For many fans Major Crimes‘s Cmdr. Sharon Raydor is their hero. She is the leader of the LAPD’s elite squad of investigators who are tasked with solving Los Angeles’s toughest crimes. She won over fans with her smart observations and her capacity to love. Mary McDonnell’s stellar performance shows that she’s caring, tough, and strong.
However, for some fans, Sharon Raydor was the one they needed time to love. During The Closer, she was Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson’s enemy and the one who kept her on her feet. Sharon clashed with her now-colleagues in addition to being hated by them.
It wasn’t until Major Crimes began that fans truly got to know this woman. We learned she was separated from her husband after his gambling and alcohol addiction became unbearable and that she has a son and a daughter. For the fans who disliked her, they began to see a side of her they liked. Now after five seasons she has adopted Rusty, she’s getting married, and has finally been promoted from Captain to Commander.
So moving into the upcoming season, what can the show do with Sharon Raydor next?
Bring back more Rusty and Sharon moments – A big part of Sharon’s personal life in the first few seasons of Major Crimes was her relationship with Rusty Beck (Graham Patrick Martin). In the beginning, Rusty was blunt and rude while Sharon was patient. Their journey from strangers to mother and son were some of the best moments of the series because it allowed us a deep glimpse into who these characters are.
This is what the series needs to return to. The biggest obstacle long-running shows like Major Crimes face is bringing their fans back every week. If the series were to bring back these famous moments, we believe it would be beneficial. Now we understand that Rusty and Sharon aren’t the same people they were back then, but that’s exactly why it would be interesting. They both are going through new phrases of their lives and it would be great to see how they would help each other through it now.
Both of their lives were changed for the better after they met. For Rusty, he gained a better life. For Sharon, it wasn’t so obvious at first. After her now ex-husband let her down in every way possible so she closed her heart and put up a wall for everyone. She didn’t allow herself to be emotionally attached to anything, as was shown when she first entered the morgue in the first episode of Season 1 with the Major Crimes squad and didn’t identify with the victim by name. She refused to feel hurt.
This changed by Rusty. By allowing herself to love this boy as a son, it was the crack in the wall and without that, she probably wouldn’t have let herself fall in love again.
Now, Sharon is getting married to Lieutenant Andy Flynn (Tony Denison) and Rusty is facing a difficult obstacle in his relationship with Gus. Both of these things are significant and we imagined they have many different feelings about it, so why not allow these two characters to talk it like old times? We want to see Rusty be blunt when Sharon needs to hear it and we want Sharon to remind Rusty about being kind and considerate to others. It’s one of the most unique and interesting relationships on television and we want to see them utilize it.
Showdown with Philip Stroh – Philip Stroh (Billy Burke) has bested every cop he’s ever faced. However, the Major Crimes squad has proven a worthy opponent over the last few years. He’s had to think outside the book in order to be one step ahead of them. For the upcoming season, we know he is set to return and we cannot wait. It’s obvious Sharon will stop at nothing to make sure Stroh never gets anywhere near Rusty, and it would be amazing to see this. By showing her take every step possible to protect him, her family, and her colleagues, it would be a great way to show her strength and toughest.
Despite Sharon not being Stroh’s original enemy, her battle against him is more personal than Brenda’s ever was. Stroh has invaded her home, threatened her life, and her son. She wants nothing more than for him to be gone forever. She’s worked and sacrificed so much in her life for him to ruin it. She’s gained a son who brought something back into her life that was missing for so long she didn’t even realize it and a job that has never made her happier, so needless to say it’s personal.
By showcasing this showdown we hope that she takes him down once and for all. If the writers were to finally kill off Stroh this season, we hope Sharon is the one to do it. We know she struggled with killing a serial killer in Season 5, but we believe this time there may not be any guilt, but a weight lifted off her shoulders. In addition, this could lead to an internal struggle over not having remorse. Overall, there are many potentially interesting stories to come out of Stroh’s return.
Her new position – One thing we know is that the way the Major Crimes squad operations is changing. Newly-made Assistant Chief Mason mentioned at the end of Season 5 that he wanted to change Sharon’s division into something better. So for the upcoming season we are curious to see how she reacts to this change and also how she will feel about it. We have seen her squad react to change when she took over for Brenda, but we haven’t really seen her react to a major change like this. It would allow fans to see apart of her we really haven’t seen.
Overall, two-time Oscar nominee Mary McDonnell plays Cmdr. Sharon Raydor with talent that is so rarely seen. It a privilege to see her dive deeper every episode into the mystery that is Sharon Raydor. We have enjoyed for many years now watching her bring this character life and we can’t wait to see what will happen this season.
Major Crimes returns October 31 on TNT. For more news related to Major Crimes, be sure to visit this link. (Photo: TNT.)
This story was written by Samantha D’Amico. If you want to follow her on Twitter, you can do so at @SAM_iamXO.