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:
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.