The Closer Series Finale Recap: The Last Stroh

The following recap, by the very definition of the word “recap,” contains spoilers from the series finale of The Closer.

The Closer closed its seven-season run on Monday night with what was, for the TNT drama, a fine enough episode.

But as a series finale for The Closer, it admittedly left me a bit disappointed. Several industry peers I have spoken to feel the same, but I’m curious what others think.

As a consumer of quality television, I have arguably been among The Closer‘s biggest champions, dating back to when I would recap every week’s episode with great zeal, at TVGuide.com. It is an impressive, sure-to-be-lasting legacy that Brenda Leigh Johnson, series creator James Duff and star Kyra Sedgwick all leave behind.

But much of what I appreciated about the show was not on display in the hour that tidily wrapped Brenda’s saga not unlike the foil of a Ding Dong.

RELATED | Kyra Sedgwick’s Case for Leaving The Closer: ‘I Want To Go Out While We’re On Top’

Yes, she got “the one that got away” — super-slithery serial rapist/sometime killer Phillip Stroh, played so well (meaning detestably) over the years by Billy Burke. But in the end she “got” him not with her keen mind and a crafty line of questioning but a few clumsy gun shots. Stroh’s gasping visage does not leave me satisfied. The crushed countenance of a cocksure cretin who is felled mentally? After he so gleefully returned each and every volley sent his way in the interview room? That would satisfy.

That Brenda even had opportunity to shoot Stroh was because he, in an uncharacteristic moment for the disturbingly even-keeled psychopath, “snapped” and invaded Brenda’s home — after he’d been spooked by a piece of incriminating “evidence” that he had to suspect was fabricated. (Brenda “snapping” in the elevator, meanwhile, it could be argued was largely in the name of securing DNA.)

To be fair, the finale of “The Closer Proper” had to serve many masters, since it also needed to tee up the spin-off Major Crimes (which premiered immediately thereafter, with its own multiple masters to serve). That transition, for those who stay(ed) tuned for Major Crimes, was impressively seamless, it should be noted.

But this series finale somehow felt rushed. Right down to the convenient 11th-hour job offer that smoothly ushered Brenda and her tarnished No. 1, Gabriel, off the canvas (if only to a different neighborhood of Los Angeles).

RELATED | Kyra Sedgwick Eyes The Closer‘s Last Battlefield, Ponders Her Next TV Project

And then there’s the kid Rusty, a character/dynamic introduction that brought with it a wealth of exciting possibilities… were Brenda to stick around and take him in as her own ward while she tracks down his AWOL mother. Instead, he wasn’t there to serve outgoing Brenda but, one hour later, warm up icy Capt. Raydor’s story. (The Closer previously teased us/Brenda/Fritz with an ersatz child when Sedgwick’s real-life daughter Sosie Bacon played the top cop’s niece Charlie; another road sadly unexplored.)

Even the gift the Major Crimes boys gave their departing boss for some reason wasn’t as sweet as a designer purse full of junk food should have been.

But, with all the above said….

Brenda lives on. She was not killed off in some hero’s death. She did not leave in disgrace. She theoretically could resurface (though nothing in my most recent interviews with Sedgwick suggest that possibility). And she moves onto her new career with needed closure, knowing that Phillip Stroh will prey no more. And her presence will be felt every time Fritz gets roped into a case for Major Crimes, where Jon Tenney is set to guest-star.

RELATED | Major Crimes Vs. The Closer: What’s the Same? What’s Different? Is There Still Candy?

I come away from The Closer‘s run with great regard for everyone on either side of the camera who ever touched it, from the writers who sometimes made recapping a labyrinthine case more than a little problematic to the actors who brought Gabriel, Provenza, Flynn and the rest to colorful life, to the casting director who regularly picked just the right guest star to enter the fray.

As a series, its quality and sizable audience helped put TNT and its “We Know Drama” mantra on the map, paving the way for other series — NBC castoff Southland and the ambitious Falling Skies included — to find homes.

For that and seven seasons of entertainment, we should all say “Thank you, thank you so much.”

What did you think of The Closer‘s series finale?


