Exclusive: The Closer Brings Back [Spoiler] for the Series Finale!

The Closer‘s series finale is still a ways away — the final episode of TNT’s hit crime drama won’t air until next summer — but TVLine has already learned that the show will go out with perhaps the most appropriate (and likely biggest) bang possible.

Sources tell us exclusively that in two episodes forming The Closer‘s very final act, Brenda will once again face off against her Moby Dick, the one that got away, the target of her one unclosed investigation — in other words, slithery and slippery legal eagle Philip Stroh (played by The Twilight Saga‘s Billy Burke)

As longtime viewers know, Stroh was introduced at the close of Season 4, when the suspect in a series of rapes backtracked on his confession to instead finger his own attorney, Stroh, as the culprit. Alas, at that time and ever since, Brenda never found enough evidence to actually pin the crimes on Stroh — this despite the fact that until recently, she even dedicated a room of her and Fritz’s cozy abode to tracking the unsolved case.

What threatens to bring Stroh back into Brenda Leigh’s orbit? The seven-year-old drama’s swan song finds Deputy Chief Johnson investigating the makeshift cemetery of a serial killer, and that case — one way or another — will resurface her longtime legal nemesis. (And all the while, Brenda will continue to struggle to hold onto her job!)

The Closer is currently in two weeks into “Season 7.33,” a run of five fall/winter episodes. The procedural’s final salvo of six episodes will kick off in summer 2012.

What do you think, Closer fans? Are you excited to see Stroh be a part of Brenda’s “last stand”? Dare we hope to also get a final visit from firebug Bill Croelick (played by Jason O’Mara)?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Templar says:

    Series finale? Yaaayyy. No more of that awful phony accent.

    • Snarkland says:

      Wow, that was both helpful and intelligent.

    • Sarah says:

      If you don’t like it then don’t watch it. There are plenty of fans who are sad this show is ending.

      • Pat says:

        And I am one of them. This show never failed to hold your attention, laugh (when appropriate), and appreciate the entire cast. I just loved Flynn and Provensa and the trouble they could get in. I wish they would stay on the air.

        • Sharon Flanagan says:

          What can be done to keep this show on for at least another three (3) years – with all of the cast that are now in it. They all play their roles ‘REALLY GOOD” and it is a shame to see such a good show go off the air and all of these crazy reality shows stay on. Again, what can be done?

          • nmg says:

            I love this show, I hate a lot of this reality BS. Please stay on I stay up and lose sleep to watch it

          • George says:

            Your right
            there is aot of show that are distasteful that should be cut but the Closer isnt one of them.

        • Kim says:

          Im saddened to say good bye to brenda. She always keeps our attention and has never had a boring show. Can’t believe there is a new spin off of closer but not with full cast

        • Shawnie says:

          If you dont like the show don’t watch. The closer is good its funny and it always has good story lines I love the entire cast I am sorry to see Brenda go and im hoping Gabriel did not betray her he was the closets to her. I will watch the new series give it a chance everyone one is back except Gabriel noticed from the previews all in all TnT the closer was one of the best running shows. PS please try and keep Rizzole and Ilsis sorry for incorrect spelling.

      • Linda Owens says:

        Every time I think of Kyra sedgewick leaving I could just cry. I really love that show!!!!

    • Cathy says:

      And maybe no more stupid postings from people who act like that.

    • lazy commenters says:

      Seriously folks. Tv line staffers Trolls gotta find some way to start the convo.

    • Tcmc says:

      My family is from Georgia, and I spent considerable time there both as as a youth and as an adult, and the accent is right on the money. Clearly, Templar you do not know what you are talking about. More importantly, don’t watch the show if you think the accent does not meet your standards. After all, it’s just a TV show.

      • JD says:

        I totally agree! The accent is dead on! It was Kyra’s nailing of the accent that drew me in. I grew up in Tennessee, and have so rarely heard the accent I grew up with done well in movies or television. It was also such an amazing treat to hear this accent coming from an intelligent character!

