Twenty years after she witnessed the unexplained murder of her sister, Emma Hollis works on a case she requested involving a series of disturbingly random killings.
Emma drives along a highway, speaking a few tense words to her passenger, a long-haired man named Rick Van Horn. Suddenly, Emma jerks the wheel. The car swerves out of control, heading towards a large object. All goes black.
In flashback, three days earlier Rick and another man, Peter, rent a room in a hotel. The walls are so thin, however, that someone's snoring filters into the pair's room. Rick straps on body armor, then picks up a gun and a hunting knife. As Peter listens, Rick kicks in the door of the offending sleeper's room and fires off a shot. Rick returns and climbs back into bed.
Emma joins Detective Jay Cooper as police search the hotel room for possible evidence. The victim turns out to be a man named Daryl Norcott, a baker who was passing through town. Emma interviews a transient staying in Rick and Peter's old room. The transient explains that two men handed him the key, explaining that the room was paid for.
Aided by descriptions from the transient, police sketch artists are able to create composites of Rick and Peter. Frank, however, is somewhat perplexed by Emma's interest in the case, as it seemingly does not warrant FBI involvement. Nonetheless, he and Emma travel to the crime scene. While standing in the hotel room, the pair cannot help but notice squeaking coming from bed springs in a nearby room. Frank is struck by several internal visions, including a smiling face. He finds a Smiley Face carved into the wooden bed where Rick slept. Frank comes to believe that the killer did not act with any particular motive.
Meanwhile, Rick and Peter rendezvous with an amorous barmaid named Joni. The threesome, dressed in bullet proof vests, lay siege on a grocery store, killing three people in the process. Emma and Frank review security videotape of the incident. The pair notices Rick picking up Smiley Face jawbreakers from a hard candy display. Emma retrieves a candy wrapper, hoping it will yield fingerprints. Before the pair leaves the store, Frank asks Emma why she has taken an interest in the case. She answers the question with a question: why?
Using a fingerprint found on the candy wrapper, Emma identifies Rick Van Horn as the shooter. To her surprise, Van Horn has no history of previous violence. Frank, meanwhile, studies Emma's FBI file, probing her background for possible clues as to her interest in the case. He discovers that, twenty years earlier, Emma witnessed a man named Michael Wynter kill her sister. Wynter later committed suicide in prison. Every year on the anniversary of her sister's death, Emma requests a murder case hoping to discover why Wynter committed such an unfathomable act.
Meanwhile, Rick, Peter and Joni trick a mountain biker, Kyle, into getting high with them. Rick then offers Kyle three thousand dollars to shoot an apple from his head. Kyle accepts the challenge and fires the gun. Rick comes through unscathed. Rick then takes the apple from this head and removes the gun from Kyle's hand. He points the weapon at Kyle and insists that he place the apple upon his own head. When Kyle resists, Rick threatens to kill him on the spot. With little choice, Kyle places the apple on his head. Rick takes aim then lowers the gun slightly, shooting Kyle between the eyes.
Rick, Peter and Joni enter a pawn shop. They see their photographs being broadcast on a local news program. Panicking, Joni runs outside to retrieve the group's vehicle. But she discovers it is being impounded by a tow truck driver. Joni draws her gun, but is taken into custody when police gain the upper hand. Peter and Rick, however, escape on foot. At the police station, Emma attempts to get Joni to cooperate with the investigation. Joni seemingly softens, but just when she seems on the verge of revealing information, she suddenly demands a lawyer. Emma leaves Frank at the police station and drives off in her car. Shortly thereafter, Rick and Peter commandeer a city bus. They threaten to begin killing hostages unless police release Joni.
As police stall for more time, the city bus stops in front of the precinct's steps. Meanwhile, Emma hears of the hijacking on her radio, turns around, and drives back to the police station. The two gunmen eventually realize that their effort is futile. Clad in body armor, they exit the bus and advance on the police station. Police return fire, and during the gun battle, Peter is struck in the neck by a bullet.
Emma pulls into the police parking lot, only to see Rick advancing towards her. Rick commandeers the car, taking Emma hostage. As Emma drives, Rick orders her to pull off the road. Emma refuses to do so. Rick loads a bullet into his gun, preparing to shoot. But before he does so, Emma asks him, "Why?" Rick replies, "You tell me." Emma floors the accelerator and swerves the vehicle towards an abutment on a bridge. The impact sends Rick crashing through the windshield. Emma, who was wearing her seatbelt, survives.
- This episode was inspired in part by the famous LAPD shootout that took place outside of North Hollywood's Bank of America on February 28, 1997. In one of the fiercest shootouts in American history, several heavily armed bank robbers wearing full body armor attacked police after a failed robbery attempt. Two of the suspects were killed and fifteen people were injured, including ten of the two hundred police officers on the scene. The entire battle was televised in Los Angeles as it occurred.
- Guest star Garret Dillahunt, who portrays the sadistic Rick Van Horn, first appeared on television as a regular on the long running soap opera One Life to Live. He has also been seen guest starring in such shows as NYPD Blue, Law & Order, CSI, The X-Files, The 4400, and most recently Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
- "Closure" marks the third Millennium appearance for guest star Michael Sunczyk, seen here as Van Horn's cohort Peter. Sunczyk had a minor role in the first season episode "Loin Like a Hunting Flame" and went on to play serial killing record holder Johnnie Mack Potter in "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me."
Cast and Characters
- Michael Sunczyk (Peter) previously played Doorman in the Millennium episode "Loin Like a Hunting Flame" and Johnnie Mack Potter in "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me".
- Don McWilliams (Connor) previously played Park Guy in the Millennium episode "Gehenna" and P.F.C. Gus Burkholder in The X-Files episode "Unrequited".
- Bob Dawson (Captain Kevin Mann) previously played Phil Rich in The X-Files episode "Schizogeny" and Helmut Gunsche in the Millennium episodes "Owls" and "Roosters".
- Tim Henry (Sheriff Taylor) previously played Federal Marshal in The X-Files episode "Colony" and Plain-Clothed Man in "Wetwired".
- Don McWilliams as Connor
- Howard Siegal as Transient
- Carol Alexander as Woman in Bar
- Bob Dawson as Captain Kevin Mann
- Tim Henry as Sheriff Taylor
- Christopher R. Sumpton as Tow Driver
- Robert Luft as FPD Officer
SEMICOLON-SEPARATED LIST OF ITEMS/LOCATIONS REFERENCED IN EPISODE (BUT NOT LINKED TO IF ALREADY LINKED IN SUMMARY OR GUEST STARS SECTIONS)