Major Crimes Review: Three Cases

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There was a darkness to Major Crimes Season 3 Episode 1 that we don't see very often.

Let's hope that it's not a sign of things to come because there was nothing pleasant about viewing this installment. The acting was fantastic and all the characters were on their A game, but the topic was so brutal it was difficult to watch.

A mother is the prime suspect when she returns from a business trip to find her husband and two children missing. That's as normal as the case gets since what follows is heart wrenching.

There are a lot of bad people out there and the Major Crimes Division is tasked with looking into the worst of the worst. That's why they're there -- to deal with the real villains.

Provenza was the final hold out in suspecting the wife and mother, Cynthia Logan, of wrong-doing in the case of her missing family; husband Ben, son Owen and daughter Ellie. She had been on a short trip, which is why she only had one suitcase. The other two would turn up soon.

Ben flew private planes, sometimes for drug-runners, and that was a possibility. After all, a huge stain of blood was seen on the wall in the house. Something could have gone wrong with one of his acquaintances. But none of it felt right. 

Taylor got kind of angry, as he does, when the squad had so much manpower on a case that might have been a father running off with his two children, but it was difficult to discount the amount of blood found.

Provenza, Sanchez, Tao and Buzz were on the scene when they discovered two suitcases, matching Cynthia's, under a bridge by the airport. The bomb squad was brought in due to their proximity to the airport and scans of the cases revealed bodies inside. Provenza made sure Buzz filmed everything so the jury could see exactly what they did upon opening the cases. That would have impact.

When family medical records were secured, it became clear that one of the children was not Ben's. This information lead Sharon to hold back what she knew about Cynthia's children and she proceeded to interrogate her. She learned that when Cynthia was 16, she had a relationship with her cousin, Tim, who had accompanied her family to the precinct.

Cynthia's daughter was her cousin's daughter, as well. She was completely distraught, but neither Ben nor Tim knew the truth. She lent Tim some money to get a car, it was in the garage. In the trunk was a hole and a garden hose that would bring carbon monoxide inside to kill someone.

It had been Tim's plan to tell Ben and kill him so he could have Cynthia. He's a complete psycho. But Ben reacted and Tim had to kill him earlier than anticipated. He put the kids into the trunk and they died -- I was so distraught by this point that I didn't care whether he planned on killing them or not.

Much like Sanchez, I wanted to rip his face off. Our beloved Sanchez would have strangled Tim right in the interrogation room had he had the opportunity. Always on the side of the children, cases involving them are the worst for him. 

Flynn and Sharon have remained chummy and he offered to tell Cynthia about her children to spare Sharon the pain, but Sharon held back information from Cynthia and felt she owed it to her to break the news mother to mother. Kudos to Sharon for stepping up. She's a wonderful woman.

And so the team is back, on the case, and in fine form. There were no quippy lines or light hearted moments during "Flight Risk" because they didn't fit. This hour showed just how hard the job can be. 

In an aside, Rusty was hoping to talk to Provenza and Provenza was certain Rusty would reveal he was gay. He's not ready to talk about that yet, but his mother is back in town and he's seeing her. I guess that will be our new Rusty saga during Major Crimes Season 3

This hour was just draining. The intensity made it fly by, but it was really upsetting. Is it just me, or does Rios stay away from the tough cases? When things get rough, it need to be Hobbs in the room. She is solid and doesn't play games. If you want to relive some of the lighter moments, you can watch Major Crimes online. 

Grade the Major Crimes Season 3 premiere:


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (29 Votes)

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

Stu b

Ever Carradine, part of the legendary Carradine family, is one hell of an actor. She commands every scene she is in. I hate her character, but, love her as an actor. Remember, she is given lines and has to create a character with her face her body language her way of delivering the lines. Fabulous.


I am so impressed with Graham Martin's acting ability. That young man can say so much with his face it's just amazing. I enjoyed seeing the opening scene from last season when he confessed to Sharon that he's gay (though he never came out and said it). He was so afraid she was going to reject him and his facial expressions were heartbreaking.

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My favorite show is back with a difficult case. The acting was wonderful and Carissa you were right saying that it all felt like 20 min or less! The Captain it is indeed a wonderful woman and I liked her quote: "Love is tricky, you think you know someone and very suddenly... You don't." So very true!
Looking forward to see The Other Sharon, do we know who they cast? Cause in the promo for upcoming week we saw only her face. If you know please share the info! That was an amazing Major Crimes episode and can't wait for more!

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@ Ilona

Sharon Beck is played by Eva Carradine, according to many sites.

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@ Trinity

Thank you so much!

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@ Ilona @ Trinity

Sorry .. misspelling. It's Ever Carradine :'( My bad.

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Tough call to say. It's the most heart-quenched premiere of MC but it was not so unpredictable once I saw those children in the suitcase.
I am a bit weird but I hope to see Rios in this case :D (my gosh, will she faint once she sees the footage from the body-dumping scene?) I am just worried that Sanchez won't got in trouble this season. He almost blew the case when he stormed in and confronted Tim during the interrogation. I know it is a messy case but I don't think for a second that Tim deserves that deal. I feel a bit sad that Sharon did not use his irreparably inhumane child-killing to send him in despair before him being lock away. No one could leave their past behind that, we should learn this since Elkin's case (season 1 episode 9) and this mother learned it the hard way. I am not judgmental about her affair, but I do feel sorry for her husband and those kids who got crossed in the crossfire. And Rusty's mom is back, okay (bland face) it is gonna get interesting. We will see what's going to happen. I am not thrilled about her coming back, but at least it gives Rusty some work in the show. I prefer season 2's premiere to this one, but overall I agree with Barbara.. it is worth the wait. I know i keep complaining but MC is always the best, and I never doubt it for a second. My personal score : 4.25/5 Ps. Hehee who sent roses to Amy? And I am jealous of Sharon being taken care by both Flynn (surely, we know it) and Provenza (no, not in a misunderstanding way like Flynn, but I think he knows that Sharon is not a heartless colleague and people shouldn't take her toughness for granted) :) Looking forward to some more fun next week! Thanks again for reviewing!

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Agree was very hard to watch..when they found the suitcases such good acting..their response was heartwrenching..even tho things like this happen on our local news still intense..luved how Sanchez reacted..Sharon as always was excellent.. I hope we do get some lighthearted episodes this season..i liked how Provenza reacted to Rusty thinking he was going to bring up the gay topic..not too happy about the real mom showing up want him to stay with Sharon but i guess we have to have some storyline on this issue..all i can say it was excellent premiere and acting..worth the wait!!!

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Major Crimes Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Morales: No matter how many ways you look at it, some things never make sense. All I can tell you is they didn't suffer.
Sanchez: How do you know that?
Morales: Carbon monoxide poisoning. They were asphyxiated. Probably went to sleep inside a running car, inside a garage.

Hold on, hold on. We need to finish here first. And you need to keep filming. I want the jury to see this exactly the same way we did. OK Tao, open the other suitcase.