The Closer Episodes

2005, TV Show

The Closer Episode: "Red Tape"

Season 5, Episode 3
Episode Synopsis: Gabriel gets in legal hot water when he guns down a murder suspect and evidence contradicts his version of events. Force Investigation director Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) arrives to probe Gabriel's shooting, but her snooping interferes with Brenda's own investigation.
Original Air Date: Jun 22, 2009

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Season 5, Episode 3
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Length: 42:44
Aired: 6/22/2009
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The Closer Episode Recap: "Red Tape" Season 5, Episode 3

This week on TNT's The Closer, as Gabriel came under fire after a questionable shooting, Brenda went toe-to-toe with an internal affairs toughie. Also: Kitty's fate was revealed. On with the recap!

Gabriel meets with Taylor at a bar. Seems that the commander was asked to play messenger and get a letter to the MIA Daniels. Irene, however, would have none of it, and sent the missive back untouched. "There are some things an apology just can't change," Taylor tries to explain. "She's moved on, and so should you." Hmm.

Gabriel starts to open up about how he has felt removed from the MCD gang ever since he bucked for the promotion Daniels got when BANG! Shots outside. Gabriel rushes out, gun waving. There's a body on the ground. In the dark, he sees someone fleeing. Gabriel fires multiple times at the shadow, until a body slumps. It's some kid. Taylor advises the slightly buzzed Gabriel to accompany the wounded lad, Eric Whitner, to the hospital.

Capt. Sharon Raydor (guest star Mary McDonnell, with righteous indignation and officiousness to spare) of the Federal Investigation Division arrives on the scene — where she promptly bans the MCD boys from sniffing around, then takes Taylor to task for letting Gabriel leave the site of a shooting.

Brenda finds Gabriel at the hospital, where he frets he may have "made a mistake" — in not reading the kid his rights. (Brenda argues that dying declarations are admissable anyway.) Brenda wants to know exactly what happened, seeing as "no gun found," plus "no casings," plus "no impact marks" found behind Gabriel add up to "cop shot at an unarmed suspect." Brenda asks, "Are you absolutely positive what happened?"

An attorney arrives for Gabriel, and as he rebuffs the counsel, Brenda insists he DOES want it. Raydor shows up, cranky about being misdirected to the wrong hospital (to buy Brenda and Gabriel some time). While Raydor can't slip any questions past Gabriel's lawyer, she does strongly suggest he take a Breathalyzer test — "immediately." When Gabriel hesitates for a fraction of a moment, the Captain snips, "Do you need help with the word 'immediately'?"

This treatment of Gabriel raises Brenda's hackles. She wants access to the crime scene to look into the original murder (of newsstand owner Mr. Parsall). Sensing that Brenda is hot to absolve her sergeant, Raydor warns, "Be careful where you place your sympathies."

"Chief," Brenda corrects, pulling rank. "Be careful where you place your sympathies, Chief." Nice! Kitty's got claws. Brenda and her brand-new adversary exchange looks that would make the most fierce of men cower.

Confabbing in Pope's office — where, really, nary a civil interdepartmental conference ever takes place — Raydor asks Taylor about the hospital "mix-up"; he claims tipsiness. Brenda brings up the newsstand owner's murder, but Raydor scoffs that such a case would fall under the MCD's purview. When Brenda continues to make her case, Raydor rants (a bit too much a la McDonnell's Grey's Anatomy/Asperger's patient), "I must go first! My investigation must go first!" She adds that Brenda's attempts to pull rank are embarrassing and teetering on obstruction of justice.

When Brenda counters that she simply wants FID to move their red tape "a few feet to the left," Pope grants the MCD (minus Gabriel) access to the crime scene.

In the hall, Raydor "politely" asks that Brenda not do anything to hinder her successful FID investgiation. Seeing through the captain's false tone, Brenda speaks plainly: "You stay out of my way, and I'll stay out of yours." Raydor shrugs, "I tried."

