The Closer

Season 1 Episode 4

Show Yourself

3
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jul 04, 2005 on TNT
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
250 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Rated: TV-14-LV

Brenda and the Priority Homicide Team investigate a sniper who is killing gang members in and around MacArthur Park. Offering assistance is an ex-Army colonel who believes the sniper to be his son. As an all-out gang war looms, Brenda tentatively accepts his assistance, but as her investigation progresses, Brenda's doubts about the Colonel's motives grow. With Fritz' assistance, she realizes the Colonel is not there to help, but to help his son escape. The two face off in the dark on a Los Angeles rooftop, leading to an unexpected outcome. Elsewhere in the story, Sanchez' prior service with the Rampart Division CRASH gang squad allows him to play a pivotal role in the investigation as he briefs the squad on gang activity in the area, goes undercover as a gang member and assists with interrogations. Brenda's tense relationship with Taylor seems to relax, then abruptly grows tenser when a stake-out goes wrong. Gabriel becomes increasingly loyal to her, but Flynn and Provenza continue to resist her methods, dubbing her "Miss Scarlett."moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • I like this show, but I'm telling you that if it doesn't shape up quick I'm going to lose interest fast.

    4.5
    I don't know. I thought this episode kinda' sucked. It was very obvious and you just knew that the dad wasn't really going to help them out. But she fell for it, hook line and nearly sinker. It makes me wonder if the dad shot the son to prevent him from pulling the gun on Brenda or if it's because he didn't want to his son to tell her that he was in on it. I think that we'll be seeing more of Colonel Walter.



    I also enjoyed that Taylor and Brenda were getting along and it pisses me off that they would even think that she would pull that kind of premadona crap. They may not have known her for very long, but I think that it should be pretty obvious that she uses her team's abilities in the search for the truth. Pope will probably think that either she shot the son or that she purposefully let Walter get away.



    They're at the park, cleaning up a crime scene. A girlfriend of one of the victims is

    talking to Detective Sanchez and another of the gang tells her to shut up and leave.

    Sanchez talks about how he used to be one of the gangers around town and the

    ganger starts feeling better. The ganger starts promising retribution to the people that

    did this. Brenda is in a van, because the gangers wouldn't talk to her... about anything

    other than "doing" her. Each victim died by a single shot, rather than a spray of bullets

    that would have come from a machine gun. Flynn & Provenza are feeling rather

    sympathetic to the killer because he/she was killing off the scum on our streets. Flynn

    wonders why the Priority Murder crew is there and Provenza says it's probably because

    it's a triple homicide. (Ya' think?) Brenda says they can release the scene and as she's

    getting ready to see, she sees an older black man coming onto the scene and has a

    rifle shotfinder (don't yell at me! I don't know what it's called!) and is looking up at the

    buildings. Brenda notices him and goes to talk to him. Apparently, the man, D.B.

    Walter, is retired Marine Corp. Brenda asks why he was there and he doesn't answer

    her, just poses the question as to how many shots were fired. Brenda repeats her

    question and he ignores her and says there was only one per victim (equaling 3) and

    gives the approximate time for them beginning. He says his opinion is that the shooter

    was on the top of the Park Plaza hotel. He pulls out his "I'm going to be super-evasive

    to peak your interest" card and says he won't answer her questions if she won't answer

    his. He says they're dealing with a military trained sniper. He says he can find the

    sniper because he was the instructor and that he thinks it's his missing son that has

    been missing for over a year. Apparently, he thought his son was dead until the

    murders in the park. He thinks they can help each other but she has to keep the sniper

    info away from the press. She says she doesn't make deals with people she initially

    meets at crime scenes. He gives her his card and walks away.



    She and Sgt. Gabriel go to the top of the roof and she takes credit for thinking of it.

    (Apparently, she doesn't want him to get suspicious about her source yet... since she's

    not certain she's going to actually use him.) Lt. Tao comes up with a camera. The

    deduce that it is the only building in the area that could have been used.



