I don't run!

Lieutenant Louie Provenza is the Assistant Commanding Officer of the LAPD's Major Crimes Division during The Closer and Major Crimes.

In “Conspiracy Theory, Part 4”​​ of Major Crimes, Season 6, Provenza 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.

Character Information[edit | edit source]

Provenza is a 40-year veteran of the LAPD. He was selected to join the newly created Priority Murder Squad (later Priority Homicide Division and 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 notices small case-breaking details.

The Closer[edit | edit source]

Major Crimes[edit | edit source]

Season 1[edit | edit source]

In “Reloaded”, when Provenza was acting commanding officer of Major Crimes following the retirement of Deputy Chief Johnson, MCD was called to a scene of a botched grocery store robbery where two suspects were killed by SIS detectives. Provenza regarded the SIS undercover operation as the worst he had ever seen. In addition to the two suspects who were killed and one who was captured at the scene, Provenza learned that there were two additional suspects who managed to escape through the store's back entrance because Force Investigation Division's regulations forced the SIS detectives to remain at the scene and wait for their FID interviews, something Provenza disagrees with and the lead SIS Detective, Amy Sykes, thought was "crazy".

Det. Amy Sykes was also aware that the Major Crimes Division had an opening following the transfer of Det. Gabriel and brought up the subject to Lt. Provenza, which he dismissed outright, as he felt that people usually asked for promotions when they have done something right and not when they have "screwed up", referring to the botched SIS operation.

When Captain Sharon Raydor arrived on the scene, she wanted Provenza to "bring her up to speed" on the case, which Proveza dismissed because MCD was in a hurry and the suspect was in FID's custody rather than theirs. At this point, Assistant Chief Russell Taylor informed Provenza that Raydor was transferred from FID to Major Crimes, therefore making her Provenza's boss. After the reveal, Raydor demanded a briefing from Provenza, which he was now required to give her, and Provenza told her that she was late and even though she is his ranking officer, he was still the incident commander and that he would not be halting the search for heavily armed suspects just so she, or anyone else, could "catch up". After this, he left the scene with most of MCD personnel so that they could be on the move when their search warrants came through from the FBI.

When the division came back from collecting evidence from the suspects' apartments, Capt. Raydor wanted to know if the suspects had anything else in common than their military service. None of the MCD members wanted to answer her question in a silent protest over the way Provenza was replaced by an "outsider". Chief Taylor encouraged the division to work with Raydor so they could catch the heavily armed robbers, to which Provenza noted that Taylor most likely waited for exactly this moment to replace him, just so he could give a his speech on "pulling together for the good of the city". Afterwards, Provenza noted that they were going to "pull together", not because of Taylor or Raydor, but because it is their duty. He also told Chief Taylor that they need to have a "talk" later. After Provenza's little outburst, the rest of MCD started to open up and they started going through the suspects' stuff to find a connection betweeen them.

Later that evening when Chief Taylor returned to his office, Provenza was there waiting for him so they could have their "talk". Provenza promised to keep it short and opted not to discuss the "insulting" way he was replaced in the middle of an investigation, to which Taylor commented that Provenza wasn't replaced, he just returned to the same position he always had, as the assistant commanding officer of MCD. Provenza disagreed with Taylor, as he had been in command of MCD for a week and stated that he wanted to transfer out of MCD and that Raydor would not be able to hold Major Crimes together if he was gone. Taylor told Provenza that they were changing the way Major Crimes works, moving away from confessions to get plea bargains, so the city could save millions of dollars in trial expenses. Taylor also told Provenza that he would not get a transfer and that he needs to stay in Major Crimes or else they force him to retire, an order which came directly from Chief Pope.

When the case was closed, Capt. Raydor arranged the transfer of Det. Amy Sykes from SIS to Major Crimes, as she wanted someone in the division who actually liked her, much to the annoyment of Provenza who considers Amy the biggest two-faced ass kisser he had ever met.

