The Closer

Season 4 Episode 5

Dial M for Provenza

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Aug 11, 2008 on TNT
out of 10
User Rating
196 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Rated: TV-14-V
Provenza plays the role of a hit man, going undercover to get to the bottom of a murder for hire. Things quickly spiral out of control when the contract victim turns up dead and the evidence is stolen with Provenza's car. The team must act quickly to figure out what happened to save Provenza and his job.


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  • Not necessarily a bad thing, but still. :P

    I LOVED her!

    Not Brenda, necessarily, this time, although she was lovely as always. But Mrs. Serabian. Oh my G-d she was so crass and such a child. "I get to go ho-ome."

    Meanwhile Provenza was such a charmer. It's incredible to me that they'd have let the car out of their sight, but because it was necessary for the plot development, they did it as believeably as they could (although really, one of them would've been facing the car).

    And it seems so unlikely they'd have rewound the tape to tape over that exact spot. In fact, it's so much more likely that Buzz would've nipped it from the camera before it went into Provenza's trunk. In fact, chain of custody being what it is, it is so much more likely they'd have piled all of that evidence into the van that went back to the station.

    But again, this was a more than usually plot-driven episode.

    I loved Brenda's commitment to Provenza, and I loved his hatred of his first wife, and the tiny little bonding moment with Pope. And his use of Brenda's mom to track down his stolen car. Man, I love how much fiction they get to spin in their interrogations. That was almost as good as Brenda pretending to be a D.A. :D

    Mostly, however, I loved Provenza playing Mrs. Serabian not once, but twice. That was fun -- especially with her thinking she was in the clear and rich, rich, rich!

    Sorry lady, you still took out a contract on your husband. Regardless of who actually killed him, that's a perfectly good crime unto itself.

    That and the unmissable "Idiot" and "Bigger Idiot" captions on the big board under their photos. Priceless.

    What ... charming people Brenda encounters.

    Well done, everyone. Well done indeed. :)moreless
  • Lt. Provenza pretends to be a hitman for a woman trying to knock off her husband. When the case appears to be open and shut, things take a turn for the worst for Provenza and continue to go downhill from there. The captain talks about firing Provenza.moreless

    Let me first say that there were so many parts of this episode that i found funny, i can't even remember them all. I almost thought Brenda was going to cry tonight. So, Provenza and the team arrest a woman named Angie for hiring Provenza to kill her husband. On the way back to the station, Provenza stops to get Angie something to eat, and in the meantime is vehicle is stollen from the parking lot, with all of the evidence including twenty-thousand dollars in cash in the trunk. When Angie gets a walk, the team follows her later that night and her husband actually does wind up dead, but it appears she couldn't have killed him even though she was in the very place he was shot, because he had already been dead before she got there. Also, she was in the building for less than a minute, there was no gunshot residue on her, and the detectives did not hear a gunshot. The captain is not thrilled when Brenda explains to him what is happening, and once again mentions Provenza being fired or retiring. In a last attempt to save his career, Provenza gets Angie to confess to attempted murder while at the same time Brenda is getting the confession of Angie's brother in law Alex, who in fact was the actual killer. The captain and Provenza share a drink at the end of this episode when the Captain is almost pleading when he asks Provenza why he will never retire, as Provenza had stated to him. The captain can relate when Provenza said because he had agreed to split his pension with his first wife starting the day he retired. Haha, nice episode, can't wait to see the next one.moreless
  • Provenza's job is threatened when a man he is trying to protect winds up dead.

    There are lots of LOL moments here. Provenza has been working undercover, posing as a hitman to put away Angie Serabian, a big, bawdy bimbo who wants her rich husband dead. Brenda's team collects all the evidence it needs to convict Angie for soliciting murder, and Provenza locks it all away in the trunk of his car. Full of himself, Provenza stops for lunch--and a couple of punks make off with his car. Without the evidence, the police can't hold Angie. Then her husband turns up dead. Brenda is far from amused by all this, especially when it is made clear to her that Provenza's job is now on the line. Jennifer Coolidge is hilarious as Angie, but there are plenty of funny lines for the entire cast. Nice mix of mystery and humor.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

Kyra Sedgwick

Kyra Sedgwick

Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson

Tony Denison

Tony Denison

Detective Lt. Andy Flynn

Vasili Bogazianos

Vasili Bogazianos

Alex Serabian

Guest Star

Ari Rubin

Ari Rubin

Toros Serabian

Guest Star

Toni Torres

Toni Torres

Lucy Santacruz

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Provenza: I have a civil service job, and the only way that I am going to leave the Los Angeles police department is if I get shot, have a heart attack, and then you run me over. After which I will consider a disability position.
      Pope: But you really still haven't told me why.
      Provenza: When why my first wife and I divorced, I agreed to split my pension with her from the day I retire. I'll be damned if she gets a nickel.
      Pope: That...I understand.

    • Tao: (as Provenza accepts money from a murder-for-hire suspect) Money is exchanged...and so ends another Provenza date.

    • Angie: You know, you need to quit laughing and judging me. I was in a really bad marriage.
      Flynn: Listen, sweetie. Between us, we've been stuck in six bad marriages. We just didn't choose to murder our way out.
      Provenza: Though I understand the urge.

    • Brenda: (about Provenza) He's going to be the death of me!

    • Flynn: Am I sorry that we ruined your afternoon off? You betcha. But Chief, if I tried, I mean, I couldn't count the number of things that went right today.
      Brenda: Start with the things that didn't, like how you lost the evidence we need to prosecute an open-and-shut case of attempted murder!
      Fritz: Brenda, the evidence isn't lost. It's just...out for a joyride.
      Brenda: I don't need sarcasm. I need the evidence.
      Fritz: Don't look at me. The FBI stopped manufacturing evidence in the late '90s.

    • Angie: I can't believe you lied to me, George.
      Provenza: George didn't lie to you, Angie. I did. And my name isn't George.
      Angie: Well, what is it then?
      Provenza: Lieutenant.

    • Flynn: (Talking to Brenda in surveillance van) I can't decide what's more nauseating. Her trying to kill her husband or watching her come on to Provenza.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Turkey: October 8, 2009 on CNBC-e
      Finland: February 4, 2010 on MTV3
      Czech Republic: October 7, 2010 on Prima


    • Dial M for Murder: The title is an obvious homage to the Alfred Hitchcock classic film, which deals with a husband hiring someone to kill his wife.