The Closer

Season 4 Episode 1

Controlled Burn

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jul 14, 2008 on TNT
out of 10
User Rating
201 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Rated: TV-14-V

Season Premiere. Originally called in to assist with crowd control in a burned out Griffith Park, Brenda and the PHD switch gears and take control of a murder investigation when a woman's body is discovered amid the chaos.

The temperature is rising in Brenda's personal life as she and Fritz get under each other's skin while living temporarily in the close quarters of an apartment.


Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Oh, have I missed this show.

    Kralick is a genius character. There's never enough of him. And it's so weird to have someone who's so obviously guilty and Brenda can't lay a glove on him, and in fact they have to give them money.

    Brenda's in a place where she can't have a cat. Love it. "No sitting in windows! Bad kitty!" I go through life feeling awful for Fritz, but he's so freeqin' in love with her. He solves all of her problems, makes everything better and puts up with more nonsense than seems humanly possible.

    I really love this kind of mystery. They threw suspicion on everyone, including the reporter (who, incidentally, is very resourceful, and speaking as an editor I was truly impressed). Yes, he jeopardized their case, but he did an amazing job, and I'm astonished that his editor made him hand over his notes.

    It was so frightening when Kralick was in her house.

    And I so loved the way she figured it out.

    Brenda's so smart. Yay Brenda! :)

    Man, have I missed this show. w00t!moreless
  • Brenda and the team investigate a suspected arson that burned out of control, leading them to believe the main suspect to be a man who was arrested twice before for arson and got away with it. They wind up using him for help to solve the crime.moreless

    A nice way to start the season off. This episode was not too over the top but it wasn't horribly bland either. Great to see the show back on!

    So Brenda and the team wind up investigation a fire that was intentionally set by what they believe to be a professional arsonist. After finding four people dead in the fire, one of which was carried out by a hero fire fighter, the team sees Bill in the crowd; a man who was charged with Arson twice but managed to get out of it both times. Bill is now suing for four million dollars. Brenda baits him into helping her and the team find out how and where the fire was set, and how it wound up burning out of control. He helps them out and they are eventually led to the fire fighter, who apparently set the fire to keep his girlfriend from contacting his wife about their relationship, which is who the burned body was that was carried out by he himself after he set the fire.

    Great to see the team again. Apparently there's some friction going on between Gabriel and Daniels, i wonder what that is about. It was awesome and humorous to see Brenda's sarcastic, funny comments again. Can't wait to see the next one!moreless
  • Fast paced, location shots, and very well written show, Contolled Burn was.

    I spent a lot of time trying to pick up clues to see if I could guess who the murderer was before the show ended. At one point, thought the reporter may end up as a suspect. The writers did a great job with the suspense but most of all, I felt that Chief Brenda showed off her vulnerable side very well, when she could not shake the reporter and with all that was going on in her personal life. Loved how her team of people rallied around her to try to bring the reporter down a notch. Obviously, they could see that Ricardo was not going to on his own. The reporter was quite clever with his actions of stepping right in there and making his own path for a story but he could get away with what he did, since he is not a part of the investigative team, another plus for the writers. Great Character for Stephen Martines. Ricardo Ramos, the Antagonist, The Reporter and quite Intuitive.moreless
  • A case of arson becomes a murder investigation.

    Here is another series that my mom introduced me to. As this is the first episode I've seen, I'm a bit behind, but I enjoyed every minute of this show. Judging from her accent, the main character, Brenda Johnson, is from somewhere in the South, and is working as a chief investigator (somewhere in California?). Like Dr. House, she has a sharp mind and the kind of people skills that will leave most folk wanting to choke rather than hug her. And, like Dr. House, she has enough vulnerablities to make it easy for viewers to like her. In this episode, Brenda is trying to uncover the murderer of a young woman found burned in a fire. The investigation takes some bizarre twists, including one that finds Brenda wearing the skin from the dead woman's hand. She and her live-in boyfriend have sold their house and moved into a rental unit, where they have to hide Brenda's cat because of a no-pet clause in their lease. This cat-hiding ultimately provides the spark that leads Brenda to the resolution of the case. There are also a couple of disturbing encounters with a pyromaniac named Croelick who has filed suit against the state because of previous investigations by Brenda's team. It looks like Brenda will be encountering this creep again. Seems like a great series.moreless
Kyra Sedgwick

Kyra Sedgwick

Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson

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

Brian Krause (I)

Brian Krause (I)

Tom Merrick

Guest Star

Lenny Schmidt

Lenny Schmidt


Guest Star

Jason O'Mara

Jason O'Mara

Bill Croelick

Special Guest Star

Jonathan Del Arco

Jonathan Del Arco

Dr. Morales

Recurring Role

Stephen Martines

Stephen Martines

Ricardo Ramos

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • In James Duff's blog on TV Guide he states that this season's theme will be power. The first example of this power shows up in the season premiere in the form of fire.

