The Closer

Season 1 Episode 9

Good Housekeeping

1
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Aug 08, 2005 on TNT
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
249 votes
8

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Episode Summary

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Rated: TV-14-LV

The murder of an adolescent girl from Mexico, found dead in the Los Angeles River, proves difficult and painful for Brenda and her team. At first, a known sex-offender seems the likely candidate, but questions arise about why the girl and her mother were brought to the US, leading the investigation in another direction. Soon, the girl's backpack suggests the girl's uncle or the family for whom the mother worked may have been involved, A search of the house suggests one of the family is the murderer, but which one? An end-run by the family, determined to protect the killer, takes Brenda to Mexico, where she must use all her resources, Fritz and Mexican law to finally bring the killer to justice. The usually cantankerous Dr. Crippen shows his softer side as he briefs Brenda following the autopsy, in a scene representative of the way in which the violent death of a child impacts the police.moreless

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  • silly boy...

    9.6
    So the kid said that he is not an idiot – um – I beg to differ. It sounds like an idiotic thing to do to rape and murder a woman and then flee to Mexico. To flee to the country that was the homeland of the woman that he murdered. That was genius of Brenda to get a confession out of him in a Mexican prison so he is there for life. And the one thing that Brenda was talking about in the end – I sooo called it that she as calling someone to take care of the kittens – that was so cute. I swear that they are stealing the show from Kyra.moreless
  • What an exciting twist -- unbelievable!!!

    10
    The story was well written and researched. We see Brenda truly handling things in a most objective manner. Many cops would have written it off as open-and-shut when the accused \"offed\" himself as it were but Brenda, like Columbo before her, saw through the smoke and mirrors that the real perpetrator had put up in an effort to conceal his crime.



    Ironically it was the bookbag the girl was wearing when last seen alive that started it. If the mother had not gotten it from her employer and shown it to Brenda we may never have found out the real truth. Moreover the film from the decedent suspect was time-stamped giving him an alibi for the time of the crime.



    Remember the parents created a smokescreen when it began to dawn on them that their son was the culprit. When the mother gave the victim\'s family the bookbag she knew NOTHING of what her son had done or else she\'d have gotten rid of it somewhere else or even burned it.



    Brenda clearly saw through the father\'s false confession by saying that the girl drowned to see if he repudiated which he didn\'t. (She died from head and neck trauma at the house. She was dead when thrown into the LA River.) I really loved her telling the father\'s lawyer, \"I never arrested an attorney before but there is first time for everything.\" Moreover telling the father that exploiting Mexico to a whole new level was a nice touch. (Remember where the victim and her family came from. Moreover the earlier housekeeper was paid off and sent home when she became pregnant -- by guess who?) Moreover the father was setting the terms -- he\'d convince the boy to come back and face trial only if he would be tried as a juvenile (17) and not as an adult which is what the DA would have done. An adult would get 20-30 years in jail if not life whereas a juvenile would pull a 10-year sentence with parole in 6-8.



    The one thing I didn\'t like was the mother of the by-now innocent suspect saying nasty things about a \"Spic wetback\" victim was more important than her \"Anglo\" son. That family was working and not using \"her tax dollars.\" If she is so concerned about it remember this, California was once a Mexican state. The Latinos are not \"invading\" foreign soil. They are taking back what was theirs in the first place.



    The final twist was her need to close the case by telling the real culprit that the obstruction charges his parents faced as well as the frozen assets would be removed if he either came back from Mexico which he refused or confessed. The boy almost smugly confessed saying it was an accident. Maybe so but it was no accident dumping the corpse and trying to pin on an innocent man as she put it.



    When he almost smugly tells her to leave she pulled her final piece showing again her ability to keep her adversaries off balance. She had the girl\'s birth certificate which she gave to the Federales (Mexican police authorities), proving once and for all that the victim, though killed in the USA, was a citizen of Mexico. AND according to the local law, the rape and killing of a Mexican citizen was a crime even when committed in another nation. It was fun watching the kid getting dragged out shouting \"Mommy help me!\" and begging Brenda to take him back home. He\'ll spend the next 20 to 40 years in a Mexican prison but with his looks I doubt he\'ll make it past 2 years.



    Well done closing this one out Brenda.



    IF you are going to commit a violent crime on someone, never escape to the country of your victim\'s birth.moreless
  • This will definitely stand up as a series classic.

    10
    This episode was phenomenal! Extremely well crafted.



    I should know better, but Brenda totally fooled me. I was screaming at the TV when she said she would let him stay there if he would just tell her what happened. Then I screamed louder when she said “and now you can stay!”



    Brenda is an amazing combination of strength and vulnerability. Both of which she uses to her advantage.



    This series is absolutely enthralling and has never failed to satisfy.moreless
  • One of the most clever twist endings I have seen in a very long time...

    9.5
    This episode is yet another great example as to the genius of the writers and the actors on this show.





    Fans of ths show know by now that Brenda somehow always seems to get her suspect, but how many people were expecting the clever legal twist there at the end? Even I thought that the little spoiled rich punk was going to get away with the girl's murder.



