The Closer opens with Fritz and Brenda driving to give away Kitty's toys. Gabriel calls her with a new crime scene and Fritz drives her. The murder took place at a community center, and the first person to find the body is Father Jack. Reggie Gray, the victim, had no known enemies- according to the Father. Realizing that this would take awhile, Fritz leaves Brenda at the scene and goes off to take care of Kitty's worldly goods. Brenda and the team try to allow the Father to let them search Reggie's room. As the team disperses with assignments, Sanchez takes Brenda up to the top of a church to give her the layout of the neighborhood- heavily populated with gangs and drugs.

Back at the office, as the team briefs each other on their found data, it seems that Reggie had turned his life around with his help at the community center. At the morgue, Dr. Morales tells Brenda and Gabriel that it is most likely an execution shooting. Pope grudgingly comes in on his day off when Father Jack complains about Brenda's actions. She requests a community meeting. The meeting at the community center, obviously, gets out of hand. Brenda is greeted with silence when she asks about the shooting. Reggie's mother, also in attendance, shuts up the crowd when they negatively respond to Brenda's request for help. Brenda listens to the complaint about a gas station call in, telling Provenza to call Buzz and have some of the team check it out. Tao finds bullets, and Buzz records it all. Sanchez makes note of the fact that he can see the church tower from the station. Provenza interrupts Brenda, who is talking one on one in the center with Reggie's mother. Provenza goes to the station in place of Brenda. Meanwhile, Sanchez and Buzz are at the church, Flynn and Tao use a laser to look at the possible connection, and find that Reggie may have been shot from the gas station, unintentionally involved in a unrelated shooting.

The next morning, Brenda is in a bedroom analyzing a perp wall of her unsolved cases. Fritz walks, and soon the conversation turns to filling the quiet house, and the bedroom, into a space for a child. This argument is old and Fritz is always the one to bring it up. At the office, Brenda and Sanchez are in the interrogation room with Tommy, the teenager who called in the gas station shooting. He gives up information on the guy in the Cadillac from the scene- the alleged shooter- but not the gang. After some solid coaching, he gives Brenda the license plate for the Cadillac.

In the bullpen, Flynn tells Brenda that Calvin Blake is the owner of the car, and lives close to the gas station. Sanchez comes in, letting her know that he got Tommy to unofficially tell him the names of the gangsters. Brenda goes back to her office and interviews Calvin Blake. He tells them that the to gangsters tried to tell him to get out of the car. He tells them that he bought a gun just t protect his car from gangsters. He got out of the car and pulled his gun on them. They teased him, and he shot a few rounds over their heads. She asks him to identify the gang members from a photo lineup. She then asks him if he knew where the rounds he fired would have ended up. She lets him know that he killed Reggie. He immediately irrupts into tears.

The gang members are brought in, and Tao fiddles with the new camera equipment- of course annoying Provenza to no end. Brenda walks into the room with the two gangsters, letting them see Calvin in another interrogation room clothed in prison orange. Typical Brenda, cons the gangsters into thinking that she is trying to protect them, trying to see what happened when Calvin tried to kill them. She asks them to write a statement. Watching her easily pull the wool over these gangsters may be the best part of this somewhat average episode. Or maybe the Tao and Provenza fight over the new technology. After she explains how they are Reggie's murderers, the gangsters are shell shocked, barely knowing how to react as they are dragged off by Sanchez and Gabriel.

The next day Brenda and Sanchez walk with Father Jack, who talks about the meaning Reggie's death had. He walks them to the center, showing her the community involvement with cleaning the graffiti, taking a better hand in their neighborhood. He also mentions that the community relationship between the neighbors and the cops has improved. Flynn complains that it is empty, and Brenda and Provenza take up brushes and help paint.

While this episode was not about the actual murder, but instead an episode geared around the tenuous relationship between gang neighborhoods and the police, it was average. A good, solid, social commentary, but a very slow episode nonetheless. We look forward to the return to Mary McDonnell's arc.

Image © Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

The Closer Cast: Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, Corey Reynolds, Robert Gossett, Gina Ravera, more

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Story by Sarah Lafferty
Starpulse contributing writer

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