The opening scene finds Chief Johnson on the stand. We all know Brenda is better in an interrogation room than a court room, but she's holding her ground pretty well. She's testifying for the prosecution against an alleged rapist, a George Harris (Scott Michael Morgan) whose defense attorney happens to be non-other than Philip Stroh (Billy Burke)!
The White Whale
Faithful Closer watchers remember Philip Stroh from back in season four. Brenda and the Major Crimes team eventually caught on that Stroh, a defense attorney for rapists, and his clients were working as a team, drugging and raping women. There was never any usable evidence against Stroh however, and since then he's been popping up in various seasons, with Brenda keeping a vengeful eye on him until opportunity struck.
Game of Cat and Mouse
After a purposeful mistrial, re-arresting Harris, finding the missing first victim, Natalie Gilbert, and reopening the investigation, it turns out that Harris' partner in crime was NOT Stroh after all. Harris teamed up with a waiter at the bar where they staked out their victims. All this after luring Stroh to that very bar to try and set him up. Something about Harris' whole scenario didn't sit right with me, and I still don't buy it.
What About Turrell Baylor?
When we left the Major Crimes team before the hiatus, Brenda was being charged with a FEDERAL crime as a result of the Turrell Baylor negligence case. It was subtly revealed that the federal case had been settled, but we haven't learned any details yet. I had thought that the Baylor case was going to eat up the final six episodes of the series, but now that Stroh is back, catching him will be Brenda's opus.
Brenda is forbidden by Chief Pope (J.K. Simmons) from pursuing Stroh any further, but I think Brenda's got something up her sleeve. When Rayder (Mary McDonnell) warned her to take Pope's orders seriously, she replied with a dry, "Trust me I am," that just didn't sound convincing. What is she up to? And considering the leak is still out there, who can it be?!
"I only go to court with cases I can win."
-DA Claire Baldwin (Amanda Mason Warren)
"I have two keys to my car. Two keys to my house. Chief Johnson, does that make me a rapist?"
-Philip Stroh, cross-examining Brenda.
"Oh... uh. Thank you. I learned from the best."
Detective Tao (Michael Paul Chan), when Baldwin says he's a good on the stand.
"So, I'm lucky I only lost my mind?"
-Natalie Gilbert (Julia Whelan), upon hearing her rapists next victim was murdered.
"Drugging women to have sex with them? It's just so unsporting."