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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61 Comments
  1. Eric says:

    I have to say that it didn’t feel like a series finale. It had a season finale feel for sure. I liked that Brenda’s story is continuing and she is getting what she has desperately needed, a real life with Fritz. I have mixed feelings about how things were wrapped up and I think the finale would have felt more like a finale if maybe they had expanded it to two hours. I do hope that we see Brenda Leigh for at least an episode or two of “Major Crimes” and I definitely echo Matt’s above sentiments about the lasting impact of The Closer and the quality entertainment it provided for seven years.

    • Eric says:

      I also have to disagree about the purse. That did really strike me as heartfelt, especially seeing how much Brenda loved that bag. I sometimes thought she loved that bag and her brown sweater more than she loved Fritz.

  2. Char says:

    I liked the parallels between Brenda and Rusty. The way things ended with Stroh seemed appropriate. Brenda was tired of listening to “bad men.” I like that she’s going to a job where she cares about the living. I’m sorry we didn’t see things resolved between Gabriel and Sanchez.

    • Rowan77 says:

      While it was momentarily satisfying to see her shoot Stroh, I felt like Matt. She’s called The Closer for a reason. She knows how to get people to confess. He was her white whale. The take down should have been her getting him to confess. Two brilliant minds facing off and she finally wins. Oh well, can’t have everything, but I have she episode a B because of this.

      • Irishgirl says:

        Exactly….she’s called The Closer for a reason. The more I think about it, I realize that I was expecting the whole “put Rusty’s picture out” situation to go down a different way. Have a completely unknown cop undercover with Rusty, and get Stroh when he tries to proposition or leave with Rusty. Then just arrest him for that, and just charge him with that. Lead him to believe that they are just going to follow him and arrest him for any small thing….jaywalking, running a stop sign, etc. Get him gloating in a non-interview room that is unbeknownst to him, wired…and then get him to slip up and mention what he’s done. Something along those lines. Once they arrested him, and then just revealed all their evidence willy nilly, I was disappointed. I just feel it could have been wrapped up in a more intelligent, character-true way.

      • Steph says:

        I think the idea was that she was done with dealing with “bad men”. He begged her not to kill him, and told her he would tell her everything she wanted to know. She told him she didn’t want to hear it- HER choice, to walk away from the job that took so much from her, knowing he was done, and let someone else crawl down into the ditch with him. That was her moment to break free, and I cheered!

        • db says:

          I could not agree more! While the Rusty metaphor was a little too easy/contrived – he/it spoke the truth about where she emotionally and physically lived. She had the chance to rehabilitate her soul/career (to a certain degree) in the “Silent Partner” episode and killing Stroh would have taken both her and Rusty to an even darker place – where secrets and bad behavior are excepted and accepted because they’re a part of that lifestyle.

          By saving Stroh she saved herself and Rusty had a chance to see that there were other options available in life – no matter how bad things seem to be.

          Personally, I’m just releived beyond wordsthat Justin Bieber wasn’t offered that role :)

          The Closer was more about who Brenda was rather than the criminals and I don’t think that it required an extra hour to conclude the series – it had seven seasons to provide brenda with closure and anymore would have been too much.

  3. jbb says:

    I have loved the Closer since it first aired! The finale showed a side of Brenda that I knew was in her but she just never got pushed the way stroh did! A great end to a great show! I hope Major Crimes will fill the Closer void for me cuz I will def miss the Closer and Brenda Leigh Johnson!

  4. Lori says:

    I think it was a brilliant finale. Kyra as Brenda Leigh has been my fav tv character since the first episode and this send off was totally keeping in character, while still be emotional though not over the top. One of my favorite bits was the subplot involving the under appreciated supporting player- Brenda’s black bag!

    • Kim R says:

      Yes….I thought it was a great finale. Love your comment of “the under appreciated supporting player – Brenda’s black bag”. :)

  5. kambai says:

    If I remember correctly, one of the seasons (3-4) ended with Stroh milling through Brenda’s house picking up items and replacing them. He seemed to be trying to get into her space to understand her better. The confrontation between then on the Mental level was a push so it was destined to always be a stalemate, breaking it required an unexpected, if risky, move that would win the day, or lose bit time.

