The Closer

Season 2 Episode 9

Heroic Measures

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Aug 07, 2006 on TNT
out of 10
User Rating
206 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Rated: TV-14-LV
When a young boy blames himself for the death of his friend, Brenda must tread lightly to get to the bottom of the case. Complicating matters is the deceased child's mother, who offers up accusations of her own.

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  • Really great drama, but not satisfying!

    This is a really difficult episode to watch, which makes it (IMHO) good drama. I'm not calling it satisfying drama or drama one wants to watch, but it is really good drama. Drama should elicit emotions that cause you to question, comment, and even really upset you and this episode clearly gives people these emotions.

    I love the concept and would love to see another series do it in a more satisfying manner with the outcome most people would desire. Yet, it wouldn't be anywhere near as good as this episode, because the emotions generated by the drama wouldn't be as intense.

    Typically, I don't comment on other reviewers, but I'll say at first I wanted to give the episode an even lower rating than 1 (say a zero), but after honestly evaluating my emotions, I rated it above 9.5000001. As you can't rate any longer by tenths, and as I round up, I'm giving it a 10 (Perfect), though it isn't a 10. I don't understand why when to .5, but my response is to round up....

    The DA walking out because he couldn't get a perfect conviction was wonderful ying and yang. Issue, though, he could get a conviction on at least one felony - falsifying medical records. He could also get one on fraud - billing the insurance company for services not performed. It could even be Federal, if the insurance used was related to Medicare or Medicaid. At a minimum he would lose his license, as part of a plea deal (at least with Jack McCoy).

    Yet, the writers did the really good drama and simply let him go and then have the Mother take the law into her hands. I'd love to see how the DA tries this case, as they are part of the motive. How would you vote on the jury trying the Mother? First degree, Second degree, Man 1, Man 2, Man 3, Not Guilty, etc...moreless
  • Terrible episode

    This was one of my least favorite episodes of "The Closer" ever. The acting was bad, the plot was lame. Brenda's high & mighty attitude just got worse & worse. I don't understand how so many people thought this was such a great episode when in reality it sucked. I'm glad this wasn't the first episode I ever watched or I never would've watched "The Closer" again. I hope they do a follow up episode & show what happened to the psycho mom (she did an autopsy on her own child? Gross!!!) since she should certainly go to jail for life. To paraphrase Comic Book Guy from "the Simpsons," this was definitely one of the worst episodes ever!!!moreless
  • The bottom line of this episode is that we live in a lousy world (with the implication that it is the creation of and is run by . . . men.)moreless

    This episode stirred up a well of anger in us on behalf of the women - the mother, whose complaint was dismissed by the pompous (male) hospital administrator, the female dectective whose attempts to investigate were blocked by the same pompous administrator (and who was then mildly betrayed by her detective boyfriend when he does not support her decision to instigate a formal investigation - and Brenda, who becomes one of quote, three hysterical women, unquote, when she decides to continue the investigation. The bottom line is that we live in a lousy world (with the implication that it is the creation of and is run by . . . men.) As they leave the building, totally discouraged and thwarted by the non-support of the men in charge, Brenda opens a candy bar and then realizes that Det. Daniels might be hungry too and offers to share. The point, we think, being that this is the nature of women - to cooperate and to share. It caused us to wonder how different our world might be if women had been in charge all these years instead of men - or if they had at least had a place at the table.

  • Melissa: "You know, I think Dr. Woods thought he was God. Turns out he was wrong."

    This episode had many of the twist and turns that we've become accustomed to expecting from The Closer.

    While it didn't turn out to be the mother of the victim (although about halfway through the episode I was convinced it was her), you can't deny she had a few marbles loose. First of she was extremely protective of her son to the point of threatening his friends, and then she does an autopsy on her own son! That's a little out there.

    I couldn't believe they doctors let the boy die. It’s a scary thought knowing that when you go into surgery a couple of people have complete control over you and your life. It was not that snotty doctor’s decision to choose whether the boy would have enjoyed his life paralyzed. If that was his real motivation in making the decision at all, as I bet trying to avoid a malpractice suit was a big contributing factor to his choice as well.

