‘The Closer’: Crime Does Not Pay Off

"Don't give me that look -- the episode's not all my fault!"Photo: Courtesy of TNT

While others were happily watching their DVR’ed Big Love and Entourage episodes, Closer fans were treated to an hour-long snooze-fest which, after last week’s messy episode, left us wondering whether the third season might truly be in peril. The writers seem to have completely abandoned any pretense of making the crime of the week compelling. A Chinese prostitute bludgeoned to death on a double-decker bus sounds pretty juicy, no? Yeah, well, it wasn’t.

Moving right along to … Brenda’s personal life! Her mother (the delightful Frances Sternhagen) was in town, popping up at the office with fudge and cutesy gifts for the staff. This of course made Brenda crazy, so she had her parents take a Chinese-language tour on their own double-decker bus — which was actually pretty funny — then pawned them off on her new fiancé, Fritz. (Has anyone else noticed that while Brenda always has a thousand things going on, high-ranking FBI-guy Fritz has nothing better to do than hang around the house?) Meanwhile, we predicted that Brenda’s doctor would try to impose a candy detox on her, owing to her recent female trouble, and she totally did! Brenda’s reaction — she gasps horrified “no”s — in the show’s last few seconds almost redeemed the lackluster hour that preceded it. But not quite. —Sara Cardace