    • Jason O'Mara, billed as a Special Guest Star, reprises his role of Bill Croelick. He first appeared in Season 1's Fatal Retraction.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Croelick: It's crazy, you know, having a wildlife park in the center of a city. I look around at your little nature preserve and you know what I see? It's all fuel. (pointing to different members of PHD) And you, and you, and man, poor man, beggar man, thief, black man, white man, deputy chief. Fire doesn't care about your name or rank or badge number. You're all just bite size lumps of flesh and bone in the flaming food chain.

    • Ricardo: (noticing the boxes in Brenda and Fritz's apartment) You movin' out?
      Fritz: In.
      Ricardo: What, yesterday?
      Fritz: Six weeks ago.
      Brenda: It's temporary.

    • Dr. Morales: Well, she's not as far gone as I thought, considering the circumstances...
      Brenda: What circumstances?
      Dr. Morales: Well, if you're looking for the epicenter of your fire, I think she might be right here, on my gurney.

    • Dr. Morales: I see dead people...lots and lots of dead people: two smoked, two extra crispy, and then this lady here: the "combo platter".

    • Brenda: Listen to me, Ricardo, 'cause I've interviewed Mr. Croelick before and suggested that he might be a killer, and the next night I found him waiting for me on my front porch. He has a habit of doing that, when he's irritated--just turning up, out of the blue, in the dark...when you're all alone.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Turkey: September 10, 2009 on CNBC-e
      Finland: January 7, 2010 on MTV3
      Czech Republic: October 1, 2010 on Prima

    • This is the first season premiere of The Closer to air with commercials. The pilot, along with the second and third season premieres, were all shown either "commercial free" or "with limited commercial interruption" due to a single-party sponsorship of the hour.

    • As evidenced by the main credits, Phillip P. Keene (Buzz Watson) has been promoted to the starring cast. Keene has been with the series since its premiere season, but has always been billed as a recurring character.


    • Croelick: (after Lt. Flynn tosses him up against the corkboard rather harshly) Whoo! No one's been this excited to see me in a long time...

      This scene is similar to a scene from the Season 1 episode Fatal Retraction, in which Lt. Flynn is throwing Croelick around the room. In the earlier scene, Lt. Flynn was detaining Croelick after his 'surprise' visit to Brenda's house. It had become evident earlier in the episode that there was a lot of bad blood between Croelick and Lt. Flynn, as Flynn had originally arrested Croelick, who then taunted Flynn after literally getting away with murder.

    • Fritz: We can't meet the upstairs neighbor because the landlord said 'no pets'. We have to keep the curtains closed twenty-four hours a day because the landlord said 'no pets'. It's like living with Anne Frank.

      Anne Frank (1929-1945), a Dutch Jew and renowned diarist, lived for more than two years in an hidden apartment above her father's place of business in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with her family and the family of her father's business partner before they were betrayed to the Nazis in August of 1944.

    • Dr. Morales: I see dead people...

      This is a famous line from the 1999 M. Night Shyamalan film The Sixth Sense in which a young boy is apparently capable of both seeing and speaking with the dead.

    • Croelick: Rich man, poor man, beggar man, man, white man, Deputy Chief...

      This is an old but very familiar nursery rhyme, dating back decades. However, the rhyme usually ends with "Indian Chief," but was obviously changed by Croelick to fit his view of the PHD and its members.

    • Croelick: Hello, Just Plain Brenda.

      During the very first interview between Brenda and Croelick (in Season 1's Fatal Retraction), Brenda introduced herself to Croelick as "Just Plain Brenda," a play on his insistence that he was "Just Plain Bill." Though several years have passed, it seems Croelick still uses that as his own sort of pet name for Brenda.