|Affiliation||Los Angeles Police Department|
|Family|| Three unnamed sons|
Two unnamed step-daughters
Six unnamed grandkids
|Spouse(s)|| Liz Provenza (Ex-wife #1)|
Heather Provenza (Ex-wife #2 & 4)
Sharon Provenza (Ex-wife #3)
Patrice Perry (Current)
|Played by||G.W. Bailey|
|First appearance||"The Closer (Pilot)"|
|Final appearance||“By Any Means, Part 4”|
|“||I don't run!||”|
In “Conspiracy Theory, Part 4” of Major Crimes, Season 6, he was designated as the acting commanding officer of the Major Crimes Division after the death of Commander Sharon Raydor. In “By Any Means, Part 4” he is confirmed as the division's new commanding officer rather than Major Crimes being given a replacement for Sharon.
Character Information Edit
Provenza is a 40-year veteran of the LAPD. He was selected to join the newly created Priority Homicide Division (later Major Crimes Division) after his history in the Robbery-Homicide Division first serving under then-Captain Russell Taylor. He is married to Patrice but has several divorces in his past and pays alimony to all his ex-wives (one of whom he married and divorced twice). He has children and grandchildren, as well as stepchildren and at least one step-grandchild, though only his future step-granddaughter has been seen and he implies that he was not an involved parent. His closest friend is Andy Flynn.
Being the oldest member of both the Priority Homicide Division and the Major Crimes Division, he is often threatened with being forced to retire, though he has sworn to die on his post. As part of the divorce settlement with his first wife, he is to share his pension with her when he retires, and he doesn't want to give her the satisfaction. This agreement is void if she remarries, which she is planning to do. Though he often comes off as cynical or even lazy at times, he has a great deal of experience and sometimes notices small case-breaking details.
In season 5 of Major Crimes, he is surprised by Patrice when she tells him that they received a wedding invitation from Liz, Provenza's first ex-wife. Although he is happy that Liz is getting remarried, he is not happy that Patrice started pushing him to retire as now he wouldn't have to share his pension with Liz. He is quick to change the subject every time Patrice brings it up but eventually they come to a mutual understanding: Louie could stay at the LAPD as long as he wants, but he would be the last cop she would ever marry.
In “Intersection”, Provenza considers retirement, worried about who will become the new Assistant Chief if Raydor doesn't get the position. At the end of the episode, Provenza changes his mind when Sharon suggests that he will take over Major Crimes if she is in fact promoted. In “Shockwave, Part 2”, Leo Mason was promoted to Assistant Chief, rather than Sharon.
In “Sanctuary City, Part 1”, it is shown that Provenza has a personal relationship with Det. Camila Paige, having arrested the drunk driver who killed her parents when she was twenty. He remained a friend of the family during the trial. During the episode, Camila acted without Louie's approval when she yelled to a female friend of the missing children to call her, over the objections of her overprotective and racist father. Provenza reprimanded Camila, or "Cami" as he calls her, to "not go around yelling things like "call me" while I'm standing there, unless I say so."
At the end of “Sanctuary City, Part 3”, when Sharon Raydor was angrily shouting at the FBI to leave the Major Crimes squad room after they withheld crucial information from them, she collapsed and subsequently hit her head. Provenza hoped that she was just dehydrated and would return shortly but that turned out to not be the case (“Sanctuary City, Part 4”). Chief Mason placed Provenza in temporary command of MCD when Sharon was transported to the hospital and obviously could not continue her duties. After paramedics took Sharon away, Provenza reiterated Sharon's commands of throwing out the FBI which Chief Mason agreed to do. Later, Mason reprimanded Provenza about how he treated the FBI, but not overly so. Mason heard out Provenza's complaints but still stated that all parties should aim for civility. However, Mason was able to convince the FBI to pass the boys directly over to the LAPD instead of their parents, along with all copies of notes pertaining to their interviews, which appeared to somewhat calm Provenza down.
Later in “Sanctuary City, Part 4”, when DDA Hobbs was with the Major Crimes Division after they decided to charge the boys for the murder of Lucas Garza, she suggested that while Commander Raydor was out sick, nobody there had a plan of how to go forward. Provenza found that remark offensive, stating that he's been a police officer for forty years and he knows exactly was he is doing. He also noted that the plan of charging the boys with murder was Raydor's, hoping that the knowledge of being charged with murder would make the boys more cooperative.
In “Conspiracy Theory, Part 3”, Sharon's health begins to worry Provenza to the point of doubting if she is fit for duty. She eventually discloses her condition to Chief Mason and requests a leave of absence until her health returns to normal, leaving Provenza to command the division in her absence. Later, Sharon suffered a fatal heart failure resulting in her death, leaving the grief-stricken Provenza to command MCD.
