Superman movies/TV shows/comic books. There is an important LA connection as well: the Los Angeles City Hall "played" the Daily Planet building in the Superman TV series of the 1950's, which was filmed in Hollywood.

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