'The Closer' Finale: Brenda messes with Texas

Thecloser_290" The Closer" season finale revolved around a series of brutal crimes, a jurisdictional pissing match, and multiple manipulations. Plus, Daddy returns, and Charlie tugs the heartstrings.

We open on a comely blonde sitting in the pool, talking on the phone, not a care in the world... until someone stabs her multiple times. Her husband said a ninja did it -- ok, fine, a guy dressed all in black, like a ninja. The squad doesn't believe it, of course, and set about trying to get him to confess. But guess what? Someone else reported a ninja prowler -- and he got away driving a car with Texas dealer plates.

So Brenda calls El Paso for a bit of info, and gets Detective Landry on the phone. He immediately knows what kind of case they're talking about, and says he'll be there in four hours. That's not what Brenda wants to hear.

Thus begins the jurisdictional fight of the evening. The ninja-clad killer murdered two women in Texas, and Landry wants to take him back to Texas for execution -- "Try 'em and fry 'em, or, as we may say it these days, collect 'em and inject 'em." Brenda doesn't want that -- in all likelihood, this man has killed a lot more than three women, and she wants answers for as many families as possible. They decide that the cop with the most evidence to try the case can have it. Landry is pretty sanguine when they track down their first suspect, the owner of the getaway car. Yes, he owns the car, and he just relocated from Texas, but he just picked that car up from the depot near the airport today.

Brenda tracks down the driver of the truck that delivered Webb's car -- Jesse Ray Moore. Brenda and the team use LoJack  to find him at a truck stop in California, and Gabriel and Sanchez try to find him. Moore tries to drive away, but Sanchez jumps on the truck. Cue the swerving and the hitting and the out-of-control truck as Sanchez tries to get Moore to stop. It's a brutal fight -- Moore breaks Sanchez's gun arm with a baseball bat, but Sanchez eventually gets the upper hand and stops the truck.

Moore has plenty of souvenirs, but there's no blood and no knives in the truck. Then Landry drops a bombshell. Oops! We do happen to have DNA evidence from one of the crime scenes, we just haven't processed it yet. And DNA... well, that's the best evidence there is, right? So I'll just be taking him back to Texas.... Not so fast, Brenda replies. I plan to get him to revoke his right to counsel and confess to everything.

Which, of course, she does -- but threatening him with Texas-style execution. You go with Landry, and you're a cinder within a year. California, on the other hand, hasn't executed anybody in ages. You stay here, you live. All you have to do is confess.

He does.... and it's sickening. He remembers details of all his crimes, and he happily shares them with Brenda, who he sees as a a sympathetic ear. She barely keeps her lunch down, but after more than seven hours, she gets him to confess to 16 murders across the Southwest.

Landry congratulates her -- confessions trump DNA, so she gets the case. But just for some light reading, her gives her a file on the 16 victims. Take a look at their before-and-after photos, just for kicks. Brenda does... and decides that maybe Moore should be extradited to Texas after all. Landry gloats in the video room -- "I played that just right, hmm?" Ick.

The home front

Brenda's Daddy is there to take Charlie back... but Charlie doesn't want to go. She begs Brenda to let her stay, and Brenda says that if Grandpa agrees, they'll talk about it. Fritz overhears, and is not happy. No worries, Brenda says -- Daddy will never agree!

Ah, but Daddy refuses to be the bad guy. I told her it was entirely up to you two. Now figure out whether she's getting on the plane with me. I'm staying out of it. So even after her horrific case, Brenda has to tell Charlie that no, she can't stay with them. Yes, she's changed while she's been out here, but she can carry on with that change back in Atlanta. We gave you a second chance, and now your parents deserve the same thing. Besides, I'll come visit, I promise! "You always say that and you never do," Charlie sobs. Ouch. Well, maybe I deserve a second chance too, Brenda says.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
  • When the squad realizes that yes, there is someone dressed up like a ninja terrorizing LA. Sanchez turns to Tao: "What do you know about ninjas?" he asks. "What, I'm Asian-American so I'm supposed to know about ninjas?" Tao scoffs. There's a slight pause, then Sanchez says, "Uh, yeah." And Tao, of course, launches into the history and weaponry on the ninja. But that's less because he's Asian-American and more because he's a fervid and unrepentant geek -- which is why I adore him.
  • Barry Corbin plays he grumpy, long-suffering father to perfection. Still, too many comments like "We both know I'll be gone from this world soon, so you might as well get a jump on it by forgetting about me now..." and I sort of want to smack him.
  • Poor Charlie. She's devastated by the whole situation. I don't know if Brenda and Fritz should have let her stay -- but I'm surprised, after Brenda used her as a stooge, that Charlie would want to stay. Are things that bad at home?
  • Sanchez kicks Moore in the ribs several times after the truck stops -- and it's all caught on aerial footage.  I can't help but think that's going to come back to bite them someday.
  • Oof, that confession scene was brutal. Poor Brenda, having to smile and nod and sit through seven hours of that sort of horror!
OK, folks -- That's it for me. I'm stepping down from recapping duties, but it's been a pleasure writing for you. You can check out more of my TV writing at the CW Source -- and thanks!

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