In “By Any Means, Part 1” and “By Any Means, Part 2”, Provenza struggles with Mason following the murder of DDA Emma Rios. Provenza wants to treat Emma's drowning as a murder committed by Phillip Stroh and to therefore give more resources to the investigation. At first, Mason shows a reluctance but becomes more cooperative when Gus reveals that he has seen Stroh in LA after spotting Stroh's picture on the murder board. Mason also expresses anger at the amount of money Provenza is spending, noting that MCD's expenses have nearly doubled in the week Provenza has been in command but still helps the division find out Gwendolyn Stroh's current name. When Provenza starts suggesting even more security details, Mason berates him over it until Provenza suggests that Rusty and Gus could stay together for a while, freeing one security detail.
During this time, Provenza also delivers the eulogy at Sharon's funeral and makes it clear that despite their past differences, her death is very hard on him.
In “By Any Means, Part 3”, Mason admits that Provenza was correct all along and defers to Provenza's plan to take Stroh down. After Provenza states strongly that they intend to take Stroh down "by any means," Mason agrees with "by any means," implicitly giving Provenza permission to kill Stroh rather than arrest him. At the end of the episode, Provenza was concerned about if they were ever going to catch Stroh but Lt. Tao assured him that they would catch him this time. Provenza also stated that he doesn't just want Stroh because he's dangerous but also because if he only gets to do one thing while in charge of Major Crimes, it would be removing Stroh from the face of the Earth.
In “By Any Means, Part 4”, after Wes' operation confirms that Sharon's condo is no longer safe, Provenza dismisses Rusty and Gus' security detail and instead keeps them by his side at all times. Provenza continues to coordinate the efforts to find Stroh, remaining behind in the murder room rather than going out into the field when Dylan Baxter is located. After Stroh is suspected to be fleeing the country through a chartered plane, Provenza remains behind again with Buzz, Rusty and Gus while the rest of the LAPD converges on the airport.
With Tammy Bechtal not answering her phone, Rusty insists upon checking it out, suspecting that Stroh is up to something. Unable to convince Rusty otherwise and with no one else available, Provenza reinstates Buzz as a Reserve Detective to act as their backup. Accompanied by Buzz, Rusty and Gus, Provenza visits Tammy's home where they find Tammy murdered. Provenza spots a picture of Jim Bechtal's yacht, the Ms. Bechtel and realizes Stroh's actual escape plan.
Telling Buzz to hold off on calling in Tammy's murder, Provenza sets out alone into the marina to search the yacht for Stroh. Provenza is able to corner Stroh, but Stroh disarms himself and Provenza can't bring himself to shoot an unarmed man. As Stroh reaches for Provenza's handcuffs to handcuff himself, Rusty suddenly enters and shoots Stroh dead. Shocked by Rusty's actions, Provenza finds a hidden gun on Stroh that he was presumably going for, making Stroh's death not a murder. To protect Rusty, Provenza takes Rusty's gun and chooses to take credit for killing Stroh himself, though Julio and Fritz appear to realize the truth. FID investigates the shooting and quickly determines that Stroh's death was justified and Provenza is cleared.
After Stroh's death, Julio accepts the promotion to Lieutenant and the transfer to Criminal Intelligence. Provenza also arranges for Buzz to spend the next eighteen weeks at the police academy. When Buzz returns, he will be a probationary detective and a full member of Major Crimes. Surrounded by his friends and family, Provenza makes a speech about how together they will make Major Crimes great for years to come and keep catching the bad guys. Provenza suggests that with the team he has, he can go on solving crimes forever.
When Captain Raydor first joined the division, Provenza had a rocky relationship with her at first due to her time in FID and him wanting command of Major Crimes himself. His dislike for her only increased when she started making deals with criminals rather than sending them to trial. It nearly causes him to retire, but she manages to reach something of an understanding with him and he changes his mind. Following this, while he still doesn't like her, he at least supports her and respects her.
Sharon as a commanding officer is very different from Brenda Leigh Johnson. Where Brenda was a very hands-on leader and investigator because of her background in the state department and the CIA, Sharon is more administrative in nature, trusting that her detectives can handle standard day-to-day operations without constant oversight. This can be seen in the fact that while Brenda responded to every crime the MCD was called to, Sharon only responds to crimes that are particularly gruesome or higher profile than usual. When Sharon is present at a crime scene, she still defers to Louie's expertise much of the time, causing them to develop a good working relationship. This also means that when the division is deployed on the field, Provenza can be seen in a supervisory role and being in command of the division, something that he always wanted.