At the start of “Before and After”, Provenza is still mad about the way he was replaced by Capt. Raydor, saying being a cop is a crappy way to make a living because they have to deal with the worst the world has to offer without being in charge. Lt. Flynn noted that Provenza wasn't in charge for eight years and he wasn't mad then, to which Provenza answered that now he is mad about it. When DDA Hobbs arrives at the crime scene, Provenza wonders why she came but apparently her boss called her in. Hobbs also asks Provenza where Capt. Raydor is, which prompts him to call her as he doesn't know. When Raydor answers, Provenza asks her if she knows her division has been called to a homicide, which she does know but she is unable to join them as DCFS is doing a home inspection to determine if her apartment would be a good home for Rusty Beck. During the phone call, Provenza overhears some details involving Raydor's failed marriage which gives him some joy but eventually interrupts her by asking if she would grace them with her presence at the crime scene, after which Raydor asks Provenza if he's suddenly over his head without his supervising officer.

Provenza also continues to be annoyed by Det. Sykes, telling her that she's got the job already so she can cool down with her over the top enthusiasm. Provenza also told Sykes to go find the victim's next of kin, his wife, who Amy then brought to the crime scene even though he specifically told her to go, as in leave the crime scene. When the victim's wife saw her husband's body, she caused quite a scene just as the Coroners were lowering the victim to the ground, causing them to drop him. Later, Provenza asked Sykes to gather up a background report on their victim so they would know what they are up against, Amy finds out that the victim has been accused of a sexual assault and proceeds to tell that to Capt. Raydor while she is in the middle of an interview with the victim's wife, upsetting her greatly. This also angered Provenza greatly, as he was the one who asked for the report and therefore Sykes should have reported to him, not Raydor. Lt. Flynn also commented that Sykes was "smart and dumb at the same time" to which Provenza noted that she wasn't dumb but rather she was choosing sides.

Later, when Capt. Raydor and DDA Hobbs were discussing the deal they would offer the killer, Provenza was furious that they would offer them a deal of involuntary manslaughter with only probation and no jail time. Provenza went to get Chief Taylor to show him what Raydor was up to but he was slightly pacified when Raydor and Hobbs "destroyed" the killer's defense and pumped up the charge to first degree murder. When DDA Hobbs and the killer's defense finally agreed on a deal, the charge was manslaughter with an 11-year sentence. When Provenza asked Chief Taylor if this is how it would be in the future, Taylor noted that MCD just closed a case in 48-hours after finding the body and with no physical evidence. Taylor also commented that he doesn't know if it's always going to be like this but he seriously hopes so, because he just saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in trial expenses which he can use for overtime and DNA tests. After Taylor left, Provenza commented to himself that he would quit.

Back at the Major Crimes' murder room, Provenza was packing up his desk and noted that his whole career could fit in one cardboard box. After he finished packing up, Sykes commented that he reminds her of her grandparents who just retired and moved to Florida. Aside from Amy, the rest of MCD watched on in amusement as they knew he wasn't going to retire because he could't afford it, as noted by Lt. Tao. Flynn told Provenza that dirt bags get deals everyday and asked him why he was so upset about the concept. Provenza noted that he wasn't upset about the deal but rather because of Capt. Raydor. He told the division that after four wives, five divorces, six Chiefs, three partners, and two parakeets who lived alot longer than he expected them to live, he doesn't want to get forced into another longstanding, unhappy relationship.

At this point, Capt. Raydor returned and told Provenza that she agreed with him fully, after which the rest of MCD "left for coffee" so Provenza and Raydor could talk in private. When they were alone, Raydor asked Provenza if she should say how much she appreciated his service and experience or should she remind him that both of them are probably dealing with misconceptions about the other? Raydor also asked Provenza if they could improve their work relationship with a dinner and a drink, to which Provenza aswered "God, no". Provenza did admit to Raydor that it wasn't just about her but also because of everything he had given to the LAPD, anyone else beside him as the MCD's Commanding Officer is an insult and it's not fair. After this, Raydor noted that Provenza has been a homicide detective for a long time and still he expects life to be fair. Provenza told Raydor that if he were to stay, he would only complain and point out Raydor's mistakes. Raydor asked Provenza if he is not experienced enough to speak his mind with her and still remember her rank, to which Provenza answered that of course he is, he just doesn't want to. Afterwards, they both agreed that the situation just sucks and that Provenza would stay at Major Crimes until he found someplace completely fair to work at.

