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Can you imagine The Closer without Detective Gabriel? – Clacking in Color

Another good procedural has come to an end. Darn! In this week's Clacking in Color, the enlightening column celebrating minorities on television, writer Jaylen Christie wonders how TNT's 'The Closer' would have been without one of its main characters.

Is it just me or does it seem that all of the good television shows are coming to an end? Last night, TNT’s brilliant crime procedural The Closer ended a highly successful seven year run. As I mentioned in one of my earlier columns, I’ve never really cared for procedural dramas, but there was something rather magnetic — something downright hypnotizing — about The Closer that simply caused me to watch time and time again.

Maybe it was the way that Emmy award winner Kyra Sedgwick managed to own practically every single scene that she was in. Perchance it was the way that her witty character, Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, could get the truth out of any of the conniving villains that she crossed. Or maybe, just maybe, it was Corey Reynolds, who portrayed Brenda’s right-hand man Detective David Gabriel, an individual with enough patience to tolerate his boss who was known to be a little eccentric at times. For those of us who watched the show religiously — including the high octane series finale – I think it was pretty evident that Brenda fancied him above all of her other officers. Who wouldn’t? David was kind and hard working, resolute and determined — essentially everything one would want in a policeman. He was the Robin to her Batman and the Laverne to her Shirley … or Shirley to her Laverne. Um, bad example.

So, having said that, I wonder … how would The Closer have been without the character David Gabriel?

Now there’s a stumper that even Brenda may find a bit perplexing! I think the show could have survived without David in the roster, however it definitely would have been missing something — its heart. It wasn’t really until the second and third seasons that Brenda’s rag-tag team of capable officers developed any real personalities. Up until then they were all kind of one-dimensional. However, creator James Duff gave David vital life in the very first episode, quickly establishing him as someone who wanted to give Brenda a chance when others didn’t.

With the exception of Lieutenant Provenza and Detective Andy Flynn, no one else in Brenda’s squad really had any real quirks. Provenza was too much of a grump to be Brenda’s sidekick and Flynn would have probably hit on her all day. To that end, it’s good that she had David around. The two of them made a pretty good team and the chemistry between Reynolds and Sedgwick was very good. Maybe that’s because Reynolds has been nominated for a Tony award for his work on Broadway. Personally, I liked the fact that Brenda kept David Gabriel around … and I liked the fact that she took him with her after she left Los Angeles in the show’s final episode.

However, that’s one of the downfalls of the show’s spin-off, Major Crimes — no Detective Gabriel. Hopefully he can make a cameo appearance or two. I don’t know what Reynolds has on his schedule, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind guest starring from time to time. The characters from The Closer that did make it into the spin-off certainly have become a bit more fleshed out thanks to seven years on the mother ship. Still, a character as cool and kind as David wouldn’t hurt.

It’s no secret that The Closer practically reinvigorated cable television. Sedgwick proved to be incredible as a fiery detective, and as her sidekick, Reynolds was just as captivating. I couldn’t imagine the show without him and I’m glad that Duff chose him for the role. He’ll certainly go down in my book as one of my favorite fictional characters. When I think of Brenda, I think of David, and that says a lot.

Case closed.

Photo Credit: TNT

10 Responses to “Can you imagine The Closer without Detective Gabriel? – Clacking in Color”

August 14, 2012 at 2:18 PM

The scene where he found out it was his girlfriend that was the leak was just heartbreaking. He was the strong silent type and to see him react to the betrayal was very powerful.Even though he did not agree with what the Chief did with leaving that gang member at his front doorstep he still stayed by her side through all the mess that came later.

I’m glad Brenda took him with her also. He would not have been able to stay where he was without her, that’s for sure.

There is a new person of color in the new Major Crimes unit though!! She seems like she is going to be a fun character.

August 20, 2012 at 10:25 PM

I am going to truly miss Gabriel and his character. The “Closer” was one of my favorite series to watch. I hope that David (Corey Reynolds) will make appearances from time to time as also Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick).

The new character (person of color) is a little chatty for me. At this time I do not like her character. Hopefully as the show progresses I will see a difference. But right now I am not liking her.

August 20, 2012 at 11:32 PM

The Closer had me from the very first episode… Major Crimes, not so much. I’ll give it a try though. In regards to the new woman of color, well, I find her annoying at best. Sorry. LOL Just my opinion.

August 14, 2012 at 6:22 PM

David Gabriel has always been one of my favorite characters.
I loved that even though the 2 didn’t always agree,they still had such respect for each other.
I will forever love that Brenda takes David with her as she leaves .
” Major Crimes” didn’t reel me in and one of the biggest reason is no David Gabriel. I will miss him and hope Corey Reynolds will be able to make a visit or two.He is a wonderful talent.

August 15, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I thoroughly enjoyed the final episode of The Closer and watching David Gabriel. He is a great actor and was a major part of the show. He and Brenda got along very well and I was glad to see the show end with her taking him with her. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Thanks, Jay for another great Clacking in Color.

August 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

The closer was a great show the chemistry between Brenda and David was evident. I really enjoyed the show.

August 17, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Incredibly, Major Crimes is going to try to make it without TC’s protaganist and its most likeable character, her right hand. What’s left is a crew of unsympathetic, fatally flawed, and largely (except for Provenza) charisma-lacking characters. Can’t see how the spinoff will survive.

August 20, 2012 at 11:33 PM

Yeah, I usually try to stay positive with spin-offs, but this one was a little bland. I’ll give it a few more episodes. They may have to take it back to the drawing board.

August 26, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Yes the closer was witty and full of character I love Brenda. So sad to see the show leave. Wondering why David didnt join the cast of major crimes by the way not liking the show so much. What is he doing now. I hope they realize that they made a mistake and bring the show back.

August 26, 2012 at 9:34 AM

That’s actually a good question. Corey Reynolds actually found this story and tweeted me. He didn’t mention what he was up to, but he did say that he agreed. Maybe he’s returning to Broadway. He’s following me on Twitter. Yay! Maybe I’ll ask him why he didn’t stick around for Major Crimes.

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