    Back at the squad room, they do a recreation of the crime, done expertly by Tao. The

    discover that it gave two of the victims time to be very afraid. (Apparently because the

    attack came out of nowhere.) Brenda asks Sanchez how many sharpshooters are in the

    opposing gang and he says neither gang has that kind of shooter... They can get the

    gun, but they wouldn't be that accurate. (How would he know that? Oh, he was in the

    Gang Intelligence unit, which explains why so many gang members are so eager to talk

    to him. Right...) Apparently the Eastside Catorce gang have some turf in common with

    the Jokers. Both gangs started out as drug gangs and now they're also dealing

    weapons. The Park Plaza surveillance tapes weren't helpful because there was a

    cooking convention going on in the hotel. Flynn and Provenza are going to go through

    the tapes to see if any faces pop out at them.



    Pope is going off to do a press conference and Brenda says he can't announce that it's

    a sniper shooting because then they'll have the same panic that was in D.C. But they

    also shouldn't say it's a gang-related shooting or the Eastside gang will do a retribution

    move against the Jokers. Pope says it's up to her. And she chooses gang-related

    shooting so that she could possibly use Walter.



    Brenda goes to Robbery-Homicide to check old cases with the same M.O. and possibly

    against the same gang. There's a joke that Franny (the homicide analyst) likes the

    perfume she's wearing, but she says she's not wearing any perfume. Apparently she

    smells good (and it made me think Franny may be gay!). There's a whole sniffing thing

    while they're looking at two other Eastside gang shootings. Franny thought it may be

    her shampoo, but then Taylor comes in, wondering what she's doing using his analyst.

    Taylor wants to know why she cares and she asks if he would care more if the gang was

    black. At that Franny bolts and Taylor gets extremely pissy. Taylor says that gang

    members are cop killers so he doesn't care too much about them no matter what color

    they are.



    Walter is in Brenda's office and they start talking. He has her whole history and she has

    his. He says that she must have pulled his and his son's military files and she showed

    them to him (they were all blacked out) and said that she Googled them. (Now, I've

    looked people up on Google. Maybe they aren't important enough to have a lot written

    about them on it... Or there are too many people with the exact same name. Did myself

    and only found 2 references because of where I work.) The son went to Afghanistan

    and was sent home because his social worker wife was killed by a stray bullet in a

    gang-related shooting... Shot by an Eastside gang member. Father says son won't stop

    until all Eastside members are dead. Brenda asked why his son was going for revenge

    and he said it was because he thought the LAPD weren't going to bring the killer to

    justice... and after a couple of years, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He

    says his son will be hiding and he knows how his son thinks. Brenda wants both of their

    uncensored military records and he wants a list of all the known Eastside gang and their

    addresses. He thinks that if he helps her, he may just get his son out of this alive. She

    gives him the list.



    Brenda then asks Taylor for his help. She shows the son's picture and asks if he

    remembers him. The wife's name was Donna and the son came to ask about her case.

    Brenda asked if he was all angry and violent and Taylor said it was surprising but he

    wasn't and he was very courteous and calm. They start talking cooperatively (which is

    about dang time. I swear, if the PTB think that the only thing that keeps this series

    going is the enmity between Taylor and Brenda, they have another think coming.

    They're like children!) and he asks what they need and she says she needs an

    Eastside member to talk to her.



    Flynn and Provenza were assigned to tail Walter and they're all grouchy about it. (Now, I

    love G.W. Bailey. I have great respect for his comedic talents and was really looking

    forward to watching him weekly on this. However, this grouchy old man act and working

    against Brenda behind her back is... Well, I'll stop watching if it comes down to it.)

    Brenda calls Provenza to check on their progress and he makes fun of her when they

    hang up and compares her to an ex-wife. While he and Flynn are talking, they totally

    miss Walter, who had changed clothes with someone.



    Tao tells Pope that they lost the father, but Pope says not to tell Brenda 'cause she's

    about to go into interrogation with an Eastside member. (I'm calling him Gangbanger #5

    (GB5), because the first 3 were killed and there was that first guy.) Brenda asks about

    Donna and GB5 says someone else has been asking all about it as well. They play the

    protective custody for you and your family and an opportunity to get out of the gang

    card. Someone GB5 cares for is in the hospital and he leaves. Pope tells him another

    Eastside member is gone and that he found out about Walter and that Flynn &

    Provenza lost him. Brenda tells Pope that she gave Walter the list and addresses of the

    gang members and that he may be the killer. (It was only 30 minutes into the show. You

    know that means that Walter isn't the actual killer!)



