Major Crimes

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Major Crimes Review: Deputy Chief SOB

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That's what you call an underground pilot. 

While Major Crimes Season 3 Episode 7 wasn't touted as an official "backdoor" pilot, there was hardly any mystery that we were being prepped to welcome FBI Agent Fritz Howard into the strong, warm arms of the Los Angeles Police Department.

We've already battered around the possibility that he and Chuck Cooper would jump off to a series of their own, but now we've met Commander Ann McGinnis with the Special Operations Bureau. As she's played by badass Laurie Holden, formerly roughing things up with the Governor on The Walking Dead, it seems like we have ourselves a fairly solid set of leads.

We even met a couple of the SWAT team who happened to hop into the investigation just by being in the area. They were played by men I didn't recognize, but they were affable and engaging. 

Taylor offered to Fritz the position of Deputy Chief of the Special Operations Bureau. McGinnis even asked Sharon if Fritz was a good guy or a bureaucrat -- that means she has been in on the decision making process and knew Taylor was going to make the offer. Fritz and McGinnis seemed to hit it off just fine. 

Finally, Fritz revealed that Brenda was probably being promoted to a spot in Washington, DC, which would make his sticking around the office without her ever paying a visit a lot easier to pull off. Given the series is three years gone and McGinnis lost her husband and children to a car accident last year, there could be more to their future than Deputy Chief and Commander.

Unfortunately, with all good news, there has to come some bad. If Gloria Lim wasn't a version of version of DDA Rios in another job I'll eat my hat. She was rude, inappropriate and unlikable. I suggest they choose another route with that character before moving forward on the series.

Other than that, the case was interesting, the team was on their best behavior and we even had a close call with Sanchez getting shot. Of course he was shot saving children, that's his thing!

And you really have to hand it to Fritz for stepping up -- shooting the father between the eyes while he was still carrying his daughter and then catching the girl before he fell was pretty sharp stuff.

As always, you can watch Major Crimes online via TV Fanatic and talk about the show in the comments.

Did you like Ann McGinnis?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

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

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If Fritz is living in LA working as the Captain where is Brenda? In DC? Are they still together? Will she come back to the show?

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Best ep of this season, IMHO. Taut, fast-moving, well-acted, and I really, really liked Holden as McGinnis. As for a spinoff, I'd be fine giving Agent Howard & the damaged SWAT leader a go, but I didn't particularly care for the subtext - that Fritz and Brenda would be on the outs enough for sparks between him and McGinnis. It rips the entire Closer/MC canon a bit too much for my taste. One thing I did not care for, was the explanation that Sanchez' injury was a flesh wound. He was shot in the gut. and went into shock! Silliness. I'm also disappointed that Sanchez' volatility, brought to the fore this season like never before, hasn't gone anywhere. He's done a number of things that would have earned him desk duty, or a long vacation, in the real LAPD. And that hasn't been taken to any sort of logical conclusion. A by-the-book boss such as Capt Raydor would never tolerate such behavior. I didn't particularly dislike new DA Lim. Someone has to provide her kind of bureaucratic foil, which is really no different from the Joyce Davenport role on Hill Street Blues (or Capt Raydor, when first introduced on Closer!). Lim isn't nearly as annoying in that role as Nadine Velazquez was (or is? Anyone know if her character has been written out?).

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I really liked this episode, the beginning and end were pretty intense. The middle part concentrated on cast interaction and the personality traits of the characters. Julio taking over the ice cream truck, Buzz wanting an orange snow cone, Sykes being precise about everything, Fritz and Flynn vying for control and Provenza showing grandfatherly concern over all. It was amazing to watch! I do have one question though... what the heck was going on with DCA Gloria Lim's wardrobe malfunction? During her first scene, you can see what looks like the outline of a small box shape under her jacket on the right side. A wireless mic transmitter maybe? Then, right after she apologizes to McGinnis she turns around and you can see it very well. What is that?

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wow that episode rocked and definately paved the spinoff. one of the best of the two series. good work n good luck if a spin off is in the works!

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Good synopsis and insight. Good comments, too. I hadn't considered Fritz and Cooper as a spinoff team, and because of my ignorance, the potential pairing of Fritz and McGinnis was so blatant that it was irksome. Lauri Holden as an LAPD officer works (Silent Hill, yeah?), but I'm still recovering from her role as Andrea on TWD - not her death, her presence. Fritz shot the bad guy in the head - didn't see that one coming - and I thought his career was finished until I realized that the little girl slipped right into his arms. Heck of a shootout and super-fantastic leap behind the couch! I'm still trying to make sense of Fritz's argument to Andy about leading the assault, unless it was because he knew he needed to kill the bad guy for reasons other than murder and kidnapping or his concern for MC's record of officer involved shootings. I thought Julio Sanchez would have been clipped when he pulled up in the ice cream truck, not tangling with a bad guy on the floor of the parking garage. That's twice for Julio! He was ticked that his suit was ruined. I was ticked that he could have died... again. Malcolm Jamal Warner brought back memories of his role as Theo Huxtable when he feigned the story about his appreciation of the hot rod. I hope he remains a member of the supporting cast; unless, of course, he's brought on as an SOB, too. Pun intended. Though Rusty's presence can be annoying, it's very much needed to round out and balance Sharon Raydor, lest she be re-relegated to unfeeling outsider. I like Rusty, I don't like Rusty, then I like him again. Pretty much like dealing with real teenagers. Their scenes together are touching and important to the series. That's a nod to the writing and direction, I think. The LA City Attorney? The posted comments speak my mind. Now that Rusty is adopted, I think he needs a pet. How about the black murder cat? One abandoned soul helping another.

