The Closer

Season 1 Episode 7

You Are Here

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jul 25, 2005 on TNT
out of 10
User Rating
233 votes

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Episode Summary

Rated: TV-14-LV

When a judge is murdered in Griffith Park, Brenda's investigation takes an unexpected twist. Her best witness, or perhaps her prime suspect, is his teenaged son with autism. Challenged by the boy's behaviors, but convinced he has the clue to unraveling the case, Brenda must try to understand his disability, and thereby learn what he knows. Meanwhile, she must keep his mother, and the child protective system from taking custody of the boy, limiting her access to him, and the killer.moreless

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  • 192.094 187.794

    Wow – getting it on in the car – how high school. But when the phone was vibrating and dropped in their laps was sooo funny. But that sexual tension and frustration that is building up between them has got to come to a head one of these days. So I really like the way that Brenda can keep just switching over personalities depending on who she is interviewing. I get that the series is based around that being her specialty – but it’s cool the way that every week she gets a new way to stretch her legs out in the role.

    PS – Love the line of “You got to be this tall to ride my ride.”moreless
  • Austic Boy holds key to mystery

    When the team is called in to help an austic boy

    That holds the key to a mystery while Brenda's personal life

    As well as personality to go along with it is developing

    Slowly but surely as she holds her own with a sometimes

    Kind of sexist group of male cops but they are slowly but surely admiring and liking her!
  • An autistic boy holds the key to unlocking the mystery behind his father's death. They could have made this very insensitive to autistics with a lot of "Rainman" jokes. They didn't. They developed a plausible and enjoyable story.moreless

    Science Fiction shows are generally known for trotting out a freak of the week. Police Pocedural shows also do this. The difference is instead of monsters, the "freaks" are killers of every variety. Thankfully, they did not treak autism as a "freak" issue for the sake of entertainment.


    The great thing about this episode is they actually show a credible motive for murder. The mother and caretake of the autistic boy sacrifices her freedom as a means of improving her son's life. In the end the autistic boy loses both mother and father. He is totally disoriented as to where he is. It is left ambigious as to if this is a good or bad thing.

    Well done.moreless
  • More of Brenda's developing personality.

    We got to see an interesting and perhaps unexpected side of Brenda in this episode: the nurturing side.

    She took on the responsibility of an autistic boy, quickly picking up on his triggers (Pope and his red tie, for example), and she seemed genuinely comfortable knowing she could handle him. She took him home, kept him happily occupied in her office, and ensured his comfort for as long as possible.

    Even while conducting the interview with Jillian, you could visibly see Brenda's anger melting away in deference to sympathy. Justice had to be served, but it was a tough situation. To Brenda's credit, she made sure Jason was sent to Sloane House, given his limited options. In hindsight, that may have even been a better situation for him than to have lived with either of his parents, anyway. Regardless, she did right by him - someone had to be his advocate before he got lost in the system.

    What was horrible was at the end when he was being taken to his group home, they caught each other's eyes, and he settled down for a few seconds as if she was a comforting, familiar face to him. Heartbreaking.moreless
  • She's just so gosh darn good at this. :)

    Once again, I'd be scared silly to try to be hiding any information that this woman wants to have.

    She seems to have exactly the right touch for any interview she conducts. And one thing that I've really been enjoying about a series that focuses on the importance of the interview process is that she gives them their rights. They have all their rights, and yet she presents overwhelming personal reasons for them to waive those rights.

    Yep, it's inquisitorial. You bet it's a chilling effect in light of civil rights. She keeps people off balance and confused because she's knows exactly how to present herself in an interview situation.

    But here's what helps:

    The camera shows us that they did the things they're accused of, the evidence they're building their case on. Our sympathy for the suspect tends to be gone by the time she draws back her clenched fist and lauches her devastating assault.

    Without seeming to break a sweat. She is *cold*.

    And yet ... she seems so out of touch when it comes to dealing with her crew. Her personal skills are horrendous considering how deeply intuitive she is. And she's still taking some crap from them, but they've been doing good work for her.

    They're becoming people unto themselves, too, which is necessary. Someday -- I don't know when -- I'll know all of their names (I hope) but their contribution to the investigations have all been solid.

    I just loved how she was describing the effects of autism to her crew and they said "Does it say anything about a Georgia accent?" That was hilarious. And the little digs she exchanged about her sense of humor.

    It's nice that she let them into her heart, some. I hope thingsgo well with Fritz -- she needs something good in her life.

    And now she's got a GPS locator, so hooray! No more lost Brenda. :)

    The case itself was a minor consideration. Her interaction with the boy was at times quite funny -- "I hear he doesn't like to be touched" -- and at times heart-ripping, at the end where he didn't know what was happening to him.

    I'm ... really glad he's going to Sloane (I'm just a sucker for as-happy-as-possible-an-ending once in awhile). The situation she was describing through family services sounded like hell.

    It sounded much worse than the situation his mom was trying to pull him out of with his father. If it was that bad, she should've petitioned the court. Anything would be better than the random uncertainty of his life without either parent (although she didn't really think about that much, did she?)

