Brenda, her parents, Fritz, Wesley, Flynn and Provenza begin a cross-country RV trip to return her suspect to LA. Along the way, she administers one of her blackest lies.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Evans (credit only)


Brenda, her parents, Fritz and Lts. Provenza and Flynn set off on their cross-country trek to return their prisoner, Wesley Reed, to Los Angeles. Brenda's parents are the only ones who are allowed to drive the RV and they hit several bumps in the road along the way. Wesley tries to escape through the RV's bathroom window, damaging the toilet, so they face a long ride with no facilities. Wesley takes a different tone over time thanks to the kindness of Brenda's parents but Brenda makes what later proves to be a fatal error when she tells him that his younger brother was killed the same day Wesley fled. Wesley tells her that the group he was involved with was planning another armored car robbery and, finally back in LA, agrees to wear a wire. Unfortunately, the take down doesn't quite go as planned. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 December 2007 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Clay Johnson: If you don't pull it altogether, Grady's gonna think something's wrong.
Brenda Leigh Johnson: Something IS wrong, Daddy. I have to tell that boy, tomorrow, that his brother's dead.
Clay Johnson: No, you do not. You're gonna tell him that Wesley's working with the police, undercover, until the kid gets used to not seein' him.
Brenda Leigh Johnson: How much longer do you think Grady's gonna believe that?
Clay Johnson: You told your mother you were a professional liar. I think you could figure out something to tell him. Make him believe it.
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O Come, All Ye Faithful
Attributed to various authors
Performed a cappella by Frances Sternhagen as Willie Ray Johnson
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User Reviews

A brilliant climax!
12 January 2010 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

So, part 2 of the Christmas two-parter. In the beginning, the laughs are still there (watch for Tao getting tangled in the phone wire!), but now the atmosphere is getting more tense and characters start to bump against each other inside and out of the RV. There is a crystal clear trajectory here, and the way it is going, the sense of unease you feel keeps increasing. And in less than 7 minutes, Brenda does the unthinkable: she lies to Wesley (and her own parents) that Grady has been killed by Wesley's partners in crime *and* she orders the LA team to stage a crime scene for Grady's death *plus* keep all the goings on secret from Chief Pope.

This shows how far Brenda is willing to go in order to make someone talk. She's being pragmatic, making the logical choices but breaking the ethical values for the greater good. Sanchez finally gets a chance to shine when he interrogates Grady, intimidating the poor boy half dead. Clearly, Sanchez has learned some of Brenda's way of thinking even though his methods are more macho.

With Grady having identified Wesley's partner R.J., Brenda breaks Wesley down in a harrowing one-on-one scene, where Bill Heck gives a heart-rending performance as a man, who has lost his only friend (in the robbery) and thinks his little brother is dead. The icing on the cake here is his comment to Brenda that not everyone is born as lucky as her - this reminds us that too many of us take our lives, our family and friends, as granted, while in the *real* world there are millions of people like Wesley who never had a chance. It seems a simple social commentary, but you don't get dialog like that in, say, b******* escapist shows like Desperate Housewives, do you?

So, Wesley agrees to help the police catch R.J. and "Thumps". He doesn't know that Brenda has a contingency plan in case he vanishes from Robbery & Homicide Department's surveillance. Which he naturally does. Unlike them, Brenda fears Wesley may try to get vengeance for his brother. We see that Brenda actually is worried about Wesley's security, since she hopes all goes well and the brothers will be united in the end.

When Brenda's parents find out that she's been lying about Grady, her father won't even meet her and her mother is shocked and angry. Then comes the brilliant part: when Brenda's mom passes judgment on her lying to Wesley and putting him through hell, Brenda pulls out the crime files (including crime scene photos) on the two men who were shot to death in the robbery at the beginning of Part 1, and asks her mother what the dead men's families might be feeling. It's harsh, but Brenda is right: two men are dead because of Wesley and unlike Grady, they cannot meet their loved ones anymore.

The finale is tense, and comes with a cruel twist thanks to one man's error in judgment. And then come the hard decisions, people having to live with lying and Brenda having to deal with the consequences of her actions. The scene between Brenda and her father is brilliant, although there is a slight sense of compromise on part of the writers - this is a Christmas episode, after all, so it can't be all bleak, can it? Too bad, since this compromise prevents me from giving the episode a full 10/10 like season 1's episode 3, "The Big Picture", which still rules supreme among the episodes I have seen (I missed some and haven't got around getting the DVDs yet). Still, 9/10 is something The Closer achieves a lot more often than other cop/special agent shows out there.

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