    They go to the scene, which has the same MO as the others, and Walter is there. They

    haul his can in. He asks how he got there so fast and he says that he was listening to

    his scanner. One of the Eastside gang starts shooting & shouting and Walter hauls her

    down to protect her, which kinda' redeems him in Brenda's eyes. (And that seemed very

    set-up to me!)



    Pope rips her a new one the next day because the Eastside gang did retribution against

    the Jokers and 4 people (including 2 innocent boys) were killed. She says they can't let

    the sniper thing out because she'd then lose all credibility with the Colonel (Walter).

    Pope gives her until the 6 o'clock news (which is crap because when they do confront

    the son, it's deep dusk and the news hasn't come out!) and says that she has some sort

    of weird weakness for military types because her dad was military.



    Walter is in the interrogation room and Brenda comes in. She wants him to prove they

    have nothing to do with it or she'll call the FBI, CIA & Homeland Security and tell them

    they have a military trained sniper using citizens of LA for target practice. He asks how

    he can prove it and she says "That's not my problem." He hesitates and she moves to

    leave. (She does that a lot. It's a good thing they always seem to fall for it!) He pulls out

    2 tickets and 2 passports. He says that he was trying to get his son to South Africa

    before the cops found him. She says he's given her bad info and now 2 innocent boys

    are dead because of it. And they also now have a time limit. She says that he has no

    respect for her and when he denies it, she says that he had already told her that

    snipers are trained to avoid detection and that he purposefully crossed the park with

    the scope (I finally figured it out!) to attract her attention. She says that Pope is going

    to release the son's photo. He wants to go with (which makes sense. Take a civilian

    into a police operation regarding a relative. Sounds like standard operating procedures

    to me...) She wants him to look at the surveillance tapes and they are an apparent

    bust. She thinks it the mail carrier and he nips that in the bud. She asks him to identify

    the next victim and he pulls out an old newspaper clipping. (There was a skateboard

    maker that was inspired by the Eastside gang and about 10 of them posed for this

    photo with their names.) He ticks off all the ones that are already dead, hovers over

    GB5 and then indicates someone else entirely.



    She goes to Pope to ask for a bodyguard for the indicated next victim. He says no.

    She asks if her unit is still hers to do with as she pleases and he says yes. She asks for

    Taylor's help to help run it. He can take tactical. At this point, they're really getting

    along, which is rather nice. Flint & Provenza are all snarky and Brenda hears them.

    She goes to Walter to say he can come and he says it's too late and that he'll wait.

    (Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!!!) She gets suspicious and pauses at the doors and

    sees him check his watch.



    We get to see Fritz (for the first time) and she gives him quick peck on the cheek and

    hides in his backseat. He asks what's going on and she asks him to keep a lookout for

    Walter. When he does come out, she asks him to tail him, but to be discreet because

    he is a military man. They were going to go to dinner. He asks if this is official and she

    says yes, she's just behind on her paperwork... and everyone knows she's blowing

    crap. He starts the car and his navigation system starts talking and she is so totally

    jealous. He says "I must really like you" when he starts tailing Walter (which I found to

    be very very funny).



    Taylor and the rest of her unit are on the victim that was marked by Walter. Sanchez

    goes into the house to pick up Toca.



    Brenda & Fritz are tailing Walter. (Fritz: "When I imagined you in my backseat, this isn't

    what I had in mind.")



    Taylor spots a black guy carrying something long on the opposite roof. He calls in for

    people to snag him. They tackle him and Provenza pulls open an umbrella. Sanchez

    says that Toca has been in county lock-up for the last 2 months. They think she's set

    them up to take all the credit?



