Television Series DVD

The Closer: The Complete Third Season

Distributed By: Warner Video

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            I miss The Closer.  The follow-up spinoff Major Crimes is great, but if it weren't for the TNT original series starring Kyra Sedgwick, Major Crimes wouldn't exist.  So, when the summer session of Major Crimes is over, I turn to my TV DVD sets and get myself a Closer fix.  This summer, I watched The Closer: The Complete Third Season.

            In the third season, the Los Angeles Police Department Priority Homicide Division finds itself in the midst of a budget crisis and all LAPD departments must find creative ways to gain access to funding.  Assistant Chief Pope (J.K. Simmons) warns Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) that she will have to let some of her people go, either through retirement or through movement to other departments. 

            As Brenda struggles with the decision, Sgt. Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) finds a different way.  If the Priority Homicide Unit takes Weapons of Mass Destruction training, the division can get funding from the Homeland Security.  Of course, all of this is worked out without Brenda's knowledge, adding to the stress she is already suffering.

            And that's the last thing that Brenda needs.  She's been feeling rather under the weather lately.  Believing she is suffering from a cold she can't quite shake, Brenda goes through bouts of sweating, dizziness and more before deciding that she should see a doctor for her symptoms.  She learns that her illness can be anything as simple as an overload of stress to the more complicated diagnosis of cancer

            The health scare inspires Brenda's boyfriend, FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney), to move forward with their relationship and he asks Brenda to be his wife.  Unfortunately, though she accepts, Brenda has issues with moving forward with the relationship.  After all, she hasn't even told her parents that Fritz has moved in.  And when the house becomes to small for the both of them, Brenda decides that she is too attached to sell.

            There are some pretty disturbing and dramatic cases this third season of The Closer.  The very first case, Homewrecker, finds the team investigating the murder of three family members and finding the son upstairs in the attic, the lone survivor with no alibi.  The case of Ruby finds Sgt. Gabriel taking the law into his own hands to find a missing little girl.  And the final case, Next of Kin, in which Brenda and her team are on the trail of the perpetrators of an armored car robbery.  This two-part episode is rather poignant.  Taking place over Christmas, Brenda finds herself questioning the use of lies to persuade perpetrators to confess to their crimes.  This is the first time we see Brenda feel bad about her actions during an investigation.

            Of course, there are some pretty funny cases as well, like Saving Face, in which the team investigates how the body of a naked blonde ended up in the coffin of a dearly departed police officer.  Then, there's The Round File, in which Brenda finds herself matching wits with an elderly nursing home resident who claims he is a serial killer.

            As if the episodes weren't enjoyable enough, the powers that be decided that The Closer: The Complete Third Season should have some pretty decent extras.  The deleted scenes aren't all that entertaining.  I actually agree with their being cut and the lack of touch-up on audio and video makes the quality less than appealing.  The Gag Reel is hysterical - you can tell just how much fun this group has with each other on set. 

            But the real score is the featurette, The Art of Interrogation, in which we learn what goes into making The Closer, how close the interrogation scenes come to the real thing, how the actors feel about the series and the characters they portray and more.  Did you know that Kyra Sedwick almost didn't take the part of Brenda Leigh Johnson because the filming was taking place in Los Angeles and she wanted to be closer to her family?  Yikes!  I can't imagine anyone else in that role!

            The Closer: The Complete Third Season DVD set is just what the doctor ordered for a Closer fan going through withdrawals.  I loved the show when it first aired and love it just as much now, watching repeats of the episodes on my DVD sets.


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