In “Medical Causes”, it appears that the rift between Provenza and Raydor has started to heal following their conversation at the end of “Before and After”. This can be seen by the fact that Provenza was no longer overtly hostile towards Raydor and he even offered her support when she was arranging the return of Sharon Beck, Rusty's biological mother, to Los Angeles. When Lt. Flynn wanted to open the suspect's purse, which was closed, by claiming it had opened during the car crash. Provenza told him that they needed a truce with Raydor and they needed to follow protocol and get a search warrant beforehand so the investigation would not be jeopardized for the sake of the multiple victims. Raydor also wasn't present at the crime scene but this time Provenza didn't seem to be bothered by it like in the previous episode.

When MCD located Sharon Beck, everyone (even Provenza) gave her money so she could come to Los Angeles by bus. Provenza did state that he doesn't even give money to his own kids but was forced by Flynn to give at least something. Lt. Flynn promised to take her and Rusty to dinner but Provenza asked Raydor if she would have wanted to go herself, which she didn't, stating that she would want the dinner to be as easy as possible for Rusty and her presence might make things awkward. When Flynn and Rusty were waiting for Sharon Beck at the bus station, Flynn found out that she had gotten of the bus at Bakersfield. This caused Rusty to run away after which Flynn broadcasted a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) out for Rusty in hopes of finding him. Provenza promised Raydor that he and Flynn would stay at work until Rusty was found and further comforted her by saying that Rusty would turn up and to not worry. When Raydor returned home, she found Rusty there waiting for her, giving her great relief, followed by a call to Provenza so they could call of the search for Rusty and go home themselves.

At the beginning of “The Ecstasy and the Agony”, Provenza was visibly unhappy, prompting Det. Sanchez to ask him what is wrong. Provenza told Julio that other than watching everything he cares about being taken from him as he shuffles towards the grave and having his breakfast interrupted by another murder, everything was just fine. Provenza's answer understandably caused some amusement to Sanchez and Sykes who were present in the room.

Later on in the investigation, Provenza met a "intuitive life strategist" who was "coaching" the victim's wife (later revealed to be sleeping with her as well as with the wives of ten other Israeli mobsters). Provenza told this "intuitive life strategist" that he had a "friend" who he was worried about, a good friend who had lost a bit of his drive. Provenza told him that it's not because his "friend" doesn't like his job but rather because there has been some unfair changes recently which would drive a dedicated, responsible and easygoing guy like him crazy, and just thinking about it makes him feel like punching a hole in a wall. Provenza also told him that his "friend" is a little lost at the moment with his life. In the end though, the life coach told Provenza that if he'd like to change the world, he should start with himself.

In “Out of Bounds”, Provenza's relationship with Capt. Raydor seems to have improved even further as Provenza was shown to defend Raydor to Chief Taylor after Taylor was annoyed and angered by Raydor's methods in investigating a possible gang homicide. The investigation also turned dangerous for Det. Sykes, as during a foot pursuit with a suspect, the suspect pulled a gun on Sykes. Sykes was able to get the gun away from the suspect but not before she was brutally assaulted. When Capt. Raydor asked Provenza what she missed because she thought the situation was well covered, Provenza noted that they are never "covered", and that while you can have back-up in multiple different forms, there is never a defense against bad luck. Provenza also stated that this is the difference between working in Internal Affairs and homicide. Raydor sends people into possibly dangerous situations and they go because that's their job. He also stated that Sykes did that job today, and did it "damn well."

In “The Shame Game”, Provenza came to Capt. Raydor's defense when Rusty Beck claimed that Sharon wanted to get rid of him which left Sharon on the verge of tears. Provenza told him that even though he is not friends with Sharon, even he still recognizes that Sharon is doing everything she can to make him feel like he has a normal life. Also, when Chief Taylor allowed a politician to monitor the MCD's investigation, Capt. Raydor commented how she hates being monitored and blurted out a very uncharacteristic "damn it", causing Provenza to comment how it appears that Raydor has suddenly become very frustrated with the system. When one of the politicians asked about a special mark on a LAPD Field Interview card, Provenza noted bluntly that the mark means that in the officers professional opinion, the subject was an asshole. This caused some amusement in Capt. Raydor, some dissaproving looks from Chief Taylor, and a comment from the slightly taken aback politician that it's "too bad that's not a crime."

Season 2[edit | edit source]

In “Final Cut”​​​, Provenza was once again reminded about his age by the fact that he was now the last person from his police academy class still on active duty. His academy class had set up a prize of nearly $4000 and a trophy which were to be given to the last person on active duty, which Provenza now collected. While Prevenza was not enthusiastic about the prize, Flynn noted that it was for making history, though Provenza himself regarded it as "reliving" history, over and over again, as he once again arrived at the body of yet another murder victim.

