Brenda’s back (bad clothes and all) for five new episodes of TNT’s hit drama “The Closer”

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When TNT sent out advance copies of  “Old Money,” tonight’s returning episode of “The Closer” (9 p.m. on TNT), an attached note requested that us scribbler types not reveal the nature of the harrowing opening 10 minutes.
 
Even actor Corey Reynolds, who plays Sgt. David Gabriel on the drama, was coy when we met him for a chat in The Living Room at the W hotel in Midtown last week.
 
“I’m always wary about saying too much,” he confessed to us. “It’s pretty wild though. And [co-star] Tony [Denison] loved it. [Imitating Denison’s thick Brooklyn accent] He told me, ‘Man, I felt like I was back in New York!'”
 
In typical “Closer” fashion, the episode’s jaw dropper of a dramatic opener is quickly followed with scenes so funny it’s tough to see how Reynolds keeps a straight face on set.
 
“As actors, we love those shifts in tone because it gives us more to play with,” Reynolds explained.
 
In a conference call with us, “Closer” creator James Duff and Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson herself, Kyra Sedgwick told us the drama’s dark humor is inspired by real-life cops who serve as technical advisers.
 
“In my own observation of police officers, they’re often at their darkest and funniest when they’re standing six feet away from a dead body,” dished Duff. “In even ‘The Closer’s’ darkest moments, we like to bring a flashlight along with us in the writing. And that flashlight is humor. You also have to realize that the actors in this ensemble have a huge range and we always want to capitalize on that.”
 
Added Sedgwick: “I think doing one really intense episode after another would be hard on us as actors. One of our writers is a former LAPD detective. The tone just feels right. He laughs at some of the most horrific things too!”
 
Speaking of horrifying, Reynolds says Brenda Leigh’s wardrobe won’t be getting a make over for the holidays.
 
“It’s totally true to the character,” he said. “Brenda is not someone focused on fashion. And I’ve got to hand it to Kyra, too. Not many actresses of her caliber would allow themselves to be dressed down the way Brenda is. Our wardrobe people are amazing. Here is this gorgeous woman and they have the task of trying to make her less attractive.”
 
Reynolds, Sedgwick and Duff previewed that in addition to a Christmas episode featuring the return of Brenda’s Atlanta parents (played by Frances Sternhagen and Barry Corbin) who arrive with a big surprise, the final two episodes of the five-episode mini season will finish up in early January with a bang.
 
“They’re probably the darkest two episodes of the entire year,” Sedgwick said. “Just in time for Christmas!”
 

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