    • Carm says:

      Who is this mysterious person who forces people to watch TV shows they don’t like?

      • Jeanna says:

        YES! Let’s find that person & annihilate him/her!!! Because of that person, many people give horrid reviews about so many shows that those of us who watch because we LIKE a show & then the shows are cancelled. AND, those people forced to watch put really stupid comments about the shows in places like this….

      • George says:

        The Network most of the reallity shows suck.

    • jennrae says:

      You don’t have to watch it, but if other people like it, what do you care if it’s cancelled or not? Selfish people.

      And I’m a Georgian, born and raised, and the accents vary, just like a British accent. Some people don’t have one at all, which would be nice to see every once in a while on tv. I usually don’t have one unless I’m flustered or spend too much time with family–which also isn’t unusual, in fact a Jamaican friend of mine normally sounds southern until she gets around her grandparents and then you can’t understand a word she says. If you watch Justified, which is set in Kentucky, their accents are pretty close to what I would consider standard around here. Class and education are also factors. When I have an accent it has shades of hillbilly, haha, as opposed to, say, Brenda’s mom, who is more old southern debutante.

      I appreciate that Brenda’s accent changes depending on her mood or who she’s talking to. The syrupy-sweet twang people associate her with is usually reserved for when she wants a person to underestimate her or when she’s condescending to someone. It’s a bit put on, which is also something people do around here. That very quality is actually very realistic in particular to women Brenda’s age who are also most likely to utter the phrase “Bless your heart!”

      • Magically Suspicious says:

        Yup. I’m one state over from GA and you can hear ten different accents, depending where you are in the state. I’m told all the time that I don’t have an accent, but if you put me in a room or on the phone with a person with a stong accent, mine changes immediately. Kyra’s got it pretty much nailed.

        • Jeanna says:

          So true about accents! Also, remember that Brenda has lived & worked in various places, so her accent gets diluted by where she is or has been. That happens to all of us. Her mom, tho, definitely has a really accurate southern debutante accent, & I love it! Her dad’s accent is right-on, too. I think people who aren’t from the South hear the southern accent only on TV & in movies, & they don’t really know what it’s like. I really this show! I’m really sad it’s ending, but on the other hand, it’s a planned ending so we’ll actually see an end, rather than it having been cancelled without getting a chance to see an end. Kyra Sedgwick has decided to end it, not anyone else, so even though it’s sad, the final season should be great!

    • Mo says:

      Enough Brenda thinking she is so perfect and a know it all. She treats Fritz horribly and is degrading to him. Let him grow some and tell her off once and for all. She deserves it. Stopped watching if because of her holier than thou attitude towards anyone that tries to help her . She needs to be taken off the air.

      • C. A. Gray says:

        Fritz and Brenda are wonderful together. He understands her better than anyone; which is why she loves and married him. The most telling feature of their love for one another is that as a recovering alcoholic, she drinks her Merlot; he even pours it for her, and does not fall off of the wagon. True love conquers all, and most of all, they have each other’s backs. When he used his inheritnce to pay for her legal defense and not want to take credit for it, the strength of his love and devotion to her was evident. He loves her for who she is, bitchiness and all. With all of his love and devotion, Fritz is also very easy on the eye – what miore can a woman ask for?

    • kristina says:

      i am now and always will be the BIGGEST fan of ‘Thank Uuuuuuu’ BRENDA L JOHNSON is the most fun southern girl on tv ever! i will miss the show, i feel like im loosing my best friends

    • Belle C Frazer says:

      Kyra’s accent is much more authentic than many actors I have heard–words so slurred as to be unintelligible. As a southerner, I would much rather they speak in their own accent rather than make me cringe!

    • I speak the way Brenda Leigh Johnson does so… suck on that!
      I am heartbroken. Major Crimes will NEVER come close to the Closer or to the original cast! Brenda was a hoot and that forgettable woman with the foggy voice and half snear will be the death of MC. Wait and see…

  2. Irishgirl says:

    Ooo….I was hoping they’d bring him back before the finale. When he was mentioned in last night’s episode, I got hopeful. Now the question is will he still be the one that got away or will he end up in jail?

