Major Crimes is usually about the case of the hour.
So far, though, the latest run makes a radical departure from the usual format. Major Crimes Season 4 Episode 20 is the second installment of a multi-episode investigation, five if the news we've read is correct.
Thankfully, the major storyline is interesting enough and contains enough twists to hold viewers' attention. Hopefully it'll stay that way.
First things first: how cute were Stephanie and Julio?
Julio: Stay safe
Stephanie: Will do.
It was nice to see these two detectives bonding over their mutual loss of a spouse. Julio had the sensitivity and understanding to realize that after all these years, Stephanie was still hurting. He is not any more over his wife's death than she is over her husband's death. Nevertheless, their almost kiss was filled with tension.
It'll be exciting to see where this goes. Julio's struggle with his grief over his wife's death is one of the most captivating character arcs, and I'm enjoying seeing him meet someone who understands.
Not so enjoyable was the dynamic between Sykes and Hickman. Hickman is pretty one-note in his annoying attitude. He's like Provenza without the charm. Provenza's snark is funny but Hickman just eats up screen time.
I say we draw straws. Short one gets to shoot him.Provenza
I agree with Provenza – can we be rid of this guy already?
Seeing Tao beat Hickman up in order to get some info out of him was entertaining, and many viewers were probably cheering him on, even if it was ethically questionable.
Now that Hickman is persona non grata in the Major Crimes Unit and Sykes no longer has any inclination or ability to secretly meet with him, hopefully we've seen the last of him.
You may want to fix that. Fine for a mirror is pretty steep.Sykes
Sykes destroying Hickman's mirror was also quite satisfying. I love seeing Sykes be a strong woman who has no problem standing up to annoying losers. Hickman almost definitely planted the gun and seems angry that the Major Crime Unit won't go along with his theory about the case just because there is zero evidence to back it up.
In any case, finding the gun seems to have got the detectives no closer to finding the killer. It seems like a bunch of connections were made that didn't really tell anyone anything.
Emile Fisher knew Tamika but didn't know she was killed. Daniel Price had a younger brother, Dennis, who is also an ex-con who found Jesus somewhere along the way. And a former gang member named Buddha only attended the trial when Fisher was testifying.
I'm really sorry you're a bunch of hypocrites. There's my apology.Hickman
No wonder Hickman was frustrated with the detectives' incompetence; gathering all that information didn't help them at all to close the case.
The ending left viewers with even more unanswered questions. What was Fisher and Buddha's connection and why was Fisher murdered in Buddha's house? How did Tao figure out that Fisher was murdered rather than dying of an accidental overdose? Does this have anything to do with the three murders, or is something else going on?
Meanwhile, Rusty's storyline got a little bit silly with the SIS guy who sneezed loudly and otherwise seemed to be incompetent at keeping surveillance on Gary.
The last scene was surprisingly effective, though. Between Rusty staring at the debris in his mother's apartment and the juxtaposition of that search with the search of Buddha's house, things got interesting.
Who's your lead suspect in Fisher's death and/or the three murders? What do you think Sharon meant when she said Hickman sleeping with Rachel Gray needed to be dug up? Do you like the multi-episode format or do you prefer episodes that offer self-contained cases?
Weigh in below with your thoughts!
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.