If you thought, as I did, the aftermath of the shooting that concluded last week's episode of TNT's The Closer (Mondays at 9 pm/ET) seemed a bit pat, rest assured that things are not as they seem. Because amidst the anxiety Brenda is dealing with as a result of her early-onset-menopause diagnosis, the tough-talking deputy police chief is this week forced to do the thing she hates most — and as her parents pay a most important visit, no less. Kevin Bacon, who directed his wife Kyra Sedgwick and the rest of the Closer cast in tonight's episode, previews what's ahead for Brenda, Fritz, et al, as well as discusses his intense new film, the Footloose remake and a cause very close to him.
TVGuide.com: I understand that despite the last week's cozy little coda, Brenda is actually not 100 percent well after the shooting.
Kevin Bacon: No, she's not, and [tonight's] show, instead of starting with a murder, starts with a shrink session. It's pretty much standard procedure after you kill somebody in the line of duty that you get analyzed by a psychiatrist before you are allowed back into active duty. Brenda thinks he's going to give her the all-clear, and, of course, he doesn't.
TVGuide.com: The episode's breakdown says she is declared "psychologically shaky."
Bacon: Yeah. And obviously she's very unhappy with the results. She wants to get back [to work]. There's an attack and a murder that comes completely out of the blue in the first act that I think will be pretty shocking.
TVGuide.com: So there will be a case this week….
Bacon: But one that she's actually not allowed to solve.
TVGuide.com: That's going to drive her bonkers!
Bacon: It is driving her bonkers, but she tries to find a way around it. We also introduce her father. We've seen her on the phone with him before, but we've never seen him. A great actor named Barry Corbin plays him.
TVGuide.com: What is Corbin's take on the father?
Bacon: He's kind of a gentle giant, in a way. He's big and certainly is a formidable presence when it comes to his relationship with Fritz, but he also has a heart of gold. The writers were very good in the way that they looked at Brenda and figured out a way to create two characters who could have had this child.
TVGuide.com: Her father is former military, right?
Bacon: Yeah. So she shows up at the house, and Fritz and the parents are waiting for her, and she walks in covered in blood and surrounded by a SWAT team. It's an interesting, "Hey, welcome to the family."
TVGuide.com: We also have Fritz trying to tell Brenda's parents that he popped the question, right? Is that played with a bit of a lighter touch?
Bacon: It is.... In this episode I'm trying to work those two aspects of the show, which is always interesting. It can be very funny and it can also be extremely dark, like last week. While there is a certain amount of humor in it, the show in general has an ominous tone to it. It's also got a cool action sequence that I'm really happy with. There's some shocking stuff.
TVGuide.com: Like Fritz, did you have jitters when you went to tell Kyra's parents you two were altar-bound?
Bacon: Well.... [Laughs] Everybody remembers that moment. We were at a Christmas party that her mom has every year. Kyra stood up and said, "Kevin and I have an announcement. We're getting married." The first words out of her mother's mouth were, "Oh my god, that's awful." It jumped out before she had a chance to stop it. Her reaction was based on the fact that you never want to lose your little girl, you don't want things to change.... That's not quite the reaction [Brenda's parents have], but it is a tense moment.
TVGuide.com: What are the things that a director of The Closer should make sure to use, to capitalize on? [Bacon first directed The Closer for a special episode that aired last fall.]
Bacon: Mike Robin, the producer, will sit you down as a first-time director and say, "Here's the situation — make it work for Kyra." [Laughs] She's got so many lines, so much to do.... It's such an incredible amount of work, to learn it, to shoot it, let alone to make it sing every week as she does, so you try to create the best situation for her to get in there and do her s--t.
TVGuide.com: And I guess the burden is double for you, because if you fail, you get the big chill back home!
Bacon: [Chuckles] That's right, that's right. People always say, "What's it like ordering your wife around [as director]?" She loves it and is very deferential and is interested in input from directors, but she comes so well prepared and with a clear sense of the character and what she's going to do with it. I say, "Action!" and I let her do it.
TVGuide.com: Has the Kyra/The Closer thing made you ponder a series-regular TV gig at all?
Bacon: No, I don't want to play just one guy for that long.
TVGuide.com: Give me the bullet on Death Sentence, the movie you have coming out later this month.
Bacon: I think it's really hot. It's about a regular guy, a boring suburban family man. His eldest son is killed, and he, unfortunately, decides to seek revenge. His life then kind of spirals out of control with violence and mayhem. It's very intense and well done, I think.
TVGuide.com: Have you heard about the Footloose remake with that Zac Efron kid from High School Musical?
Bacon: I did hear about that.... It's great. Of course, the truth is they're not really remaking the movie that I was in, they're remaking the Broadway musical. It's exactly the same as Hairspray, where you had a movie that was not a musical that then becomes a Broadway musical, and then they make a movie of that.
TVGuide.com: Nonetheless, does it give you a sense of added validation that something you did so long ago has such legs?
Bacon: Uh, I can find validation other ways.
TVGuide.com: What can you tell me about this charity effort based on the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" concept?
Bacon: I started SixDegrees.org this year at Sundance. It's a website where you can go and see what charities celebrities support, and you can donate right there, or you can become a celebrity for your own cause. We have access to over a million charities. If you read about something that touches you in some way and you want to help out, you can just go and with a couple of clicks we'll show you how to donate. It's working really well and we're really proud of it.
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