The Best Episodes of The Closer

Last Updated: Jan 12, 2019

Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) is a police detective who transfers from Atlanta to Los Angeles to head up a special unit of the LAPD that handles sensitive, high-profile murder cases. Despite a tendency to step on people's toes, Johnson manages to convert even her strongest adversaries with her unique ability to get to the truth.

The Last Word

#1 - The Last Word

Season 7 - Episode 21

In the series finale, we bid a final farewell to Brenda Leigh Johnson. When a young man calls 911 to report seeing someone being buried in Griffith Park, police find not only her remains, but those of several other women who were kills as far back as two years ago. Brenda immediately suspects Philip Stroh and, despite departmental restrictions, sets out to finally tie him to the murders. Meanwhile, the witness who called 911 makes Brenda look at her life and future.

star 8.31
190 votes
Writers: James Duff, Mike Berchem
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To Protect & To Serve

#2 - To Protect & To Serve

Season 2 - Episode 5

Brenda finds herself involved in a cover-up of her own when she helps the PHD investigate a non-priority case. Why? Because the deceased woman was found in Provenza's garage. Once again, the team finds themselves racing against the clock before the LAPD brass discovers what they're up to. Will Brenda be able to protect her team and their hard-earned trust?

star 8.13
198 votes
Directors: Elodie Keene
Writers: Adam Belanoff
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Standards And Practices

#3 - Standards And Practices

Season 1 - Episode 13

An unnamed source files a grievance against Brenda in the midst of a high-profile investigation of a murdered L.A. filmmaker. With her career on the line, Brenda is skeptical of Chief Pope's intentions when he volunteers to help. In classic Brenda style, she spurns the accusation, refusing to suppress her demeanor in deference to the complaint. In response to the situation, the PHD team comes together to act in unison, sending shock waves through the entire department.

star 8.11
202 votes
Writers: James Duff
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Last Rites

#4 - Last Rites

Season 7 - Episode 19

The murder of a priest puts the squad on a collision course with the Catholic Church and drives a wedge between Brenda and Chief Pope. Meanwhile, Brenda’s parents are in town while her father continues his cancer treatments.

star 8.10
172 votes
Writers: James Duff, Leo Geter
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Silent Partner

#5 - Silent Partner

Season 7 - Episode 15

Brenda seeks help from a businessman, played by guest star Jason George (Grey's Anatomy), with old ties to the neighborhood where Turell Baylor was murdered.

star 8.09
174 votes
Directors: Arvin Brown
Writers: James Duff, Mike Berchem
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Time Bomb

#6 - Time Bomb

Season 4 - Episode 10

The newly renamed Major Crimes Division investigates the death of a teenager that may be related to a planned massacre; the squad searches for a bomb before it can explode.

star 8.06
162 votes
Writers: Steve Kane
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Heroic Measures

#7 - Heroic Measures

Season 2 - Episode 9

When a young boy blames himself for the death of his friend, Brenda must tread lightly to get to the bottom of the case. Complicating matters is the deceased child's mother, who offers up accusations of her own.

star 8.05
195 votes
Writers: Adam Belanoff
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Armed Response

#8 - Armed Response

Season 7 - Episode 20

Brenda finds a young couple involved to in the investigation by accident after finding two people dead outside in the street Brenda has no idea that the DA is watching her every move Capitan Raydor and Chief Pope find out who the leak is.

star 8.02
177 votes
Writers: James Duff, Steven Kane, Jim Leonard
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#9 - Overkill

Season 2 - Episode 13

Brenda and Fritz have a hard time agreeing who is in charge when an informant's wife and and FBI agent are both murdered. Brenda discovers that she and the PHD must work quickly when the leading witness in the case is scheduled to testify against a powerful mobster. When the killer's identity is uncovered, the PHD finds themselves under attack; an attack that takes someone down.

star 8.01
173 votes
Writers: Adam Belanoff, James Duff
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Sudden Death

#10 - Sudden Death

Season 4 - Episode 7

The entire squad searches for the person who shot Detective Sanchez's brother; the case is jeopardized by an overzealous detective and a leak within the department.

star 7.96
146 votes
Directors: Kevin Bacon
Writers: Hunt Baldwin, John Coveny
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Fatal Retraction

#11 - Fatal Retraction

Season 1 - Episode 12

Brenda and her team must find not only a killer, but also identify the killer's victim when a deranged, homicidal madman is set free due to mistaken identity. Trying to make sense of an array of complexities in this unusual case, Brenda comes across what may be another betrayal by a member of the Priority Homicide Division. The case takes an even darker turn when Brenda becomes the center of the psychopathic killer's attention.

star 7.93
201 votes
Directors: Gloria Muzio
Writers: James Duff, Roger Wolfson, Wendy West
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Serving the King (2)

#12 - Serving the King (2)

Season 2 - Episode 15

Glad to be back with her team, Brenda focuses on finding a terrorist-linked suspect. Working with the CIA, who also wants their hands on this suspect, Brenda realizes that she was given false information, and wonders if she's been set up.To prevent herself and the PHD from falling prey to a sinister plan, Brenda must untangle a web of lies to determine who she can trust - before it's too late.

star 7.93
92 votes
Directors: Kevin Bacon
Writers: Mike Berchem, James Duff
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Tapped Out

#13 - Tapped Out

Season 5 - Episode 6

When an internet matchmaker is murdered, the team finds themselves investigating the matchmaker's early-stage television show. Adding to the craziness is a fake officer, who turns everything upside down. In an effort to school himself on the inner workings of Brenda's group, Pope decides to work as one of the team.

star 7.93
153 votes
Directors: Adam Arkin
Writers: Adam Belanoff
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Road Block

