'The Closer': What's in the booooooooox?

Kyrasedgwick_thecloser_290_001 " The Closer" delves into the perils of surprises packages this week. It's not always illicit substances or yummy brownies -- sometimes it's a decayed corpse.

Brenda is spending some quality time sightseeing with a recalcitrant Charlie -- which is why she's not around to stop Provenza from instructing that the ominous duct-tape-and-plastic-wrapped cooler should be opened in her office. This is a problem because it contains a particularly unpleasant decaying body.  Ick!

The cooler was sent by the disgruntled owner of a self-storage place -- the renter, Doug Courtney, had set up an automatic payment plan, but his debit card expired and the payments stopped coming. The storage guy kept trying to get the cops to come look at it, but they never showed -- so he mailed it to Major crimes. C.O.D. Hah!

So is Doug Courtney a killer who got sloppy? Nope -- he's the corpse. Terrance -- now Dr. Terrance -- says he was shot in the head, and pinpoints the time of death to May 21, 2006, sometime after 6:12 p.m. That's not due to hid forensic skill, but to the newspapers  and receipts he found with the body. But who would want Doug dead?

Well, who wouldn't? His stepfather complained that Doug was a waste of space, He's grateful that Dough dropped off the radar -- and he demands that his wife, Doug's mom, be grateful too. Others in Doug's life are equally hard -- his former landlord calls him a pig, his former girlfriend an a-hole, and his former best friend dubs him a leech. Doug borrowed and squandered money, he cheated on his girlfriend with the landlord's daughter, and he apparently pissed away all the cash he had on gambling and lottery tickets. Nice.

But Doug's mom has news -- she sneaks away from her hubby and shows Brenda letters that she's received from Doug over the years, from places like Peru and Australia. The last one came about five months ago-- three years after Doug had died. Curious.

Brenda plans a trap -- she sends plastic-wrapped coolers to each of the people who hated Doug. Inside are cameras -- the better to see who opens he coolers -- and GPS transmitters -- the better to track whoever doesn't open the cooler, but instead tries to hide it or get rid of it. See, the real killer will know better than to open up the cooler and perfume the room with eau de corpse. So who's the bad guy>

That would be Jordan Wallace, the best friend. Doug bought lottery tickets with cash he'd borrowed form Jordan, and then, when he hit the jackpot, he seemed unwilling to share. So Jordan killed him and cashed in the ticket. Jordan sent letters home to Doug's mom whenever he travelled. No more travel for you, young man!

The home front
Charlie is proving to be sullen, disrespectful, sneaky, unpleasant -- you know, a teenager. But she's a teenager with a friend who is willing to send her pot through the mail. Nice! Charlie makes herself some pot brownies, and Brenda samples some. Cue the blissed-out druggedness from Brenda, which Charlie thinks is hysterical. Fritz... no so much. He figures out what's going on, informs Charlie that he's in AA and such things would be very bad for him, and resolves to send her back home. Hey, Charlie: When you're caught with illegal substances in the home of an FBI agent and a police detective, the correct response is NOT "It's not my fault you're a drunk!"

But Brenda has a revelation when Doug's mom bemoans the fact that she gave up on her boy. if only she'd been there for him! Brenda decides that she and Fritz will be there for Charlie -- they'll keep her for a while longer, to let her know she's always got someone to turn to. And if that fails... well, Brenda will happily let Fritz arrest her for transporting illegal substances through the mail.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
  • I loved the squad betting on where the murderer had fled to. Provenza puts $20 on Mexico, while Sanchez picks Thailand. Tao has the best response: "I'll put $20 on Kuala Lumpur. not only is it fun to say, but they have the largest department store in Malaysia!" Good to know!
  • Provenza pricks up his ears when he hears that the cooler is wrapped in duct ape. apparently that's the international symbol for "bad, bad contents inside."
  • Everyone gagged and retched when the cooler was open -- except Provenza. He went right on doing his crossword puzzle.
  • Charlie tells Fritz she won't open the box in front of him because her friend sent her "personal items." What, you can't get tampons in LA?
  • Brenda, who may still be under the influence of the brownies, hugs Dr. Terrance. He holds on for WAYYYY too long, leading Sanchez to start coming in as a bouncer, and Provenza to swat at him with a rolled-up newspaper.
  • Poor Buzz -- not only do they use the last of his government grant money on coolers and duct tape, but Brenda also borrows his freshly washed car ... which is NOT freshly washed by the time she's done with it.
  • Is anyone else ready to drop-kick Charlie out of a moving vehicle? I mean, BESIDES me and Fritz....

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