Major Crimes (TNT) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review
With a name like ‘Major Crimes’ TNT’s new show, that premiered August 13th at 10/9c, sets high expectations. Being a spin-off from a success story like ‘The Closer’, it won’t be hard to fulfill these expectations. However, will the audience accept a show that is basically ‘The Closer’ without Brenda Leigh Johnson? ‘Major Crimes’ stars other ‘The Closer’ actors such as Mary McDonnell (Capt. Sharon Raydor), G. W. Bailey (Louie Provenza), Tony Denison (Andy Flynn).
The series starts with an undercover mission gone wrong. There have been multiple armed robberies, and even though the suspects were being followed by undercover detectives, they were still able to rob another grocery store. Someone inside the store pulled the silent alarm, a police car arrives and guns are fired. Two suspects escape, two get killed by police fire and one surrenders.
The Major Crimes division arrives and starts the investigation. However, before they are able to interrogate the suspect, who is being held in a police vehicle, there are numerous shots being fired at the police force and the suspect is killed by a headshot, fired by an unknown shooter. To make matters worse, the suspects use fully automatic weapons, making the case a federal crime.
As the investigation continues, another suspect turns up dead, and all the suspects appear to have a military background. The suspect that had been murdered on the crime scene, Larry Martin, had still been there because of regulations Captain Raydor had put into place. Because of this, Lt. Flynn confronts Raydor with the fact that his death is holding back the investigation and that it is because of her and her strange regulations.
During the confrontation Raydor realises, however, that the LA police department is the only department that holds suspects at the scene for interrogation. So how could the person that killed Larry have known this? It turns out the son of one of the detectives is linked to the case. They interrogate him and, in compliance with the new policy of striking as many deals as possible to reduce costs, they offer him a deal, which he reluctantly takes.
The series follows a similar path as ‘The Closer’ did, and basically every crime series has done at one time or another; there is a crime and it’s being solved by some good old fashioned police work. The case they work on is interesting, but the really entertaining part comes from the team adjusting to the new situation. Brenda Leigh Johnson is no longer in the picture and therefore Captain Raydor is now in charge, and Provenza is shaking things up like he has always done, only this time he also faces his problems with taking orders from someone who he finds less capable than himself. It doesn’t help that Captain Raydor is determined on following procedures, something none of the Major Crimes detectives are used to. Also, seeing as how Raydor has a history of internal research targeting the team, they don’t really trust her.
‘Major Crimes’ is a good follow up on ‘The Closer’. However, without the presence of Johnson the series definitely has a different energy than it used to. Luckily the cast has remained basically the same, so even though there are possibilities for new angles, there is also the possibility to stay with the old success formula. And that is exactly where I suspect the power of this series will lie.
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