Title Borderline
Series The Closer
Season 2
Episode 11
Airdate August 21, 2006
Viewers {{{Viewers}}}
Written by Hunt Baldwin & John Coveney
Directed by Rick Wallace
Previous episode The Other Woman
Next episode No Good Deed
Episode list Season 2
Add quote here.

— Who said it?

While working a bloody murder case in which the bodies were taken from the crime scene, Brenda finds herself being investigated when a fender bender puts her in the sights of a persistent, bureaucratic traffic officer.

The VictimEdit

  • Hugo
  • Two unnamed men

The SuspectsEdit


Closing the CaseEdit

Brenda's StoryEdit

Guest CastEdit


Episode NotesEdit

Much of the action in this episode takes place in East Los Angeles, portions of which lie within the city of Los Angeles. East LA is a large, culturally rich traditionally Mexican community with long, sometimes colorful history and an oftentimes tense relationship with the LAPD. LA's notorious 1942 "Sleepy Lagoon" murder took place in East LA, as did the equally well-known Zoot Suit riots.

The LA city portion of East LA includes the neighborhood called Lincoln Heights, where the Ellsworth Ave. apartment of the shooter is located. Its Lincoln Park, originally called Eastlake Park, which forms the center of the family-oriented community, was laid out as a companion to MacArthur (Westlake) Park, featured in the episode Show Yourself.

This episode explores with greater sympathy than is typical the issue of illegal immigration into California, and the impact it has on the city of Los Angeles. While often viewed as overburdening LA city and county social services, and placing tremendous demands on the schools of LA and surrounding counties, the immigration has also resulted in rich, culturally diverse communities.

Many of the cultural practices have filtered into the larger American society. Among them are the small roadside shrines, built at the site of traffic deaths. These shrines typically include a religious icon, flowers, photographs and other meaningful items, and veladoras, colored devotional candles. Candle colors tend to have meaning, and often are decorated with saints' images. The episode featured three: one with Our Lady of Guadalupe on white (prayer), one in blue
(spirituality) and one in yellow (devotion to saints.)

One of the most iconic symbols of the Mexican-American community in East LA is Our Lady of Guadalupe, representing an apparition of the Virgin Mary believed to have appeared in Mexico. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico City, is the most revered of shrines to her. In the Mexican-American communities of Los Angeles, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a favored symbol of Mexican heritage, and of reverence of motherhood. Her image is seen widely in folk art, religious iconography, and as a tattoo, particularly among gang members of both genders.

In this episode, Brenda has her first encounter with one of LAPD's four Traffic Divisions. The LAPD is broken into four Bureaus: Central (which includes Parker Center), South, West (including Hollywood, where her accident took place) and Valley. Each Bureau has at least four Divisions, each with a community police station, and a Traffic Division. Each traffic division is headed by a Captain; West presumably was assigned to West Traffic. Capt. West wore accurate insignia for officer in a Traffic Division, which includes a cross set in a green circle and navy blue lettering. One version of the patch includes a background of reflective material.

In the opening, Brenda is walking in front of a bookstore/newsstand/coffee shop called "The Daily Planet." The Daily Planet bookstore, where this was filmed, is located on Franklin Ave, in Hollywood. The Daily Planet, as we all know, is the place where Clark Kent worked in all of the Superman movies/TV shows/comic books. There is an important LA connection as well: the Los Angeles City Hall "played" the Daily Planet building in the Superman TV series of the 1950's, which was filmed in Hollywood.

The Latino actors describing the Coyotes, the "guides" bringing illegal immigrants in from Mexico for huge sums of money, almost universally mispronounced the term. The term is pronouced coy-oh-tay, not in the same way as the animal's name, as was done in the program. Coyotes seldom bring their cargo as far north as Los Angeles themselves because of secondary U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Border Patrol) check stations on the major highways leading out of San Diego County. Instead, they typically release them to the south of the checkpoints, where the immigrants are either met and broken into smaller groups by elements of the network, or left to their own devices.

At one point in the episode, we hear Lt. Provenza tell Brenda victims they are discussing were taken to "St. Joe's" and "County" hospitals. "County" is Los Angeles County General Hospital, located in East Los Angeles, and "St. Joe's" is St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, in Burbank. County and St. Joe's (as they are generally known) are the two largest Level I Trauma Centers in the central Los Angeles area. County is located in the community where much of the story is set. Not entirely coincidentally, St. Joe's is located across the freeway from Burbank (Warner Brothers) Studios, where ER was filmed.


Provenza: (with the side of his fist moving like a mouth) Thank you señorita. Have a nice day. S'all right? S'all right!

This exchange recalls Señor Wences, a Spanish ventrilloquist who frequently appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950's and 60's. Wences drew a simple face on the side of his fist, added a wig and a body, and created a character that he called "Johnny". Johnny and another character, "Pedro", would converse, including the "S'all right? S'all right!" exchange. Johnny also had the tendency to reach out and kiss Sullivan or another person standing nearby, as Provenza did with Sanchez.

Brenda is told Section 440 is the Section of the LAPD manual governing her actions following the accident. That section of the manual actually covers media relations.

The number on the house where the men were shot was 25211. LA city addresses are either three or four digits; all five-digit addresses are in LA County, which would be policed by the LA County Sheriff's Department.

Episode MediaEdit