    • Anne says:

      My guess is that she’ll finally get him, but at the cost of her career (thus setting up her exit from the show).

      • ESLKid75 says:

        Exactly what I was thinking. She WILL get him, legally or not. She might even kill him…

        At the expense of her career…

    • Kate says:

      This makes me so happy. I’ve been wanting him to come back for a long time. I agree though I think she might really cross a line to finally get him though. He was one of the best villains on the show.

  3. Alecia says:

    I really hope they bring back Jason O’Mara’s character. Probably my favorite bad guy on the show. Cant wait to see how it ends. I cant decide what I want to happen.

  4. Ingmar says:

    I’m so damn happy to read this! I’ve send a question once about him on Ask Ausiello. This is the answer I wanted! And for the series finale…totally GREAT. My bet is she’ll catch him but she dies/has to quit in the process. Something tells me Brenda won’t get a total happy ending.

  5. Missy says:

    Sweet! I was hoping he would come back, great way to end the series

  6. Leigh says:

    It’s Brenda Leigh & Kyra Sedgwick’s swan song, but TNT is continuing w/a spin-off series starring Mary McDonnell (Capt. Raydor) titled “Major Crimes”.

    • Kathy says:

      I have loved The Closer from day one. Raydor, I have never cared for and, having seen every Closer to date, I have no intentions of watching ‘Major Crimes’ as I don’t think Raydor is strong enough to carry a series and certainly not strong enough to replace KS doing anything. Just my 66 y/o opinion.

  7. Marie says:

    They should so bring Bill Croelick back he was annoying yet hilarious

  8. handtalker says:

    Really glad Stroh’s coming back! Love the character & the actor….same with Croelick!

  9. AmyMichelle says:

    YES! this is the ONE storyline I was praying would come back (especially with the tone of the season so far) and I was really hoping they would not just leave hanging out there! could not be better news…I do wish they would bring back Bill Croelick and maybe even Dennis Dutton from season 1?!?!!

  10. Patty says:

    When I saw the caption for this on the main website, I thought to myself, please let it be Billy Burke’s character. Then I clicked on the link and yelled out YESSSS!!! (while at work no less, LOL). I’m glad they’re revisiting this character and for the series finale – perfect!

  11. Anna says:

    I’ve been hoping Jason O’mara would make a re-appearance as Croelick. Oh, well. Guess he’s busy with other things?

  12. Peggy says:

    It just occurred to me last night when they showed Billy Burke’s photo as Stroh that on “The Closer” he is a bad guy but if you continue on andand watch “Rizzoli and Isles” right after “The Closer”, Billy Burke has a reoccurring role on it as a good guy.

  13. brook says:

    Final show: croelick comes back, kills stroh for brenda and confesses he loves her. fritz shoots croelick, and everyone lives happily ever after except Raydor who has a one season show in Major Crimes.

  14. teresa says:

    I hate that the series will be over!!

  15. Reese says:

    I have to say I am disappointed that the show is over. I agree with Ms Sedgewick that some shows go on too long. I think it is very creative that they are bringing back the one that got away. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

  16. kathy says:

    I love this show. I could care less if her accent is authentic. I want her to exit with her reputation in tact. Mostly, I can’t wait to find out who the leak is. I hope it’s not one of her crew.

  17. Stell says:

    I LOVE this show, love the accent, love the Brenda character, love the crew. I don’t want anyone in her crew to betray her. Best show in a long time. Look forward to every episode. I hate to see it end. I love every show or movie that Kyra has been in. She and Kevin seem to be real genuine and sincere people in all their interviews, not phony and plastic like so many actors who have achieved success.

  18. T Maine says:

    I really hate that the show is ending..I love The Closer…Kyra Sedgwick is a great actress… I love that they are bringing back “Billy Burke”..I have been waiting to see if they would!!!

