Wilkes-Barre native Mary McDonnell began her tenure on "The Closer" as a by-the-books internal affairs officer who instantly rubbed Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) the wrong way.
The scenes between Sedgwick and McDonnell were downright electric, which is probably why "Closer" creator James Duff decided to turn McDonnell's alter ego Captain Raydor into a recurring character. During the past few years, Raydor has softened and become one of Brenda's biggest allies. In the process, McDonnell became the logical choice to anchor "Major Crimes," a "Closer" spin-off with seven of the same actors who appeared on the original show.
This week, the Sedgwick-led "Closer: The Complete Seventh and Final Season" (2012, Warner, unrated, $60) arrives on DVD, with 21 episodes spread over five discs.
For the last season of this first-rate police procedural, Deputy Johnson finds herself facing a career-ending civil suit. At first she tries to ignore her legal woes, over the objections of Captain Raydor, and focus on the crimes that need solving, including the ongoing case of serial rapist Phillip Stroh ("Twilight's" Billy Burke).
The final season works as both a fitting send-off for Brenda and a terrific launch for "Major Crimes," which airs at 9 p.m. Mondays on TNT.
McDonnell, who was Oscar-nominated for her roles in "Dances With Wolves" (1990) and "Passion Fish" (1992), already has created an indelible character with Captain Raydor. Here's hoping the crimes she gets to solve are as fascinating as the ones that turned Brenda Leigh into a chocoholic.
Amy Longsdorf writes about DVDs with a local connection. She also profiles celebrities for the Sunday Etc. section of The Times Leader.