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‘The Closer’: Is Kyra Sedgwick Afraid to Play It Pretty?

Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda: Must she always do everything herself?!Courtesy of TNT

This week’s episode of The Closer finds Brenda Johnson and Co. settling into a good rhythm. At episode’s start, we learn that a girl has gone missing, and the department lays on the full-court press to track her down. The culprit is an greasy ex-con who delivers a truly stomach-turning monologue about the charms of underage black females that earns him not one but two beatdowns orchestrated by Brenda's underlings (protocol be damned!).

As any police-procedural junkie knows, such subordination would never be tolerated! It seems totally unbelievable that the morally rigid Brenda would take part in the cover-up that ensues. It’s also unlikely that Brenda would strap a bulletproof vest over her suburban-mom ensemble but forget to change into more chase-friendly shoes.

Of course she catches the bad guy regardless, and when the scumbag pedophile begs Brenda to “keep this white” (as in “let’s keep this between us honkies, dig?”), you can see the struggle in her eye not to clock him herself. Of course our heroine perseveres, eventually coaxing a confession with her trademark coquettish charm. Still, it must be said: Sedgwick’s facial contortions of late are growing so extreme as to render her hard to watch. She's a pretty lady! Must she make her character totally unappealing to ensure that she’ll never be accused of lazy acting? —Sara Cardace