The Closer

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

6
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jun 13, 2005 on TNT
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
307 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Rated: TV-14-LV

Series Premiere. A seemingly routine murder investigation by the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division is interrupted by the arrival of Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, the new head of the LAPD’s Priority Murder Squad. An outsider from Atlanta in her first week of service, Brenda has already begun to face the resistance of long-time high-ranking officers, particularly Capt. Taylor of Robbery Homicide, as well as the questionable confidence of her own squad, who have decided to request transfers en masse. Only her assistant, Sgt. Gabriel, seems willing to try to work with her.

Determined to show them what she is capable bringing to the Squad, Brenda embarks on the investigation undeterred. Her victim is a woman killed in the home of technology genius with the secret to a multi-million dollar piece of software, found by his quiet, religious assistant. Drawing on the skills of her officers, particularly Lt. Tao’s forensic and technological talents, Brenda soon discovers her victim may be more than meets the eye. But when a former flame, Agent Fritz Howard of the FBI lends a hand, both her investigation and her private life take unexpected turns, leading her to a startling conclusion to the case. In the end she proves to the Squad she is, as billed, a closer.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Brenda starts her first day on the job pissing people off. ha ha

    10
    Brenda is awesome right from the beginning of this first episode. The doctor is upset that some a**hole requested a doctor to verify that the victim is dead, which Brenda informs him that she is the a**hole that made the request. This first episode introduces us to the people that are going to be in her division P.M.S. I don't remember what the name is; I just remember that part, because she complained to Pope about it. Each and every one of her team members are extremely unhappy about being in the unit and sign transfer requests, which she puts in their face as she assigns them a task involving the murder. Fritz is adorable. I hope they get together, because I want to see more of him.

    There was one thing about Brenda that bothered me; I didn't understand why she through away a perfectly good donut when it appeared that she wanted to eat it?!?!moreless
  • 1x01

    10
    this chapter was very good, at the begining i thought this was going to be another police drama in the tv but after i watched it, i was so amazed with the acting and with the case in general, i think this is a very interesting show and this first chapter is a prove of that, I really enyoed the entire case and how brenda was betrayed by her new team, definitively this is one of the best series begining with a very good cast. P.D: I´m from venezuela, I´m not an expert writing in English, please forgive my mistakesmoreless
  • How the heck did this get 7 million viewers? Was it because of the wacky speech style, uninteresting characters or the overall dullness of the show? In any case, I'd hate to see this show become a success.moreless

    3.0
    Apparently the budget for this show is so small they couldn't even afford a good scene view for the beginning of the episode. They just cut in straight to the acti.. er.. acting?



    So this is yet another series about police work - this time with nothing that would make it different, only things that make it worse. You don't get interesting visuals, tech or cases like in CSI and you won't get gritty, classy & dark tv like in The Inside. Don't expect any action scenes either.



    What you do get is annoying characters, plotlines that may seem complex, but at least I figured out the plot right when I saw the body. And that was about 2 minutes into the show.



    So is there anything good about this show or this particular episode? Nope, nothing really. Well it only lasts 45 minutes. Reminds me of school in that sense.



    Even though there are only few series airing at summertime, I sure won't be wasting my time on this.moreless
  • Good start so far!

    10
    It is good that Kyra Sedgwick can finally escape the

    Shadows of being Mrs Kevin Bacon as she holds her own

    As Police Chief Brenda Logan as I love southerners

    She also faces resentment from the all-male police club that her people are under her

    When one of the cops says that how can she come in and outrank me

    JK Simmons of L&O brings in a touch of calm and coolness as Brenda's father figure throughout the show

    Great writing and great acting makes great potential.moreless
  • Brenda has to impress everyone after she crashes onto the scene as the new leader of the homicide team.

    9.8
    Wow. This is one of the best pilots I have seen in a long time. First, the writing was really good. Although you knew she'd win the respect of her team, the answer to the murder was unexpected. Another thing that really set this apart was how fast Kyra fell into the character of Brenda. Normally, when you look back to early episodes of shows, the actors all seem stiff and weird because they hadn't yet found who they were going to be. But Kyra hit this one from day one. And it's nice to see a girl hold her own in the boys club.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

Clyde Kusatsu

Clyde Kusatsu

Dr. Tanaka

Guest Star

John Livingston

John Livingston

Detective Garth

Guest Star

Julius Tennon

Julius Tennon

Detective Waters

Guest Star

Gina Ravera

Gina Ravera

Detective Irene Daniels

Recurring Role

Michael Paul Chan

Michael Paul Chan

Lt. Michael Tao

Recurring Role

Raymond Cruz

Raymond Cruz

Detective Julio Sanchez

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Brenda refers to Alana having been a member of Act Up!, describing the group as an AIDS awareness group. Act Up! (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) is best known for its philosophy of "direct action" to bring awareness of the AIDS epidemic. Dedicated to civil disobedience as a tool, their famous slogan is SILENCE = DEATH.

    • In one scene, Fritz tells Brenda he likes the way it cools off at night in LA. This is a bit of an LA joke; 100º summer heat is often rationalized by reminding visitors there's no humidity and it cools off at night, often as much as 25 degrees.

