The Closer Episodes

2005, TV Show

The Closer Episode: "Strike Three"

Season 5, Episode 7
Episode Synopsis: Numerous mysteries spin around a high-profile shoot-out that left two cops and a teen boy dead. Enter Force Investigation Division bigwig Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell), whose merciless snooping upends Brenda's investigation.
Original Air Date: Jul 20, 2009
Guest Cast Richard Tyson: Teddy Gretchner Paola Turbay: Det. Mikki Mendoza Brady Rubin: Eleanor Kretchner Lori Alan: Kathy Weber Ray Porter: Adrien Beck Derek Phillips: Stomper
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Season 5, Episode 7
Paid | iTunes
Length: 43:23
Aired: 7/20/2009
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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The Closer Episode Recap: "Strike Three" Season 5, Episode 7

This week on TNT's The Closer, Brenda butts heads once again with the FID's Capt. Raydor, when two cops and a civilian are shot dead during a pull-over. On with the recap...

An LAPD chopper circles the site of a street shootout. Two officers are down, slain by an onslaught of bullets, while a young man lay dead in front of their patrol car, felled by return fire.

The mood is somber as the MCD arrives to survey the scene. The numbered tags for the bullet casings reach well into the double digits. The black-and-white had turned the corner for a "routine" pull-over, only to get mercilessly ambushed by assault rifles — even before the officers could put their cruiser in park.

Since a civilian was killed by officers, the Force Investigation Division's Capt. Sharon Raydor (guest star Mary McDonnell, making vehemently unlikeable a bit of an art form) coldly analyzes the scene. When Flynn and Provenza attempt to humanize for her the fallen officers, Raydor warns "We all have to be verrrry careful with our emotions the next few days."

The clash between MCD and FID comes into focus when Brenda says she sees a gang attack, while Raydor sees a civilian gunned down by LAPD in a shootout.

Meeting with Pope to discuss the territorial squabble, Raydor says she has 72 hours to figure out what happened and head off any potential civil suit. Pope drives home the fact that two fellow officers are dead and that finding their killers is the priority. That said, FID can tag along, but Brenda owns the crime scene.

The MCD and Raydor visit the victim's mother, a racist, epithet-hurling monster — which jibes with the swastika painted on the living room ceiling. Raydor waylays Brenda's fishing expedition by notifying the mom of her son's death. Still, the MCD is able to dig up tattoo sketches offering a possible clue to the vic's gang ties.

Back at the murder room, Flynn and Provenza are furious that FID swooped up all the evidence, "every damn thing!" Pope calls Raydor on the carpet: "Which part of 'The crime scene belongs to MCD' did you not understand?" Pope commands Raydor to personally hand-deliver to MCD every shred of evidence, "right now" — which she does.

Raydor observes as Brenda grills the tattoo artist about his work. "Everyone has their reasons for their ink," he shrugs. "I don't judge." When he stonewalls, Gabriel warns the inker that associating with known felons violates his parole, and Brenda threatens to spread the word that he's a snitch and/or neo-Nazi sympathtizer. The artist caves, revealing that the vic came into his shop with "bad dudes from the crystal meth biz." He then helps by showing them the tell-tale tattoos he gave the vic's associates.

Tao tells Brenda about a woman, Eleanor, who called the tip line not to offer info but ask a question, about whether her car, a dark Cutlass borrowed by her just-paroled nephew, was involved in the shootout. There are also multiple calls from Eleanor's house to the civilian victim.

Brenda and the boys go to Eleanor's house. Surveying the car in the garage, Brenda and Raydor note that the cracked tail light is an exact match, while Sanchez discreetly extracts a slug from the hood. Brenda opts to leave the car behind, to which Raydor objects. To do so, says Raydor, is to bait Eleanor's nephew into returning for the car, where he'll inevitably get into a fracas with the cops. Exactly, thinks Brenda.

Sure enough, Ted and his pal Stomper show  at the house, where they hurl a few nasty words toward Sanchez and Mendoza (playing new parents out for a stroll). The police reveal themselves and a big ol' brawl ensues, with Ted putting up a helluva fight. Nikki even had to crack him good with her doll to quell the beast.

At the station, Raydor notes that she must launch a use-of-force investigation since Ted got bruised in the scuffle. When Brenda balks, Raydor reminds, "[The LAPD] pretending not to see things is how I came to be here."

Raydor makes a bid to talk to Ted, but he only has vile, crude words for the captain. "Eat me," he growls. "I'm not saying a word without my lawyer, you dumb bi--h." Brenda tells Raydor that she's going to take the suspects home, "where they'll confess."

How so? Outside the house, Brenda plants the thought that she and Stomper made a deal. Ted and Stomper then watch as the MCD digs around the house. Eavesdropping on the goons via mic and camera, Brenda deduces that the flower box is what worries Ted, and sure enough, there Tao and Sanchez find serious firepower and meth. Frustrated, Ted and Stomper confess to the shootout, unaware they're being recorded.

Ted begins to throttle Stomper, and it's a few moments until Brenda steps in with a Taser. To Raydor, she says, "I just wanted to make sure our use of force was appropriate."

Readying for the officers' funeral, Brenda and Raydor, in their dress blues, face off one more time. "The officers have been completely exonerated," Raydor reports. Not good enough, says Brenda, because cases like this will cause police officers to hesitate just an instant longer before returning fire, "and that means more good cops will die."

"Do you ever consider what your principles cost?" Brenda asks Raydor. And the sergeant has an answer: "$70 million, in the settlement in the Rampart case; one hundred convictions overturned by renegade police; and that's not to mention the loss of trust." Brenda says there must be a better way to regulate use of force without handcuffing cops. Raydor shrugs, "Well until then, you've got me."

In a somber squad room, Pope tells the team by apprehending the killers, they have done the best they can do for the officers' families - "we helped ease their pain." Provenza lingers behind as the others file out for the funeral. Alluding to the frenzy of the recently overcrowded squad room, Brenda says to him, "It's just the six of us again, lieutenant." "For now," Provenza responds.

Memorable lines: 

* Raydor: "I usually [interview] first." Taylor: "Then this should be a change for you."

* Taylor to Raydor, as the tattoo artist is threatened by Brenda: "He works on Nazis. Do you need something to wipe your tears away?"

* Provenza referring to Raydor as "Nurse Ratchett"

* Brenda to Mendoza, when Raydor arrives at Eleanor's house: "It's OK, she's one of us - sort of."

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This week on TNT's The Closer, Brenda butts heads once again with the FID's Capt. Raydor, when two cops and a civilian are shot dead during a pull-over. On with the recap...

An LAPD chopper circles the site of a street shootout. Two officers are down, slain by an onslaught of bullets, while a young man lay dead in front of their patrol car, felled by return fire.

The mood is somber as the MCD arrives to survey the scene. The numbered tags for the bullet casings reach well into the double digits. The black-and-white had turned the corner for a "routine" pull-over, only to get mercilessly ambushed ... read more

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Premiered: June 13, 2005, on TNT
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (1,440 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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