    Brenda gets her confession and yet wasn't able to get the doctors prosecuted for murder, as the Asst. District Attorney saw it more as malpractice and didn't think any jury would try the doctors for murder. I was surprised afterwards when the mother decided to take the law into her own hands and shot the doctors after they were released. It was a bittersweet moment, because the doctors really didn't deserve to just walk way free but now the mother is the one who is going to be tried for murder. While it was sad ending, I really like how each episode this season is unique from the others. We've seen Brenda have many cases go exactly as planned, and it's only realistic that sometimes she won't get the guilty party tried every time. Unfortunately that’s life.

    Final Notes and Quotes

    - I loved the bad cop/good cop conversation between Brenda and Provenza, with Provenza asking her: "How bad do you want me to be?"

    - What's up with Fritz getting only one minute of screen time each episode? Series regulars should at least get a few scenes.

    - Taylor actually wanted Brenda and her squads help in this episode. That's strange. It felt more just like a plot point to put pressure on Brenda to close the case.

    - What was with that hospital administrator? First he tries to block Det. Daniel's investigation, and then he thinks he can push around Brenda and Pope? He needs to get a reality check.

    - For a couple Det. Daniel's and Sgt. Gabriel don't talk much. Actually they don't seem interact much at all. Maybe if we saw them out on a date or out of the office their relationship would be more believable.

    Final Rating: Not as good as the past couple, but I liked it. 2 1/2 out of 4 stars. Maybe a 3.

    - Tim Bronx

    Find this and many other reviews at:

  • The writing was a rollercoaster -- as each bit of the puzzle was uncovered it seemed like it could\'ve been anyone\'s fault. But even Brenda can\'t force the D.A. to do his job, so the stage is set for some uncomfortably sympathetic vigilantism.moreless

    All I could think about during this episode was Izzy cutting Denny\'s LVAD wires.

    \"Grey\'s Anatomy\" did such a good job showing the reactions to medical malpractice -- the reasons behind it, the motives, all of the heartbreak that Izzy felt and her actually criminal behavior, which is where Brenda would come in.

    If Brenda had swept into Seattle Grace that night, she\'d have shut everything down, shoved the prom into the parking lot and her interrogation of Alex, George, Meredith, Christina and Izzy would\'ve been -- while less funny than their interviews with the Chief (in which every single one of them strayed pretty wide from the topic) -- acute, vicious and productive.

    Izzy would\'ve been jailed for attempted murder rather than allowed to resign from the residency program.

    Or would she?

    After all, doctors have malpractice insurance for malpractice. And if the prosecutor doesn\'t want to pursue it, there\'s no case.

    Brenda turned that thing into him with a damn\' [i]bow[/i] on it -- under great duress as her superiors and colleagues are shouting at her to stick a fork in it and she just can\'t.

    I\'m looking forward to how that\'s gonna come back and take a huge chunk out of the D.A.\'s ass -- probably in the season finale. Anyone remember Brenda\'s \"apology\" to the assistant D.A. and the FBI at the end of the first season? Priceless!

    This case was stumbled upon -- quick thinking by Daniels. It wasn\'t [i]necessarily[/i] priority homicide. The hospital administrator\'s clumsy, patronizing \"Oh, can\'t you all just go away?\" attitude lost him a floor of his hospital and his cavalier attitude in the face of a mother\'s pain was ... really irritating to me as a viewer.

    Then when the surgeons were suggesting there was no [i]there[/i] there -- that the mom was delusional and possibly criminal, abusing her son under Meunschausen by proxy -- that shook my belief in her, but it was a pretty bold statement when they were videotaped [i]pretending[/i] to perform an operation.

    Unlikely as it was for the mom to conduct her own autopsy, she had medical training and she\'d released the body in the specific manner that would allow her to do it -- I\'m kind of amazed that with the protocols in place concerning the disposition of dead bodies that she was [i]alone[/i] with him. Yeah, she knew everyone in the program (being a student/former student [I wasn\'t entirely clear]) but they\'d want to cover their own butts.