    I didn't know that carjacking was a capital and federal crime. Must be a Patriot Act thing.

    Well written, well done. Another great episode.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

Bubba Lewis

Bubba Lewis

Keith Thompson

Guest Star

Michael Worth

Michael Worth

Jason Murphy

Guest Star

John Fleck

John Fleck

Eddie Hoke

Guest Star

Michael Paul Chan

Michael Paul Chan

Lt. Michael Tao

Recurring Role

Gina Ravera

Gina Ravera

Detective Irene Daniels

Recurring Role

Phillip P. Keene

Phillip P. Keene

Buzz Watson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The judge is murdered in Griffith Park. At over 4,200 acres, Griffith Park, which lies just north of downtown Los Angeles along the Santa Monica Mountains, is the largest municipal part with an urban wilderness in the world. The park rises in elevation from 300 to over 1600 feet, much of it canyons covered with vegetation such as indigenous live oak trees, sage and chaparral. Along with numerous picnic areas, the park's features include the Griffith Park Observatory, The Autry Museum, The Greek Theater, The Los Angeles Zoo, The Los Angeles Equestrian Center and the Travel Town Railroad Center, as well as miles of hiking paths, bicycle trails, bridle trails and mountain roads. Griffith Park was originally part of a Spanish land grant, Rancho Los Feliz, which also gave its name to the Los Feliz neighborhood that adjoins the park to the east. Located just outside the park are Dodger Stadium to the south, and to the west, the city of Burbank, Warner Brothers Studios (where The Closer is filmed), Forest Lawn Cemetery, and Universal City Studios. Griffith Park draws approximately 10 million visitors a year.

    • Fritz: I never get tired of saying this: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can or may be used against you in a court of law.

      It's close, but it's not the Miranda warning that's normally used in the show, which is ...can and will be used against you..." The "can and will" version is normally the one that's used on most television programs. However, what Fritz uses is equally correct - the statement of Miranda rights exists in several forms, all of which are designd to protect an individual under arrest from self-incrimination. Any Miranda warning must include the required statement of Miranda rights: the right to remain silent, to have an attorney present during questioning, and to have one appointed at public expense.

    • Keith is significantly upset by the color red, as is demonstrated by his reaction to Pope's tie. In one scene, Keith successfully solves a Rubik's Cube - with the red stickers that normally cover one side removed.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Brenda: But you do understand what happened to your dad?
      Keith: Yes, my dad is dead; like grandma, she's dead too.
      Brenda: So you don't get to see them any more.
      Keith: No. Where is it?
      Brenda: Where's what?
      Keith: Where's dead?

    • Brenda: Low functioning autistics have no language skills; they cannot survive independently by themselvles. Keith is not like that. According to his school records, he's very intelligent but he does have issues : he's unemotional, frequently says inappropriate things, he's literal-minded, he gets fixated on minor details, he gets agitated when his routine is altered and he's extremely uncooperative when anything or anyone gets in the way of him doing what he wants.
      Flynn: Does he have a Georgia accent?

    • Brenda: ...I like to have answers before I ask questions.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: February 20, 2007 on Prima

    • Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by four clusters of behaviors: limited or no communication skills, few social interaction skills, high levels of sensitivity to external stimulai, and fixation on established routines or repetitive behaviors. Ranging in severity and often accompanied by some degree of mental retardation, children with autism present substantial challenges to the adults who must care for them. They often have a fixation on an item or event, such as Keith's need to know where he is, and extreme sensitivity to external stimuli such as color or touch. High functioning autistic children are often able to participate in the academic curriculum at their schools, but only in rare cases can keep up with typical learners. Their limited social and communication skills mean these children lack the ability to play or interact with other kids, feel typical social emotions (anger, sympathy, grief, etc.) or appreciate nuances of language such as humor, sarcasm or irony. More problematic is their behavior, which, because they have no sense of what is appropriate or what can hurt another, may be violent. Children with autism live in a literal world, the stability of which depends on the maintenance of routine.

    • G.W. Bailey (Detective Lt. Provenza) does not appear in this episode.


    • Gabriel: I can't believe our best lead came from Rain Man.

      An obvious reference to the 1988 film Rain Man starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman plays an autistic savant, similar to the character of Keith, who is what it more accurately termed a high-functioning autistic. In both characters' case, they demonstrate what are termed "splinter skills," small skill areas in which they demonstrate high levels of ability and interest.

    • Flynn: What about the kid? Maybe he went a little Menendez on his rich old man.

      This is a quick reference to the infamous case of the Menendez brothers, Lyle and Erik, who were convicted of murdering their wealthy parents in their Beverly Hills home in order to inherit their money.

    • Brenda: I've always depended on the paranoia of shopkeepers.

      The original line, "I've always depended on the kindness of strangers," spoken by the character Blanche DuBois (in a heavy southern accent,) is from A Streetcar Named Desire written by Tennesse Williams.