Things are not as they seem when Brenda and the team investigate the accidental murders of three college students caught in the middle of a gang shootout.
Brenda must also continue her attempts at keeping her relationship with Fritz under wraps while her mother remains in town.
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Assistant Police Chief Will Pope
Sgt. David Gabriel
Commander Russell Taylor
Detective Lt. Louis Provenza
Detective Lt. Andy Flynn
FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard
In this episode, Fritz is no longer driving the black SUV he had last season. Perhaps this was changed deliberately to stop confusion, due to the involvement of the victim's black SUV in the murder.
The gangs of Los Angeles figure large in this episode as they have in earlier ones. The scope of the gang presence in Los Angeles County is enormous: at present there are an estimated 600 gangs with over 150,000 members in Los Angeles County.
Brenda: (In reference to Fritz moving into her house): Are you gonna tell Daddy about this?
Willie Rae: Oh, Lord no.
Brenda: I rented you a car.
Willie Rae: I don't trust L.A. drivers. Everybody's always talkin' on their portable telephones.
Sanchez: Take off your shoe.
Buzz: Oh, I love when he does this.
Suspect: You ain't got nothin' on me. I ain't gotta tell you nothing.
Sanchez: Take off your shoe. (Suspect does, Sanchez whacks himself in the chest with it)
Sanchez: You kicked me!
Pope: (to Brenda) Well, it's good to see you're having a positive influence on your team.
Pope: What's with the Upright Citizen Convention in the hall?
Brenda: I had the Gang Squad haul in the most active Six-Dueces. We think this might've been some kind of tit-for-tat in their war with the Five-Threes.
Pope: Is that the legal term for revenge killing, now? Tit-for-tat?
Gabriel: Ma'am. I guess notification's gotta be one of the hardest parts of your job, huh?
Brenda: It is. But I'm not doin' my job today. You are.
(The following lines of advice are delivered in the car, intercut with scenes of Gabriel notifying the Talmadges)
Brenda: We need them to talk to us, so don't say you're from homicide. Just say LAPD. When people see you at their door and you say "Homicide," you lose them -- and any chance of learning something useful.
... Ask if anyone else is there, just in case they pass out when they hear the news. I had a single mother once who fainted, slammed her head on a coffee table and I was stuck waiting for an ambulance with a bleeding, unconscious woman.
... Answer any question they have with another question. We need to find out if they saw their son. It might even tell us something about their relationship with him -- maybe even who he hangs out with.
... How you say it is up to you. Once you tell them, watch closely. How do they react? What's the first thing they think of?
... Now get ready. You're about to become the main character in the story of someone's worst day ever.
Brenda: I can't believe I left my mother alone with Fritz for the whole day.
Gabriel: She'll be fine.
Brenda: I'm not worried about my mother.
Fritz: Gordon Shaw. Age 41. Actor. Found dead by the maid at 2 a.m. in the pool house.
Brenda Leigh: Cause of death? ... Cause of death?
Fritz: Doesn't say.
Brenda: What do you mean it doesn't say?
Willie Rae: Look at the size of that driveway, my word.
Brenda: What did he die of?
Brenda: That's supposed to be the most thorough book available. Let me see that. Fritz! How did Gordon Shaw die?
Fritz: Autoerotic asphyxiation.
Willie Rae: What in the world is that?
Brenda: Doesn't say.
Brenda: What? You moved your flight up? Why? I thought you were staying longer. I promise to show you stars that aren't dead!
Willie Rae: Guests are like fish. After three days, you'd better throw 'em out.
Brenda: You've been here a week.
Willie Rae: I'd best get on home. Your daddy's probably run out of fresh underwear by now. Besides, this gives Fritz a chance to move his stuff in from that tacky U-Haul. In fact, why don't you go out now and get yourself a clean pair of pants?
Fritz: Thank you Willie Rae. I think I will. (exits)
Brenda: How...how did you...?
Willie Rae: Half the medicine cabinet was empty. Half your closet. His mail was arriving here. I never could get a straight answer as to where he lived. And that baseball pyramid on your table. Why did you think you had to keep this a secret from me?
Brenda: I didn't want to disappoint you.
Willie Rae: Brenda Leigh, it's much too late for that.
Brenda: Have you seen my glasses?
Fritz: Yeah, they're at my house. (pauses) Oh wait---I don't have a house. I'm living in the back of a U-Haul!
Original International Air Dates:
Czech Republic: April 24, 2007 on Prima
This episode was submitted to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for Kyra Sedgwick's 2007 Emmy consideration in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. However, the award went home with Sally Field ("Brothers & Sisters").
Sanchez again shows his gang expertise drawn from his days on the Rampart Crash squad. In several scenes we see some of the most common signs of gang membership or presence. The African-American gangs of South LA have a very different system of organization, naming, and identification from the Latino gangs of LA. Most are affiliated with one of two large gangs: the Bloods or the Crips.
The 6-deuce members brought in wear similar clothing, as is commonly done, and red bandanas, affiliating them with the Bloods gang. At another time, Brenda interviews two 8-1 members wearing blue clothing, identifying them as members of a Crips gang.
Later, Sanchez demonstrates hand signals used by gang members, and explains gang grafitti on a wall. Grafitti serves several purposes for gangs: to mark territory; to name members; to announce their presence, their actions or their plans in rival territory (such as what Sanchez explained) or to warn rival gangs what will happen if they stray into the wrong territory. Grafitti can be highly communicative, and the Bloods and Crips have unique alphabets.
The gangs figuring in this story are identified by numbers: 5-3; 6-deuce and 8-1. These refer to the street numbers roughly central to their territory. South of downtown Los Angeles, the east-west streets other than major arterials are numbered. Gang names are rarely street numbers alone but tend to incorporate street numbers into their names.
When Brenda goes through her mail, we can see her address and Fritz' both have a 90038 zip code. This is a central Hollywood zipcode, adding yet another small wink to Hollywood to the show by telling us that's where Brenda lives!
The Talmadge family live in Ladera Heights, known in the LA basin as the "black Beverly Hills." Located near Culver City, the hillside community boast multi-million dollar hillside houses with ocean views, and is one of the wealthiest areas in the state. It is not part of the city of Los Angeles, but is in a pocket of unincorporated territory.
By contrast, although USC is a prestigious private university, the south LA neighborhood where it is located is known for its poverty and gang violence. The location used for the crime scene is on Flower St. Although slightly mis-located to be on the kids' route from Ladera Heights, the location is one block off Figueroa, and two blocks from the USC campus.
The Closer finished fourth (top cable shows) for the week ending 7/2/2006, drawing 5.6 million viewers.
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