Major Crimes Review: Julio Sanchez

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It's time to put the debate to rest: with "Citizen's Arrest," Major Crimes set itself apart as not only a fantastic drama willing to take risks, but as a completely different animal than its predecessor The Closer.

From the moment we learned about the crime of the week until the last scene of the episode, every aspect of Major Crimes was perfection. Brenda Leigh Johnson could not have handled the case any better than Sharon Raydor, and it's my assessment that the nature of the case needed the likes of Raydor and her willingness to deal with the ugliest dregs of society. 

Provena & Flynn Flounder

I know my readers, and I can imagine a lot of you might be thinking I've lost my mind. I'm going to write out the points of my argument below, and you can debate me in the comments. This should be good!

When first faced with the idea of losing his ranking managerial position over the major crimes division, Provenza wasn't on board. He was ornery, angry and not afraid to say what he felt about it, even if it was a slight exaggeration. However, Sharon did something that I don't think even Provenza saw coming. She gave him rope. Not to hang himself, but to lead.

Provenza has been leading the team in spirit and in the investigative process since Sharon took over. He's the first person on the scene and Sharon looks to him for what's next. His experience and gut instincts told him the body in the barrel would lead to something bigger, but even he couldn't be prepared for what they encountered next.

When Provenza, Raydor and Flynn knocked on the door of the victim and learned they were in the middle of a live kidnapping, Sharon handled it with authority and common sense. By handing her phone to the wife of the hard-ass husband, she made a connection inside the house and bought some time for them to decide what to do next. It also served as a way to gather information.

That fast, level-headed reaction wasn't lost on Provenza and he didn't hold back when Flynn tried to assert their wrong doing by not alerting the family to the death of their son. They had a daughter who was also missing. Priority number-one then became saving her life. I'm sensing that we may see a sort of bond between Sharon and Provenza like that with Brenda and Gabriel in The Closer.

By gradually earning his respect, Provenza will be an excellent asset to Sharon. She knew coming into the job that it couldn't be done without the team already in place, and she's going to work with them to get the best out of each one.

In the course of this fledgling season, we've learned so much more about Julio Sanchez. Tonight was his night to shine. When DDA Hobbs offered a plea to the scumbag son of a bigger scumbag daddy, the sovereign citizen who had put the entire kidnapping play into motion and he denied it, she quite literally gave the wheel to Sanchez. Even Sykes, who talks a big game, was astounded at what he did.

Julio Sanchez is the heart of major crimes. He was the hidden heart all along, but we get to see him shine this season and Raymond Cruz is delivering stunning performances. If a teenage girl's life is on the line, you want Julio Sanchez on the team looking for her. He will set everything aside to save a life. We saw him go beyond the call of duty when his brother was killed, and we saw him take bullets for Provenza. None of this is a surprise, but it's so much better to watch when we get to see inside the mind of Julio Sanchez.

When the big shoot out occurred at the end, it was Julio who rescued the girl, pulling her out of a storage box and hugging her tightly. He didn't care if he knew her. He had saved a life, and her frightened soul needed his strong support. I teared up watching it and damn if I'm not doing the same writing about it. That's why this review is celebrated with only his character's name as a headline. It's well deserved.

Always in the wings is our little survivor, Rusty. He stands as some sort of moral compass for Raydor and the rest of the squad. He's truly amazed at how often the police have to lie to achieve results. It is rather astounding, and he was right to point it out. While it has turned out that Sharon didn't need Rusty to humanize her character, he still provides a good grounding point for her. 

Last week was a throw away episode, and I said it was good, lighthearted fun. It was. This week the tables were turned. There was little by way of fluff, and the show was superb. I'm not normally one to keep the faith, but with a writing team as good as the one that was behind seven seasons of The Closer, I had no doubt we'd be in for this type of quality. My argument was Major Crimes stands alone and as a very well crafted drama. Agree or disagree? 


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (104 Votes)

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


Mary Mcdonnel is a wet blanket when she enters the set. Her hair almost overs her face.. maybe to cover her funny looking lips..she has no life in her delivery..boring, boring. the glasses are too big, Get rid of her before she brings down the show..the reat of the cast is too good for this lifeless actor to have the lead can do better..anything is better than mary mcdonnell.


The show is stupid. Are these the same writers that kept my attention for the closer. Raydor is sow, rusty is a brat, and provenza is predictable. This show is just below mediocre.


I was in hopes that the change would be worth watching, its NOT. Sharon R oozes nthing but arn't I wonderful, and she is not. The closer was a much better show and the support staff was a lot more enjoyable and close knit group and more realistic to the real law enforcement family (and yes I am retired 34 yr vetran) I was glad to see that I am not the only one who prefers the closer. Major Crimes will only be a flash in the pan, Sharon will be the cause. So so sorry to lose the Closer.


Loved this episode and love Major Crimes even better than The Closer. These characters are much richer and deeper, especially Julio in this series. I also think the Sharon/Rusty storyline is really good. I like Rusty and I love how he's bringing out the softer side of Sharon. I look forward to every episode.


Amazing episode. Best yet. Very moving at the end when they rescued the girl. Not used to being that moved by tv show. I like major crimes, like how they are working with raydor. and yes, the other characters have really upped their games but in a subtle way. really like this series.


Very disappointed in the new show . Does NOT have the zip of the Closer. I miss Kyra. The only thing I did not like about Kyra was her relationship with her parents. I think that was the writers fault. I will probably not watch Major
Crimes the writing of the stories are not that good. Sorry,


Closer Lover,
It was the trailer guys. Both father and son kidnappers were freaks who hatched the kidnapping scheme. The son claimed to not care what happened to the children they kidnapped because their father was the lawyer responsible for the loss of his own. He preferred to believe that losing custody of them was the lawyer's fault instead of understanding that it might have something to do with him. He was almost as big a freak as his father. That they both got blown away was no loss to society.
On a side note, in addition to seeing Julio shine, I was just as happy to not have to deal with Taylor, who by the looks of his last scenes with Raydor on a previous episode, has put his weasel suit back on.


Loved the episode of Major Crimes, Citizen's arrest, but am puzzled. Did the father of the kidnapped kids arrange everything or was it trailer guy? Am confused about the drums being bought on the dad's credit card and then it was reported stolen. Who orchestrated the kidnapping?


i thought that this show wouln't fly without kyra sedgwick, the whole cast has risen to the occasion and really kind of blew me away with this episode. the same characters (and actors)that i watched for years took on a whole new bravado in what was getting to be the same old story. since the whole show was around brenda and her husband and the parents, you kinda forgot what the show was about. now that the rest of the actors finally get some well deserved screen time... and to tell you the truth i don't miss brendas whining(sorry Kyra)


Last week I blasted what was a stupid, insulting, throwaway episode. This week I almost stood up and cheered!! On the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Every single character played perfectly. @Ginger -- Raydor "one-dimensional"??? You're clearly missing her MANY subtleties. Just replay the last few seconds of this week's episode ... where Raydor is *almost* about to set her hand on Rusty's shoulder. Study her body language. Watch her face. And that's just ONE small example. There's no way the writers can maintain this standard, but if they even come close the series will be superb.

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Major Crimes Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Sykes is not just polishing the apple right now. The captain got it right.


Sharon: Good God we just walked into a kidnapping.
Provenza: If their daughter is still alive.