Midseason Report Card: Is ‘Major Crimes’ season 4 improving with every episode?

Major Crimes -

Sometimes, we have sympathy for a show like “Major Crimes,” where the format at times makes it a little bit difficult to get any forward momentum going. While this is a series that brings a lot of great entertainment week in and week out, much of it is of the start-and-stop variety. You get a new case, you get invested, and then it’s resolved before you know it.

With that, what really makes or breaks the TNT drama beyond just your standard cop show are the threads that last longer than an episode. Luckily, there were a few in the fall portion of season 4 that have us feeling pretty good about where we are going into the final five installments, which will air starting in February.

What worked – The screen lights up pretty much anytime that you get Sharon and Andy doing anything romantic. These are characters viewers have come to know for so long that it is immensely rewarding to see them now together. You root for them, and seeing him struggle to get back on the team this season was a worthy, compelling story. We also think that it was handled pretty realistically, with him not getting back to work right away after being hospitalized. They could’ve taken even longer, but we get that this is a procedural and that isn’t really something in the show’s DNA.

While we had our doubts about Rusty and Slider throughout these episodes, we like where his search for the truth ultimately led: To him getting closer to Gus. He learned something about journalism in his conversations with Slider, as well, and that is that even with the right intentions and effort not everything will go according to plan.

What didn’t – Other than the reality TV-inspired case and the murderous filmmaker in the fall finale, we cannot say that the case-of-the-week stories were all that memorable by and large. The show also could be moving at a slightly faster pace with Sharon and Andy; we’re not saying that they get married tomorrow, but this is a show close to entering its fifth season, and on cable things naturally have a little bit of a shorter shelf life.

Overall – A very good entry into the annals of “Major Crimes.” We’d stop short of saying that it is our favorite batch of episodes to date (there could’ve been greater stakes at times), but there were many very strong episodes and very few duds. Grade: B.

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