In one notable instance, Provenza stands up for Sharon when Rusty makes her cry with his accusations of her not caring and wanting to get rid of him. Provenza explains that he doesn't like Sharon, but even he knows how much she cares about Rusty. Provenza is shown to be disgusted with the young man's actions, and his words cause Rusty to realize just how big of a mistake he made.
Over time, Provenza's relationship with Sharon gets better to the point that he occasionally calls her "Sharon" instead of "Captain" and he supports her when she needs help. In “Intersection”, their relationship has progressed to the point that Provenza wants Sharon promoted to Assistant Chief and worries about who will take the job if she doesn't. When discussing Provenza's own possible promotion to Captain if Sharon does in fact get promoted to Assistant Chief, he admits that he is deeply glad to have a great deal of Sharon's confidence. Sharon admits that Provenza now has a great deal of her affection as well, "whether you want it or not", and goes as far as to share a hug with him and call him "Louie".
In “Sanctuary City, Part 4”, after Sharon collapses while yelling at the FBI, Provenza loses his temper to a shocking degree at the idea that the stress may have been responsible for her collapse. Provenza goes so far as to fling a box across the room and order the FBI out of Major Crimes. Provenza is one of the most visibly worried about Sharon's condition and attempts to stay to hear her diagnosis in the hospital before being kicked out alongside Andy and Rusty. While using Sharon's morally questionable plan regarding Doctor Joe, Provenza notes that its with the rules, appearing to have a fondness for Sharon's use of the rules to their advantage in this case instead of being frustrated with them as he usually is.
In “Conspiracy Theory, Part 3”, after learning the true seriousness of Sharon's condition, Provenza gets visually emotional. His voice breaks both when he asks Andy to talk to Sharon and when he tries to convince Sharon to take a leave of absence to help get better.
At the end of “Conspiracy Theory, Part 4”, Sharon wanted to get one final confession from a suspect against the wishes of Provenza, resulting in her heart failing when she started yelling. Though Sharon was rushed to the hospital, she ultimately died. When the doctor brought the news, Provenza started to ask if she was dead, but couldn't even finish the sentence. After Sharon's death was confirmed, Provenza was visibly emotional and Camila Paige went so far as to take his hand in comfort.
In “By Any Means, Part 1”, Provenza delivers a eulogy for Sharon that makes it clear that he cared for her deeply and is deeply mourning her death. In his eulogy, Provenza expresses admiration for Sharon's adherence to the rule of law, the very thing that had once divided them. While discussing the eulogy had gave with Andy, Provenza states that he was lucky to get through it without breaking down.
Provenza has developed a close relationship, often resembling that of an uncle or grandfather, with former murder witness Rusty Beck. He advises and looks out for the young man, even behind his back at times when he feels it to necessary. In return, Rusty sees him as someone he can turn to when he needs advice and doesn't want Sharon to know.
Provenza has only been shown to betray Rusty's confidence once when got worried about why Rusty was asking about his mother's recent arrest history and checked up on his jail visit with her. What he discovered alarmed him so much he informed the rest of the squad and Sharon out of concern for the young man. He also reviews video of Rusty's visits with his biological mother, and directs Raydor to the moment at which she suggests he get her money by prostituting himself again.
Most notably, when Rusty admitted he was gay to the squad, Provenza's reaction was the one he was most worried about besides Sharon's. Like everyone else, Provenza showed no surprise (though everyone tried to pretend they were). Rusty still pulls him aside to make sure Provenza is personally okay with the revelation. Provenza, who has been shown to be politically incorrect in the past, informs Rusty that he honestly doesn't care that he's gay, just as long as he's not flamboyant. He lets him know that being gay is the one thing he can't give him advice on however and leaves it at that.
When he moves to live with Patrice, he hires Rusty and his friend TJ Shaw to move his stuff into storage and lie to Patrice for him that they are actually giving them away to charity. Rusty's boyfriend Gus is included in the guests at Provenza and Patrice's wedding, the only person there outside of the Major Crimes squad.
Following the return of Phillip Stroh, Provenza works hard to protect Rusty, even assigning Wes Nolan to check the effectiveness of Rusty's security detail. Provenza goes so far as to include Rusty into the investigation due to Rusty's own work on the case. After Rusty kills Stroh in “By Any Means, Part 4”, Provenza takes credit to protect the young man. At the end of the series, Provenza tells everyone that he has made his first deal as the new head of Major Crimes by getting Rusty to agree to work as a prosecutor for the DA's office for five years once he passes the bar exam instead of going into family law as Rusty previously planned. While naming the members of the team that will continue to make Major Crimes great into the future, Provenza includes Rusty.
