Major Crimes: Two Options
July 22, 2014 8:55 PM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The shooting deaths of an elderly couple in their home prompts the team to join forces with the Special Operations Bureau.
posted by oh yeah! (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ok, I found this episode seriously disturbing - an entire hour focused on glamorizing SWAT teams? What the fuck was that? Considering the recent horrifying case in Atlanta where the SWAT team set a baby on fire with a flash grenade, and the many other deaths and injuries caused by our hyper-militarized police forces, not to mention the recent murder of Eric Garner by the Staten Island PD in my part of the country, I just found this whole episode to be really grotesque.

Were they trying to lay the ground for a 'Special Operations Bureau' spin-off? And the new DA or whoever she was was ludicrously unpleasant. I know that's been the formula of introducing new outside-the-squad characters since The Closer, of having them start off as antagonists and then gradually make them part of the team, that's how Raydor started after all, but that was just bizarre.

Ugh. This really made me miss Flashpoint. Killing was always the last resort on that show, and the criminals were always written as human beings, not straw men.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:37 PM on July 22, 2014

Huh. I don't live in an area with active media coverage of SWAT teams or police brutality, so I didn't see that aspect at all. One part of Major Crimes I like is how they experiment with TV narrative and filming - like Medium used to, where episodes were often stylistically very different. This one had the repeat tension of going into danger, then winding down, then finally the actual danger scene, and all the slow swoop overs by the helicopters to bring them in at the end for the snipers (my husband went 'that's not realistic', to which I retorted 'it's TV snipers, dude') and some nice character moments. I expected a cast member to die or one of the SWAT team, and the plot twist was that they didn't.

The new DA and the SWAT leader in the face-off was a little over the top (new spin-off?), but it was a nice subversion of the mothers-are-special trope, and that everyone involved went "Oh yes, she just said that" with their faces was a nice scene.

They definitely sacrificed character for thrills & spills but it was action-wise, swift and exciting.

I loved the Rusty scene at the end, Sharon's voice roughening as she promised that she would find him.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:58 PM on July 22, 2014

It's got to be a spinoff attempt-- you don't add that many named characters, tease a new job for Fritz, delve into the past of the cop who lost her family, without going for a spinoff series (or maybe just a special movie, like CSI:Cyber).

It's arguable whether Major Crimes is even a spinoff of The Closer-- I don't think anyone ever called Chief Johnson by that nickname, and Rayder (sp) fills both her shoes and that role with total aplomb, without being the same character. (I miss the snack drawer a little.)
posted by Sunburnt at 5:40 PM on July 24, 2014

Yep, we thought spin-off too, but otherwise the episode felt to me like one of those movies where some arm of military gives special access as a kind of recruitment/marketing ploy, and that left a bit of a bad taste.
posted by idb at 7:16 PM on July 24, 2014

I found an article from the end of June that labeled this episode a potential spinoff episode. The best guess at our house is that Sanchez will go with it; they've been building to his departure for most of the season.

I found myself really missing the interaction with suspects and witnesses in this episode; it helps me feel more engaged when I have the same evidence as the characters and can puzzle through it myself. The over-reliance on technology in this episode really put us in the passenger seat since there was nothing to figure out. There was no mystery, only chase. I think something critical was lost this episode, and it doesn't bode well for the spinoff.
posted by lilac girl at 6:01 PM on July 27, 2014

Next episode post.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:47 PM on July 29, 2014

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