Major Crimes official poster

Adventures in Binging: ‘Major Crimes’

After watching Battlestar Galactica, I subsequently became a fan of all of the actors involved. Like Mary McDonnell, who plays the main character in Major Crimes. I also love a good detective show, so I started binge-watching all six seasons of the show.

The Basics

Major Crimes official poster with characters in dark blue gradient lighting

The show centers on the Major Crimes Unit of the LAPD, which I wasn’t even aware existed before. The group consists of about nine people if you count the medical examiner, Dr. Morales. Ten if you count Kendall, the coroner’s investigator, i.e. the guy that looks at the body at the crime scene.

They’re a pretty tight-knit group, as all police units should be, and it’s a pretty stereotypical detective show. What makes it different, however, are the larger storylines that develop over multiple episodes.

The Best Parts

Sharon (played by Mary McDonnell) and Andy (played by Anthony Dension)

The multi-episodic plots are, to me, the most interesting. It’s never obvious, as I find some other detective shows can be sometimes. Therefore, the mystery is worthy of being longer than the typical episode length. One worth mentioning is a 5-part story called “Sanctuary City”.

The plot centers around three young boys who vanish during a school field trip. One of which needs an insulin shot to survive. Unfortunately, they eventually find his dead body in front of the Catholic church. There’s a lot of suspicion toward the local Catholic church because the boys’ close relationship with it. To make matters more complicated, Sharon’s (Mary McDonnell) been a part of that specific church for years. It’s a five-episode long story and it’s an interesting one. And the reveal is a surprising one. And to add on to all that drama, Sharon and Andy are planning their wedding and get married in the end. At the same church they were investigating, I might add.

The Shocking End

Phillip Stroh (played by Billy Burke)

I, unfortunately, saw the finale way too early. In my defense, it was on TV in real-time and I couldn’t help myself. The end was, indeed, shocking. I won’t spoil what happens, but I will say that not everyone makes it out alive. It’s shocking but also makes a lot of sense. It’s the culmination of the entire Phillip Stroh case, AKA the reason Rusty’s on the show. And in case you forgot, Phillip Stroh is a serial killer. So, it’d be a little suspicious if Major Crimes were able to beat him without losing someone. Especially with it being so personal to the team and encompassing the entire six seasons.

Final Thoughts

Sharon (played by Mary McDonnell) and Andy (played by Anthony Dension) looking at a computer

I found Major Crimes to be a great show for multiple reasons. For starters, I found the ensemble cast to be relatively diverse, in both race and age. I found myself becoming a fan of Sharon and Andy’s romantic relationship, which was slow but sweet nonetheless. In addition to that, watching Rusty grow up and seeing that mother-son bond between him and Sharon was also heartwarming.

I also liked that a lot of their plotlines spanned over multiple episodes, which I don’t find very often anymore in detective shows. I only say that because I find it more realistic. In a lot of other detective shows, the entire case is an episode-long and it starts to feel monotonous. In the real world, criminal cases don’t usually take a few days to solve. Instead, it takes several. Even though one episode doesn’t necessarily equate to one day, it starts to feel as if it were after a while.

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