During the episode, new DDA Emma Rios also interviewed Rusty Beck about his involvement with Phillip Stroh. Emma's methods were rather unique, as she wanted to prepare Rusty with personal and somewhat inappropriate questions which Stroh's defense attorneys would most likely use to attack Rusty's character on the witness stand, though this resulted in Rusty barging out of the interview calling her an asshole, along with Provenza and Capt. Raydor berating Rios for her behaviour. Rusty later explained to Provenza that while he was ready to talk with Emma again, he did not want Provenza or Raydor to be there like the last time, as some of the information that they would learn would make them "not like him." While Provenza tried to assure Rusty that it would not happen, he promised to stay out of it. Rusty also asked Provenza to be the person who asks Raydor to not be there either but in a way that it would seem like the idea was Provenza's. This was fine with him, as taking credit for other people's ideas is how he became a Lieutenant.

During the episode, the whole division struggles with printer issues and has to use Taylor's, which Provenza says is a good thing because that might incentivize Taylor to authorize a replacement. At the end of the episode, he buys the Major Crimes squad room a new high-tech printer/copier/fax/scanner as a gift from his cash prize, much to the surprise of the squad as that's very unlike of him. Provenza then reveals that the password for the printer will cost everyone $20 but with that, they all get a family discount of 5 cents per page, which amuses the squad and they state that now it's more like Provenza.

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.

Season 3[edit | edit source]

In “Flight Risk”, when two children are found murdered​​​, 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.

Season 4[edit | edit source]

In “Turn Down”​​​, he and Flynn were on a drive-along with Buzz Watson on his first day as a reserve officer.

Season 5[edit | edit source]

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.

Season 6[edit | edit source]

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. The Force Investigation Division investigates the shooting and quickly determines that Provenza's actions were justified and he is cleared of any wrongdoing.

After Stroh's death, Julio accepts the promotion to Lieutenant and a transfer to the Criminal Intelligence Division. 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.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Work[edit | edit source]

Sharon Raydor[edit | edit source]

Provenza with Raydor.

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.

Rusty Beck[edit | edit source]

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.

Romantic[edit | edit source]

Lauren[edit | edit source]

Lauren works at a high end department store and is much younger than Provenza. They fall in love in early Season 5 of The Closer. Provenza and Lauren eventually get engaged, but after a series of fights, she ends the engagement in “The Life”. Provenza subsequently gets rid of everything representing the two of them together and Andy Flynn gets Provenza to see the bright side: at least he avoided another divorce. Provenza promptly cuts up the tie Lauren made him wear with glee, moving on from feeling sorry for himself to hatred, anger and resentment.

Patrice Perry[edit | edit source]

Patrice Perry/Provenza.

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”​​​.

Wives[edit | edit source]

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. (“Party Foul”) 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.

Officer-involved shootings[edit | edit source]

Career Information[edit | edit source]

Provenza's badge number is 35082.

Lieutenant Provenza in his uniform.

When in uniform, Provenza wears seven service stripes on his uniform. Each stripe represents five years of service in the LAPD, which would mean 35 to 39 years of service. (“By Any Means, Part 1”) This is incorrect, as in “Bad Blood”​​, he mentioned that he joined the LAPD from the academy class of 3/77. In “Sanctuary City, Part 4”​​​, he also stated that he has been a police officer for forty years. Based on his service years, Provenza should wear eight service stripes.

While Provenza's exact rank (Lieutenant I or II) is never stated, it's presumed that he is a Lieutenant II.

NOTE: Provenza used to be the Officer-in-Charge of the Priority Murder Squad (while it was under the command of the Robbery-Homicide Division), answering to RHD's Assistant Commanding Officer, just like the other Lieutenant II's of the division (e.g. Lieutenant II of the Homicide Special Section).
When the Priority Murder Squad was separated from RHD, Provenza became Major Crimes Division's (originally Priority Homicide Division) Assistant Commanding Officer. In the Major Crimes finale, Provenza was assigned as the Commanding Officer of MCD.

Provenza is the last person of his police academy class to still be on active duty. In “Final Cut”, Provenza humorously notes that taking credit for other people's ideas is how he became a Lieutenant.

