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The Closer – Goodbye, Brenda Leigh Johnson. Thank yew!

After seven seasons, 'The Closer' has come to an end ... in a way. Brenda Leigh Johnson has left the department, but those remaining will continue on in TNT's new show, 'Major Crimes.' But, it won't be the same without Deputy Chief Johnson.

- Season 7, Episode 21 - "The Last Word"

OverThe Closer’s  last season, Brenda put herself in a position that made it nearly impossible for her to do her job. So much so, that Captain Raydor was assigned as a professional babysitter of sorts. Despite Brenda’s troubles, if you didn’t know that “The Last Word” was the series finale, you probably would have been surprised by the end.

Prior to this, Brenda hadn’t given any indication that she was looking to leave Major Crimes. Instead, she continued to fight the system and tried to do things her own way. Acting Chief Pope worked against her more than for her and surprisingly it was Raydor that was on Brenda’s side.

The use of Rusty Beck’s troubled life to reflect Brenda’s life felt so authentic. Sometimes, it’s the unexpected meetings in our lives that provide true insight into who we are as individuals. Brenda is an accomplished professional and has a complete personal life, yet she realized she wanted something more.

I initially thought Brenda would move to Atlanta to be with her family, but with Fritz remaining as the liasion between Major Crimes and the FBI on the new spin-off Major Crimes, that seemed unlikely. Instead, Brenda’s decision to take a position in the DA’s Bureau of Investigation right there in LA makes perfect sense. She can continue to use her skills, not uproot her and Fritz’s life, and help the living rather than the dead.

Phillip Stroh. A nice collar to close out her LAPD career. He had evaded Brenda each and every time until now. And, if Brenda wasn’t fed up with her life as it was, she may not have been able to get him this time.

Brenda has done many questionable things throughout her career, but her attack on Stroh in the elevator was out of pure rage. Fortunately, it provided the means for her to finallly capture him.

And, her restraint at not killing him showed that she had changed from the Marion Bishop days. Back then, she would have shot to kill Stroh without consideration or regret. Instead, Stroh will get to rot in prision where he belongs, while Brenda moves on to her new career.

The send-off from the department was so heartfelt. They had become a familly over the last seven years together. What a dramatic shift from when Brenda first started at the LAPD. She had an abrasive relationship with the team. They know her so well now. I’m not sure there was a gift better than replacing her purse and filling it with Ding Dongs.

Good bye, Brenda Leigh Johnson. You will be missed. As for the rest, most of their stories will continue on Major Crimes, including Rusty Beck’s.

Photo Credit: TNT

3 Responses to “The Closer – Goodbye, Brenda Leigh Johnson. Thank yew!”

August 14, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Brenda’s decision to take a position in the DA’s Bureau of Investigation right there in LA. What will be her job'[s responciblities be? Will this job allow her to make guest appearances on the new spin-off Major Crimes?

August 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I loved the finale! Seeing Brenda go out like that was quite satisfying. They were a family and it certainly pained her to see Gabriel not fitting in. The gift was perfect! Brenda certainly earned the team’s respect over the years. So glad she and Fritz are still together, I was worried for a bit that they would break up. I watched the Major Crimes show that aired next and it was funny to see Fritz go to Captain Raydor’s office (formerly Brenda’s) and scoop all the candy out of the top drawer.

August 18, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Very satisfying finale! Enjoyed this series in the UK, though not on terrestrial tv which is way behind.

For anyone who did not realise the poignant phase of her last words, “it looks like love”, they should watch episode 1 of series 1.

I will miss the series, and it (Major Crimes) won’t be the same without Brenda.

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