    And if she hadn\'t no one else would\'ve.

    How great was Lt. Tao in this episode? He handled all of the medical jabber beautifully, and suggested alternate theories. That man is a [i]resource[/i].

    Andyway, my guess is that the d.a. might get his comeuppance at her (the mom\'s) murder trial. She had every motivation. But I wish the show had tried to allow us to like these surgeons a little bit more. I feel a [i]lot[/i] of sympathy for the mother, and between her work and Brenda\'s she\'s got a lot of material for a lawsuit against the hospital. The woman lost her [i]son[/i], fer chrissakes, who she\'d fretted and loved and cared for and protected and who these barely competent play-acting butchers destroyed.

    That final scene in the parking lot felt like justifiable homicide. And it just wasn\'t. It was revenge, pure and simple.

    Yet all I can feel for her is vindication.

    That ... isn\'t sitting entirely right with me.

    Good episode, but ... plenty of unfinished business to play out down the road.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

Anthony Heald

Anthony Heald

Howard Pierce

Guest Star

Paul Hipp

Paul Hipp

Dr. Woods

Guest Star

John Bennett Perry

John Bennett Perry

Walter Langner

Guest Star

Phillip P. Keene

Phillip P. Keene

Buzz Watson

Recurring Role

James Patrick Stuart

James Patrick Stuart

Deputy District Attorney Martin Garnett

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Higgins: Do I look like the kind of guy that would beat up on an 8-year-old kid?
      Provenza: Are we talking boy or girl?
      Higgins: Hey screw you!
      Provenza: Well if it's an offer you might be a little friendlier about it.

    • Brenda: You heard him. He killed Nick Langer.
      Garnett: That's not what I heard. (Brenda looks surprised.) All I heard was a doctor's opinion on what he thought was best. No judge is going to take this to court and no jury will make a verdict.
      Brenda: Well, tell me what you want them to say and I'll go back in there and get them to say it.
      Garnett: No. I'm sorry but I don't take cases that I know can't be won.
      Brenda: You're just like Dr. Woods. You don't try anything unless the outcome is perfect.
      Garnett: And you're just like this mother whose mistaken tragedy for murder.

    • Brenda: ...We're gonna play "Good cop, Bad cop".
      Provenza: You're not gonna make me be the good cop, are you?
      Brenda: I don't think that's possible, Lieutenant.
      Provenza: How bad do you want me to be?
      Brenda: Go for broke.

    • Melissa: You know, I think Dr. Woods thought he was God. Turns out, he was wrong.

    • Gabriel: I'm sorry to drag you away from your dinner, Chief.
      Brenda: Oh, those speeches were taking forever. Dinner never came. I was about to eat my napkin.

    • Pope: Their motto is: "First do no harm." Right underneath that it says "Don't be obnoxious."

  • NOTES (1)


    • Brenda: (about Woods's signature) It's really quite legible, considering what they say about doctor's handwriting.

      There is an old saying and belief that states that doctor's generally have atrocious handwriting. There is another that states that the more renowned the doctor, the more illegible his handwriting is.

    • Munchausen's by proxy: The term describes a mental disorder found in two forms: Munchausen's proper (involving the sufferer themselves) or Munchausen's by proxy, in which the sufferer induces physical ailments and/or illnesses in their child.
      As Lt. Flynn notes, most, but not all, sufferers of Munchausen's by proxy are women, often having some form of medical knowledge. In this type of the syndrome, sufferers inflict their child with injuries or illness to garner attention, usually from doctors or others in positions of authority (police, media, etc.)
      There are other manifestations of the disease, especially in Munchausen's proper, in which a sufferer will intentionally cause a life-threatening incident (such as setting a house on fire) so they can "save" those involved and gain attention by becoming a hero of sorts.
      In either case, there is a stigma attached when a sufferer is diagnosed with either form of Munchausen's: often their legitimate complaints are treated with skepticism.