    I was glad that it ended this way, rather suddenly. It was a better resolution than another court battle.

    • Irishgirl says:

      Stroh survived. There will still be a court battle.

    • LC says:

      Stroh only first came in at the end of season 4 (2nd to last epi). Brenda had a “dream” in season 5 that Stroh broke into her house. He never actually did what you think he did.

    • Kari says:

      You are thinking of someone else. I forget his name but it was the arsonist/murderer played by Jason O’Mera(sp?). He broke into her house and there is a shot of him at her table playing with one of the candles.

  6. Irishgirl says:

    I have to agree with you. I was disappointed in the finale. It should have been at least 2 hours. And I would have preferred that she have mentally outsmarted Stroh….or at least expected him to show up at her house…..again, mentally outsmarting him instead of physically. And to have her bond with Rusty, then just disappear from his life was more sad than compelling, and disappointing. If they were going to have Rusty become Raydor’s ward (which seems meaningless since she already has kids, and an estranged husband….sounds dramatic enough for “life outside of the precinct” stories, no?), why not have Kyra in the pilot of Major Crimes to bridge the Rusty story?

  7. chamber79 says:

    I was kind of waiting for that big twist and amazement that the Closer brought to TNT. Didn’t really ever happen for me. It was a good show and all, just not an amazing episode that I would go out of my way to talk about. I consider myself to be kind of an emotional hack when it comes to my tv friends leaving, having invested so much time watching them and “living” their lives with them each week. In this case, Brenda didn’t really have that heart felt emotional goodbye. With Brenda telling Captain R her own punishment and everything, it was just kind of anti-climactical. No real emotional sorry to see her go like usual if that makes sense. Just didn’t go out like a bang for me.

  8. Marc says:

    Shooting Stroh was the product–the unforeseen consequence–of Brenda’s DNA trick. She’s used tricks in the past to coax a confession, and they occasionally backfired. I was fine with the ending. No one was gratuitously killed off for (melo)dramatic effect. It all seemed quite natural. She had done all she could in major crimes and the LAPD. Attacking Stroh both ensured that and led to his arrest. It was time for her to move on and for The Closer to end. It was satisfied.

  9. Carm says:

    Even though I did want her to beat Stroh with her mind, I still loved the finale. I was annoyed with the way Flynn and Sanchez were treating Gabriel, like they had never made any kind of mistake ever. I also liked that Brenda will be ‘right down the road’ with Gabriel.

  10. nitemar says:

    Loved it because thats how Kyra wanted it. I think we haven’t seen the last of Brenda. That is if Major Crimes survives more than one season, and I’m hoping it will and that Kyra will come back fr an episode, maybe two! :)

  11. tvdiva says:

    I really enjoyed the finale and I loved that Brenda brutally attacked Stroh the way he had attacked women for years. I am glad she shot him and let him bleed while dialing 911. As far as her new purse is concerned, I have to disagree. I actually have a Brenda bag (QVC sold them in leather and vinyl leather) and that bag goes with me every day to work. For Brenda, it was her security blanket and she will take it every day to her new job. Not every finale is going to be what everyone wants. But I thought this one was truly satisfying.

  12. dave says:

    i know it sounds bad to say but i dont think major crimes will last as long as the closer given the episode that was just on. I hope that when major crimes ends Brenda will return for the finale that might involve the only other person that got away “Bill Croelick”

  13. Anne says:

    I’m of two minds in regards to the finale. While part of me would have loved to see Brenda go out in a blaze of glory, eliciting a confession out of he-who-thinks-he’s-untouchable by means of some brilliant stratagem, upon (albeit brief) reflection, this way makes sense to me. I don’t like it per se, since Brenda being the brilliant, dogged interrogator she is is probably what I enjoyed most about the show (the hilarious personalities of her team being a close second), but Brenda hasn’t been bringing her A game for a while now (did she use her patented confession-inducing skills once this season?). I think her capture of Philip Stroh was a last gasp effort before she completely burned out. Although I am somewhat disappointed that I didn’t get to enjoy watching her skillfully take him down as a final act in her Major Crimes career (and believe me, I WOULD have enjoyed it), I don’t think she really had that in her any more. I think that Brenda left the building a while ago. So, in a glass half full move, I intend to be thoroughly satisfied that she got her man, everyone lives to fight crime another day, and she gets to keep working with Gabriel. All in all, I think I can live with that.

