TNT announced last year that The Closer will give birth to a new show when Kyra Sedgwick (Brenda Leigh Johnson) leaves this summer. The new show, called Major Crimes, will star Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor and will feature many of your old favorites from The Closer.
If Major Crimes retains the writing, artistry and wit of The Closer, then count me in.
Captain Sharon Raydor is vastly different than Brenda—after all she prefers to shoot bean bags rather than bullets, but still manages to get the bad guy. Can you imagine Brenda shooting a suspect with bean bags?
The character of Captain Raydor has evolved over the past few seasons. When Raydor first met Brenda, we saw veiled contempt for someone who thought herself beyond the rules in an organization and a woman that existed to enforce rules, but over time we have seen the captain develop a respect for Brenda that led her to nominate her for chief of LAPD. That’s a lot of respect.
In recent episodes we have seen what I think is Raydor’s wish to be more like Brenda as she has spent more and more time in the major crimes unit even participating in a car chase where her skills were more than a little bit rusty. Or maybe she just envies Brenda.
Raydor has also reached out to Brenda in friendship, something that Brenda is finding hard to trust. Watching Brenda’s relentlessness and ability has given Captain Raydor renewed vigor, and I hope we will get to watch that grow in Major Crimes.
I can safely promise you, that we will be in great hands with Mary McDonnell, who has been twice nominated for Academy Awards. She made a superior chief executive at the end of the world as President Laura Roslin in Battlestar Gallactica.
Beyond McDonnell as Raydor, there is also the excellent writing, and the wonderful possibility of delving deeper into some of the characters that comprise the rest of the department. I imagine it will be a tough shift for the department to go from a chief who will do anything to close a case, to a chief that follows the rules so closely. Raydor has been in internal affairs for so long, I imagine that she has many enemies in LAPD that we haven’t even heard about yet.
Casting has been announced, and you can see the list if you click right here, but be warned. It’s fairly easy to determine who the leak is by noticing who is not on this list. So if you don’t want to know, don’t look. There are no other spoilers here, I promise.
Saying goodbye to Brenda Leigh Johnson will be hard on all of us—Closer fans and the fictional LAPD alike, but knowing Major Crimes might be just as good in other ways might help soften the blow. And rumor has it that Kyra Sedgwick and Jon Tenney will be back on occasion for guest appearances.
Until next summer, which seems a long way off, we still have Brenda Leigh Johnson and The Closer for a few more episodes. For me, I’ve already decided to watch Major Crimes.
Need to get caught up on this season? You can watch full episodes of The Closer on your computer at the TNT website here. So shut your office door and take a big bite of that secret candy bar. And when you’re done getting caught up on this season come back to Criminal Element and tell us who and what would you like to see this summer on Major Crimes.
Deborah Lacy loves crime fiction a little too much. You can follow her on Twitter (@quippy), if you dare.