This week on TNT's The Closer (Monday at 9 pm), one of the Major Crimes Division's own — Det. Sgt. David Gabriel — finds himself facing tough questions in the wake of a shooting. Corey Reynolds previewed his character's crisis as well as the introduction of one of Brenda's most formidable foes ever. (Also: Read The Closer creator James Duff's blog about this episode.)
TVGuide.com: The consensus seems to be that this season's first two episodes have been fine and all, but we have yet to get that "wow" episode. Is this week's that episode?
Corey Reynolds: I'd like to think it is. This week's episode is really exciting for a couple of different reasons. For myself personally, acting-wise, it was a bit of a challenge to let myself go through the emotions that take place. And we get a heavyweight guest star coming in this week, with Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica) playing Capt. Raydor. I can assure you, she quickly becomes one of Kyra [Sedgwick]'s most vicious [on-screen] nemeses. (Watch an exclusive video clip below.)
TVGuide.com: Even more so than any slippery suspect, like Jason O'Mara's firebug or Billy Burke's Phillip Stroh?
Reynolds: You'd think that two officers working together would share some commonality, more so than an officer working against a criminal. But in this particular instance, Raydor in her mind is not sure who is the officer and who is the criminal. Brenda is doing her best to see to it that Gabriel doesn't find himself in a situation that may distinctively change his future — not just with the squad, but on the force as a whole.
TVGuide.com: The promos show Gabriel firing shots into the darkness, and then being offered a lawyer. So it looks pretty grim.
Reynolds: And on top of that, those shots he's firing in the dark come about five minutes after his second Scotch, so.... It's a really complicated issue. Those people who feel that the first two episodes haven't been as edge-of-your-seat as they're accustomed to - and I can't say that I totally agree with them - are in for a very pleasant surprise.
TVGuide.com: You're a part of The Closer's longest-running — and a rather deftly handled — mystery: "What the heck went down between Gabriel and Daniels?" Are we getting answers soon?
Reynolds: You are going to get some answers this week. I think that ultimately, the maturity level of two people in a professional setting — when it comes to a romantic relationship — isn't always at its highest level. Deep down, I think there was a genuine love between them, but from what I understand in talking to [series creator] James [Duff], there are some political aspirations in play for Gabriel, and I don't think Daniels wanted to go that route with him. She didn't want to live her life under that microscope.
TVGuide.com: As the regular who probably clocks the most screen minutes with Kyra, do you consider yourself lucky?
Reynolds: I consider myself lucky, and it's also a tremendous amount of training for me as an actor. I didn't study acting growing up, so the opportunity to work with Kyra and JK [Simmons), Jon [Tenney], G.W. [Bailey], Tony [Dennison], Michael [Paul Chan].... It's like a master class for me.
TVGuide.com: Speaking of "the guys," you portray a very convincing comaraderie. Is that because you get on well off-screen?
Reynolds: We actually do, and I think that's one of the little-known facts surrounding the show's success, that the chemistry you see on the screen is manifested in real life. We're friends, we hang out together, and that creates an energy you see on TV.
TVGuide.com: What sort of TV do you like?
Reynolds: I watch a lot of Forensics Files, and I watch a lot of Cartoon Network and Boomerang Network. I'm an odd duck in that sense — murder and mayhem, or Tweety Bird!
Crave scoop on your favorite TV shows, from this summer or the upcoming fall season? E-mail senior editors Matt, Mickey and Tim at email@example.com. Also, follow TV Guide on Twitter.
Watch an exclusive clip from Mary McDonnell's debut on The Closer: