This episode of The Closer was much better than last week’s. Brenda’s parents are back home or site-seeing or otherwise off-screen, so Brenda is back to acting like an adult. And the one time she does have a childish hissyfit, it comes back to bite her in the butt. But I am confused about one thing — how the heck is Pope such a babe magnet? I’m just not seeing it.

Spoilers lurk beyond.

Brenda has had her surgery, and she’s back at work — much to Gabriel’s dismay, as he thinks she should be taking it easy. Hah! Still, Brenda must be in a hell of a lot of pain — I know people call laparoscopic procedures "band-aid surgery," but it’s never a picnic when someone cuts into your belly, no matter how small the incision. So you’d think Brenda would think twice about rappelling down a hill to get to a crash site. Not our girl — she sweet-talks a hunky fireman into giving her a ride down. Go, Brenda!

Oh, and can I just take a minute to point our Brenda’s outfit? She’s apparently physically incapable of wearing pants outside where people could see her, but she does wear sturdy hiking boots with her floaty sundress. Hee! She probably wishes she’d worn pants, though, as she manages to stand in a clump of poison oak. Nothing like adding itching to injury.

Our victim of the week is Maggie, a Homeland Security accountant who was auditing the LAPD.  Her car went off a cliff, and the body had been partially eaten by coyotes. Strangely, the coyotes didn’t touch her face — they usually take out the soft tissue first. The medical examiner determines that’s due to the "seasoning" — Maggie got a face-full of pepper spray before she crashed. Also, the crash didn’t kill her — she crawled away from the car, and then was killed by blunt-force trauma to the head. Someone beat her to death.

Maggie’s cell phone and computer are missing, and that means Homeland Security is in a tizzy — that equipment contained encrypted, classified information. Brenda calls Fritz at work — hey look! Fritz works! — and asks him to get the phone dump. He says it’s not a great idea, and Brenda has her hissyfit, saying she doesn’t care if Fritz’s friends are making fun of him, and she’s just had surgery, and she can’t have chocolate, and just do it, already! OK, Brenda — but that could be a problem. Once you get the FBI involved, they’re going to have the authority to take over the case. That’s what Fritz was trying to tell Brenda, but she wouldn’t listen.

Maggie was a relentless auditor, and no one seems terribly sorry to see her go. Hanson, the LAPD financial guy, seems a bit pissed she’s dead — I did all that work for nothing? Ah, it’s nice to see he’s grasped the essential tragedy of this whole situation. The other end of the audit chain consists of Joe White,  who supplied the communications equipment Maggie seemed to have been interested in. He’s less socially unacceptable than Hanson, but he’s not terribly sorry that Maggie is dead, either.

Actually, only two people seem to care that Maggie’s dead — her husband … and Pope. Yep, Pope was having an affair with Maggie, and seriously? Keep it in your pants, man. Pope swears he had nothing to do with Maggie’s death, and he gets a bit snippy when Brenda gets angry at him. Sorry, Pope, you don’t get to do that — you were fooling around with a married woman (again) while you were still married (again) and now you want Brenda to sweep it under the table (again). He asks Brenda if she can not make his relationship a big deal, as it might have a bearing on the custody fight he’s having with his ex-wife. Brenda is shocked, hurt, disappointed, the whole deal — and she has every right to be. Pope, buddy, you’re a schmuck.

The FBI arrives to take over the case, much to Brenda’s dismay — but that’s what Fritz tried to warn her about. The agents are pretty snippy (they have a history with Brenda) and say it’s their case — they shouldn’t even be dealing with Priority Homicide, but should be talking to the Homicide Taskforce of the LAPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau.  Heh. Funny you should mention that … Gabriel gets them to agree to share the case with the folks who have Homeland Security training, and oh look! It’s Brenda’s team! Score another point for the LAPD.

Brenda decides to take a page out of Fritz’s book — she’ll be so helpful it will actually generate more work and get in the way of the FBI’s investigation. (The best part? Giving the FBI agents the dozens of boxes of LAPD financial records, but insisting that they leave the dolly that transported them. That was unnecessarily petty Provenza — and I liked it.) Meanwhile, she and her team will continue their work. They find out Joe White has been living way beyond his means, spending lots of money he shouldn’t have to renovate a house he couldn’t afford. They turn this info over to the Feds, who take Joe in for questioning.

Gabriel is a bit shocked Brenda let the Feds take their main suspect, but she’s got more on her mind. She speaks to Susan White, Joe’s wife. Susan confesses that Maggie had discovered that Joe was padding the bills for his communications equipment, and she was going to turn him in. Susan called Maggie and asked her to meet so she could plead Joe’s case — It was all a mistake! We just sort of borrowed some money from the invoices when our mortgage rose, and things got hairy, and hey, we were going to put the money back in a month, I swear! But she wouldn’t listen, and she drove off, and accidentally went over a cliff! OK, says Brenda, and the pepper spray? Oh, that, Susan says — um, Maggie grabbed my arm and tried to drive away! Really? Says Brenda. There must be a bruise, then. But Susan isn’t showing her arms or legs — because they’re covered in poison oak rashes, which she got when she went down the hill after Maggie and beat her to death. Busted!

So what do you think will happen in the last two episodes — Will Pope’s affair with Maggie be revealed? Will he lose his kids — or his job? Will Brenda and Fritz tie the knot? Will something else go wrong with Brenda’s health? Will Sanchez get over the fact that Daniels is dating Gabriel? And just how does Larry King fit in?

Posted by:Sarah Jersild