“The Closer” 5.5 mini-cap: Half Load


Brenda and Fritz are taking Kitty’s play things to donate at the shelter. Brenda paws at Kitty’s stuffed chickadee which is wrapped around the rear view mirror. Southerners like to call this behavior “eccentric,” but speaking from experience, it’s just a fancy word for wackadoodle.

Brenda gets a call, interrupting their sentimental journey. There’s been a murder at the Crenshaw Community Center, Father Jack’s center. Brenda’s squad has a history there and not a good history. There is a single victim — black male, single gunshot wound to the head.

The victim’s wallet is there, so no robbery motive. Father Jack informs the detectives the victim is paroled ex-con, Reggie Gray. He was helping out at the community center, mentoring at risk youth and painting over the graffiti around the center.

Brenda wants to assess the crime scene from on high. Secure in his masculinity, Det. Sanchez holds Brenda’s purse while she climbs the bell tower of the church across the street. The church and associated Center overlook gang territory, a different gang in each direction.

Father Jack wants Brenda to speak with the people of his parish with open dialogue, something she never likes to do. The Father warns the community feels abandoned by the LAPD and are angry. It is a Catholic church community, so she brings the Pope with her.

The residents are yelling at Brenda and Chief Pope about crime and fear in the neighborhood. Brenda says the slightest detail could help them close this case. There is a fearful quiet. The people say the police can’t protect them if they talk.

There is an impassioned plea by the victim’s mother. Her son was trying to get his life together. Participate in the process, or one of you will be sitting where she is, mourning the loss of her only child. When is this going to end?

Someone speaks up and says the police are no help. There was recently a shooting at the gas mart, but the police just left. Brenda has a “moment” and sends the squad over to the gas station. At the gas station, the squad finds several shell casings. Brenda wants to go, leaving Provenza at the meeting. Pope says no. Leaving Provenza at an ethnicity mixed community meeting is like leaving the Reverend Phelps at a PFLAG meeting.

Sanchez has an idea and borrows one of Lt. Tao’s geeky lasers. The path of the bullets trace to the community center. Reggie Gray was shot during a gun fight he wasn’t involved in.

At home it’s quiet without Kitty. Fritz suggests they break the silence with a baby. It’s quieter now. Brenda reflects on the victim’s mother. She loved her son. She was helping him turn his life around. How can she think about having children? Fritz reminds her they got married and she routinely tells people their loved ones are never coming home. Those victims, Brenda says, she can’t help.

No report was filed on the gas station shooing, but a 911 call was made by Tommy Martinez. Brenda wants Tommy to tell her more. There was a guy in a Cadillac arguing with two gang members. The guy in the Cadillac fired the gun. Martinez will not say anything about the gangsters out of fear of retaliation.

Reminiscent of an Obama campaign speech, Brenda wants Tommy to imagine something better in his neighborhood; make a difference. She stops just short of hope, perhaps it’s the guilt of knowing the reality. Tommy reveals the license plate number of the Cadillac. When asked why he didn’t show this to the police, he said they just rolled through and didn’t stop; it’s what they always do in that neighborhood.

Kevin Blake owns the Cadillac. He willingly gave up his gun and came in for questioning. Kevin said he was just trying to protect himself. Two gang bangers wanted to steal his car, so he capped off a few rounds over their heads.

Brenda wants to know what was going on in his mind. He was afraid; he is still afraid. He lives in that neighborhood and drives down those streets every day. The gangs will probably find him.

As Kevin is identifying the suspects in a picture line-up, Brenda asks him did he ever wonder where those bullets would end up. No, why? Brenda reveals the bullets from his gun traveled two blocks striking Reginald Gray in the back of the head and killing him.

Anguish — Kevin would never hurt anyone.

The bangers are in the interview room. They have waved their rights. It always amazes me that so many people wave their rights like its an extended warranty offer at Best Buy. These two are blatantly stupid, but don’t people watch TV?

Brenda says she found the guy that shot at them at the fillin’ station. They have been busy little gangsters, but she doesn’t care about grand theft auto. She cares about murder, and the man who shot at them killed someone. Brenda wants to know about the moment he started shooting at them.

Like a well choreographed Mia Michaels’ piece, Brenda begins the dance. She wants to know about the moment the murder suspect started shooting at them. What happened? What were they feeling? The two admitted they wanted the car and said so. Then the man just started shooting. They wanted to make it clear that they only tried to take the car.

Brenda said that’s a good idea — just an attempt. Write that down and sign it and then they are finished. Dance over, Brenda explains the felony murder rule again. If you are involved in a robbery and someone is killed as a result of your actions…it’s murder. Closed.

Brenda inquires about Mrs. Gray. Father Jack says she will be OK, guiding her through the mourning process is his job. Though there was no motive for the killing, Father Jack doesn’t believe in random. Meaning is not something you find, but something you give. Brenda turns around to see the community and the police working together repainting the graffiti wall.

Brenda grabs a roller and begins to paint a new coat on the community.

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