Category Archives: The Closer

Good Guys vs. Bad Guys in “The Closer”

I have been a big fan of the television show The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick.  It has a great ensemble cast, and it’s fun to watch the (generally implausible) twists and turns as she has those “aha!” moments, based on some innocuous comment made by someone totally unrelated to the situation at hand.

One recent episode, however, ended on an entirely amoral note.  Frankly, the plots are often too complicated to summarize, but here goes: an illegal alien takes sanctuary in a church to avoid deportation and to avoid becoming a murder victim at the hands of international drug-dealing “bad guys.” The bad guys are “setting up” the illegal so that he will end up in prison, where they can kill him for his lack of loyalty.  Apparently, if you’re the target of a “hit,” being in prison makes you quite accessible, because you’re surrounded by bad guys who’ll contract out the job in exchange for cigarettes, comic books, or whatever.

A policeman from the drug-providing country comes to “help,” but turns out to be one of the bad guys.  Kyra, the “closer” of the title, upon discovering his true mission, threatens to put him in jail under the name of the illegal in order to 1) scare him into talking, and 2) possibly give the illegal good guy a new identity.

I thought that the threat was a clever ploy.  However, the “bad guy” foreign policeman didn’t collapse under the threat.  Kyra followed through with her threat, and he was subsequently misidentified as the illegal alien “good guy” and murdered while in custody.  Now the illegal alien had his own special type of witness protection program.

The program actually ended that way – with no one questioning the immorality or illegality of Kyra setting up the foreign cop for murder by his fellow bad guys.  It just ended up with everyone being content with the outcome.

While it is particularly satisfying to me when bad guys get their just deserts, it is not satisfying to watch role-models misuse the system to exact their own vengeance.  I was tremendously disappointed with the writers and producers, and with Kyra for agreeing to leave the story line intact.