    While much of the episode was buildup to this--and also a look at how some cases can become a little too personal for the police officials involved--it truly was the moment when the kid thinks he's getting a free pass and smugly "sends" Brenda away that the whole ball of wax comes forth.



    It seems that when you run to a foreign country to escape prosecution, you had better be sure your victim is not a native citizen of the country you seek refuge in. Oops.



    All in all, one of the best episodes I have seen of any show in some while. Keep it up!



    moreless
  • Do not....repeat, DO NOT....get this woman mad at you.

    9.5
    Brenda would not work on any Law & Order show. Yes, she has the uncanny gift of breaking a suspect and getting at the truth but not many other supeiors could look a blind eye to her wicked way of circumventing the rules to get justice.



    Indeed, that's what Brenda is about, justice. Not the type the courts deal but the type she feels is right. She's from the South, after all, where "eye for an eye" has been a way of life for years and that carries over with the way she deals with the killer here.



    It's not the first time either. Remember a few episodes back where she learned a rapist and killer was being let slide because he was informing on his mob family to the FBI. Brenda deliberately let the man's lawyer (in the pocket of the mob) know the connection, knowing full well the suspect would be dead in hours. When her boss asked her if it was worth it, she just held up the photo of the victim.



    That was wicked, as was this. I do think on some level she hoped the boy would take the offer, doing everything possible to persuade him. But then she used his own words to bury him and let him know he'd done it, that L.A. maximum security would be a country club compared to what he was about to get. Being a child rapist/murderer in prision is bad enough. But being one in a MEXICAN prision? The kid will be lucky if he's alive in a year.



    This episode showed that under that genial charm is a dark side of Brenda and makes you glad she's on the side of the law and justice. Cross her at your own peril and pray for more mercy than she'd give you.moreless
J.K. Simmons

J.K. Simmons

Assistant Police Chief Will Pope

Corey Reynolds

Corey Reynolds

Sgt. David Gabriel

Robert Gossett

Robert Gossett

Capt. Russell Taylor

G.W. Bailey

G.W. Bailey

Detective Lt. Louis Provenza

Jon Tenney

Jon Tenney

FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard

Kyra Sedgwick

Kyra Sedgwick

Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson

Jo Anderson

Jo Anderson

Leslie Phillips

Guest Star

Ryan Carnes

Ryan Carnes

Austin Phillips

Guest Star

Yvonne DeLarosa

Yvonne DeLarosa

Carmen Alvarez

Guest Star

Michael Paul Chan

Michael Paul Chan

Lt. Michael Tao

Recurring Role

James Avery (I)

James Avery (I)

Dr. Crippen, Medical Examiner

Recurring Role

Phillip P. Keene

Phillip P. Keene

Buzz Watson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Gabriel agrees to take care of Brenda's kittens, but it's not at all clear how he manages to get into her house. They work closely together, but not the kind of relationship where they would share keys.

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: March 6, 2007 on Prima

    • Lt. Tao shows Mrs. Phillips and her son Austin pictures from the California Sex Offender Locator. Although the interface shown on camera is not the actual one, the locator is part of sex offender registry operated by the California Attorney General's office under the terms of Megan's Law. California's Megan's Law was named for Megan Kanka, a young girl from New Jersey murdered by a child sex offender living across the street without her family's knowledge. Although controversial, state Megan's Laws have set up registries such as California's to make information about the location of sex offenders previously available only to law enforcement accessible to the public.

    • Extradition of fugitives from Mexico has proven problematic for American law enforcement since the signing of the most recent extradition treaty, which went into effect in 1980. Among the most controversial elements of the treaty are the clauses that allow Mexico to refuse extradition of offenders who would face the death penalty or life imprisonment. It was on the latter basis that Brenda and the Phillips knew Mexico would refuse to extradite Austin, who would face life imprisonment if tried as an adult. In the end, however, Article IV of the treaty, which allows Mexico to try fugitives for crimes committed in another country by or against a Mexican citizen, such as Marta, was used to prosecute Austin.

    • Austin faces some stiff legal procedures. Mexican criminal law is based on France's Napoleonic code. Among the rights we are guaranteed not present in Mexican courts are trial by jury, presumption of innocence, right to confront one's accuser (i.e. testimony in open court) and a range of rules of evidence. However, the maximum sentence for murder is generally 60 years, with opportunities for reduction of the sentence.

    • Robert Gossett (Captain Taylor) and Tony Denison (Detective Lt. Flynn), do not appear in this episode. It is noted Flynn has been returned to Robbery-Homicide following his transferring the phone call with an important lead to Capt. Taylor in the previous episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Lt. Provenza: (looking at the photographs) So this is where all the flowers have gone.

      Provenza refers to the famous anti-war folk song 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?', by Pete Seeger and Joe Hickerson, which has been recorded by several artists, including Joan Baez and (in German) Marlene Dietrich.

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