Raines: Closure

“Right. Figments of your imagination are floating in her pool and she’s unhealthy.”

Despite the title of the episode, little about this episode shouts ‘Series Finale!’ which is a mixed bag. On the one hand, things don’t get wrapped up in a satisfactory way. On the other hand, at least there’s no cliffhanger.

Things get personal in this final installment of Raines and our charmingly unconventional lead detective looks into the death of his ex-wife’s new husband. There’s a lot of potential here, but sadly, a lot of the episode just leaves me cold.

I feel like a lot of “Closure” was phoned in. Did they know they were canceled already? Did they think a pick up was assured and that it was silly to try that hard? The episode starts off strong but ends with a cheesy (even by my standards) run down of the victims on the plane to the suspect and a scene between Raines and Sarah that flies out of my head the second after I see it. And then there’s the heavy handed scene in the van, where Raines feeds Angelina a bunch of lies about how Fuhlman wasn’t good enough for her. As Andrew helpfully points out, Raines is, in fact, talking about his marriage to Sarah. It seems a bit lazy to throw a scene like this in there. These sorts of things are often used to express feelings a character may be trying to deny to others, but Raines already has his hallucinations shadowing him to do that for him. The van scene just seems pointless.

After a couple episode break, the show returns to its noir aesthetic. Angelina Billings (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe of Prison Break, Nash Bridges, and She’s All That) plays the perfect wife/possible suspect. The scene of her by the pool is gorgeous and deliciously over the top. Later, her Lana Turner-esque hair calls back to Hollywood’s greatest femme fatales. Raines’s interrogation of Hayworth is also very noir. I half expect the pair to break into bad New York accents and the color to shift to black and white.

Cynthia Watros guest stars as Sarah Carver, Raines’s ex-wife. The chemistry between the two of them never really did it for me. I might believe that they had been married, but I never totally believe they were crazy in love or that she was the love of Raines’s life. Andrew Carver never really worked for me as a character either. A lot of the episode is comprised of Raines and Andrew pinging insults off of each other in the car, but, again, the chemistry between the actors seems off. In addition, Andrew doesn’t seem like a decent target for jealousy. He made more than Raines does, to be sure, but he’s far less handsome, a foot shorter, and lacks Raines’s charm. Although the lack of charm might just be Raines’s imagination.

Bits and Pieces

Lots of locations this week: downtown (Andrew’s office), Santa Monica (the airport), somewhere along the 5 freeway (where Boyer gets stopped), and Carver’s and Billings’ houses (we never get locations, but they look like Beverly Hills to me). Bell Gardens, a less-than-affluent city southeast of Los Angeles is mentioned.

I’m confused about jurisdiction. The plane was on its way from Sacramento to Santa Monica and the loss of cabin pressure occurred somewhere between Modesto and Fresno. Why is the LAPD investigating?

Raines rolls his eyes upon hearing that Andrew went to USC. The University of Southern California is a very good school but has the rather unfortunate reputation of being a place exclusively for the over-privileged. Its detractors often refer to it as the University for Spoiled Children.

How epic was that slap?

If the captain is so worried about Raines falling into a bottle to deal with his ex, why would he meet at a bar?

Chavez Ravine Cliff Notes: Los Angeles obtained Chavez Ravine using imminent domain (in other countries known as compulsory purchase, compulsory acquisition, or expropriation) in order to build public housing in the 1940s. That project fell through, and Dodger Stadium was built there instead. Chavez Ravine was mostly occupied by low income Mexican-American families, leading many to feel that the city’s acquisition of the land was, in part, inspired by racist/classist motives.

The issue of building a football stadium in LA is still a hotly contested one. The current plan is to put one in where the LA Convention Center is now. This is a terrible, terrible, terrible plan.

I loved Boyer’s off-key and off-tempo singing.


Raines: “The hard truth, the hardest of all, maybe, is that behind everybody we love lies the inevitability of their loss.”

Andrew: “I never could please her the way you did, you know, physically. She always talked about what an attentive lover you were. And how pathetic is it that you’re actually making me say this?”

Raines: “What’s your problem? I mean, my problem? I mean...”

Raines: “You hear that? That’s the sound of a thousand complacent yuppies thinking about their money.”
Andrew: “Better than listening to gunshots from an apartment in Venice wondering if its your husband being shot at.”

Raines: “What do you know?”
Andrew: “Everything you do.”

Guy: “Do you have an appointment?”
Raines: “No, I have a badge.”

Raines: “I never lied to my ex.”
Angelina: “Maybe you should have.”

Podalski: “So hey, I get a phone call saying that the great Michael Raines needs Podalski’s help.”
Raines: “So you bathed in cologne and slicked a tub of crisco through your hair, put on your best suit and here you are.”

Sarah: “You seeing anyone?”

Andrew: “Go ahead, tell her.”
Raines: “Oh, on occasion.”

Lance: “How much do you love me?”
Raines: “Did you find something to link Hayworth to one of the mechanics?”
Lance: “No.”
Raines: “Then not so much.”

three out of four baseball bats
sunbunny, who is probably not played by Tatiana Maslany


Billie Doux said...

It's true that the title "Closure" is disappointing because there really isn't any. We might have gotten more of it if the episode was more about Raines and his ex-wife from Lost. What I'd like is a TV movie that resolves Raines's mental illness, but that's not going to happen. But it's still a good series.

Some final comments. As terrific as Jeff Goldblum is in this part, I don't think I ever quite bought him as a cop -- mostly because of him (1) always working alone, (2) wearing those suits, and (3), and I know this means nothing, but he's so much taller than nearly everyone else that he doesn't seem to "fit". But it's his thoughtful and in-depth performance that kept me watching. Goldblum did an exceptional job with the part. And of course, if he had a partner, he wouldn't have been able to spend all of his time talking to the victims. The credit sequence in the car got to me every time I saw it.

One more question. Was the police station the same one they used on The Shield?

Thanks so much for reviewing this way-too-short series, sunbunny. I never would have watched it if you hadn't.

ChrisB said...

Interestingly, I really liked the scene where one by one the victims walked off. I think it was because they all got such little air time, but we learned at least a bit about who they were and why they mattered as much as Andrew did.

I echo Billie. If you hadn't reviewed this, sunbunny, I never would have given it a chance. I didn't fall in love with it (hard to in such a short space of episodes), but I am really glad I saw it. Thanks.