'The Closer': Brenda joins the FBI
Things are quiet in the office, so Brenda has nothing to do with brood over dead Kitty and cook. Fritz tries to distract her by asking for a teeny-tiny favor: Could you try to track down a guy called Austin Blair, but keep it hush-hush? Don't worry your pretty little head about why we want him. Brenda agrees.
Austin's boyfriend, Travis, filed a missing persons report on Austin a month ago after Austin left for a party and never came back. The cops figured this was just a jealous guy trying to figure out who his boyfriend was sleeping with, so they didn't look too hard. If they had, they'd have realized Austin was in the county morgue. He died of what appears to be an overdose after a massive circuit party. But before Brenda can get any answers, Fritz and his partner, Agent Moore, swoop in. The Feds aren't talking. If Brenda and her team want answers, they're going to have to join the FBI. So they do -- on a temporary basis. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
Austin's stepfather, a surgeon, seems slightly put out that they're even bothering him about Austin's death. I lost him to drugs long ago! He suggests they talk to the boyfriend. The squad finds GHB and cash at Austin's place, and arrest Travis for the drugs. They also discover Fritz's business card -- Austin turned FBI informant after he was caught selling drugs at circuit parties. Brenda does well getting info out of Travis, but Agent Moore breaks in right when things are getting good -- when Travis identifies Austin's drug-pushing "boss," Peter Benjamin. Drugs are all the Feds care about -- even more than catching a killer.
The Feds reluctantly allow Brenda to sit in on their interview with Benjamin, but she's not allowed to record or take notes, and she can only ask follow-up questions. Of course, she hides a recorder in her massive purse, and she managed to work in more follow-ups than actual questions. But when Fritz objects to her lying through her teeth to get Benjamin to confess, Brenda quits the FBI. She'll do this her way!
The squad realizes that Austin's car was nowhere to be found. Travis says he doesn't have keys -- Austin was nervous about anyone else driving his dad's car. Aha! The car is indeed in Dr. Blair's garage. What's more, there's a substantial stash of ingredients to make GHB in his office. But don't worry, Brenda says -- I don't care about the drugs. I just want to catch whoever killed Austin. So Dr. Blair tells her that yes, he was Austin's supplier -- just to make money after he lost so much in the crash. Then Austin got caught by the Feds. Austin decided they should get rid of the supply, stop making drugs, and turn in Benjamin. But Dr. Blair got spooked -- he told Benjamin he wanted out, and, when Benjamin threatened him, gave up Austin. Thanks, dad!
Brenda trades Dr. Blair for Benjamin -- the Feds get their supplier, and Brenda gets her murderer. Everyone wins!
Brenda is most distraught about Kitty, especially when Fritz shows up with Kitty's ashes in a plastic bag. That's not respectful! she whimpers -- while pouring them into a Tupperware container. Heh. She carries those ashes with her everywhere, which leads to some uncomfortable situations -- when she asks Pope for permission to look into the Austin Blair missing persons case, he's going to say no, but then she catches sight of the remains and gets all teary. What can he do but acquiesce?
Ah, but it's all strategy -- True, Brenda is genuinely broken up about Kitty's death, but she's not above using it to get what she wants. When Fritz isn't as forthcoming as she'd like about the case, she starts to whimper about how upset she is. Not gonna work, Fritz says, and she immediately shuts those tears down. Heh.
In the meantime, we meet Lauren, the woman who Provenza has been seeing -- and she's (1) MUCH younger than him, and (2) gorgeous. The squad is shocked. Surely this is some kind of put-on! And if it's not, they're more than happy to make subtle -- and not so subtle -- jobs about the age difference. Even Buzz gets in on the act -- and has to witness some tonsil hockey for his impudence. Hah!
Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
- Fritz suggests they get an urn for Kitty's ashes. No, says Brenda --I'm not going to be one of those crazy cat ladies! In the end, she's just that -- she and Fritz have an urn and picture on the mantel, and they settle in to watch a Birds of the Amazon video (one of Kitty's favorites!) in her honor.
- Brenda asks Flynn about Lauren, and is shocked to hear she's the girlfriend. She's a menswear buyer at a high-end department store. "So ends the mystery of the new suits!" Brenda says.
- Actually, everyone's reactions are priceless -- especially the silent "Wow!" that Pope mouths when he finds out.
- Brenda and the Feds jockey for position over the corpse. Dr. Morales interjects: "This morgue is neutral territory. Like Switzerland, without the money."
- I loved Morales this ep -- when he discovers Austin had a boyfriend, and figures out the day he was found, he immediately knows that he must have been at the Hell-A circuit party. He's just so matter of fact as he educates Brenda and Gabriel in "gay culture 101." It's not a big deal for him, just general knowledge everyone should know.
- Moore tells the squad that they have to get deputized to get any further info on the case -- and they have to act like FBI agents! "I solemnly swear to act as stupid as possible," Flynn says.
- Flynn does just that -- but mostly when it comes to Provenza. Is he jealous that his best bud is getting taken away?
- The Kitty thing only works once on Pope -- the second time he sees that Tupperware container, he says "You know, maybe you should just not bring your dead pets to work!"
- Brenda is appalled that Fritz and the Feds frown upon lying to suspects: "For heaven's sake, Fritzy, if we all stopped lying to each other, how would we ever get to the truth?" Apparently he agrees -- the whole situation was a set-up from the beginning.
- Of course, Brenda did tell the truth about one thing -- she told Dr. Blair that she didn't' care about the drugs, and that LAPD would be releasing him from custody. She just didn't mention the part about the FBI waiting to swoop him -- and his written confession -- right up.
- The other condition of turning over Dr. Blair was that Brenda got Austin's cash -- which she gave to Travis.