Major Crimes Review: A New Game Plan

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Commander Taylor, er, Assistant Chief Taylor makes his attempt to roll out a completely revamped Major Crimes division of the Los Angeles Police Department in tonight's premiere episode, "Reloaded."

To say there are major shoes to fill is an understatement. Going off the assumption that Pope is the new Chief of Police, then Taylor is the new Assistant Chief. None of it seems to roll off the tongue.

One of the things that immediately struck me was that I've never known what Taylor did in his role on The Closer. Exactly why would he have been the natural replacement for Pope? I seem to recall something about being the media liaison. That could be why he stood around a lot and did nothing. He reminded me of the guy in Office Space with his red stapler. The sheer fact that he was still showing up to work at all was a surprise.

Captain and Company

And yet, there he was. Doing commanding type things at a crime scene in the same smug way he did them back when The Closer first started. Which is to say he was doing them with an annoying flair and somewhat of a God complex. There's little doubt he brought Raydor on board because he wouldn't know how to handle the work on his own.

As the hour started out, Provenza was the lead in Major Crimes, as he had the most seniority. He seemed to be handling the cases well, and everyone was getting along. There were no flies in the ointment, so to speak. Except for Taylor, and our knowledge that he was going to rattle the cage just to put his own mark on Major Crimes. That he chose to do so in the middle of a severe shoot-em-up in the middle of civilian territory was typical Taylor Tact.

Was that a fair way to introduce Raydor as a lead? Not only was it done in an antagonistic manner, but their new modus operandi is to plea bargain the cases to avoid the death penalty. If that's the way the series continues, will it be enough to hold the interest of the audience? Is it easy to care about the cases knowing the heinous killer will always plea down? One thing of note was Raydor's comment that when they make a deal the suspect throws away all rights to appeal. Ever? If that's true, it might not be so bad after all, as the same cases won't continue to come back to haunt them.

The best part of the premiere, for me, was the increased usage of Tao and Sanchez. They were always a little underutilized on The Closer and if the premiere is any indication, they will finally get their due on Major Crimes. Two of my top 10 Closer moments included Sanchez, and yet he was one of the least discovered characters. Perhaps I was not the only one who put those in my top ten.

That the case of the week involved one of the new squad members, a recognized character actors, worked out quite well. I like when programs take that risk, because it makes the subject matter feel a bit more personal. These things can happen to anyone, at any time. Even one of our own. His son's actions opened the door for another female to join Major Crimes, something we haven't had for quite a few seasons now.

While watching The Closer finale, I had hoped that Brenda and Fritz might take in Rusty. Instead, he was used as an attempt to humanize Sharon Raydor. It works for me. When they said a major character would be added to the cast via the last episode of The Closer, this couldn't have been further from what I had in mind. They had to do something to breathe life into Sharon (I can't call her Raydor forever, can I?). She showed her kindheartedness on the down low in the past. Being responsible for a vulnerable teenager when she herself is swimming in new waters should help her to uncage it more often.

Was it the best premiere I've ever seen? No. But certainly not the worst. Sliding right off the back of such a beloved show's finale, they did the best they could without overshadowing what had just gone down.

If it had really come in and kicked ass (remember when Raydor was using a pump action paint ball gun in the street that one time?), I might have been a little angry that she was trying to show up my girl Brenda too quickly. Now she has time to ease into it gradually, and win the squad over just as Brenda had to, once upon a time.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (113 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I tried to watch. I love the characters so much and thought, okay, we get learn more about the cast. I even liked raydor, but it seemed forced. The spice is gone because all they are going to do is plea bargain to save money. No more confession, no more draw to see what happens. it is just a crime, get them to plea and your are done. How is this interesting? I will so miss the cast I knew.


Is anyone going to mention the fact that this show is bashing our military!!!!!! When we have men and women dying in the middle east to protect our freedoms, these writers choose to porytray just about every branch of our military as the bad guys! "baby killers" anyone? I will never watch this show and I hope anyone who respects and appreciates our military won't either! I'm disgusted with the path this country is on,,,,,,,,,


I watched the first 10-15 minutes and turned it off. I hate the way this was done. I was a big fan of the closer but I will not be watching this show. I did go back and finish watching the episode, it DID NOT change my mind , only made me sure I will not tune in again. It has changed all the things I loved about the closer, The new Cpt I could take in small doses but not as the star of the show. I will miss my old friends but I can not tolerate watching this show in order to see them.


MAJOR CRIMES is a very disappointing follow up to THE CLOSER. The opening show was BORING! I doubt whether an audience is going to be held spellbound by week after week of plea bargaining and a team "ruled" by the nit-picky Captain Sharon. And is the addition of more unpleasant and brown-nosing characters really necessary? Reading the comments to date, I don't see MAJOR CRIMES retaining THE CLOSER audience. Too bad.


I was very disappointed with Major Crimes and will not watch in the future. Seemed like Raydor and Taylor were ramroding new people and changes like a bull in a china show- very hard to sit and watch, especially after watching the team work so well together in The Closer. The plea bargain theme is not how I preceive the justice system should work on all types of crimes, which is the theme of this program. Sorry, you have lost me..


So no warning about # of characters left? Until the audience was anxious to see the Closer crew again, rather than right after the last Closer when expectations were high and comparisons easy. And I agree with other posters--I'm not tuning in every week to watch Let's Make a Deal and see how they talk one guy into ratting so he can skate. Brenda used psychology, Sharon has political savvy and knows how to use a shotgun---cut her loose!


Thanks Rearea. Obviously I missed that scene.


Dull. Boring. Felt forced. The assumption that Taylor would become assistant chief has been in the works a long time, and the last Closer set up Raydor as Brenda's successor, but the way Taylor sprung it on the crew may as well have had a neon Dramatic Tension sign flashing over it, the way Raydor's giving Rusty a home had Soften Her Character flashing over it. Raydor has been gaining credibility all along, and she and the squad should have had some camaraderie, but they played it like she was the IAD creep she was several seasons ago. I was hoping they would bring back the Latina detective who made some guest appearances and seemed to interact naturally. Now they have two characters that are suck ups, Taylor and the new detective. Plus, a lot of this is retooled Closer--Brenda clashed with the squad at first, Brenda took home an autistic boy, etc. The rhythm seemed off between the regulars so the Dramatic Tension moments seemed stagey---I think they would have done better to wait until the audience was hungry to see the Closer crew again before starting the series rather than put it on right after the last Closer episode when everyone's expectations were so high and comparisons were easy. And I agree with other posters--I'm not tuning in every week to see Let's Make a Deal and watch how Raydor talks people into ratting out others so they can skate.


@Barb LeVine
During the second shootout we saw her take off the fake pregnant belly. It was a cover.


I enjoyed the show they had a lot to cover for a pilot show I loved how GW Baily weaved his magic through this show. It will be a adjustment as we're all so use to seeing Kyra bring her many human touches. I for one will give Mary a fighting chance. Hopefully it will soon be a working family like Closer was

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