    • Jennifer says:

      Well said! Brenda has finally, slowly, come to the conclusion that there is more to life than her job – even as important as it is. She has lost her mother – with the knowledge that she put her off when she wanted to talk. She has very nearly lost St. Fritzie several times. And she has very slowly slipped past to point of laying clever word traps to crossing a line no cop should cross. I loved last week that Gabriel was not knowingly the leak in the department (and what an awesome performance from Corey) and I really loved that as Brenda moves into a new job she takes her trusted detective with her. He was the first one she bonded with and he helped guide her into her new job. I read a post somewhere from someone disappointed that Brenda didn’t kill Stroh. But that would have defeated the purpose of showing that Brenda DOES know where the line is and CAN make the choice not to cross it. I think she needed to know that before moving on. Superb finale! I also liked Rusty and hope he works out on “Major Crimes.” The character has potential. Everyone involved with the show should feel proud.

  14. LC says:

    I only have two real complaints. Watching the episode for a second time….I don’t think Brenda Leigh had a good interviw with Stroh…..not one befitting “The Closer”. She always bestest people on an intellectual level. mean I think the altercation between her and Stroh was an appropriate way to end their story, but there should have been more. I think to do this, this episode needed to be longer. Period.

    I think Rusty gave her some good things to think about but he was pretty obnoxious.

    Her shooting Stroh through the purse though was genius. How poetic was that!

    • Jennifer says:

      I’ve gone back and forth on the Stroh capture and interview. It seemed to me they jumped the gun in nabbing him and Brenda had to know they had nothing to hold him on. I think it was to play to his smugness so that he’d let down his guard thinking he held all the cards, knowing he would slip up later. Don’t know, though. Yes, shooting through her pocketbook was genius! And what a fabulous going-away prestent!

    • jax says:

      Totally agree LC!!!! Well said. Capping someone through your favorite purse is legiondary, But getting a replacement as a send off-priceless. But I was disappointed too. Stroh out closed the closer in her interview room and it just wasnt Brendalicious.

  15. Maya says:

    I agree, it felt too rushed, I expected more character and relationship moments, focus more on telling us about Brenda’s future with Fritz, wrap up the Brenda-Pope relationship. I was disappointed a bit we didn’t get that.

    Nevertheless, we got 7 seasons of this amazing series and I’m happy with that, the finale was just one episode, there are 108 of others that I’m happy with in every way.

    TNT should’ve treated their flagship show better, give it a proper 2-hour sendoff, maybe not look only after $$$ they hope to make from Major Crimes.

  16. Irena says:

    As a longtime Closer fan, I don’t think there is any way that a single episode (it should have been two hours long with the launch of Major Crimes included as part of it, not one hour) could really wrap up everything and surprise us. It was better than expected (if Stroh hadn’t been dealt with in some fashion, I would have been more than peeved) but a bit less than I would have liked. Would have liked more interaction and/or resolution with Brenda and Will and perhaps more reaction from Brenda as to the final changes in her department as she was leaving (I guess once you’re ready to go, maybe you just don’t care, but that was untypically Brenda.) And the formal announcement as she read it seemed sincere, but somehow short and lacking. I personally liked the touch of the handbag as gift, especially filled with her goodies!

    For those who have said that Brenda was off her game these last episodes, that was the whole point. The last episodes chronicled her final A-Ha moments on a personal level after all the changes in the LAPD (and ones she did not agree with), the death of her mother and finally, realizing that she had presented more of a problem for Will than she knew. As difficult as brenda was to manage, she was someone whose professional single-mindedness (bring the bad guys to real justice; make them pay) was what helped fans like her and mitigated her single-mindedness/stubborness/lack of listening in personal relationships. If she wasn’t as caring about her jobs and getting the bad guys, Brenda cold have been a totally unlikeable character. But good writing and Sedgewick made the difference.