  19. fan of Billy says:

    I’m a big fan of Billy Burke and Phillip Stroh may be the creepiest bad guy on a TV show. Cant wait to see Brenda get him!!!

  20. Alice says:

    I think Pope is the leak–he has used Brenda and undermined her the whole time. He is leaking to take the heat off of himself with the lawsuit. Just my opinion.

  21. Twosons427 says:

    I’m sad to see it end I’ve been watching since Summer 2011 and I love it wish it wasn’t ending however I understand.

  22. Kk brady says:

    I all you are getting out Of this is her speech. You are sadly missing the political gamesmanship performed by an x-CIA agent. This chareater is very smart and knows how to use the gifts given to her.

    Having made the firm commitment regarding Pope selling her out with the Johnson Rule shows she is getting the idea that these are not her “friends”

  23. Wendy says:

    In one episode a retired cop killed a criminal who had gotten away with it and Brenda was so sure she could never do that but she was thinking about Stroh who’s picture was in her desk drawer. It would be interesting if she was faced with that decision in the finale.

  24. Lisa says:

    Obviously you have watched it so why criticize? It’s a great show so shut your pie hole.

    • Susan says:

      Lisa and the rest who came down so hard on the writers who expressed dislike of The Closer: you may not like what he or she said, but if others have the right to say how much they like the show and why, so do those who don’t like the show.

      RE Pope as the snitch: that is an interesting thought. I was thinking it was Taylor, but now I am re-thinking that.

    • Dr. DJ says:

      Lisa: Love the way you make it clear….those who criticize probably hate their own Mamas’, themselves, and clearly are the ‘biggest losers”…..go soak your heads and waste someone elses time. DJ

  25. Dianne says:

    I’m from Australia and this is my fav show, Brenda Leigh’s accent is the best! Try taken off my Aussie Accent, most overseas tourist have no idea what the hell I’m saying! Lol.. Oh Brenda Leigh please stay another series..

  26. newageaz says:

    I have been waiting for Stroh to come back – and am hoping it will be an amazing end to this great show. The tension between Stroh and Brenda can be felt through the TV. This has to be one of my most favorite ensemble casts in a TV show, and I surely will miss them all.

  27. Kathy says:

    I am sad they cancelled the show. I think the writers did a great job. Kept me faithfully watching. I would love to see Brenda Lee get Stroh. I too think it would interesting if Croelick returned. Maybe if Stroh came close to killing Brenda Lee, and Croelick saved her life by killing Stroh telling her “one for the road just plain Brenda”… and disappearing. (opening the door to major crimes to look for him) I would love to see Brenda leave because she turns out pregnant. And hands the reigns over to Captain Raydor.

  28. Sharon says:

    I hope that Brenda finally catches him – he is a killer without remorse. I would like to tell the entire cast of the show how much I have enjoyed their wonderful acting skills. They have made me laugh, made me cry and made wish that there were really such dedicated law enforcement people in the real world. The show’s writers were amazing. I will truly miss this great show and Brenda. Good luck to all of you!

  29. kaare says:

    it Brenda get pregnant than she reason not work. Fritz always said want
    kids. I wonder why they have not try she said it the job. i hope get get Stroh in jail. that why hate layer. I wonder how it end if still in
    California or go back home with her sick dad. I wonder they are stay married. she said this season she see job different and work married.
    she only as fitz help her now. she cant trust her people. on Ryder now.
    i wonder if get can get another job doing something else.

  30. k says:

    i hope the spinoff work i Mary McDonnell. I glad they keep some one the people. good lucky i how she closer last case. Good lucky …Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin. Mary McDonnell with her husband like kyra . I the act and teach class together. it got to get women take off major crime.

  31. Brian says:

    I’m gonna miss this show. I’ve watched it since the pilot episode. This show has been written and acted very well. Sorry to see it go. Also…im hearing that a spin off with Capt. Sharon Raider as the center attraction. Ill try it, but probably wont like it. Have a good one everyone.

