Alynda Wheat
August 05, 2008 AT 03:58 PM EDT

In case the policy wasn’t clear before: Don’t fish off the company pier. In fact, stay out of the whole damned lake.

I didn’t think The Closer could get anywhere close to the power and perfection of last week’s episode about a sheriff’s kid who raped his high school classmates under the cover of daddy’s badge. But last night the cop shop showed how truly versatile it is, with a fantastic entry that changed tone, showing flashes of humor and nailing the complexities of office romance.

We were supposed to be concerned with the murder of a drug mule—some sad sack who lost his job, turned to a life of crime, and inadvertently captured his murder on video. But who could pay attention, what with Gabriel (Corey Reynolds, pictured) and Daniels (Gina Ravera) sniping at each other in the squad room? Oh, it was hilarious when it started, with the two of them doing a virtual “I know you are, but what am I?” But then my already cold, cold heart grew a degree icier when Gabriel walked into Brenda’s (Kyra Sedgwick) office, and offered up his colleague/ex-squeeze for a transfer. Say what? I’ve always loved Gabriel for his loyalty to Brenda, his flashes of righteous indignation, and his general decent-guyness. So pardon me if I’m dismayed to discover he’s a sumbitch (not quite reaching “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” levels, but still). Good for Brenda for advising her presumptuous deputy as to where he could shove that transfer request.

addCredit(“Corey Reynolds: Ben Kaller”)

I tell you what, though, he gets it honestly. Because his bosspulled one cold-blooded move on her long-suffering fiancé last night.Now, now, we all adore Brenda—utterly and without question. But we haveto admit that she can be a four-door bitch when it comes to getting herman. She seems less scrupulous, however, when it comes to keepingone. This wasn’t the first time FBI agent Fritz (Jon Tenney) and Brendahave clashed over a collar. But never before has she been so baldlywilling to shank him to close a case, telling the drug mule’s killer (Friday Night Lights’ Kevin Rankin), that if he took the FBI’s deal, she’d end up watching his murder on video.

Fritz was absolutely right in nailing Brenda for her hypocrisy—ifhe’d muscled a witness away from her she’d scream bloody murder. Thedifference is Fritz would never do that. We don’t begin to question hischaracter, his loyalty, but this was one of those disturbing Closereps that make us question hers. Is Brenda actually a good person, orjust very good at her job? Does she really deserve Fritz? How deep doesdenial run in those prim Southern veins, that she can’t see how trulytreacherous she can be? What do you think, PopWatchers? Did Brenda takeit a stomp too far?

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