    The scene last week with Gabriel, where Brenda finally admits that she had not spent as much time listening to those she cared for as she did to the criminals–and had not really listened when Gabriel protested, was one of those small and brilliant touches that made this show standout as more than a mere cop show–and one that doesn’t just stereotype a main character but allows the real cracks in someone to show. And this week, though it was, to my mind, handled quite obviously, the whole setup with Rusty’s words/comments and Brenda’s reaction (Sedgwick is masterful in subtly conveying what she’s thinking) made sense. The final jolt to her burned-out soul, the realization that she was spending her life with the bad guys, was a perfect final blow to get her to admit she needed real change.

    The job offer was just way way too unbelievable, especially given Brenda’s relationships with DAs and her overall reputation as a troublemaker at the LAPD. But, hey, it’s better than sending her off to Atlanta doing who knows what. I had a hard time imagining how the DA would cooperate with the whole planted hair bit, but we’ve seen stranger things happen on The Closer.

    Think it was a major error to leave Rusty with Radar. Brenda should have truly been the one to continue the search for his mother. They had chemistry. He has none with Radar and his presence is not gonna soften Radar in our eyes, or that of the detectives.

    Meanwhile, with Brenda gone, I realized how much more I liked Brenda and Radar TOGETHER than Radar on her own. (And is it realistic that her takeover as Chief would have been handled so casually and suddenly? There better be more on that to come. Made no sense. Even with an official in the office announcement, you’d still have the same drama in terms of the team accepting her.) Radar actually showed a break-the-rules, softer “side” with Brenda–and had an appeal. On her own, as the new chief, with this whole new emphasis on deals (Huge mistake! I have no sympathy for shows where the bad guys get off. It’s bad enough that lawyers like Stroh managed to get themselves off, but now the police and DAs are helping? To save costs? Is that what we’ve come to? Oh, wait. That’s real life. Not TV)

    Don’t know how it will play out with Radar and the gang, but I really dislike the new female detective already. Never a good sign. And Radar managed to come off as far more “I don’t care what you think” than Brenda ever did, but without a good “cause” other than deals in mind.

    Long way of saying: Not liking Radar in MC and not sure this new direction is a good idea.

    • Lemon and Lime says:

      I thought that Radar had warmed up since she first appeared and become a more nuanced character than she was in her original “follow the rules” incarnation. Unfortunately, she seemed to regress to her former self a bit in the new show, making her less interesting and less likable. It looks like Provenza is going to take the place of Brenda as the foil for Radar, but I think that worked better when the power dynamic was ambiguous. Brenda outranked Radar, but Radar’s department supervised everyone. I am also sad that the producers emasculated Provenza for the second time. He seems like a very strong detective and was doing a good job running the department. I would much rather that he, with his strong personality, be the center of the show rather than Radar.

  17. Irena says:

    And as for Stroh: It made sense that Brenda didn’t kill him. And, more importantly, that she no longer even wanted his confession. She knew he was the killer and she finally got him. I could care less that she didn’t get him in the room (mentally) rather than at home, in the physical altercation. That “mental” thing was NEVER gonna happen with his character (and I really don’t believe he would have confessed to her once he got medical treatment either, so I loved when she said she wasn’t interested. BRILLIANT response that truly showed where she was headwise).

    Seeing her rattled when she realized she couldn’t fake him out was, I think, perfect for the final resolution. Personally, I would have thought Brenda expected Stroh to come after her and/or Rusty. That she seemed surprised was odd and off to me. I mean she was setting Rusty up. Why would she think Stroh would just give up? He was as determined as her.

    Their final showdown rang true to me. Even his comment about her mother–which had me thinking, for one moment, whether he had done something–was a touch we expected in the war between these two.

    Brenda finally letting go of this worked for me. Now, if anything happens on MC that Stroh takes a plea bargain, I will be hurling something at the TV. And never watching anything again from the creators of The Closer and Major Crimes!

  18. Kari says:

    I agree it would have been nice to see Branda beat Stroh in the interogation room but as someone mentioned above, She was burned out. Sometimes you need to skip the drama and just end it with a gun shot (worked for Indiana Jones!)

