"The Closer" Split Ends (TV Episode 2008) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • In another brush with fame, Brenda and the team investigate the movie set murder of a hairdresser. Meanwhile, Brenda tries to get her meddling and overbearing parents out of her hair (and her house) when they come to town during their annual road trip from Georgia, both working her into a lather over her yet-to-be-planned wedding to Fritz.

  • Brenda and the Priority Homicide team investigate the murder of Rachel Hughes, a movie studio hair-stylist found beaten and stuffed into a storage box in a studio truck. She was getting divorced from her actor husband, Ryan Hughes, who visited the studio the previous evening in violation of the restraining order she had out against him. Though he maintains his innocence, claiming she asked him to stop by, Rachel previously spent some time in a shelter for battered women. When police find her current apartment, they discover it ransacked but holding evidence to convict her killer. Throughout, Brenda gets additional pressure on two fronts: Chief Pope and Commander Taylor want Brenda to hand off the case to the DA, as LA Times reporter Ricardo Ramos is writing an unfavorable series on Priority Homicide. At home, Brenda's parents drop by to lean on her into marrying Fritz.

  • A movie studio hair-stylist is found beaten to death, making her physically abusive, soon-to-be-divorced husband the prime suspect.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Brenda's parents arrive, bringing breakfast and guilt trips. Daddy loves weddings. Fritz and Brenda make it through, holding hands and munching bacon, which pretty much makes everything better. Brenda's phone rings. She seems pretty happy someone has died. Fritz looks like a grieving member of the family, left alone with guilt and bacon. ...Until he uses the house phone to call his cell phone and fake get bad news about a bomb at the airport. He gives her parents the choice of who to follow: him to a tent watching a slow moving robot or Brenda to a big Hollywood movie studio. They take the studio tram.

    The victim is 33 year old Rachel Hughes, who works on the TV show "Trauma Unit." She was found stuffed in a storage compartment under a truck, the so-called "jockey box." Sanchez stares at the body. Tao points out defensive wounds, and scuff marks that indicate she was dragged from hair and make-up. She has hash marks on her face. No one heard a thing. Rachel shared a trailer with make-up artist Kim Reynolds, who said she was waiting for someone. Sanchez is off in his own world. Kim said Rachel was waiting for a private client. The mirror in her trailer is cracked. Daniels said Rachel just filed for divorce from her husband Ryan, and he dropped by last night despite a restraining order. They don't have a current address for him.

    Provenza greets Willie Ray and Clay, who are enjoying the fake blood. Provenza offers to let them watch some filming. Brenda goes by the victim's house where they're startled by a man coming out - Ryan Hughes. He says he lives there and won't let them in without a warrant. He also says he hasn't seen her, but then admits that he has. They arrest him for breaking the restraining order, but don't tell him yet that his wife is dead.

    Brenda calls Fritz and tries to bust him for going on a fake bomb call, but he keeps up the ruse. Provenza volunteers for parents duty, which Brenda attempts to make Fritz feel bad about. Clay doesn't want entertainment from Provenza, because he thinks he's sweet on Willie Ray.

    The team can't find Rachel's address. Flynn gives the rundown on the husband: he once gave her a concussion and broke her arm. She's still paying the mortgage on the house he lives in. Ryan is an actor and bartender, with bit parts.

    Chief Pope and Commander Taylor show up. Brenda is mainlining candy. She thinks the ex's ignorance might be genuine. They're there because Ricardo Ramos is alleging that priority homicide only responds to rich, white murders - or something in Hollywood. Pope is worried about how to spin in. Taylor is concerned about how to "stop" Ramos but they tell Brenda not to worry about it.

    She goes to talk to Ryan. He says he got a part on a movie and Rachel volunteered to cut his hair. Gabriel suggest he tell his story again and remember trailers have thin walls. He admits to a small argument, but says he took the anger management classes his friend's wife Donna suggested. He claims he's sensitive and passionate, like all good actors. Brenda prods him and he lashes out. Gabriel suggests Ryan sit down.