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Remember when Brenda Leigh pointed out the squad's new stationery to Chief Pope? It said PMS at the top of the sheet. Priority Murder Squad. I'm wondering why no one has said anything about SOB.

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Deputy Chief SOB was the best Major Crimes ever! Who ever did the writing and producing just upped the game. Loved it.

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With regard to the cat, Princess, it seemed to me that Sharon was allergic to the cat as she kind of had that look about her when she got close to the cat. Why Rusty had that reaction I don't know. My understanding from last night's episode (and I have watched it twice so far) is that McGinnis' husband and ONE child were killed in a car accident FOUR years ago, not three. And I'm still of the opinion that Sharon and Flynn should NOT get together romantically.

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@ Jan Wheeler Lachowycz

I'm not sure if it matters exactly when McGinnis' family was killed or how many years ago at this particular point in the story, but that's for pointing that out.

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I will come back with my thoughts on this episode later. But Gloria Lim is the worst! She did not even properly apologize to McGinnis at all, what a Bxxch! This episode I feel uncomfortable with Taylor's presence, he seems to be a bit better lately and finally he is still same old whining bureaucrat who is not really up to the chief position. I am wondering about the scene in murder room after Fritz refused the 'sales pitch' ... that conversation of Provenza and Raydor means something, and I couldn't figure it out! But I love the way Raydor blends in with MCD ... tapping on Flynn and Tao (I try to avoid Flynn's badboy smile to her, JD is such a taunt! And Tony Denison is my big crush :D hahaha) makes me feel like they become like a family, unlike The Closer time.

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@ trinity

I will express my thoughts abt epi later in the day too, I need to re watch it better. To answer your wonders about Provenza and Sharon, yes it was an unlike moment but it was a pep talk that second in command gives his Captain. He did that also in season 1 when Amy got hurt. It was different a bit cause their relation was different. They didn't like each other but even then he didn't won't Raydor to blame this unfortunate situation on herself. Same happened now, but the conversation is bit intimate cause their relation shifted.
Of course as a shipper I totally would like to see Andy do it, but that smile was more then enough :)

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Hooligan

I gotta tell ya, I wanted to slap my head on the wall when Gloria Lim launched into her Rios impersonation. Why anyone would think it was a good idea to add one more "I know more than you do, bitchy to prove she's tough, uptight and unthinking" DDA is beyond my comprehension. The viewers do not need someone else to detest, the criminals do that for us already. The focus ought to be the team and their ability to work with a DDA who understands their differences.
Other than her obnoxious and arrogant distraction, it was a good episode. Then there's Fritz. I've liked him since he played the sleazy Behan in Tombstone, but I digress. Anyway, I'd definitely watch a spin-off with Fritz. Brenda does not have to be involved. I loved The Closer, but I didn't realize how much I needed a break from her twitchy ways until I began to get to know the calm Sharon Raydor. My only complaint is Rusty...when oh when will they ship him off to college? The Army? On a sabbatical to Nepal?
Oh yeah...good review.

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@ Hooligan

For some reason Rusty is not annoying me as much. Not to say that I would miss him if he is removed, because I'm no fan. But just let's say he is less annoying than he usually, and is these last eps he has gotten less screen time. Works for me. But I do think the college idea is a great one. He can come visit once a month. lol

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@ Hooligan

I agree. There is one major distraction that the show needs to immediately, LIKE YESTERDAY, totally delete and that is Rusty. All he does is whine and be annoying.

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@ Hooligan

Gloria Lim was a City Attorney...not a Deputy District Attorney. A city attorney represents the city (or municipality) in instances where the City is sued...in the case of the police shooting and killing someone or excessive force, etc. That is why she was so concerned about what Provenza and Sanchez might do. DDA Rios only had an interest in how a case against a defendant progressed and that is where she butted heads with Capt. Raydor and her team.