    Brenda goes running when Walter parks outside of the hospital and she realizes that he

    and/or the son are after GB5. When she goes up to the hospital entrance, she looks

    around and sees a mail carrier truck. She sees the son's picture on the ID. (So it was

    the mailman in the surveillance photos... Who would have guessed!) Fritz tells her to

    wait, but she goes running in. Of course, she has no cell reception inside of the

    building. (My thing is, I think everywhere in LA has cell reception. That is total and utter

    crap! They were just doing this highly improbably thing because it would increase the

    tension.) She goes up to the roof and tells the son to put down the gun. He does and

    puts his hands on his head as instructed. However, he gets shot (most likely by his own

    father) and it shows that he had a gun hidden behind his neck. Fritz comes up and

    there's a tense pointing of guns moment and Brenda starts shouting for Walter. She

    says "Don't leave me" which is really, really weird. I can only guess that she over

    identified Walter with her own father. End of episode.moreless
  • Good story line with horrible ending.

    5.0
    This was, at the moment, the only episode that I didn't like. The story line was good, but Brenda did things that she shouldn't have done right from the beginning. First, she trusted the 'Dad', even though she didn't know him. And then she gave him information about the gangers that she shouldn't have given him. I didn't trust the Dad from the beginning because he seemed to have an agenda. The thing that really bothered me about the Dad is how he contradicted himself. He said that he wanted his son to stay alive because he was the only family that he had left. Then the Dad shoots the fatal shot and kills his own son and then he disappears into the night. Then the episode ends with Brenda yelling for the Dad. Seriously!!!moreless
  • gang violence in LA - just a matter of time...

    9.0
    So I was waiting for a show that was filmed in Los Angeles to have an episode about gang violence. And here it was – episode number four. I admit I was curious as to how they were going to do it as the Priority Murder Squad (PMS – he he) was made for high profile cases, but I guess that was covered by the comment that a triple homicide kinda made it a priority. And as we all know and the episode restated, gang violence does not just kill gang members. I also like that we are finding out more about Brenda’s past.moreless
  • Brenda plays cat-and-mouse with a sniper out to get local gang members.

    9.0
    A clever game of cat-and-mouse ensues as Brenda meets her match in the form of a former Marine Colonel trying to find his son before the police do. Meanwhile, Westlake area gang kids are being killed by a sniper, and Brenda is determined to figure out who the sniper is, and why he's doing what he's doing. Richard Roundtree's portrayal of Col. Walter lifts an ordinary story and the battle of wits, and trust, between Walter and Brenda is the centerpiece of an engrossing episode with an unexpected ending.



    I continue to be impressed by the authenticity of The Closer. The episode's crimes take place in the Westlake neighborhood west of downtown Los Angeles, and the gloriously restored MacArthur Park, so recently the epicenter of gang activity in the area, is the location for the opening sequence. Locations used for the stake-out and chase are all in the surrounding area, and we even can see Fritz' GPS has him driving down 6th Street between MacArthur and Lafayette Parks. Someone is really getting it right, and it's a real kick for those of us who know LA well.



    Portrayals of gang members on television usually come across as comic bookish to just plain silly, but the gang members seen in "Show Yourself" look as genuine as can be reasonably expected, as the show effectively couples attention to language, costume, tattoos and attitude to suggest the contemporary Chicano gang member. Although the story carefully sidesteps use of the name, it also hints Sanchez may have been part of the infamous Rampart Division CRASH team known for its highly individual style of policing that often blurred the line between police and gang members.



    It was encouraging to see the first rapproachment between Capt. Taylor and Brenda, adding complexity to their difficult relationship. Robert Gossett deserves more than playing the resident villain of the piece, and we see here that despite his attitude toward Brenda, Taylor is a good cop who knows his stuff and got where he is for a reason. But the success of this episode comes down to the interaction between Brenda and the Colonel, who manages to pull the wool over her eyes not once but twice. The ending of the episode, with its abortive stakeout and chase to find the Colonel is both satisfying and frustrating. I doubt we've seen the last of Col. Walter.moreless
  • This is the first episode I've watched and I think I'll watch a few more before making up my mind on following the series.