The MCD arrive on the scene, where the FID boys try to play tough. "Tone, tone, tone," Brenda warns, shoving her shield in their faces. Unable to find cameraman Buzz, Brenda realizes he's standing behind Flynn, who's positioned where Eric was gunned down. A-ha! Gabriel was right about where the shots at him came from, but wrong about who they came from. Target practice slugs matching those found in Parsall confirm the scenario.

Back at the hospital, Brenda steals some alone time with Eric, whom she "warns" about transferred intent. "I didn't do anything," he claims. "I was just standing there." Whitner's incensed father shows up, barking that Brenda cares more about "some dead Arab" than about his son. Hmmm. Brenda now suspects a hate crime.

Brenda's snooping is interrupted by news about Kitty: Fritz says s/he isn't getting better, and there's nothing else they can do. "She has been loyal to you," Fritz reminds his wife. "And she only has suffering ahead of her. You know what needs to be done." Perhaps, but Brenda says, "I can't do it."

Pope and Raydor confront Brenda about harassing Eric. When she argues he is now a suspect, Raydor asks to see the new evidence she apparently has not been copied on yet. The captain then maintains that Brenda is laboring to get Gabriel off the hook. When Pope asks Brenda to show the Whitner's some sensitivity since the mom's brother just died in Afghanistan, Brenda gets her final piece of the puzzle.

Thanks to a diversion orchestrated by exclusive-happy Ricardo Ramos, Brenda gleans from Eric that his cousin, Billy, was looking to harass Parsall, believing that he was Arab and Muslim; little did the bigots know, the guy was actually American and Jewish. "I didn't know Billy would shoot the guy," says Eric. "Nobody was supposed to get hurt." Leaving the room, Brenda gives Ricardo his headline: "LAPD Sergeant Cleared of All Charges."

Brenda briefs Gabriel on the outcome, and Raydor informs him that the DA has cleared him of all wrongdoing. Gabriel can return to full duty, pending his behavioral sciences screening. Brenda and Raydor then share a tense goodbye, with the Chief snarking, "I have learned a great deal from your single-minded approach." Ha.

Back in the squad room, Gabriel tears up his unopened letter to Daniels.

Returning home (Kleenex alert!), Brenda cradles Kitty and tells Fritz, "You are right — I've only been looking at how hard this is on me, and not thinking about what Kitty deserves." To that end, she asked the vet to come over and... well, you know. "I want to do the right thing by her," Brenda says. Then, to Kitty, she explains, "It's only because I love you so much." And Matt tears up as he concludes this recap.

Some memorable lines:

Taylor: "Careful, [Raydor] can carry a grudge."
Brenda: "Then she'd better prepare for some heavy lifting!"

Provenza: "[Raydor] called my old partner misogynistic — we had to look it up. We had to take four months of sensitivity training."
Brenda: "Well, I can see that was a waste of time." 

Brenda to Gabriel: "If I'm gonna be upset with you when you're wrong, the least I can do is stand up for you when you're right."

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This week on TNT's The Closer, as Gabriel came under fire after a questionable shooting, Brenda went toe-to-toe with an internal affairs toughie. Also: Kitty's fate was revealed. On with the recap!

Gabriel meets with Taylor at a bar. Seems that the commander was asked to play messenger and get a letter to the MIA Daniels. Irene, however, would have none of it, and sent the missive back untouched. "There are some things an apology just can't change," Taylor tries to explain. "She's moved on, and so should you." Hmm.

Gabriel starts to open up about how he has felt removed from the MCD gang ever since he bucked for the promotion Daniels got when BANG! Shots outside. Gabriel rushes out, gun waving. There's a body on the ground. In the dark, he sees someone fleeing. Gabriel fires multiple times ... read more

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Premiered: June 13, 2005, on TNT
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (1,438 ratings)
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Premise: A strong, quirky woman leads an elite Los Angeles crime unit that tackles high-profile cases. Originally from Atlanta, the junk-food-loving Southern belle is a CIA-trained interrogator who's an expert at obtaining confessions that lead to convictions. From the creative team behind 'Nip/Tuck.'

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