…No, no, not because there was any confusion (there wasn’t.) But because, or so it seems, he just wanted to express his feelings. (Hey, Duff’s a modern kinda guy, you know what we’re saying?)
Whatever the reason, this is exactly the kind of info new writers, trying to get insight into how the series process works, need to know, which makes us very glad to be able to present:
The Closer Finale Postmortem: Creator James Duff Talks Brenda’s Final Confession – by Adam Bryant
When it came time for The Closer‘s Brenda Leigh Johnson to get her final confession, she didn’t even want to hear it…Below, series creator James Duff weighs in on just how significant that moment is for Brenda and her future (a Major Crimes cameo?). Plus: He discusses whether he considered an alternate ending, Brenda’s feelings about Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) and the legacy he hopes The Closer leaves behind.
When this six-episode final season began, you told us that you wrote Brenda’s entrance at the beginning of the series with how she’d exit the show also in mind.
James Duff: Her first words in the pilot were, “It looks like love,” and her last words in the series are, “Looks like love.” In the first statement, it is her professional assessment of a murder victim, and her last statement is purely personal. That has always been the tension that we were dramatizing with this character. I’m interested in the ongoing struggle in our lives between pragmatism and idealism, which shows up a lot in the tug between our professional and personal lives. And she was always erring on the side of her professional life, and she finally got to a point where her personal life caught up with her and could no longer be ignored. I was always writing to that moment.
So you’ve known how you wanted the series to end from Day 1?
Duff: There were certain things I knew were going to happen. [I knew] that someone was going to volunteer to confess and she was going to say, “I don’t want to hear it,” and that she was going to be tested as to really which side of the law she was on —whether she was answerable to anybody and whether she regarded herself as an agent of a justice system or justice itself. [I knew] that she was going to be attacked, and that she was going to lose her job closing a case. And that she was to going to end up shooting somebody through her purse. [Laughs]
You said Brenda’s personal life finally caught up with her. Do you think that would have been true if her mother hadn’t also recently died?
Duff: [I had] the idea that somebody in her personal life would pass away suddenly and cause her to re-evaluate [her life]. I was building a storyline that showed that putting your heart in your work is perhaps sometimes a glorious distraction from where your heart ought to be. Your heart needs to be with your family and with your loved ones. And if you put your heart in your work you are going to have your heart broken.