Major Crimes (TNT) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

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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.

I gave Major Crimes 4 out of 5 stars, but what do you think?

  • I love this show!
  • It's OK
  • I didn't like it
  • I haven't watched it yet
  • I'm not going to watch it
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Comments 4 comments

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I think it's going to have to grow on me as well. The chemistry of the majority of the cast is there, which I think is important but I also believe there needs to be something else for the show to work. Even the title sequence is similar to The Closer and I think for alot of people it's too close to the original. But I have hopes the writers will adjust and we'll have another great police series to look forward to. Great review!


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 4 years ago Author

Hi Alecia,

I know what you mean. Brenda Leigh Johnson was a huge part of why 'The Closer' was so succesful and repeating the same formula without her isn't going to work. It's good to see however that a lot has remained the same, so it won't really be as if you're losing a show, you're just losing a character who happened to influence the show a lot.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


Pat Senn 4 years ago

Who is the actor playing "Rusty?"

He looks like one of Kyra's kids.


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 4 years ago Author

Hi Pat Senn,

The actor playing the role of Rusty Beck is actually Graham Patrick Martin, also known for playing a role in, amongst others, 'Two and a Half Men'.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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