Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 21 Review: Shockwave Part 2

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Sharon got a well-deserved promotion after a bomber nearly killed everyone in the unit, while Rusty seemed to let go of Gus.

And Flynn jumped into action and proved that he will do pretty much anything to defend Sharon!

As season finales go, Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 21 was fairly exciting. I definitely will want to tune in when it returns, though I found some aspects of the conclusion confusing.

Rusty and Flynn - Major Crimes

The first half of "Shockwave: Part 2" involved an extensive manhunt for suspected bomber Christian Ortiz.

I didn't expect the twist that he'd actually been innocent of murder until he decided to start bombing people to protest having been locked up unfairly.

Flynn: He doesn't just want to screw his ex-wife. He wants to screw the entire LAPD the way he feels we screwed him.
Buzz: I know the justice system isn't always perfect, but if he'd just given us a chance...
Provenza: We'd what, made this right? I know it's hard to accept, but not everyone wants our help.

Ortiz certainly had a right to his outrage, though of course he didn't have a right to attempt to bomb every division of the LAPD in protest.

Given all the problems with racism and mass incarceration in the criminal justice system, it's easy to see why a non-white person might have been blamed for a murder actually committed by his white ex-wife.

I'd love to see this subject treated in more depth on a future episode. As far as this one goes, I had to wonder what Winnie Davis thought when she found out about Ortiz's plot. After all, she had been overly quick to call the original bombing an act of terrorism, but she might have felt vindicated to learn the truth.

Davis' complete absence was odd to me. She was all over the Major Crimes Unit during Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 20, yet she was nowhere to be seen once the bombing actually happened. She also had no reaction to Sharon getting promoted to Commander while she presumably got nothing.

Did Davis slink away with her tail between her legs? Will she return in the fall to try to make Sharon's life miserable as she settles into her new position? Was she killed in the cemetery bombing and nobody mentioned it? 

I'd have liked to have seen her reaction. It felt like a loose end that needed to be tied up, though this was a minor flaw in an otherwise solid hour of television.

Flynn: I've been doing some thinking.
Provenza: Are you in pain?
Flynn: No, I - oh. Very funny. No, I've been thinking that my health's improving. I'm eating better, I'm taking vitamins, all that. So how long before I'm back in the field?

I've missed Flynn and Provenza's banter. Provenza was right that Flynn was really going to have to prove that he wasn't a health risk anymore. But I think he did a fine job of that in his confrontation with Ortiz.

Flynn ran across to City Hall to confront the suspect. He saw the explosion and punched the dude before trying frantically to check on Sharon. He was intensely relieved when he found out that everyone was okay. And he didn't seem to have any physical problems while under all of that stress.

I hope this means that he'll be back on duty soon. The Provenza/Flynn love-hate fest is one of the best parts of Major Crimes.

Rusty: I can transfer to Berkeley. I have the grades. But I'm on track to graduate from UCLA in December. Berkeley goes by the quarter system, not semesters, so that would add another six months to my schedule.
Gus: And Napa Valley would and another $15,000 to my paycheck. But that's not what's important here, right?
Rusty: Gus, would you just hold on?
Gus: No. We are staying here. We're not going to Napa. But you're going to apply to law schools in L.A. and you'd better get into one right here because if you don't go to school in L.A., we're done.

Meanwhile, Rusty and Gus' relationship became even more of a confusing mess. I like Rusty, and Gus' behavior did nothing to change my opinion that Rusty deserves far better than him.

Gus came off as really, really controlling, even more so than usual. He basically told Rusty where he was going to school and used the threat of ending the relationship to make sure he'd cooperate.

That's not cool. In fact, it's pretty abusive.

I could see the wheels turning when Rusty was in the squad room listening to what was going on with Ortiz.

Rusty tends to think the worst of himself, always assuming his behavior with Gus is as bad as the perp of the hour's behavior with whoever got hurt. I wish he'd stop that.

He wasn't wrong to expect his boyfriend to at least talk with him rather than just deciding for him how they were going to handle the conflict over where to live, and I was glad he didn't exactly back off from that.

I'm not exactly sure what he did do, though.

It seemed pretty obvious that he was agreeing to live apart because he was worried about Gus' sleazy boss coming onto him, and I thought he was encouraging Gus to go to Napa Valley to keep him away from Aiden.

Then he told Gus he wanted to try having a long-distance relationship and they both agreed that would be good for them.

I thought maybe Rusty was trying to prove he wasn't insecure because of the stupid things Aiden said and was about to get annoyed with him. Then his reaction after Gus left made me think that he was breaking up with Gus without really saying so.

I hope I'm wrong about that, because that would be seriously uncool of Rusty to do that. I liked his strength in saying goodbye to the relationship, but this isn't the way to do it.

Did anyone else follow this whole thing? Is this nightmare of a relationship finally over or not?

Am I living here now? Is that why I brought my things? What if you never catch him? Then what?


I was honestly surprised that Lisbeth had anything to do with killing anyone until the reveal, but it did make the story stronger for Ortiz to be a nut case with a legitimate grievance rather than just acting randomly.

In any case, I thought the attempt to defuse the bombs was incredibly tense. Everyone snapping at Buzz while he was trying his best to neutralize the threat was a small moment that really paid off.

Bad guys on television tend to have extra weapons that they reveal just when everyone thinks they're safe, and Ortiz was no exception. I forgive Major Crimes for using this trope, though, because Sharon's realization that the bomb was in the luggage was that good.

I really liked that viewers learned along with Flynn exactly what the damage was. We knew that Sharon had called for evacuation, but it wasn't clear that everyone was actually all right until Flynn got ahold of Provenza.

Afterwards, I found myself getting emotional along with Sharon when she got promoted to Commander. I'm very curious as to what Mason has in mind for Major Crimesl

What did you think of "Shockwave: Part 2?" Did you feel like there was enough of a cliffhanger? What storyline are you most looking forward to when Major Crimes returns?

Weigh in below, and don't forget you can always watch Major Crimes online if you missed anything.

Shockwave Part 2 Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (48 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 21 Quotes

Flynn: I've been doing some thinking.
Provenza: Are you in pain?
Flynn: No, I - oh. Very funny. No, I've been thinking that my health's improving. I'm eating better, I'm taking vitamins, all that. So how long before I'm back in the field?

Sharon: Do you know anyplace your ex-husband might have gone?
Lisbeth: I don't know. Most of our marriage, he was overseas.
Sister: Wait, you say Christian killed these people. Isn't it your job to know where he is? It's not Lisette's job to find him. It's yours.
Andy: That's what we're trying to do.