    • In one scene, Brenda fights to resist the Krispy Kreme doughnuts on Tao's desk. Only recently available in California, Krispy Kreme doughnuts originated in the South.

    • Though entirely convincing in her portrayal of Brenda Leigh Johnson, Kyra Sedgwick does not have a southern accent in real life. In fact, she spends most of her time in New York, with her husband, actor Kevin Bacon, and their two children.

    • When Brenda is interrogating Ellen the second time, she stands up as if to leave. In the next few shots, Brenda is standing when the camera is on her, but is sitting when the camera is on Ellen, and is then suddenly sitting, although we do not see her sit or hear her chair move.

    • When Sgt. Gabriel asks Brenda if she figured out how Dr. Collier made his fingerprints disappear, she says yes and then takes down the photo of the eye after he leaves. However, later she states that it's the eye that made her realize the truth about Dr. Collier, so that would have led her to the fingerprints solution. Perhaps, however, she was just reinforcing her theory by looking again at the eye photo...

    • I'm just curious how the detectives know that Elliot transfered money to "Jane Doe's" accounts? Wouldn't it be easy to identify her if they had her banking information?

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Brenda: ...if I liked being called a bitch to my face, I'd still be married.

    • Brenda: (To Sgt. Gabriel) I should probably explain that I do not form my relationships with people based on how they're treating you. That would be your mother, maybe.

    • Brenda: As hard as a secret is to uncover, it's even harder to keep.

    • Brenda: Are you trying to encourage me or make me nervous?
      Pope: I'm just trying to figure out why you're so damn confident you can get this woman to help you.
      Brenda: Well, because Will, I know a little something about admiring the boss and finding out he's not the guy you thought he was.

  • NOTES (9)

    • The Spin-off with Provenza and Flynnwas shot TNT thought it was to dark.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: January 2, 2007 on Prima

    • Throughout the episode, Brenda faces resistance from the squad in large part because she is an ousider. The LAPD's upper ranks are largely staffed by promotions from within, and the force remains strongly resistant to leadership drawn from outside, a tone set in large part by former Chief Daryl Gates.

    • Parker Center, where Brenda's Priority Murder Squad is based, is the real-life headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department, located on Los Angeles Street. Originally called the Police Administration Building, it was renamed for former Chief of Police William H. Parker, who died of a heart attack while still in office in 1966. Completed in 1955, the building is considered outdated for a major urban police force, and construction recently began on a newer, more modern facility.

    • Although Brenda's Priority Murder Squad is fictional, Taylor's Robbery-Homicide Division (RHD) is a real division of the LAPD. Broken into five sections, its brief includes investigation of homicides, bank robberies, extortions, sex crimes, kidnappings, officer-involved shootings, and injury or death of an officer, all on a citywide basis. Its detectives are chosen for their high levels of expertise and experience. Among its most famous cases are the Tate-LaBianca murders, the Night Stalker, and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

    • Pope's parking place identifies him as the Assistant Chief of Operations. In the LAPD, the Assistant Chief of Operations is in charge of citywide detective, uniformed officer and jail operations, as well as coordinating the city's anti-crime initiatives.

    • Medical Examiner services in the City of Los Angeles are handled by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, located near Parker Center.

      Dr. Tanaka, the Medical Examiner brought in to pronounce the body, may have been designed to remind people of Thomas Noguchi, the LA County "Coroner to the Stars." Appointed in 1968, Noguchi performed autopsies in a number of famous cases, including the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, Robert Kennedy, Sharon Tate and Natalie Wood. His high profile and free-speaking way with the media ultimately led to his being asked to step down in 1982.

    • Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti is a consulting producer on The Closer. A 32-year veteran of the LA District Attorney's office, Garcetti was elected DA in 1992, in the aftermath of the Rodney King case. His first term was dominated by his office's prosecution of the O.J. Simpson double-murder trial. After an LAPD scandal during his second term, Garcetti was defeated by one of his deputies in 2000.

    • The first airing of the pilot was commercial-free.

  • ALLUSIONS (4)

    • Fritz: But if you really want to feel bad about yourself, I'll take you up to Santa Barbara someday. It's like visiting Stepford, I kid you not.
      An allusion to the Ira Levin novel and subsequent films The Stepford Wives, in which all the women of the town of Stepford are suspiciously docile, subserviant and overly eager to please their husbands.

    • Tao: In the land of no evidence, the left-eyed iris is king.
      Though not a particularly brilliant line, it's an obvious allusion to the old quote "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king" (In regione caecorum rex est luscus), a phrase coined by Dutch author and philosopher Desiderius Erasmus.

    • While describing the quirks of Collier's genius, Dr. Brown alludes to the dress habits of Steve Jobs, the co-founder and CEO of Apple Computer. When Jobs makes public appearances it's his habit to wear a black turtleneck, faded jeans (not khakis as Brown says), and white athletic shoes.

    • Pope: Listen, Taylor, we tried running the squad your way, and we ended up with a 20-year veteran of the department indicted for perjury and the murderer's off doing interviews with Larry King.

      This quote alludes to the large number of celebrity cases the LAPD handles. Perhaps the most recent notorious case was Robert Blake, who was aquitted of murder. In both this case and the O.J. Simpson case, evidence was problematic, as was a jury's reluctance to convict a celebrity.

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