The Closer (2005–2012)
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Power of Attorney 

Brenda and her team match wits with a sex offender's lawyer in a case involving murder and a serial rapist, and when Deputy DA Garnett forces an unpalatable plea bargain, no one is prepared for the result.


Rick Wallace


James Duff (created by), Michael Alaimo


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kyra Sedgwick ... Brenda Leigh Johnson
J.K. Simmons ... Will Pope
Corey Reynolds ... David Gabriel
Robert Gossett ... Russell Taylor
G.W. Bailey ... Louie Provenza
Tony Denison ... Andy Flynn
Michael Paul Chan ... Mike Tao
Raymond Cruz ... Julio Sanchez
Phillip P. Keene ... Buzz Watson
Jon Tenney ... Fritz Howard
Billy Burke ... Phillip Stroh
James Patrick Stuart ... Deputy D.A. Garnett
James Jordan ... Chris Dunlap
David Purdham ... Mr. Evans
Brooks Almy Brooks Almy ... Mrs. Evans


Brenda investigates the murder of a young woman who had just recently moved to Los Angeles. The crime was interrupted by the police who were answering a prowler call. They arrest a suspect, Chris Dunlap, whom they find hiding up a tree, but he has already called his lawyer Philip Stroh and refuses to say anything. As they look deeper into the case, they realize that there have been a string of rapes of young blonde women - mostly new arrivals - and in every case, Dunlap had made a delivery to their homes. Stroh has defended Dunlap before and offers to plea bargain this time around. In return for a lighter sentence, Dunlap will identify his partner in the crimes. He also wants to see all of the evidence they have accumulated. Brenda is dead set against both the deal and letting Stroh look at the evidence but she is overruled by the DA. When Dunlap identifies his partner, it throws everyone for a loop. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is Billy Burke's first appearance as the character, Philip Stroh. His storyline arc spans 2 series: the end of "The Closer" and the beginning of "Major Crimes". His storyline is the closing of the Major Crimes series with a 3-part series finale. See more »


Lt. Flynn writes the name "Chris Dunlap" on the whiteboard and underlines it. The underlining disappears and reappears between shots. See more »


Phillip Stroh: Look on the bright side, Chief. At least it's over.
Brenda Leigh Johnson: It's not over.
Phillip Stroh: It is.
See more »


Referenced in The Closer: Hostile Witness (2012) See more »

User Reviews

The Closer vs. The Chessmaster
6 April 2010 | by ttapolaSee all my reviews

To spoil this episode would be nothing short of criminal, though some damage has already been done: the episode title and the IMDb plot outline for this episode drop some major hints. To read the synopsis is pointless even after you've seen this one - this is the The Closer's equivalent of The Usual Suspects, a movie that's in the top 10% of the IMDb Top 250. Would you read a synopsis of The Usual Suspects? Of course not. Like that movie, it's the execution of a magnificent script resulting in a flawless masterpiece that no synopsis can do justice. Even if you want to check some fact, "Power of Attorney" is just like The Usual Suspects - you only find yourself wanting to watch the whole thing again to appreciate how awesome it is.

So, this is one of those rare 10/10 TV episodes. How to explain what justifies that perfect rating? The Usual Suspects analogy was one thing I came up with, but I also have to stress the fact that "Power of Attorney" is also a completely different story. My theory is that those people who gave this one less than 10/10 have, like me, seen similarly structured and themed episodes on other shows and feel that this is a bit of a retread. It is not. The script takes some familiar elements but handles them with a devilishly inventive way *and* slyly serves us a biting criticism and a truly frightening look at the American justice system. The best thing about "Power of Attorney" is that on the first viewing, it presents to the long-time viewer an unfamiliar situation: usually we can be pretty sure that Brenda, with her magnificent mind, puts the pieces together, solves the mysteries and outwits the bad guys. But *this* time she is facing a Chessmaster (with the archetype comes the prerequisite that neither the audience nor the characters, with the exception of the Chessmaster themself, *know* that they are looking at a Chessmaster when the character is introduced). When the "game" truly begins, we can't be sure that Brenda will win as usual. The thrill of it all is engaging. And on the second viewing, we can admire all the "moves" of the game. Magnificent episode. And, again, a frightening one.

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Release Date:

9 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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