  19. Lorie says:

    I agree w/a previous comment. I wish the finale was 2 hrs long. While it wasn’t perfect, it was very satisfying. I def wasn’t expecting the job offer, but I’m totally OK w/it b/c she and Gabriel will now be working together again just down the road. YAY! I was hoping for some resolution b/w Brenda and Will. Heck, even a “thank you for closing all of those cases” would’ve been nice. I lost it when the team gave her the purse as a gift.
    IMO, The Closer not only put TNT on the map, it put cable TV on the map. It alerted all networks and said “this is what smart, quality TV looks like.” It was a pleasure watching every minute of this brilliant series for 7 years! It’ll def rank as one of my all-time favorites.

  20. Cathy says:

    Will miss her; I wish she had killed Stroh, because then you won’t have a trial.

    “The following recap, by the very definition of the word “recap,” contains spoilers from the series finale of The Closer.” – Love this; every website should have this that shows spoilers. I know people won’t read it, but I got a chuckle out of it when I saw it.

  21. connie says:

    I thought it was ok. I think it should have a full 2 hours to shine. I thought she could have a chance to nail stroh. Without the lame scene with him invading her home. At least he could have died. IMO Brenda could have taken the boy in. Maybe even adopted him along with the new job. As a full new life. And yes the tag pulling Gabriel in with her was lame.

    I did like the purse thing. I thought that was very sweet. But really thought Pope and Brenda could have had a ending conversation. They were friends and more but nothing more than him talking about the note? Overall it was ok. I just felt a little cheated. I felt like it was push of changing the guard more than anything. Brenda lee should have all the time to herself to shine.

  22. Personally for me I don’t think they did the character any justice. I think the last few seasons she’s been in so much trouble. Then that stupid “Johnson Rule”. I think yes she resigned, but she left because she was once again going to be reprimanded. I think the perfect ending or Brenda Leigh Johnson was for her to be named Chief of Police; since she orignally was on the short list. Then she would move upstairs and take Gabriel with her. That’s what I always thought they would do. Instead she felt she had no other choice but to resign. I was very sad at the way they ended The Closer’s seven year run. I thought it could have been done better.

  23. C says:

    My .02¢. The end of “The Closer” was great. Not wrapping things up with Poe, and in a nearly tearful exit from her team, she still kept them at arms length was true to the series, her character and real goodbyes…

    For those of you who have left jobs after many years, you don’t get an opportunity to “close out” all of the relationships you’ve made over the years. Often times, you’re walking out with your “stuff” and people are just nodding at you or busy or unable to say what they truly feel, and before you know it, you’re out the door.

    The small smile B.L.J. allowed as the elevator doors closed was a priceless piece of acting by K.S.

  24. Jackie says:

    Well as many others have said …they had me from the first episode. I will truely miss The Closer. As I’ve oftened expressed to someone who asked me about the show and what drew me to it…ALL the charactors!! In the beginning her staff couldn’t stand her…but as time passed they all became a family. They would walk through fire for her. I loved this character Rusty …only wanted more between Brenda & him. As for Stroh…didn’t anyone notice that all of his victims were long haired blondes like Brenda. Well goodbye for now… I will surely miss Brenda & company

  25. Karen says:

    The finale was awesome and I liked the way it ended. Yes it was a bit rushed, it should have been 2 hours. I wish they had waited until next week to air Major Crimes because it was enough to absorb the end of The Closer. One issue that was never resolved was when Sanchez met that boy and then was going to date his mother…no word on that story line.No resloution with Pope either. Will definitely miss the show and will give Major Crimes a chance.

    • jennifer says:

      Oh, and they left it with Sanchez not ever accepting Gabriel’s apology. Which is actually in character for him because he feels very strongly about things, but it seems like they would have addressed it one way or another.

  26. Marlene says:

    What impressed me about the finale was that they titled it “Last Word” and they used her very first words in episode 1 – “Looks like Love”. That is why the handbag was used ….the gift from her squad, tied it all up. Looks like love.

    • Ananaia says:

      Wow! I had no idea. I just went and rewatched episode one, season one. Brilliant!! Thanks for being such a keen observer!

  27. MAS says:

    I was expecting to be disappointed. The whole season had me worried so maybe that is why I would give it an A. I was satisfied with how everything wrapped.

