It kept occurring to me while watching The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD that Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) struggles just like any other woman. She’s struggling to have it all, a career, a personal life, and a family, as unique as her family may be. Even though she’s known for being tough and closing cases, manipulating suspects, then going in for the kill, she’s not any different than the rest of us.
The fifth season starts off shortly after Brenda has gotten married to her longtime boyfriend, FBI Agent Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney). Their thought on having the perfect family is shattered when “Kitty” becomes ill. It’s clear that Brenda really loves her cat, yet she can’t ever seem to remember whether Kitty is a girl or boy cat. When it’s time to say good-bye to Kitty, Brenda has a really tough time.
At work, things are sometimes more settled for Brenda. She’s still at the top of her game there. Her Priority Homicide Division changes to the Major Crimes Division, with only one change to the personnel. Det. Daniels is now gone, thanks to Sgt. Gabriel’s (Corey Reynolds) involvement with her. He ends up paying the price as well for his on-the-job relationship, but doesn’t seem to give up as much as Det. Daniels did.
Lt. Provenza (G. W. Bailey) goes through some changes as well … mostly personality changes. He gets a little extra flighty and even attracts the attention of a younger woman. Later in the season one of his ex-partners (Beau Bridges) comes back to town to help out, and it turns out he’s gone through some changes as well. Brenda’s home life continues to change, too, as she and Fritz welcome her troubled niece into the family.
Yet oddly, for a woman trying to have it all, it’s not all the men in her life that seem to be preventing her from doing so. The biggest catalyst at this point is Capt. Raydor (Mary McDonnell). She keeps popping up every once in awhile to really challenge Brenda. Capt. Raydor is in charge of Force Investigations, and is always there to make sure Brenda’s team is doing every thing by the book.
Yet, by the end of the season, it’s Capt. Raydor who’s looking for compassion, instead of the other way around. She suspects a case of spousal abuse with a female officer, and wants Brenda to bend the rules a little this time, because it suits her. Brenda doesn’t want to bend, and as she finds out, she needs to bend a little not just at work, but at home with Fritz as well. Brenda seems to go back and forth throughout the last episode trying to find out if she can have it all, and just like the rest of us, it remains unsettled.
Pick up The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season now out on DVD.