Major Crimes (sometimes) isn't afraid to ask hard questions.
In Major Crimes Season 4 Episode 5, Sykes grapples with the question of how to protect a young witness. I love it when characters face difficult moral dilemmas, and Sykes hit every beat perfectly.
Sykes is one of those characters who is often in the background, but when she takes center stage, she gets the most powerful stories. "Snitch" was no exception.
I really loved Sykes' initial scenes with her young witness. The little girl (did we ever get her name at all?) was just trying to do the right thing and no doubt was confused by Sykes' powerful instructions to her.
Girl: Wait...don't you want to know who did it?
Sykes: I'll find him. That's my job.
I wasn't sure the child would obey or what would happen. I wasn't expecting the story to go in the direction of Sykes desperately hiding her witness' existence, then her identity. That was a pleasant surprise.
Another pleasant surprise was the way Rusty's therapy session was intertwined with Sykes' moral dilemma about her young witness' fate. Therapy doesn't always make exciting TV, but this time it was used perfectly. Rusty explored the secret he was keeping from Sharon while Sykes was fighting for the right to keep her witness' identity protected. For Rusty, the stakes were just as high.
I don't want Alice to finish up her life as a nameless, invisible person on the street. I have to be her voice.Rusty
I loved Rusty's realization that he needed to fight for Alice's right to an identity because of his shared background with her.
His realization that he and Sharon may be at odds because he needs to protect his source in order to tell the world who Alice really was, was especially interesting when juxtaposed with Sykes' plea to Chief Taylor to leave the little girl unnamed.
The police should be protecting the innocent.Sykes
These serious themes were welcome after the silliness of Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 4. Provenza even got to show his more serious side here, which made his grumpiness a lot less of an annoyance. I much prefer this version of Provenza, who actually cares about the case, even if he needs to be snarky from time to time.
His cynicism allowed him to see right through Sykes' ridiculous story about how she found the gun so that he could give her a warning.
Okay, this good luck thing is not going to fly. Someone pointed that gun out to you, which means there is a witness.Provenza
Luck seemed to be a major theme in "Snitch," with Sykes claiming good luck led her to the gun, Rusty questioning why he had the luck to get off the streets, and the cops engineering some bad luck for their main suspect in order to get a confession.
In the end, Sykes was lucky, too, because the team was able to get that confession without leaning on her witness.
I wonder what sparks would have flown had it gone the other way. The girl's grandmother was quite fierce, and I'd have loved to see her go head-to-head with Sykes some more!
Although it did seem a bit convenient that the team was able to get their case together without the witness, I'll forgive it. Their plan was well executed from start to finish and everybody was used effectively. I was especially pleased that Sanchez got to use his temper to help speed things along instead of getting in trouble for it.
We are not here to hang out with you. Do you want to help or do you want to die?Sanchez
What was your favorite part of "Snitch"? Did you think there was going to be a happy ending? Discuss below.
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.