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.