Louie met Patrice during an investigation in season 3 of Major Crimes (“Party Foul”). The two have an ongoing relationship and Patrice seems to care for and match wits with him like almost no one can.
In season 4, they move in together, though Provenza pays Rusty and his friend TJ to put all of his stuff in storage, just in case the relationship does not work out. Provenza ends up being pleased with the setup Patrice did for their new place even without his input.
In “The Jumping Off Point”, Provenza plans a big dinner to propose to Patrice only to have Andy accidentally ruin the surprise for him. He then begins avoiding Patrice until she confronts him about it, telling him she wasn't sure whether or not to take Andy seriously and set things up for them to have dinner that night together and made sure it would be somewhere perfect, if the dinner turned out to be "memorable" for them.
At the end of “Hindsight, Part 5”, Louie and Patrice are married in a small ceremony by Mayor Ramon Quintero (Played by guest star and current Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti.) Originally, Provenza wanted a big wedding while Patrice just wanted to elope. Buzz Watson eventually got Provenza to see sense and do things Patrice's way. Patrice comments during the wedding that her family hates Provenza since they met when Provenza arrested her granddaughter for murder.
Since their wedding, Patrice has been shown to mainly support Provenza in his career. After his ex-wife that he owed half his pension to gets remarried, ending Provenza's need to avoid retirement, Patrice pushes him to retire. When Provenza chooses to stay on the force, she continues to support him and is seen comforting Provenza after particularly tough cases such as in “Intersection”.
Provenza has four ex-wives. During reconstructions undertaken by the squad, Provenza names each doll after one of his ex-wives. A notable example was seen in the episode "Out of Focus" where he throws them off a balcony in order to see how a victim committed apparent suicide.
He notes that his first wife Liz always used to correct his grammar ("Out of Focus"). He reveals to Pope that he is adamant not to retire and would rather die on his post, due to a divorce settlement he had with her first wife in which he would share his pension with her and is reluctant to do so because he doesn't want to give her the satisfaction ("Dial M for Provenza"). Assistant Chief Pope sympathizes with him since he made a similar arrangement with his own first wife. Due to Liz getting remarried, Provenza is no longer required to give up half of his pension with her.
Provenza's second wife was Heather. She was also his fourth wife since he married her again.
His third wife was named Sharon and he notes that she was the one that always had to be right ("Out of Focus").
Provenza's current wife is Patrice Perry whom he met after arresting her granddaughter for murder. Despite not being Provenza's usual type as she's his age, the two appear to have a good relationship with Patrice understanding Provenza's duties as a cop due to her first husband being one.
- Provenza's first name wasn't revealed until Season 5 of The Closer when it was mentioned by his former partner, George Andrews. Before that, he was always referred to as simply "Provenza" or "Lieutenant". In “The Last Word”, he mentions that even his grandchildren call him "Lieutenant". In “Frozen Assets”, Rusty learns his first name is Louie and Provenza tells him that "unless you outrank me or I divorced you, my name is Lieutenant." In “Intersection”, while discussing the possibility of him taking over Major Crimes if Sharon Raydor is promoted, Provenza admits that everyone calling him "Captain" rather than "Lieutenant" would be like changing his name.
- Whenever the PHD or MCD does reconstructions with dummies, Provenza names each doll after one of his ex-wives.
- Provenza has been sent to sensitivity training at least once.
- Provenza hates it when people sit or put things on his desk.
- He is the last person of his police academy class to still be on active duty.
- He sometimes gets jokes about his age such as in “Frozen Assets” when he brings up his first job to Rusty Beck and Andy Flynn asks him if it was as a cabin boy on the Mayflower or as a dishwasher at the Last Supper.
- Provenza tells Rusty that "snitching on people's how I started my career" when discussing possible job applications with him. He doesn't elaborate further than that though.
- In “Frozen Assets”, Provenza writes Rusty a letter of recommendation for working in retail security based on his work in the operation to catch Wade Weller. Dick Tracy steals the letter after Rusty changes his mind about taking that sort of job and uses Provenza's letter which he hadn't put Rusty's name on yet to get a security job of his own.
- In “Final Cut” of Major Crimes, he buys the Major Crimes squad room a new high-tech printer after their old one breaks but makes everyone pay for using it. Following his buying of the printer, the squad members can occasionally be seen putting money in a jar after using his printer. In one episode, Assistant Chief Taylor uses it himself (though he doesn't pay for it citing his rank) saying its the best printer in the LAPD.
