They killed Chief Taylor.
He was often at odds with Sharon and the detectives about how to proceed, focused on handling the media during difficult cases, and recently responded to bigotry with a smile and a soft word.
His part was never huge, but he was an important part of the operation anyway. And as of the beginning of Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 11, he was dead.
His death was surprising and sad, and the Major Crimes Unit's reactions to it were nothing short of riveting, emotional drama.
Rusty: I don't wanna just sit around. I wanna help. Dr. Joe was my friend.
Provenza: Rusty. I have known Russell Taylor from his first day. We are all dealing with tragedy.
Provenza didn't even have a real wisecrack the whole hour. He was gentle but firm with Rusty, supportive of Sharon and focused on catching the conspirators who had killed Chief Taylor.
The chief wasn't the only casualty.
DDA Rosen was also killed. All I could think of was how ironic it was that Jason Kravitz's character on The Practice was also an attorney who was violently gunned down.
DDA Rosen was less of a part of Major Crimes; his death was shocking but not nearly as saddening.
That's not the problem. The problem is I took a human life today and I can't find a single part of me that feels bad about it.Sharon
Sharon's struggle with her guilt, or lack thereof, over killing Dwight Darnell, the white supremacist who had killed Taylor and Rosen and seriously wounded Dr. Joe, was an interesting and emotional sideline.
She went from numb to guilty once she met Darnell's mother, who didn't understand why they needed an autopsy and didn't want to talk about her son's white supremacist hero.
It looked like her emotional struggle wasn't over as she watched Ms. Darnell through the window at the end of the hour.
I wish they had shown us her interview at Behavioral Sciences. Those would have been some meaty, emotional scenes.
Somehow Sharon must manage to parent Rusty, who is beside himself with pain over Dr. Joe, while dealing with her own trauma.
Provenza asked Rusty to be strong for Sharon, but that's a lot to ask from a young man whose life had been changed by the same therapist who nearly died and who the cops are pretending did die.
Listen. Losing Chief Taylor like this... well, calling him a hero, doesn't help does it? But that's how we'll remember him.Howard
Deputy Chief Howard's tribute to Chief Taylor summarized what everyone felt and inspired them to just keep moving forward with the case.
It was also moving for Buzz to get some good news about his own case while in the midst of this tragedy.
Finding out from Jennifer Edwards that Gene Hecht wasn't with her on the night of the murders and had one of the dead men's watches was the break he – and viewers – needed during this heavy episode.
Someone loaded Dwight's gun, Lieutenant. I think this is one of those times when we have to gather our facts first and come up with a theory of the crime later.Sharon
The conspiracy investigation seems to be hitting plenty of dead ends, with a top suspect found murdered and another one dying at the scene. Whether Deputy Sims or any other victim was actually involved with the shooting remains to be seen.
This looks like it will be a dramatic ending to this season as Major Crimes moves into its midseason finale.
Who do you think was involved with the shooting? Which character's reaction did you find most emotional? Weigh in below!
If you missed something, you can always watch Major Crimes online to catch up.