Kyra Sedgwick is used to being the one asking all the tough questions on The Closer, but by the time the series ended, the actor faced a particularly difficult inquiry: What are the star's favorite episodes of her own hit series?
Because Sedgwick is a pro, though, she put plenty of thought into her responses, selecting charged moments from the show's first five seasons. Examine her choices a little closer, though, and you'll see that by 2010, The Closer star revealed she had a clear favorite season: the third.
Although Sedgwick's selections show she's fond of the pilot and many episodes from the show's fourth season, a full third of her choices come from the third season. You can hardly blame her for pointing to this season as the show's most exciting, with an extended episode like "Ruby" in the mix and a terrifying entry like "Manhunt," which found the seasoned actress severely shaken onscreen in a cloud of smoke, gun pointed in a trembling hand.
Guess it makes sense to say, shots fired when it comes to playing favorites. Below, find scenes from Sedgwick's top picks of her favorite 15 episodes of The Closer, including five episodes from the show's third season, which seems to stand out most in the star's memory.
Season 1 – Pilot
For us, this is the episode where we first met Brenda Leigh Johnson, but for Sedgwick, it's the moment she became TV's top interrogator.
Season 1 – "Fantasy Date"
When Brenda investigates the rape and murder of a Congresswoman's daughter, she's attacked and nearly suffers the same fate.
Season 2 – "Slippin'"
In the second episode to feature Brenda's mom Willie Ray, Fritz must deal with Brenda's visitor while she tries to solve a drive-by-shooting involving teenagers suspected of gang-related activities.
Season 2 – "Critical Missing"
Brenda suspects an estranged husband of foul play but can't find evidence to prove it when the bodies of a mother and daughter are found and deemed a murder-suicide.
Season 3 – "Homewrecker"
Another family murder is at the heart of this episode, which finds a father, mother and daughter killed while a son hides in the attic. Brenda's on the case, but also navigating budget cuts that might force Lt. Provenza into early retirement.
Season 3 – "Saving Face"
Sedgwick chose a wedding episode among her favorites, just not her own character's. In "Saving Face," Brenda gets caught in a viral video when a bride attacks the detective for interrupting her nuptials.
Season 3 – "Ruby"
We're used to Brenda chasing confessions, but in "Ruby," it's the only way to win after David Gabriel beats information out of a registered sex offender the LAPD believes abducted an 8-year-old girl. There was so much drama, the episode was extended to 70 minutes to tell the charged story.
Season 3 – "Manhunt"
It's The Closer meets Cold Case in "Manhunt," where a serial killer reappears after eight years and Brenda seeks to stop his next killing spree, which tends to happen in threes. It might also be the most shaken we ever see Brenda on the show.
Season 3 – "Blindsided"
After "Manhunt," Brenda gets declared unfit for duty by a police psychiatrist, stopping her from working a case where a sniper took out a TV journalist doing a ride-along with her and Gabriel – while she was in the car. At first they believe Brenda is the target, but once she looks a little closer, she reaches a more startling truth.
Season 4 – "Cherry Bomb"
When a high school girl kills herself after a violent rape, Brenda suspects the son of a fellow police officer who fights desperately to keep her from investigating his boy. As Brenda works around the special favor to ignore her prime suspect, she discovers even more victims of a truly disturbing teenage game.
Season 4 – "Sudden Death"
Det. Sanchez loses it after his son is murdered and the whole neighborhood seems intent to keep the drive-by shooter a secret. As Brenda's fellow officer goes off the rails, she puts everything she has into finding the culprit – before Sanchez can take justice into his own hands.
Season 4 – "Tijuana Brass"
This episode has it all: a double homicide, priests, FBI informers, out-of-town cops and a drug cartel. Mix that all up in an episode where Brenda's way of doing things has led the local paper to publish unflattering press on her division and, thus, Will Pope's threat to disband it, and you get an episode that finds Brenda literally up against a wall.
Season 5 – "Strike Three"
Brenda faces off against Sharon Raydor in Mary McDonnell's second episode ever on the series. This episode introduces tension between two seasoned actors, as Sedgwick's character investigates from the presumption of innocence and McDonnell's from the presumption of guilt.
Season 5 – "Maternal Instincts"
Brenda's niece Charlie is played by Sedgwick's daughter Sosie Bacon, and "Maternal Instincts" is the third time she appeared on her mom's show. It's an episode where Brenda is the one crossing lines, using her niece to get information on a suspected schoolyard shooter.
Season 5 – "Waivers of Extradition"
This one's a full family affair, featuring Sosie Bacon's final appearance on The Closer and Sedgwick's husband Kevin Bacon's final time directing an episode. It also features a high-speed chase and a serial killer. All of Sedgwick's favorite things in one place? It could describe this episode just as easily as Brenda Johnson's snack drawer.
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