"Who will watch the watchers?"

This is an old question that keeps popping up whenever we talk about law enforcement agencies or any organization where the abuse of power under the color of authority continues to be a serious problem. Internal Affairs Departments are notoriously unpopular with the police they monitor. And the Force Investigation Division of the LAPD is no exception.

In this week's episode, "Red Tape," Sgt. Gabriel fires his weapon at a fleeing murderer, in self-defense. A boy is shot. But no gun is found. Enter Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor. Commandeering a crime scene, interfering with the progress of a murder investigation and challenging Gabriel's career, Raydor makes for a new and dangerous foil to Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson — both as an impediment to closing her case, and as a genuine threat to the career of a young man who was, once upon a time, her favorite.

While the case unfolds, our perspective constantly changes. How we view things (the murder, the victim, the killer, what we love, what we hate) transforms as alter our points of view. Gabriel finally tries to deal with the fallout created by his past relationship with Irene Daniels. Brenda faces off against someone with equal authority, and finds she must work her case differently as a result. Finally, there's the issue of Fritz, Brenda and Kitty, which reaches its climax tonight when Brenda discovers she must change the way she's been looking at her beloved cat.

Shifting perspectives fits easily into a season about change. It also makes for one of the best episodes we've ever done, and an amazing star turn by Mary McDonnell who everyone at The Closer now considers a part of our recurring family. You will see Ms. McDonnell again, and under even more stressful circumstances, as our summer run continues. And perhaps, as you get to know Captain Raydor, your opinion of her will change.

I expect there will be a few rebukes after this week's episode. All I will say today is that we had excellent reasons for following the course we have chosen, and I will reveal them during my next blog.

Hope to see you this evening.

- James Duff

ALSO: Read TVGuide.com's Q&A with Corey Reynolds (aka Gabriel).