Thanks so much for the great start you — the audience — gave our new season. It's enormously cheering to all of us at The Closer that we continue to be the top-rated scripted show on cable. By coincidence, last week's premiere coincided with Kyra Sedgwick being honored with her own star on Hollywood Boulevard's fabled Walk of Fame. That small, square of sidewalk forever etched with her name has been situated right next to that of Kevin Bacon's, which makes them the only married couple to be cemented together within one of L.A.'s most famous landmarks. Art imitates life.

But not in "Blood Money."

People will be tempted to draw parallels from Kyra's own life and our next story, but this episode was "broken," and nearly written, before the Bernie Madoff story broke. Unfortunate similarities exist, but the episode was supposed to dramatize our changing circumstances in the world, the ephemeral nature of stability, and the uncertainty that challenges all assumptions.

In "Blood Money," we are constantly asking ourselves whether the crime is a kidnapping, a murder or both. Is there one victim, two, or none at all? The offense is like mercury, and the solution abrupt, dramatizing the limits of the justice system.

Fans who like the more experimental episodes of The Closer may find this to be up their alley; those who like the less slippery model of the show may have issues with the mystery. In any case, there will be more worries about Kitty. And Provenza's disturbingly bad mood gets rather abruptly replaced with an equally disturbing amount of cheeriness. Well, the season is about change.

Next week, we return to one of our regularly shaped episodes, with the special addition of the brilliant Mary McDonnell in the first of what we hope will be many visits to come.

The blog is shorter this week than usual because I'm writing you from London, where I stop on my way to Cambridge to celebrate the end of my godson's college career. Back to work on Wednesday.

— James Duff

TNT's The Closer airs Monday at 9 pm/ET.