The Closer: Season 3, Episode 5

The Round File (16 Jul. 2007)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 156 users  
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Brenda finds herself investigating the goings on at a retirement facility when a man confesses to seven murders and refuses to give his name.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Doris Donnelly
Donald Baxter
Judd Whaley
Nurse Townsend


On what Brenda hoped would be a quiet Sunday - she and Fritz are still house hunting - Brenda has to go into work when a man comes into the station claiming to have murdered a half a dozen residents of a retirement home. He gives the police the name of his latest victim, but refuses to identify himself. A preliminary examination indicates that the people identified are in fact all dead but their death certificates all list natural causes. The man claiming to be the murderer finally identifies himself as Donald Baxter, a retired journalist who is convinced the nursing home is killing off his friends. As for the house hunting, Fritz and Brenda make an offer but the owner has her own reasons for having put it on the market in the first place. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 July 2007 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


First appearance of ME Dr. Morales. See more »


When Brenda writes "Rumpelstiltskin" on the dry-erase board, it is clear that it had been there previously and incompletely wiped away. See more »


Judd Whaley: [Sgt. Gabriel is putting the cuffs on Mr. Whaley, who has just confessed seven mercy killings and now protests] No, no, hold on, one moment! I thought you said mercy killing and first degree murder were very different crimes!
Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson: [Matter-of-factly] They are, but the punishment for both is exactly the same.
Judd Whaley: [Still sincerely not seeming to understand the difference between right and wrong] Are you actually talking about putting me into prison?
Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson: [softly] Don't worry.
[in normal voice]
Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson: It's not that ...
See more »

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User Reviews

The bleakest episode so far?
7 November 2009 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

"The Round File" immediately stands out from the episodes preceding and following it. Actually, it stands out from pretty much every other episode. While there is just the slightest amount of amusement in the scenes at the beginning, from there it gets bleaker and bleaker, until it is practically utterly dark. Unfortunately I have not yet had a chance to view it again, but I'm pretty sure there were no smart quips, no situation comedy or any of the laugh riots that appear in most episodes of "The Closer". As a result, this is among the most dramatic and gripping episodes in the series, an appalling look into the black hearts of humans that are likely to live among us, in the real world. And a look at the real world where there are people who are simply forgotten, people who nobody cares about. This episode has a message, but it isn't clumsily hammered home, the writers trust that the viewers get it. I certainly hope everyone does.

This all comes pretty close to a perfect episode, but Season 1's Episode 3: "The Big Picture" still reigns, with it's grim examination of the flawed justice system and one of the coldest endings I've ever seen on a TV series' episode.

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