"Medical Causes" contained one of the most gruesome cases I've seen portrayed on television in quite some time. And it was so easy to imagine it happening.
A bunch of happy revelers waiting in line to get into a nightclub were plowed down by an SUV. The crime itself was a bit of a letdown. It was the most cliche of incidents and that was something we weren't often subjected to before Raydor took over Major Crimes.
I forgave the predictability because of the great work done by the actress playing the killer/victim, though. When she broke down, sobbing that someone made her kill four people, she was utterly believable. I don't know how someone could get over that.
Along the way, we were given a lot more insight into the new dynamics of Major Crimes. Thankfully, Taylor was absent, thereby making it a rather pleasant experience outside the horror of the crime of the week.
Unless you were paying close attention to what was happening as Flynn was gathering money for the bus ticket for Rusty's mother, you might have missed Sanchez's cute, scrunched up laugh to his buddies as Provenza hid his wallet to dig out cash. It was such a little thing, but I loved it. It's all a part of the renewed concentration on the whole team. They get along better and they're more comfortable. I can't decide why Brenda's leaving would bring them all closer, but that's exactly what has happened.
I've noted before the increased engagement of Tao and Sanchez, and the most exciting part of that has been the surprising increase in Sanchez quotes. On The Closer he was always one of the more serious detectives. Not only does he do the scrunchy faced laugh, but we have about a 75% better chance that when his lips move, a Major Crimes quote will result. To wit:
Sanchez: Why don't we try to get the suspect's boyfriend, that dumb golfer dude, to admit that she had more than one drink? | permalink
There was a major development as a result of discovering Rusty's mother. Provenza and Flynn found that seeing their nemesis caring so deeply for Rusty melted their own frosty feelings toward her. Flynn was by Rusty's side as he waited for the bus and kindly listened to a young man's desires and dreams about the return of his mother without passing judgment. Provenza realized Sharon might want to be in the role Flynn was portraying and offered a suggestion that would allow her to do that.
It was the first time they, most especially Provenza, saw Sharon as someone other than an enemy who was tossed into their midst to make their lives miserable. The episode closed out with a runaway Rusty running to, of all places, his new home with Sharon.
At first I thought it might take a while to establish the tone of Major Crimes, but it's falling into place nicely. The players are familiar, and yet showing sides we've never seen before making Major Crimes a successful spinoff.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.