  28. RuRu says:

    This was a great series finale, especially with keeping in mind that it will go on in some way, via Major Crimes. They didn’t need a big tearful goodbye with the squad because Fritz is working with them still, and Brenda will in her new job see them regularly also. I didn’t think Pope and Brenda needed any kind of big ‘goodbye’ either since their relationship had so deteriorated over the last few seasons, to me, the less Pope the better!All in all I felt satisfied. i do hope that we’ll find out how the Stroh trial goes though.

    • Shirl Morris says:

      But what happened to Pope? Is he going to be chief? He is a worm. He degraded Brenda in the last six shows and that was very unhappy for me. I felt degraded as well as I watched it.

  29. playdoc says:

    My thoughts on The Closer? For seven seasons, I’ve watched this character overcome obstacles to become well respected with her team and among her colleagues (if not well liked), and recognized for the talent she possesses, and all the hard work she’s put into this job. These past few episodes were depressing as hell. These last few episodes have been summarizing the show as one big massive fail of a career for Brenda Leigh, and frankly, I don’t like them destroying the character I came to care about, and essentially making me feel like the last seven seasons’ worth of loyally watching this show was a waste of time and emotional investment. So all those convictions Brenda Leigh got, all the success she’s done, is going to be overshadowed by the times she’s gone into a grey area to get justice for the victims? Doesn’t really seem fair in the grand scheme of all things just and right in the world IMO.

    My only thoughts for The Closer’s series finale were that I was so relieved Brenda Leigh wasn’t outright fired. I really didn’t appreciate Brenda being pretty much forced out of the LAPD. But, at least she’s still going to be head of something. Investigative talent like that shouldn’t go to waste imo. I still think The Closer could’ve ended these last few episodes better, but am glad they gave Brenda Leigh some kind of a happy ‘ending’.

  30. Michelle says:

    I loved it. Hands down, the best episode of The Closer. Ever. It definitely needed to be two hours, though. To wrap up some of the stragglers. I definitely would have loved to see her outsmart Stroh rather than strong-arm him after a series of un-Stroh-like mistakes, but still, it was wonderful and when her team gave her the purse, I cried like a baby.

  31. Grace says:

    I really think it was one of the greatest finales I’ve ever seen. I think showrunners should take notes on how to end a series. If you really think of it, Brenda Leigh chances of getting a confession out of Stroh were slim without forcing his hand. She he have broken into her house- no, but in the end she can leave knowing that she finally got “the one that got away”. Also, she was still able to leave on her terms, and was able to learn from the lawsuit and not kill Stroh- which shows great strength. She could have killed with him and possibly gotten away with it, but rose above. I will miss The Closer, won’t make any promises about watching Major Crimes, but I felt it all ended on a good note.

  32. I enjoyed the finale and was quite saddened to see the series come to an end. Kyra Sedgewick is a trail blazer among women in Hollywood for opening up the field of female lead procedurals on TV today. The gift of the purse and ding dongs from her team spoke volumes regarding their relationship. When she requested Gabriel transfer with her to her new chief role made me recall how Gabriel attempted to transfer away from Major Crimes a few seasons ago because of Brenda’s leadership. The shift in their relationship is worth noting. Brenda’s skill and incomparable talent in the interview room won the hearts and respect of her team. I am also glad Brenda was not fired but chose to walk a different path in her career and personal life. This show will be missed. However, Kudos to Kyra for a woman knowing when her “season” is up and acting on her knowledge.

  33. Susan says:

    Now we’ll never know what the gift was that Pope gave Brenda in season 1 or 2. She put it in a desk drawer and never opened it. What happened to it?

    • Penelope McMillan says:

      She threw it out.

    • Shirl Morris says:

      The last I saw was when she asked the lawyer who took it from her it she could have it or know what it was, he said no and would not return it to her. I do not remember why but he would not even give her hints. He left smiling about the whole thing. The lawyer was the guy Pope hired to help Brenda during his custody battle with his wife.

      • Susan says:

        I don’t remember her throwing it out. I thought she put it in her desk. I don’t remember the lawyer taking it from her. I thought it has been in her desk all these years. I guess we’ll never know what it was.

