I've hated the fact that Major Crimes is ending since the news was announced before the final season began.
When Sharon Raydor died, I was so afraid the series was going to wrap up in some crazy way that I was going to be unhappy with that I doubly dreaded the series ending.
But Major Crimes Season 6 Episode 13 exceeded my expectations.
The final scene left me in tears and reminded me of why I have loved this series since the first time I watched it.
Other than Sharon dying, I was surprised and pleased by where everyone ended up.
We’ve been tested recently in ways great and small. But we’re working through our grief by putting the people who depend on us first. No matter what happens, Major Crimes will not quit until we find the bad guys. This team...we are part of the greatest police department in America and with the the people standing here, I could go on doing this job forever.Provenza
Provenza's speech at the end of the hour was simply beautiful, as was Sanchez taking his promotion and saying goodbye.Just as Sharon's goodbye video seemed to be Mary McDonnell's message to the audience, these speeches seemed to break the fourth wall.
I'm glad Sanchez is moving on to bigger and better things, Rusty is putting the pieces of his life back together after the Stroh shooting and working in the DA's office, Buzz is becoming a full detective, and Provenza is taking the reins of leadership.
And I'm especially glad that Sharon's office is still empty and she is still very much missed. Despite her premature death, Major Crimes was very much Sharon's baby and her absence was definitely felt.
Rusty: If Stroh is arrested, he goes to trial and I get to testify in open court and the whole world knows that I was…
Gus: What? Homeless? Hungry? Abused?
Rusty: People won’t see it that way. They’ll see it as… look, forget me. Look at all these people Stroh killed. If Stroh goes to prison, I spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder, jumping at shadows. And I can’t live like that.
But in order to get to that moment, first the team had to band together one last time to end Stroh's reign of terror.
In retrospect, it could only end by Rusty shooting him. He's been stalking him since the Closer was spun off into Major Crimes, Sharon's final message to Rusty warned him only to use his gun as a last resort, and Rusty told Gus that he was not willing to live in fear for the rest of his life.
I'm not sure, though, how I feel about him being saddled with the guilt of having shot Stroh.
Rusty: Is he dead?
Provenza: You shot him five times. Of course he’s dead. Good thing he had a weapon or it would be murder.
Rusty: It was self defense. I only shot him cause he was going for his gun. He wasn’t gonna -
Provenza: You didn’t shoot him. I did.
I think it helped that Howard told him the shooting was justified, and I'm glad that he is still going to be seeing Dr. Joe. So hopefully he will get through this.
But still, that's a hell of a burden for Rusty to carry on top of everything else he's suffered in his young life, and he already suffers from more than enough fear that at bottom he is just like Stroh.
And he did say in the end that he wasn't sure Sharon would be proud of him.
If Major Crimes was returning, I would expect that Rusty would have a lot of serious problems as a result of this shooting. But since it's ending, I'm going to hope for the best and assume that Rusty got his happily ever after.
Too bad it had to be with Gus. I don't think that the fact that they stayed in the same house for several days while Stroh was after them and Rusty needed comfort after shooting Stroh was a good enough reason for them to reconcile.
On the other hand, Rusty's shooting Stroh provided a stark contrast to the younger Rusty getting in trouble by not listening and needing Sharon to save him, so in that sense maybe Rusty doing the deed was a fitting testimony to how much he had grown.
Flynn: Do you want Stroh caught or do you want this done by any means possible? If he throws down his weapon, puts his hands above his head, the autopsy will show that. Who else can take that shot? I promised Sharon -
Provenza: I am in charge and I said you stay here and help coordinate -
Flynn: Then fire me!
In any case, the final confrontation was among the most tense, suspenseful scenes I've ever seen on Major Crimes, which is saying a lot.
Anything with Stroh was always incredibly creepy, but I held my breath throughout Provenza's stakeout of the boat and subsequent confrontation with Stroh.
We'd already lost one beloved member of the Major Crimes Unit in Season 6 and I didn't trust the writers not to kill off another at the last minute!
Plus, Provenza seemed to rapidly be losing control of his team. Both Flynn and Rusty declared they were joining the mission no matter what he had to say about it, which is usually a recipe for disaster.
Plus how many times did Provenza tell Rusty and Gus to stay put? Everyone knows on TV that's code for someone wandering off and getting in really big trouble.
As for Stroh's accomplice, Dylan, it was sad but not surprising that he ended up dead.
I had hoped for some sort of redemption for him. It would have been really neat for him to become another kid saved from Stroh's wrath, but without a further story for him I guess that would have been pointless.
In any case, as soon as Stroh began threatening Ella, I knew two things: it was over for Dylan, and Stroh never intended to let Ella go no matter what Dylan did.
It was ironic that Stroh's last accomplice led to his downfall. Dylan might have died just like all of Stroh's other would-be partners in crime, but he had that kill switch and the info to bring him down.So maybe that was some sort of redemption for him.
What did you think of the end of Major Crimes?
Was I the only one in tears as the credits rolled for the final time?
Did you find the finale satisfying, or would you rather have seen something else?
Weigh in below, and don't forget you can watch Major Crimes online if you missed anything or just want to see the MCU gang one more time.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.