Medals and service awards worn by Lt. Provenza[edit | edit source]

As seen in “By Any Means, Part 1”:

Ribbon Award name and description
LAPD-Medal-of-Valor.png Medal of Valor

The Medal of Valor is the highest law enforcement medal awarded to officers and it is awarded for individual acts of extraordinary bravery or heroism performed in the line of duty at extreme and life-threatening personal risk.

LAPD-Purple-Heart-Ribbon.png Purple Heart

Awarded to officers who sustain a traumatic physical injury as a result of a suspect's actions during an on-duty tactical situation.

LAPD-Police-Distinguished-Service-Medal.png Police Distinguished Service Medal

The Police Distinguished Service Medal is the department's highest award for service and may be awarded to employees who distinguish themselves by performing exceptional service in a duty of great responsibility or of critical importance to law enforcement.

LAPD-Police-Star.png Police Star

The Police Star is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for performing with exceptional judgment and/or utilizing skillful tactics in order to defuse dangerous and stressful situations.

LAPD-Police-Meritorious-Service-Medal.png Police Meritorious Service Medal

The Police Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to employees who distinguish themselves by performing exceptional service in a duty of great responsibility or of critical importance to law enforcement, but to a lesser degree than required for the Police Distinguished Service Medal.

LAPD-Police-Meritorious-Unit-Citation.png Police Meritorious Unit Citation

The Police Meritorious Unit Citation may be awarded to an organizational unit of the department for bravery or outstanding service by its members functioning as a team, but to a lesser degree than required for the Police Commission Unit Citation.

LAPD-Police-Life-Saving-Medal.png Police Life Saving Medal

The Police Life-Saving Medal is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for taking action in order to rescue or attempt the rescue of either a fellow officer or any person from imminent danger.

LAPD-Police-Commission-Distinguished-Service-Medal.png Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal

The Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to officers who distinguish themselves by performing exceptional service to the LAPD or by performing in a stressful emergency situation with good judgement and bravery.

LAPD-Detective-Service-Ribbon.png Detective Service Ribbon

5 years of service in investigative units as a detective and/or lieutenant.

  • Goof (see below)
LAPD-1984-Summer-Olympics-Ribbon.png 1984 Summer Olympics Ribbon

Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 1984 Summer Olympics from July 28 to August 12, 1984.

LAPD-1987-Papal-Visit-Ribbon.png 1987 Papal Visit Ribbon

Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the September 1987 pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II.

LAPD-1992-Civil-Disturbance-Ribbon.png 1992 Civil Disturbance Ribbon

Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 1992 Los Angeles riots from April 29 to May 4, 1992.

LAPD-1994-Earthquake-Ribbon.png 1994 Earthquake Ribbon

Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 1994 Northridge earthquake from January 17 to January 18, 1994.

LAPD-Democratic-National-Convention-Ribbon.png 2000 Democratic National Convention Ribbon

Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

Service award goofs[edit | edit source]

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 for much more than that. Considering his service years and his previous service in detective assignments, he would most definitely have the Gold Star.

Ribbon Award name and description
LAPD-Detective-Service-Ribbon-1.png Detective Service Ribbon (with Bronze Oak Leaf cluster)

10 years of service in investigative units as a detective and/or lieutenant.

LAPD-Detective-Service-Ribbon-2.png Detective Service Ribbon (with Silver Star)

15 years of service in investigative units as a detective and/or lieutenant.

LAPD-Detective-Service-Ribbon-3.png Detective Service Ribbon (with Gold Star)

20 years of service in investigative units as a detective and/or lieutenant.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • In the episode “Fool's Gold” of The Closer, Provenza's ex-wife Liz reveals that all of his exes meet once a month to vent about Provenza. Andy is invited to join them as they consider him the fifth as Liz puts it.
  • 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 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,
  • 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 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”,​​​ it's 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 weapon, and that Stroh wouldn't let go of 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.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Characters — The Closer
Brenda Leigh JohnsonSharon RaydorFritz HowardWill PopeRussell TaylorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoDavid GabrielJulio SanchezIrene DanielsBuzz WatsonDr. Fernando Morales
Characters — Major Crimes
Sharon RaydorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoJulio SanchezAmy SykesWes NolanCamila PaigeBuzz WatsonRusty BeckRussell TaylorLeo MasonFritz HowardDr. Fernando MoralesAndrea HobbsKendall
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