  32. Betty Lind K says:

    I enjoyed the show and the cast, but really, how many deputy chief persons treat people like she does (lying, etc.) I will be sorry to see the show end, as the cast is really great together. The only thing I hope is that it ends with her getting what she deserves. She lied to people, treated Fritz like hell. I hope he gets smart at the end. Sorry, but I feel she is a woman who does everything to greater her image, no one elses. This is my opinion considering the show is ending.

  33. lisa lisa says:

    I just got done watching the episode with stroh and it wad great. I am truly going to miss this show. It has never failed to move me emo
    tionally. The cast is extraordinary and I am looking forward to the spinoff. Good luck to all!!

  34. Mary says:

    I will truly miss “The Closer”. The script is well-written and the actors always deliver their lines with realism. It is always refreshing and encouraging to see someone who relishes their profession, be it Brenda or Kyra. I am so sad to see that my “Closer” will finally be closing.

  35. Dee says:

    The Closer will go down as one of my all time favorites!–Well written and well acted by all—such a rare combination these days!

  36. brenda Mcduffee says:

    I hope the tv show is not canceled everytime i like a show it get canceled. I love the role that brenda plays xhe is one hell of a laby she will be missed

  37. twila fairbanks says:

    I am going to miss this show. I am not much on watching reruns but I’ll watch an old episode of The Closer over any of the new stuff any day, anytime. Brenda Leigh Johnson…I WILL MISS YOU MADLY.

  38. Karen says:

    I am so glad to see that they will revisit the one that got away, Phillip Stroh that is an episode that stuck with me for years. Exceptionally well written and acted, haven’t felt the same about Billy Burke since. Love the show and Brenda Leigh from day one. I’m from Kentucky and totally agree on Southerers changing accent slightly to fit the circumstances. Get him Brenda Leigh!

  39. Barbara says:

    I will miss this show!

  40. Sarah says:

    Love the show. Will miss it. Can’t stand the reality show stuff. No imagination.
    But about the accent. First that’s a silly reason not to watch a show.
    I am from Georgia, but I live in Arkansas now so when I visit my family the accent is a bit more pronounced. Second, within each southern state our accents will vary depending upon the area of the state in which we are from. It is wonderful to have such character!!!! Kyra Sedgewick actually does a very good job. Bc unlike non-southern actors that must fake the accent missing every other word., her drawl and accent is consistent. Trust me southerners listen for that!!!!!!

  41. Kathy says:

    This is my favorite show. I will miss Kyra Sedgewick immensely. But what I want to know is: who was that woman pretending to be Brenda last night? It was surreal. The expensive clothes, the attitude, the public display of affection with Fritz? Not like Brenda at all. Time enough when she’s gone to change things. I want to see Brenda with her parents, her niece, all the great episodes! And what about the leak? Just such a weird episode!

  42. james Hill says:

    I love the show,but I don’t See Sgt.Gabriel as a cast member on Major Crime.

  43. Kay Williamson says:

    I will truly miss this series, but I know that Ms. Sedwick has a family that she is devotd to and a series takes a lot away from that. God bless you and THANKS for all the memories! Best of luck to you and your cast.

  44. closer fan says:

    I hate to see the Closer go. I absolutely loved this show. I’m really going to miss Brenda.

  45. Sylvie says:

    I watched season 7 episode 1 yesterday. I’m glad another 20 episodes to go. I suspect either Pope or Taylor could be the leak. very sad to hear that this season is the final one. loved Brenda and her team. one consolation is we can still see some of them in the spin off “Major crimes”. who knows. Brenda might make a special appearance.

  46. Sofía Sánchez Romero says:

    La serie The Closer, me parece una de las mejores y más ágiles, con un sentido de humor muy definido, aunque parece ser que algunos críticos no lo ven asi. La interpretación de Kyra Sedgwick, es fantástica sin desmerecer todas las de los demás personajes, extraordinamente definidos en sus personajes. ME GUSTAN TODOS.