Brenda comes upon a double shooting in a school yard, as she's driving Charlie. One of the boys is dead, the other wounded. Brenda asks Charlie to keep an eye on the wounded boy (Jake) in the hospital. He's about Charlie's age, the two strike up a conversation and the beginning of a relationship. Jake - well played by Philip Ettinger - tells Charlie he was "dumped" by his girlfriend. "Why?" Charlie asks - in a perfect tone of incredulity, which tells us and Jake that she likes him.
But Jake takes a turn for the worse - the shrapnel that hit him creates virulent infections - and it soon becomes clear that he won't live though the night. Brenda knows this from the doctor. Charlie, now at home, does not. Brenda needs to question Jake one more time to find the killer, and this again pitches her into a conflict between doing her job (finding the killer) and doing the right thing for someone she cares about. Charlie wants to come to the hospital to see Jake again, and Brenda says no.
She later explains to Charlie, after Jake has died, that she didn't know how much time Jake had left, and she needed that time uninterrupted, so she could ask her questions. Significantly, she doesn't lie to Charlie - she could have said that she didn't know Jake was that close to death.
And so Brenda's difficult tightrope walk between finding killers and finding her heart continues. With Charlie in the picture, the stakes are expanding beyond Fritz.
5-min podcast review of The Closer
See also Brenda Leigh's Niece and Libby from Lost on The Closer and Tom Skerritt on The Closer and Det. Richard Tracy on The Closer and Pres. Laura Roslin vs. Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson
The Plot to Save Socrates
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