'The Closer': I strenuously object

Cynthiawatros_lost_240 Tonight on "The Closer," was it Senator Kelly or Libby who killed Dr. Milanos? And Brenda and Fritz get a roommate.

There was no recap due to extenuating circumstances last week, but I have to say... Tom Skerritt gave an excellent performance. Creepy and sad. I've always loved him because of "Top Gun, "Poison Ivy," "Picket Fences" and now I can add "The Closer." It was a really great episode.

Anyway... I have to tell you how much I love that Brenda's mom is played by Bunny MacDougal. I love Frances Sternhagen. Tonight's episode surrounds a man who confessed to a murder while Brenda and Fritz were on their honeymoon, but at his allocution he gets details of the crime wrong. DUN DUN DUN. The man in question is played by none other than Senator Kelly from the X-men movies and the wife of the victim is Libby from Lost. This is like a game!

At the allocution, Russell Clark (the confessor) says that he strangled Dr. Milano (the victim) with his bare hands. Autopsy photos indicate that it was a weapon of some kind and the DA calls for a continuance. The defense attorney objects to the continuance, is overruled, and then strenuously objects. He is apparently channeling his Jo Galloway. "I strenuously object? Is that how it works? Hm' 'Objection.' 'Overruled.' 'Oh, no, no, no. No, I STRENUOUSLY object.' 'Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider.'"

Meanwhile, in Personalproblemland, Brenda's mom is trying to dump Brenda's niece Charlie off on her for the summer. And to complicate matters James, the schizophrenic son of the defendant, is hitting on Charlie. Woo woo?

Russell confesses to Brenda that James's mom died right before he went off to college and he took it hard. When he's on his meds, he's fine but when he's not, he's disorganized and scattered. Milano was the doctor treating James and Russell was begging him to stop James's treatment (because it wasn't working) and give them their money back. It looks a lot like Russell is covering for his schizophrenic son, but that seems to easy to be the solution in the first 15 minutes of the show.

The crew at the precinct reconstructs the Milanos office for Brenda because she was gone when they all examined the crime scene. Keith and his wife Robin worked together in the same office. The Milanos were making about 300K a month (a month!) for their "holistic" remedies.

In Personalproblemland, Charlie won't stop texting (because that's what teenaged girls do, you see) and Mama Johnson then pawns Charlie off on Brenda (who slugs down the red wine. We are so much alike!). Brenda shows Charlie a video of the guy who hit on her in court when he's "off his meds."

James is totally off-the-rails, talking about the dark and the closed door in Dr. MIlano's office and his father telling him to SIT. BACK. DOWN. It's very intense and nice work by Michael Arden. Also, Fritz and Brenda get railroaded into keeping Charlie for a "few weeks." Heh heh.

Brenda decides that if Charlie has to hang around then she might as well be useful, so she takes her to the interview with James Clark. Haha. Awesome.

At the office, it turns out Milano cancelled all the potential witnesses to his victims (patients that day, the receptionist). James shows up for his interview and hugs Brenda and says her voice is odd. Heh. He sees Charlie and is clearly smitten. Brenda questions James and he says that the room was dark and the blinds were down and Dr. Milano was motionless behind his desk. Mr. Clark was there yelling, searching the office and closing the doors. James was upset and punched a wall. He says Mr. Clark was searching because Dr. Milano was dead. James then says he strangled Dr. Milano with one of his socks and that he is "behaving so he isn't sent away." Yikes.

The police are perturbed because Dr. Milano was strangled with something heavier than a sock. Brenda takes Robin the widow (Libby from Lost) into the fake office her colleagues set up at the precinct. Brenda fast-talks her into revealing that she choked her husband with the strap from her handbag. Robin's motive was that her husband was returning money to their patients (spurred by Russell Clark).

It turns out James Clark was called into the waiting room by "Dr. Milano," but since Keith was already dead, it had to be Robin Milano who called him in. I cannot help but think of this exchange:

Dwight: Ok. A man and his son get into a car accident. They are rushed to the hospital. The doctor says, there is no way I can operate on this boy, ...
Ryan: Because he's my son. The doctor is the boy's mother.

Libby from Lost killed her husband because he was cutting off their business. Interesting enough, I guess, but I wish I could've recapped last week.

In the wrap-up, Russell and James are reunited and he thanks Brenda. Charlie is very taken with the whole process and it looks like she is staying with Brenda and Fritz. Excellent.

Best. Line. Ever.
"Charlie, which would you rather? Museums with grandma or schizophrenic murder suspects with Aunt Brenda?"

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