Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tom Skerritt on The Closer

Tom Skerritt has long been one of my favorite on-the-edge actors - a brilliant, memorable character actor, not quite breaking through to be an outstanding lead actor, though he always had more than enough talent. Sort of like Mickey Rourke, before his flat-out break-out leading role in The Wrestler. Not that Skerritt and Rourke played similar roles, but they were both on the ledge and edge.

It was therefore really good to see Skerritt walk into the Detective Olin - Joey O - role in Monday night's The Closer. He's looking more and more like a lean Mark Twain, and Joey O will be one of his more memorable characters.

We've seen the story line many times before - a craggy police detective, obsessed in his retirement with bringing to justice a killer that he knows is a killer but got away. Except this time, that detective crosses paths with Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. Her wonderful obsession with closing cases will lead her to wherever the facts take her, including Joey O. But in a nice new ironic twist to this story, Brenda Leigh is clearly beginning to work up an obsession of her own - regarding a serial killer that we saw not too long ago, who so far has gotten away with it, and in fact has flaunted it in Brenda's face.

Flynn is also good in this episode - he knows Joey O the best, from before - and Provenza's having one of his best years. The Closer continues to serve up sharp, intelligent television, with a nice mix not only of humor and serious story, but of new tales and ongoing, deeper threads.

See also Det. Richard Tracy on The Closer and Pres. Laura Roslin vs. Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson

5-min podcast review of The Closer

The Plot to Save Socrates

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"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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