It took some time for me to stop comparing Major Crimes to The Closer. Kyra Sedgwick created an original character that was the basis for the success of the The Closer and the reason why it was not just another run-of-the-mill crime drama. The continuation of the series after she left with the re-titled Major Crimes initially didn't offer anything special other than a solid cast. Season four turned a corner and it has now found its own groove while proving to be hugely successful for TNT as its #2 ranked show.
Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) leads an elite team of investigators that takes on the most sensitive and horrific cases in Los Angeles. When she isn't worrying about solving the next case, she is working to protect her adopted son Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin), who she rescued from the streets after he was almost murdered by a serial killer. She also navigates her newfound romance with Lieutenant Flynn (Tony Denison).
While McDonnell is the lead, she is not the main focus like Sedgwick was. Each character has their own battles, personality, and storylines, which creates a deeper connection between them and the viewer. Lieutenant Provenza (G.W. Bailey) tries to find balance with the new love in his life, Detective Sanchez (Raymond Cruz) is back from a five-month suspension for brutally beating a suspect and continues to struggle with his anger management, and Lieutenant Tao (Michael Paul Chan) is forced to deal with unresolved issues with his ex-partner Mark Hickman (Jason Gedrick).
TNT aired portions of the 23-episode season throughout the year. This was a wise move because a regular crime drama can get boring with so many episodes that repeat the story formula. Season four was unique because the last five episodes followed one story arc. When a gun used in a current murder is tied to a series of unsolved high-profile homicides, the entire team must work together as the case takes different twists and turns. It was much more interesting and complicated for a case to continue for that long rather than the simplistic resolution that often occurs in one episode.
Major Crimes: The Complete Fourth Season is set for release on DVD May 24, 2016. The only special features offered are deleted scenes and a gag reel.