7 Things: Subtext Couples – #5

Brenda Leigh & Raydor (The Closer)

The initial dislike and mutual distrust between Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson and Captain Sharon Raydor is a classic love-hate set-up, and the show’s writers did a truly phenomenal job in growing the friendship in a believable way that brought both women incredible dimension. They are mature, they are logical, and yet there has been this underlying fire in all of their interactions BECAUSE they didn’t like or trust each other at first. So, every time they try to interact, they still conflict, and it’s perfection.

What I like the most about these two characters as a slash couple is how fully Raydor has had Brenda’s back without Brenda knowing it through most of this season. They almost have a Kalinda-Alicia thing going on. The first third of this season, Raydor spent most of the time protecting Brenda without her knowledge and almost against her will.

How It Started

Raydor is Internal Affairs, so, unsurprisingly, she was brought in to investigate a detective in Brenda’s squad. Then, they irritated the hell out of each other and, in a totally kickass scene, admitted that they just didn’t like each other and that was a very hard dynamic to change. So, they wished each other goodnight and realized that they didn’t have to try to be friends.

That didn’t mean that Raydor was going to leave Brenda alone. As the highest-ranking woman in the LAPD, Brenda had the best shot at becoming Chief of Police, and Raydor all but forced Brenda to run on behalf of the other women in the police department. This necessitated some amount of sucking up on Raydor’s behalf, and their uncomfortable conversations were really the turning point in their relationship/friendship/femslash love/whatever.

Since I don’t have the episodes, I only know some of the episodes from which these scenes came. So, if you’re that interested, please ask. But, for sanity’s sake, I’m leaving out the episode names and just counting down.

So, here are my top seven Brenda & Raydor subtext moment (MAJOR SPOILERS):

7 – The Verdict

Brenda is facing civil charges. She goes to court. She gets the best verdict.

Brenda is shown relieved.

Her husband Fritz is shown relieved.

Raydor is shown relieved.

Sometimes subtext is all in the editing.

6 – Admiration

A teacher gets in trouble for allowing students to live in his home. Brenda feels guilty about how things turn out. Raydor tries to comfort Brenda by telling her that, despite the teacher’s intentions, what he did was illegal. And then this exchange takes place.

Brenda: He seemed to be doing important work, even if it wasn’t fully appreciated by his boss and fellow teachers. There’s something about that I find admirable.

Raydor: Me too.

It’s clear that they’re talking about each other. And, as they say it, they are standing so close it looks as if they’re about to make out.

Plus, Kyra has this habit of watching people’s lips as they speak and she is doing it double-time in this scene.

5 – The Bait

It’s possible that there is a leak in Brenda’s squad who is feeding information to the jerk prosecutor who’s trying to make trouble for Brenda. So, in a closed meeting, Raydor puts out a bit of false information and shows up outside of the leaked address to meet the prosecutor. She goes out of her way to find out what’s going on for Brenda and then puts a bit of a threat in the prosecutor’s ear.

4 – The Close Call

While under investigation from Internal Affairs, a suspect shoots himself while left alone in the interrogation room. It’s the last thing that they need and, when Raydor is called in, Brenda is certain that she is in even more trouble. Brenda walks into the media room to face Raydor just after Raydor gets done watching the footage that showed that Brenda was THIS close to being shot before the suspect killed himself.

So when Brenda walks in stoically to accept her punishment, Raydor just looks up at her and says, “Are you okay?” with real emotion. And Brenda stares at her momentarily speechless.

3 – Protective

After the civil suit ends, more nonsense begins. The prosecutor is flat-out determined to make Brenda pay for what he sees as dangerous, deadly police work. After he gets caught in his own web, the prosecutor agrees to offer a deal that includes no real punishment for Brenda or the LAPD. When they bring Brenda in to sign on the dotted line, her attorney and boss – who she keeps believing has her back – try to get her to sign without reading. Raydor, hovering in the background states, “I think she’ll want to read it.” Then, she watches carefully as Brenda peruses the contract, waiting to see her get to the punchline. When Brenda realizes that the deal includes a new rule for the LAPD that uses her name, she goes off and defends herself and her position. And in the background, Raydor nods along, having Brenda’s back without a word.

2 – Trust

When Brenda first gets threatened with the civil suit, her boss, Chief Pope, makes her believe, as usual, that he’s behind her. He wants to tie her case with the LAPD and have the LAPD’s lawyers defend her. Raydor knows that Pope is up to no good. As his employee, she can’t say anything. In fact, she’s supposed to be investigating Brenda and looking for something incriminating at Pope’s orders. Knowing that they are trying to throw Brenda under the bus, Raydor keeps begging Brenda to get her own lawyer. At the same time, she prolongs her investigation to keep Pope from making Brenda his scapegoat. Finally, after numerous pleas – which seem a lot like appeals for Brenda to trust her – Raydor convinces Brenda. And Raydor’s advice saves Brenda’s ass.

1 – Comfort

Brenda has a sweet tooth that is TV legend. Every time something bad happens, Brenda reaches into her trusty drawer of sweets and pulls out some comfort food.

So, when Raydor has something unpleasant that she needs to talk to Brenda about, walks into Brenda’s office, opens Brenda’s sweets drawer and hands her a treat, it’s one of the sexiest moments I’ve ever seen on television.

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