#14 - Road Block

Season 7 - Episode 14

The LAPD's Police Commissioner and his wife, Gail, may be in trouble when Brenda becomes determined to uncover a scandal one of them tried to cover up.

star 7.92
164 votes
Writers: James Duff, Jim Leonard
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Batter Up

#15 - Batter Up

Season 1 - Episode 8

When a gay man is murdered, seemingly the latest victim of a string of hate crimes, Brenda must confront prejudices inside and out of the LAPD. But when the perpetrator of the crimes turns out to be something quite different than expected, and has an alibi for the latest murder, Brenda must dig deeper to discover if this crime is part of the string, or a crime of passion disguised as a hate crime. Meanwhile, Flynn and Taylor step up their efforts to undermine Brenda once again, but with unexpected effects, as the team begins to rally around Brenda. Provenza's quirks begin to emerge, and we meet Terrence Hynes, a County Coroner's Forensics Support worker with an odd sense of humor. On the home front, Brenda finds herself with some new charges when her (male) Kitty has kittens.

star 7.91
193 votes
Directors: Arvin Brown
Writers: James Duff
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#16 - Blindsided

Season 3 - Episode 9

In an effort to get good PR for the department, Deputy Chief Johnson takes a journalist on a ride-along, but when the Crown Vic is targeted and shot at, Brenda is forced to live under 24-hour police protection, while being the key witness in the case she must solve.

star 7.90
173 votes
Directors: Kevin Bacon
Writers: John Coveny, Hunt Baldwin
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Home Wrecker

#17 - Home Wrecker

Season 3 - Episode 1

In the third-season opener, Brenda and the team investigate the grisly slaying of a family, and the only survivor is the drug-addled teen son. Meanwhile, a financial crisis rocks the LAPD, bringing about budget cuts, numerous changes --- and possibly Provenza’s early retirement. And Fritz hopes to move into a new house with Brenda.

star 7.90
169 votes
Writers: James Duff, Mike Berchem
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Identity Theft

#18 - Identity Theft

Season 5 - Episode 9

Brenda must reopen the case of a murdered psychiatrist when the man claiming to have committed the crime gives a statement that doesn't quite match the actual events. Based on evidence of the man's acquaintance with the doctor, Brenda believes there is a cover-up and sets out to unearth the truth. Willie Rae throws a roadblock in her path when she pops in for a visit, which actually appears to be an attempt to dump Brenda's handful of a niece onto the newlyweds during for the duration of summer break.

star 7.90
145 votes
Directors: Rick Wallace
Writers: Ken Martin
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Help Wanted

#19 - Help Wanted

Season 6 - Episode 2

Capt. Raydor (special guest Mary McDonnell) accompanies Brenda on an investigation involving the disappearance of a nanny working for close friends of the mayor. Meanwhile, Raydor’s real purpose in taking part in the investigation could have big career implications for Brenda.

star 7.89
162 votes
Writers: Steven Kane
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Fresh Pursuit

#20 - Fresh Pursuit

Season 7 - Episode 10

The squad investigates the death of a deputy sheriff; the judge considers dropping the charges against Brenda.

star 7.89
171 votes
Writers: Adam Belanoff
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#21 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1

Series Premiere. A seemingly routine murder investigation by the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division is interrupted by the arrival of Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, the new head of the LAPD’s Priority Murder Squad. An outsider from Atlanta in her first week of service, Brenda has already begun to face the resistance of long-time high-ranking officers, particularly Capt. Taylor of Robbery Homicide, as well as the questionable confidence of her own squad, who have decided to request transfers en masse. Only her assistant, Sgt. Gabriel, seems willing to try to work with her. Determined to show them what she is capable bringing to the Squad, Brenda embarks on the investigation undeterred. Her victim is a woman killed in the home of technology genius with the secret to a multi-million dollar piece of software, found by his quiet, religious assistant. Drawing on the skills of her officers, particularly Lt. Tao’s forensic and technological talents, Brenda soon discovers her victim may be more than meets the eye. But when a former flame, Agent Fritz Howard of the FBI lends a hand, both her investigation and her private life take unexpected turns, leading her to a startling conclusion to the case. In the end she proves to the Squad she is, as billed, a closer.

star 7.88
319 votes
Writers: James Duff
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Drug Fiend

#22 - Drug Fiend

Season 7 - Episode 18

Investigating the death of a beloved cancer doctor hits too close to home for Brenda who's already upset after learning that Pope is monitoring everything she does.

star 7.88
176 votes
Directors: Paul McCrane
Writers: James Duff, Duppy Demetrius
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Next of Kin (1)

#23 - Next of Kin (1)

Season 3 - Episode 14

Brenda finds an opportunity to visit home when she attempts to track down a witness who disappears to Atlanta. Unfortunately, once she finds the witness, her holidays with family take on a whole new meaning.

star 7.87
129 votes
Directors: Scott Ellis
Writers: Mike Berchem
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Waivers Of Extradition

#24 - Waivers Of Extradition

Season 5 - Episode 12

When a serial killer's spree crosses from Texas to California, Brenda must work with Detective Curt Landry, her Texan equivalent. The two match wits and find themselves going toe to toe as each tries to gain control of the case and the way in which they solve it.

star 7.87
146 votes
Directors: Kevin Bacon
Writers: Adam Belanoff
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Necessary Evil

#25 - Necessary Evil

Season 7 - Episode 11

The death of a high school principal who had been trying to raise test scores at his school to prevent it from being closed causes Brenda and Fritz to fight over who has control of the case because an already existing FBI investigation causes the cases to overlap.

star 7.87
157 votes
Writers: Duppy Demetrius
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