The Closer Season 5, Episode7: "Strike Three" - Recap

This week on TNT's The Closer, Brenda butts heads once again with the FID's Capt. Raydor, when two cops and a civilian are shot dead during a pull-over. On with the recap...

An LAPD chopper circles the site of a street shootout. Two officers are down, slain by an onslaught of bullets, while a young man lay dead in front of their patrol car, felled by return fire.

The mood is somber as the MCD arrives to survey the scene. The numbered tags for the bullet casings reach well into the double digits. The black-and-white had turned the corner for a "routine" pull-over, only to get mercilessly ambushed by assault rifles - even before the officers could put their cruiser in park.

Since a civilian was killed by officers, the Force Investigation Division's Capt. Sharon Raydor (guest star Mary McDonnell, making vehemently unlikeable a bit of an art form) coldly analyzes the scene. When Flynn and Provenza attempt to humanize for her the fallen officers, Raydor warns "We all have to be verrrry careful with our emotions the next few days."

The clash between MCD and FID comes into focus when Brenda says she sees a gang attack, while Raydor sees a civilian gunned down by LAPD in a shootout.

Meeting with Pope to discuss the territorial squabble, Raydor says she has 72 hours to figure out what happened and head off any potential civil suit. Pope drives home the fact that two fellow officers are dead and that finding their killers is the priority. That said, FID can tag along, but Brenda owns the crime scene.

The MCD and Raydor visit the victim's mother, a racist, epithet-hurling monster - which jibes with the swastika painted on the living room ceiling. Raydor waylays Brenda's fishing expedition by notifying the mom of her son's death. Still, the MCD is able to dig up tattoo sketches offering a possible clue to the vic's gang ties.

Back at the murder room, Flynn and Provenza are furious that FID swooped up all the evidence, "every damn thing!" Pope calls Raydor on the carpet: "Which part of 'The crime scene belongs to MCD' did you not understand?" Pope commands Raydor to personally hand-deliver to MCD every shred of evidence, "right now" - which she does.

Raydor observes as Brenda grills the tattoo artist about his work. "Everyone has their reasons for their ink," he shrugs. "I don't judge." When he stonewalls, Gabriel warns the inker that associating with known felons violates his parole, and Brenda threatens to spread the word that he's a snitch and/or neo-Nazi sympathtizer. The artist caves, revealing that the vic came into his shop with "bad dudes from the crystal meth biz." He then helps by showing them the tell-tale tattoos he gave the vic's associates.

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