    Brenda shows him the photo and either he's a great actor or he had no idea. He asks for a lawyer.

    Back at the house, Provenza joins them for dinner, having picked up a whole bunch of brochures for wedding places with her parents. Clay continues to harp weddings.

    Brenda leaves the table and Willie Ray sends Fritz after her. She's had all the wedding talk she can take. Fritz says something about Brenda hiding from her family when she stands up to people all day and she realizes that's what Rachel was doing. She calls Flynn and tells him to check out domestic violence shelters near the hospital.

    They visit the shelter. The intake woman isn't surprised Rachel ended up dead. She met Ryan and says what a bully he was. She advised Rachel to keep her address secret. The woman has a spare key. She takes the team there. Rachel's keys were missing.

    Tao finds blood on the base of a lamp and blonde hair. (Rachel is a brunette.) They don't understand why there's blood in both places.

    The woman, Donna, says Rachel called last week asking of they had room for someone. They didn't. They think she might have taken someone in. Her cell phone has an appointment for a haircut for Ryan. Brenda thinks they need to start looking for another victim.

    They go back to the studio to talk to Kim, who says they weren't that close. She says Rachel's relationship with Ryan drove her crazy. Gabriel gives her his card for, you know, follow-up. A blonde hairstylist named Lindsay comes in. Kim suggests they talk to her. Brenda notices she has her cosmology license taped up, as required by law.

    At the office, Flynn shows Brenda gloves with steel in them that make the marks found on Rachel's face.

    Brenda goes to talk to Ryan again, but Taylor suggests they arrest him for murder and pass it on to the district attorney's office. Pope levels with her: Ramos is working on a two-part story about Priority Homicide. He couldn't get the story killed.

    Brenda goes to talk to Ryan but he ignores her, reading a script. He lashes out again, explaining what he's doing and Brenda seems to have an epiphany about the script pages they found at Rachel's apartment, whose speaking parts were for a woman.

    The visit Kelly Rivers, a recent "Trauma Unit" guest star. She answers the door in her nightgown and won't let them in. Brenda notices a wound on her head. She's a blonde. Brenda looks at her and says she understands. Kelly gets it, peeling back her nightgown to show the same wounds on her chest. Brenda sends the team around the back using hand gestures. Brenda tries to take Kelly's hand to lead her away but suddenly a man opens the door behind her and grabs her back into the apartment and puts her in a headlock. Daniels and Sanchez come around behind him, but Sanchez is still of his game so Daniels takes point. She puts a gun to the man's head and he releases Kelly. As Kelly runs to Brenda for safety she begs them not to hurt the man, saying he didn't mean to kill Rachel. They find Rachel's ID badge on him and arrest him.

    Back at the station, Pope and Brenda try to apologize to Ryan, explaining what happened to Rachel, but Brenda finds many examples of how Kelly's situation mirrored his wife's, as a victim of abuse. Rachel noticed the signs on Kelly and tried to help her. She was killed by Kelly's husband when she wouldn't tell him where to find Kelly. Brenda braces herself for the obligatory apology. To sum up, Pope says: "On behalf of the entire LAPD allow me to say how sorry I am that you lied to us so much and that you knocked your wife around to such an extent that we considered you a suspect in her murder." Ryan scoffs, saying they have no idea what he's going through as he leaves. Brenda says she'd still like to arrest him. Pope says the chances are, they will at some point.

    Back at the apartment, Brenda summons up the gumption to tell her daddy that she and Fritz will get married when she wants to and the next time the wedding comes up it better be because she brought it up. Fritz looks on with pride.

    In the bedroom, just the two of them, Fritz tells Brenda her telling off her dad was positively inspiring. Then he proves it: saying the only way to deal with a control freak is to law down the law. He tells her he wants to be married by January or February of next year and the next time they talk about it, she better have a date in mind.

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