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@ TheGoodWifeFan

I agree with Hooligan, it's not what role Lim was playing in regards to the investigation, it's how she played it. She was very arrogant and assuming, especially the way she confidently put McGinnis in her place about not having children or she would never run an investigation like she did. That was so unprofessional and the writers know that. Their only reason for writing that line was to make Lim combative and unpleasant. The why of that is what I don't understand.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

They "why"? To make you not like her. I think that was the point. It was unprofessional. Not every interaction between employees is always professional and to always show it as such isn't genuine. A city attorney that has to "clean up" messes made by law enforcement is probably not going to be very understanding or accommodating when dealing with a division that has had to be defended...either in a legal courtroom or the court of public opinion. Even when law enforcement does everything by the book and are justified in actions taken, the public may not see it that way and someone has to defend them and the city.

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@ TheGoodWifeFan

You're right, I'm now remembering how she introduced herself. Thanks. However, once she did that, she could have dropped the arrogant and dismissive posture and not have been so combative. Expressing concerns can be done with civility. For the writers to have portrayed her in this manner was not pleasant. They could have shown that a woman can be strong and decisive without snarling at everyone, or is this the way they see a strong outspoken woman? I wonder.

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@ Hooligan

But that's not how the character was written. Her "attitude" made us rally Capt. Raydor and her team and I think that was the point. I highly bought that many law enforcement agencies have a great relationship with city attorneys and vice versa. Every time a cop does something that makes negative waves in the media or with the public, a city attorney probably goes on high alert. Especially in situations that put the city (or municipality) in a position to defend itself and its employees (the cop). I don't think gender has anything to do with it. They've had male actors portray asst. DA's that were jerks and they were men.

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@ Hooligan

I'm glad you thought she was a Rios impersonator, too. Did the producers think we didn't like the actress? Replacing her with some chick from Beverly Hills 90210 won't make a difference if the personality is the same! Sheesh. We're not shallow. As an aside, every time I look at the photo above I think of The Man Who Has Two Brains -- doesn't Fritz's head look funny because of the picture he's standing in front of? LOL I forgot to ask this in the review, but why did the cat stink? Who has stinky cats? They're the cleanest animals on the planet. That was a weird scene. Your mention of Rusty reminded me.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

You're funny, and I think you're right about the picture of Fritz. I was thinking it was a new hair style, a pompadour if you will, lopsided and done in a hurry.
About the cat, perhaps the writers felt that being locked up in a bedroom would make him stink, which tells me that they know nothing about cats. I've had cats all my life and not one of them was ever stinky.

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@ Hooligan

I have cats. When they are in a cage, in a foreign environment, they tend to... go in their cages. Hence the stink.

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@ Hooligan

Haha. I thought it was a new hairstyle, too, until it wasn't in the episode. I started looking closer and sure enough, there is something behind him. Although now I want nothing more than to see Jon Tenny with a pompadour! Regarding the cat, it stuck out to me so much that I thought it was going to be a clue to where the kids were or something. My sister is a cat lady with over a dozen and I have two. Not one smells even slightly. Dogs, on the other hand, bless them, they try... But they can be stinky!

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@ Carissa Pavlica

"Regarding the cat, it stuck out to me so much that I thought it was going to be a clue to where the kids were or something." Me, too. And that's why not having a blurb to explain the stench was odd - I thought maybe the cat had been locked in the cage, caught in its own urine and feces, but the murders only happened that day. Do cat's emit a musk or urinate when really, really stressed? I don't know. And... I also thought that Rusty might bond (somehow) with the cat and/or Sharon would have encouraged Rusty to keep it as a pet, since the cat took more to him than anyone else. No dice there, either. Doting on the cat without closure is fine, just different. The two SWAT officers clearing the house had even more of a buildup; and because of the direction of the scene, especially when the two gave the 'all clear', I thought for sure a gunman was going to surprise them and shoot them. The anti-climax was on me, of course, and left me with a stressed, empty feeling. That's fine, too, if that is indeed what the writers and director were going for, opting instead to shift the deadly action to the last scene. Is this a new style/technique for television programs? One thing's for certain: watching LAPD SWAT on a live-cam tactical mission renewed my respect for their dangerous jobs. I found myself hoping that Pete Malloy and Jim Reed would make a guest appearance - why not, everyone else did - to help me make sense of it. I watched Southland, too, and I get the need for realism, but that scene was intense.

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@ Scott Brenner

I would not count the cat out just yet. They may come back around and explain the stench and Rusty may even keep her. Remember how Brenda Leigh got Kitty? Kitty lived in a house that was a murder scene Brenda was investigating. Brenda ended up with the house and the cat! In this cat's case there are the owners' grandkids and their mom that could take her--but I would not be surprised to see this cat become part of the cast like Kitty and Joel.

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@ Scott Brenner

Thanks for reminding me of the tension of that opening scene. I thought one of the patrol officers was going to shoot one of the SWAT or something. There were so many people walking around in there I had no idea how they managed not to shoot each other! Note to self: Tap SWAT on the back and they think you're one of their guys. Yikes!

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