Major Crimes has ended, and that makes me sad. The hit crime procedural series ended with its sixth and final season, which means we won’t get to watch Captain Sharon Raydor and her detectives in the Major Crimes Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department in action anymore.
Over the last six years, Major Crimes managed to not only step out of the considerably large shadow of The Closer, from which it spun-out from, but also proved to be the rare procedural that is both endearing and hard-hitting at the same time.
Unlike The Closer, which was dominated by the larger-than-life presence of Kyra Sedgwick’s Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, Major Crimes is more about the unit as a whole rather than just one character.
Unlike many crime procedural series, Major Crimes’ characters stand out in a very down-to-earth, lovable kind of way. There’s the cranky Louie Provenza (G. W. Bailey), his best friend and fellow crank Andy Flynn (Tony Denison), the sarcastic Michael Tao (Michael Paul Chan), the fiery Julio Sanchez (Raymond Cruz), the ambitious Amy Sykes (Kearran Giovanni) and the “video guy” Buzz Watson (Phillip P. Keene). Together, they form a cohesive yet believable unit that is far more entertaining to watch than 80% of the usual crime-fighting teams on TV right now.
At the heart of it all, however, is Mary McDonnell’s Captain Sharon Raydor, who still commands the spotlight in her own calm but indomitable way. As the commanding officer of a unit that is assigned the worst of LA’s crimes, she is the glue that holds everything together and keeps the team functioning. McDonnell’s strict yet endearing portrayal makes Sharon one of TV’s most compelling and appealing female characters. Sigh, this only makes me lament the show’s demise even more.
The final season wraps up many of the series’ loose ends, including that of serial killer Philip Stroth (Billy Burke), arguably the team’s toughest adversary. It also has a few major developments for some of the characters, including, of course, Sharon and her adopted former delinquent son Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin), who is one of Stroth’s main targets.
Speaking of which, no other character symbolises the show’s growth from a Closer wannabe to a powerhouse of its own right more than that of Rusty. In the beginning, he was a character who was so irritating we hoped that the series would kill him off as soon as possible. By the sixth season, the growth in the character is apparent, and he has proven to be an integral cog of the show. Yes, he is still somewhat annoying, but at least we’ve come to accept him as part of the Major Crimes family.
As sad as it is to see Major Crimes go, it has to be said that it HAD been running out of ideas over the last couple of seasons. Maybe it’s just better this way – I, for one, would rather the show go out on a high and on its own terms rather than do a CSI and fade away in ignominy.
Major Crimes Season Six airs every Monday at 9pm on Warner TV (Astro Ch 719/unifi TV Ch 451).