- In “There's No Place Like Home”, Provenza's refusal to get glasses nearly causes him to be reassigned to desk duty as he's unable to shoot a good target without them anymore and can't qualify with his weapon. Near the end of the episode, he's stunned by the effect of a suspect's glasses and later uses them to qualify on the range, getting a perfect target. Following this, he gets glasses which he can be occasionally seen wearing, though he doesn't seem to need them at all times. Most notably, he wore them when he shot Wade Weller, allowing him to shoot him in the head, despite the distance he was at and the fact that Wade was using a hostage as a shield.
- In “The Jumping Off Point”, Provenza plans another engagement despite the failures of his many marriages and is angry when Andy ruins the surprise, telling Andy that when he plans to propose to someone, he intends to do it himself, not have Andy do it for him,
- In “Risk Assessment”, a suspect was arrested for using a victim's credit card but it simply turns out he found the card and was trying to buy his children a Christmas gift as he didn't have any money for it. After hearing the man's story, Provenza has Tao buy the man the gift he wanted for his children with Provenza's own credit card.
- While Provenza isn't shown outwardly to be as emotionally invested in the Alice Herrera case as Flynn, he admits that the outcome of them not being able to identify Alice bothers even him greatly despite not showing it.
- When two children are found murdered in “Flight Risk”, Provenza is noticeably upset, telling Buzz to make sure to get everything on tape and to start to search for other clues so they can make sure the jury can see everything as they do, presumably to make the case stronger against the children's killer.
- When Flynn is sent to the hospital in “Taking the Fall”, Provenza is shown to have medical Power of Attorney for him. He aids Flynn in filling out medical forms, but does it in such a way that Flynn jokes about needing a will. Rusty even comments at one point that he believes Sharon left him to make sure Provenza didn't go too far. One of the forms Provenza fills out is a DNR and upon seeing it, Patrice asks if someone is trying to kill Flynn who tells her Provenza did it.
- At his wedding to Patrice in “Hindsight, Part 5”, Provenza was so excited he answered a question with "I do" before the ceremony even started.
- After the bombing of the murder room in “Shockwave, Part 2”, two of the items seen to be recovered intact are Provenza's money jar for use of his printer and a bobble-head of Provenza. After recovering the bobble-head, Julio jokes "roaches, rats, and Provenza. They can survive anything." His printer is also confirmed to have survived the bombing and it sees continued use (“Sanctuary City, Part 2”).
- In “By Any Means, Part 2”, Provenza states that "I always, always own up to my mistakes. Or I get a divorce."
- In a deleted scene for “By Any Means, Part 4” its shown that Provenza's story, backed up by Buzz was that he'd borrowed Rusty's gun for more firepower which was why he hadn't shot Stroh with his own and that Stroh wouldn't let go his gun which was why he shot the man so many times. However, Julio was obviously skeptical of this story, particularly due to how many times Stroh was shot while both Sykes and Buzz were unsure of what to think. Buzz's statement also suggests that Provenza didn't call in Stroh's death right away, possibly to get his story straight or to stage the scene to match it.
Career Information Edit
- Provenza's badge number is 35082.
- When in uniform, Provenza wears seven service stripes on his uniform. Each stripe represents five years of service in the LAPD, meaning he has served for 35-39 years. (Last seen in “By Any Means, Part 1”; December, 2017.)
- In “Bad Blood”, Provenza mentioned that he joined the LAPD from the class of 3/77. In “Sanctuary City, Part 4”, he stated that he has been a police officer for forty years. Even though he has stated that he's served for forty years, and based on the class from which he joined the LAPD, he should have eight stripes instead of seven.
- Medals and service awards worn by Lt. Provenza (“By Any Means, Part 1”):
- Medal and service award goofs:
- Lt. Provenza could be seen wearing the standard Detective Service Ribbon on his uniform, meaning 5 years of service in investigative units as a detective and/or lieutenant even though he has served much more than that. He would at least wear the Detective Service Ribbon (1) but considering his service years, it would not be impossible for him to have the Detective Service Ribbon (3) either.
|The Closer Characters|
|Brenda Leigh Johnson • Sharon Raydor • Fritz Howard • Will Pope • Russell Taylor • Louie Provenza • Andy Flynn • Michael Tao • David Gabriel • Julio Sanchez • Irene Daniels • Buzz Watson • Dr. Fernando Morales|
|Major Crimes Characters|
|Sharon Raydor • Louie Provenza • Andy Flynn • Michael Tao • Julio Sanchez • Amy Sykes • Wes Nolan • Camila Paige • Buzz Watson • Rusty Beck • Russell Taylor • Leo Mason • Fritz Howard • Dr. Fernando Morales • Andrea Hobbs • Kendall|