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'Thank you so much': Saying goodbye to 'The Closer' and Brenda Leigh

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Tonight's series finale of "The Closer," airing at 9 on TNT, has pretty much everything you can hope for when saying goodbye to a TV show -- and characters -- you've come to love: closure and peace.

I won't dare give away any particulars of how or why Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, played for seven great seasons by Kyra Sedgwick, leaves her job as head of L.A.P.D.'s Major Crimes unit. I will tell you that it's a strong episode with a satisfying conclusion.

But it also can't help but be a little sad, too. Sedgwick, pictured here with TV husband Fritz (Jon Tenney) and cat Joel (Jax and/or Darlie), brought Brenda Leigh to life so completely that I'm still a little surprised when I hear her speak on talk shows and she doesn't have an exaggerated Southern drawl (one of my favorite scenes from "The Closer" is from Season 1, when Lt. Provenza mimics Chief Johnson's extreme southern accent at a crime scene).

Sedgwick's Brenda Leigh means a lot to fans of "The Closer," who have laughed with her and cried with her, and it will be hard to say goodbye.

But life goes on! (Just without Brenda Leigh...)

Pretty much the entire cast will continue on "Major Crimes," which is essentially the exact same show as "The Closer," just with Mary McDonnell at the helm instead of Sedgwick. For what it's worth, the Capt. Raydor-headed vehicle is actually much more palatable than I expected (read my full "Major Crimes" review here) and it's nice to have most of the old gang around, still doing their thing.  

All departing TV shows should be so lucky.

Tune in for tonight's finale at 9 on TNT. And if you have access to Ring Dings, hoist one in Brenda's honor.

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About the blogger

Brooke Cain isn't always proud of the number of hours she logs in front of the TV, but her loss of brain cells can be your gain. From reality shows to sitcoms to the more serious stuff, Brooke keeps her DVR smoking so that she can help keep you in the know. Brooke also tweets for Happiness is a Warm TV (you can follow @WarmTV) and updates the blog's Facebook page.