      • Deedee I says:

        He never told her the reason why he refused to let her know about Pope’s gift. I think it was just his way to annoy Brenda as she did before to him. It’s a friendly power struggle.

      • db says:

        There were (presumably) two reasons that he didn’t give the gift back to her and didn’t inform her of the contents.

        1. In order for the sworn deposition to be affirmed – albeit a gray area, Brenda couldn’t have the gift in her possession or know its contents. Either way the lawyer would have asserted that this was the truth b/c he was a very slippery high-power attorney (duh…)

        2. that aside, the lawyer wasnted to annoy her b/c she had thrown him a loop in a previous epidoe when he had been respresenting a Tom Cruise-ish client who had been photographed during a homosexual encounter and provided false testimony to the police to cover up his actions. This was just an extended play on that episode, and if you watch it – he was quite hilarious and the fact that Brenda needed him to do the same for HER reputation this time around was perfect revenge. Hilarious.

  34. I was definitely disappointed with the series finale; it felt way too rushed. For a show like this, plus with the number of absurdly long commercial breaks, you really need at least an hour and a half or two full hours. The biggest letdown for me was the lack of any significant moments with Sharon and Brenda during this whole thing, both after the incident with Stroh in the elevator and then at the very end when Brenda was leaving and saying goodbye to her team, and even that itself seemed to fall a little flat. All Sharon got was to read Brenda’s resignation letter–and you could tell by her voice and her shaking hands that she was getting emotional about it. After they seemed to mostly get over their initial animosity towards each other in Season 5, they had a really good chemistry in Season 6 and especially in Season 7, and some kind of nod to that in the series finale would have been nice. I really thought there would have been too, because in one of the promo commercials for the last episode, I swear I saw a glimpse of a scene in which the two of them were hugging. I wonder if they just put that in there as a teaser but then cut it out of the actual episode…

  35. davej says:

    I have been disappointed in The Closer storyline ever since it was announced that Kyra would be leaving the show and that was some time last summer. Right after that began the thread about her being investigated and getting supervised by Capt. Rader.

    Last night’s episode of The Closer was a disappointing ending to a disappointing 18 month story arc.

    As soon as I tuned in to Major Crimes, it became obvious that TNT had decided to spend about 20 episodes going back to last summer – 20 freaking episodes!!!!!! – to set up their new show. I was thoroughly p’eed off about this. I started to watch the new show and I fast forwarded through most of it. Through no fault of their own as actors, Asst. Chief Taylor and Capt Rader were cast as the bad guys opposite Brenda Leigh and they played the villains well. Now, TNT wants me to embrace these two as the leads and as opposition for my lovable Provenza and Tao?

    Sorry TNT, you blew it. You had a golden opportunity to continue on without Brenda Leigh’s character and you blew it. You made this about Rader and Taylor and swept my beloved squad under the rug. Now maybe you did include lots of Provenza and Tau and will give us more of them in the future, but I am not willing to tune it to see.

  36. Lizz says:

    I would like to give a heartfelt farewell and thank you to a great character. I have enjoyed The Closer from episode one. I just was sorry that Brenda had that slow sometimes painful self destiction. Koodos to Kyra and the great writing to having her dip into despare and in the final episode she rose from the ashes. Well done –thank you for leaving somethings unresolved as life is like that. Good luck with Major Crimes I shall give it a chance. I am looking forward to seeing what Kyra does next. Monday nights won’t be the same😢

  37. elisabeth says:

    Hated the way the DA & more importantly Pope treated Brenda Leigh!! Hated the way she was degraded. She should have been made Chief! I love Brenda Leigh & she deserved more!

  38. d compton says:

    WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO DO ON MONDAY NIGHTS NOW ???????????

  39. Jae Yim says:

    I agree completely with this article. It was disappointing compared to other Closer episodes. IN FACT, every Closer episode since it returned this summer has been AMAZING and captivating. Some of its best episodes were in these last few episodes. But what the heck was that?

  40. Maz says:

    Flippin eck. I’v just been searching my TV times to find out where “The Closer” had gone..to find its finished..Only recently came across the prog and fell in love with it..Flippin eck.

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