MAJOR CRIMES: Gathering the Pieces of the Last Episode (S-10)

Major Crimes Sharon

With audiences’ positive responses and a long track record of success in the TV industry, what happened to Sharon in Major Crimes last season?

A Brief Recap of the Major Crimes

With the unexpected exit of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick), Captain Sharon (Mary McDonnell )faced complex challenges as she handled Johnson’s former post. 


Many squad members are unhappy with their new boss. She imposes new policies that led to various consequences at crime scenes.


The show focuses on how the justice system in the US is being served. The law enforcers and prosecutors work together to protect the law and do justice. It was also pictured how career and personal issues are intertwined as they manage complex challenges. 


As an addition to the drama in the life of Sharon Raydor, she helped Rusty Beck, who witnesses a horrific crime. He later adopts him, where he found refuge together with the squad.


Sharon is diagnosed to have heart disease and died during the last season. Afterward, the squad goes on without Raydor and was able to take down the old villain. A defense lawyer turns serial rapist and murderer, Phillip Stroh (Billy Burke).

Sharon's Untimely Demise in the Last Season

The character portrayed by Mary McDonnell was loved by the fans, so what happened to Sharon in Major Crimes last season was shocking to the viewers. Surprisingly, she died in the final season even before the TV series concluded. 


It was established in the previous seasons that she had heart issues. She was later diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which affects the heart muscle. She nearly called off her wedding to Lt Flynn (Anthony Denison) but eventually agreed to go with the ceremony as planned.


Commander Sharon Raydor continued to suffer from her condition and collapsed while questioning a suspect. She was rushed to the hospital and was later announced dead by the physician. She was buried in the next episode, and her team moved on without their Commander in the succeeding episodes.

Enraged Fans

During the airing of the sixth season, many fans were upset by Commander Sharon Raydor’s sudden death. Some fans were even overwhelmingly frustrated because she serves as their role model and inspiration for leadership. She has become a symbol of an empowered woman.


Not only did the creator put the leading charter to death, but they removed Mary McDonnell’s name from the credits in the remaining episodes. They felt that bringing her to death was particularly cruel to fans.


Many fans decided to change the profile pictures of their Twitter accounts to a shot of McDonnell’s name as an expression of grief.

Series Creator's Explanation of Sharon's Death

Crimes creator James Duff disclosed the reasons behind Sharon’s death during his interview with Entertainment Weekly.

  • it was plotted in the last episodes to bring about a sense of closure to the show
  • if Sharon’s death happened in the series finale, it would have been a tragic way to end the drama series
  • Raydor died earlier to give viewers and the other characters a chance to grieve both her and at the show’s end

The Aftermath

Some viewers hoped that the creator faked Sharon’s death to bring out a twist. They were later convinced that their favorite character died when the burial was aired in the next episode.  


From the creator’s point of view, they knew that killing the character of Sharon before the finale of the sixth season would enrage the viewers. Still, they believed that most people were not upset and even brought the show to unbelievable ratings.


Sharon’s death is the precursor of the show’s ending. Although it was a bit off for the main character, McDonnell felt that the act was “dramatic and ultimately honoring.” (1)


The people behind the show believed that Major Crimes has outstanding respect for the law and the justice system. 

Will There be a Major Crimes season 7?

The following are the reasons why it is not possible to have season 7:

  • it would be complicated because Sharon Raydor’s character is already dead, and there will be no female lead for the new season
  • the show was already canceled by TNT even before the final season
  • Crime procedurals are no longer popular with many cable networks nowadays

Major Crimes Facts

The following are some facts about the show:

  • an American TV series that successful from the start
  • highest-rated scripted cable drama 
  • premiered on TNT on August 13, 2012, with 9.5 million viewers
  • concluded on January 16, 2018
  • they got the real mayor of Los Angeles, California, to play the role of the fake mayor of LA
  • with 105 episodes aired over six seasons
  • continuation spin-off of the TNT Series, The Closer (2)

The Closer Spin-Off

The Closer and Major Crimes offer a rare opportunity to analyze long-term, meaningful character growth through the character of Captain Sharon Raydor. (3) Set in the same police division.


The Closer aired on TV From June 13, 2005, to August 13, 2012, with seven seasons and 109 episodes. The story primarily deals with issues on public policies with characters that touch and influence the lives of society. Storylines focus on solving murder cases and a wide range of major crimes.


When The Closer closed its curtains, Major Crimes began to air. The show was a success that surpassed the ratings of its parent series with more than 9 million viewers., The Closer.


The casts from The Closer passed on from the show are maintained as the executive producer, writers, and directors. Major Crimes’ setting and music were also similar.

The Casts and their Respective Roles

The Major Crimes was aired continuously for over six years and have been in full studded star casts. Some of the characters are as follows:

  • Mary McDonnell portrayed the role of Captain Sharon Raydor – head of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Major Crimes Division. She later became Commander in the same department.
  • Tony Denison, as Andy Flynn, is assigned to the LAPD’s Major Crimes Division during The Closer and Major Crimes.
  • Michael Paul Chan, as Lt Tao – specializes in crime investigations.
  • Raymond Cruz as Det. Sanchez – is assigned to the LAPD’s Major Crimes Division during The Closer and Major Crimes.
  • Jon Tenney as FBI Liaison Special Agent Fritz Howard.
  • Philip Stroh (Billy Burke) is a defense attorney and a serial rapist/killer.
  • Robert Gossett plays Russell Taylor – the Assistant Chief of Operations for the LAPD Major Crime Division. He replaced JK Simmons, who held the position on The Closer.
  • Tom Berenger played the ex-husband of Sharon Raydor.
  • GW Bailey as Louie Provenza – Assistant Commanding Officer of the LAPD’s Major Crimes Division. Lt Provenza became the new Commander in the sixth season following the death of Sharon.

From Villain to Heroine

Captain Raydor in The Closer portrayed the role of a villain. Brenda Leigh Johnson is the head of the LAPD Major Crimes Division, and Captain Sharon Raydor is the head of the department’s Force Investigation Division.


Raydor and Johnson were rivals because Raydor suspects that Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson’s team is going outside the law. Sharon’s role in The Closer was demanding and challenging because of her tough personality.


They eventually became allies and developed a respect for each other, and Raydor leaped up into a softhearted character. Her character is considered to be one of the accomplishments of The Closer. 


In Major Crimes, Raydor turned out to be the main character and a heroine working together with the squad in handling sensitive and high-profile cases. 


  1. Paul Dailly , Mary McDonnell Breaks Silence on Major Crimes Departure, retrieved from
  2. Joyce Slaton, Major Crimes, retrieved from
  3. Emily C. Hoffman, Making the Case for Teaching Character Change in Complex TV: The Closer and Major Crimes, retrieved from

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