    8.9
    This is my first episode of "The Closer". I'm not sure what the series title has to do with the show based on this one episode. It was an enjoyable episode and seemed well written. There was plenty of suspense and the ending left things hanging. It looked to me like the father must have shot his son to prevent his son from killing Chief Brenda. Given the supposed expertise of the father and son as expert sharpshooters, you'd think he could have disabled his son without killing him. There was no indication that this was part of an ongoing story line so I guess we'll just have to assume what should have happened next.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

Tony Denison

Tony Denison

Detective Lt. Andy Flynn

Jon Tenney

Jon Tenney

FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard

Amy Hill

Amy Hill

Franny, Homicide Analyst

Guest Star

Germaine De Leon

Germaine De Leon

Guero

Guest Star

Magaly Colimon

Magaly Colimon

Officer at Murder Scene

Guest Star

Michael Paul Chan

Michael Paul Chan

Lt. Michael Tao

Recurring Role

Phillip P. Keene

Phillip P. Keene

Buzz Watson

Recurring Role

Raymond Cruz

Raymond Cruz

Detective Julio Sanchez

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • During his interrogation, Jesus tells Brenda he wasn't around at the time of one of the shootings because he was in "Wayside." He is referring to Wayside Honor Rancho in Santa Clarita, now part of the LA County Pitchess Detention Center.

    • In the scene where Jesus, the final intended victim, is interrogated, Sanchez asks if his abuelita (grandmother) is in Good Samaritan Hospital. In the final sequence, we see Fritz driving Brenda to where she believes the Colonel will be, which we soon see is the hospital. They actually are driving down 6th Street, on which the hospital is located, but given the position of the wall surrounding Lafayette Park to Fritz' left and the LAUSD Metropolitan Skills Center behind them, they must be driving away from the hospital.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: January 23, 2007 on Prima

    • The subtext of the episode captures the tension between multi-generational Africa-Americans in Los Angeles and new immigrant groups, particularly from Asia and Central/South America, who reside or own businesses in traditionally black neighborhoods. The scene between Jesus (the Catorce Brenda questions) and Gabriel reflects this growing tension, particularly as Jesus taunts Gabriel with "we're taking over."

    • The Eastside Catorce (14) and LA Jokers gang names in this episode may be loosely based on real Hispanic sureños (gangs) in the area, many of which have names that include the number 13 or Loco/Crazy. Use of the number 13 does not derive from 13th Street, but rather from the 13th letter of the alphabet, M, for the Mexican mafia prison organization. Gang members are generally identified by highly districtive tattos which continue the 13 theme.

      LAPD gang abatement efforts in the area were initated in the 1970's with Chief Daryl Gates' CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) teams, one of which was located at the Rampart Station. Although often unorthodox in their methods, the Rampart CRASH team was successful in reducing area gang violence substantially through the 1980's and into the 90's.

    • The gang activity in this episode takes place in the LAPD Rampart Division, named for Rampart Blvd. which runs through the area. Among the more high-profile divisions in the LAPD, the Rampart Division oversees a community comprised largely of Mexican and Central American immigrants. The community's make-up, along with the large number of gangs in the area gave rise to a form of policing known as the "Rampart Way" which reflected practices in the home countries of the area citizenry.

      The Rampart Division became mired in scandal between 1997 and 1999 after a series of episodes of police misconduct lead to the prosecution of a number of its officers. The scandal so badly damaged the reputation of the LAPD it eventually lead to the dismissal of its then-Chief, Bernard Parks, after one term in office.

    • The shooting in the opening of the episode takes place in MacArthur Park. Located at 6th and Alvarado just west of downtown LA, it was one of two parks laid out in the 1880's (the other being Eastlake, now Lincoln Park). Originally named Westlake Park, it was renamed for Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1942.

      In the years following its development, MacArthur Park, with its spring-fed lake and fountain, and surrounding neighborhood were known as the Champs Elysee of Los Angeles. The neighborhood slowly fell into decline, and in the 1980's was the center of considerable gang violence, with the lake a favored place to dispose of guns used in gang shootings. In recent years the community group Alliance: MacArthur Park has reclaimed the park, adding a surveillance system and restoring it to its former glory.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • (Hearing the voice on Fritz' GPS.)
      Brenda: What is that?
      Fritz: I call her Tara. I think it's the same woman who does my voice mail.

      A sly second reference to Brenda being seen by the men as Scarlett O'Hara, Tara is the name of the plantation on which Scarlett is raised.

    • Provenza: Where's Scarlett O'Hara? (Referring to Brenda)

      Reference to the great southern belle, Scarlett O'Hara, from Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone With The Wind." The story is set, in part, in Atlanta.

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