Just when I was feeling really tired of being in some kind of mourning over the end of the season for so many of my favorite shows, I was kindly handed a set of discs with four of the final six episodes of The Closer.
I have really enjoyed The Closer in the past, but last season was a little hard for me to watch. I noticed that I would often forget to program it into my DVR. Fortunately TNT reairs it, so I could still catch it later. Don’t get me wrong, watching Brenda Leigh Johnson, our sweet, kind-hearted Southern belle, go after killers with her smarts and vigilante fervor was always entertaining. And watching her consistently “cross the line” in one way or another for all the right reasons added great spice to the watching. But watching her do it with a serious court case hanging over her head and a supposed “leak” for the prosecution on her team, all of whom are characters you just have to love, added a hint of hesitation when it came time to tune in.
I was in denial and just plain didn’t want to know who the leak was and what pain that was going to cause in Brenda Leigh’s life.
Happily, it had been long enough since I had watched that last episode to help me forget all of that. I popped that first DVD in my player only slightly aware of that twinge of hesitation in the back of my mind.
And then I was totally entertained and engaged as those troubling details of the past were intertwined and dealt with in those first episodes. Like a novel with so many intriguing storylines artfully dipping down and up into one another, constantly weaving more and more interest in the major plot while working through some really innovative minor plots (murder cases), this season promises to be award winning on multiple levels.
Characters are masterfully fleshed out. We get to know all of the regular players better than ever. Relationships have changed … yet remain the same. I think they have deepened. Humor is mixed in deftly with the drama. Messages and morals-to-the-story are always there being subtly communicated, often with humor. (One of my favorite scenes is a breakfast scene with burned toast.)
Guest stars are delivering performances that could very well land them in bigger parts somewhere. Editing is noticably cool. Brenda’s wardrobe continues to get your attention and makes you think about how it reflects her character. And even when I watched the episodes the second time, I found myself in tears (there will be some tear-jerking) or smiling (again with the breakfast scenes) or mentally saying, “Awww”, at the same stuff as the first time and picking up more little extras that I missed before.
That’s what I like the most about these episodes: I will want to watch them again when they air. And I expect I will be just as entertained as I was the first two times. Now I’m also a little on the edge of my seat waiting for the epsiodes that I haven’t seen – a standalonen episode and the series finale were not included in the screener packet. No more hesitations about watching this steel magnolia work her way through her challenges, just a pleasant anticipation. I might sum it up in a quote from a scene between Brenda Leigh and Captain Raydor.
Brenda Leigh: “What’s wrong?”
Captain Raydor: ”Let’s not use the word wrong. Let’s just say the situation has become complex.”
My words: “Deliciously complex.”
The final episodes of The Closer premiere Monday, July 9 at 9/8c on TNT.