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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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'm confused. Sykes appeared to be very pregnant in the opening scenes but by the end of the show no longer pregnant. Explanations??


I have to agree with most here that while I was looking forward to Major Crimes because I love the cast, this new formula is not going to make it. The best thing about The Closer was how the cast interacted, joked, argued, etc. WIth no one liking or trusting Raydnor there is nothing to interest me. And while there probably is a lot of plea bargaining in the justice system, it is not fun. Watching Brenda "work" a confession was great. Watching her humanity with the junk food being her outlet was great. This sucks (for lack of a better word). And what are we doing? Replacing the black male detective who actually was the moral backbone of the group, with an ass kissing black female? Not a good choice!


I did not care for Major Crimes. Introducing Sharon as an antagonist created lack of chemistry between actors. They seemed visibily uncomfortable. Taylor is stiff as the new Asst. Chief and Raydnor needs to become human really fast. Regardless how good future scripts and story lines will be, I don't see Major Crimes lasting more than one season. Brenda Lee. where are you???


I did not like Major Crimes. I was bored after 15 minutes. I like the cast of Closer. I didn't like plea bargining although that probably does happen, it shouldn't. It made the law and the people who risk their lives, look bad. Raydnor was not a strong enough charter to take Brenda's place. I don't see this show making it.


Hard to see how Raydor trashing Brenda's legacy (and methods) will work out with viewers. I know I didn't like Raydor's character at all - too arrogant and critical of how the unit operated with Brenda in charge. As of now it's a 'fail' from me.


Firstly just when I started to like Cpt Raydnor... 'Major Crimes' premiered. She is like the Scrooge of this show, she doesn't get a thing, nobody likes her (or people just pretend to do so)she has no personality whatsoever and as Provenza pointed out she has no knowledge about how to handle homicide - so why is she in charge?. Secondly why is Taylor in charge? I think that we had already established (first season of The Closer) he isn't good in what he does, he had some kind of media-handling-related job which was fine (less screen time for his annoying gestures and remarks) but him supervising Major Crimes? Seriously? I don't know if it's even worth mentioning but for viewers what matters is satisfaction that comes out of catching bad guy AND getting confession (the drama that comes with it) that RESULTS in him getting what he deserved.Not to mention the fact that I don't really care about this Rusty, had they put Brenda in charge of finding his mother that would be interesting seeing her soft side but does Raydnor have any side to her? I think not. So for now it's no deal.


I was looking forward to viewing this new show. I fell asleep the last 15 minutes of this show.


Been watching the new Major Crimes, and beginning to wonder if it's going to be worth watching in the future. One problem is the added cast member, Sikes...... Appears to be one real dumb ass. We'll see!


I agree, I did not like how Pope threw Brenda to the wolves to cover his own political agenda. This last season of the closer really placed a wedge there and I hate how Brenda left - after not only being Right all along, but also being disgraced by the Johnson Rule as well as the suspension ..... Not a very professional career ender for the Lady who got results each week for past seven years. At least she also took Gabriel with her, but I don't like this new LAPD agenda to plea everything out. It looks weak and reminds me of negotiating with terrorists.


i do not Major Crimes if they are going to make deals with criminals. I loved the closer and no ne will take her place or that show. I cannot watch this major Crimes even though I love all the characters especially the investigators. Theynmake deals with criminals and that is not the way law goes.

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