Given how Part 1 of Major Crimes‘ Season 5 finale ended, it should come as no surprise that the conclusion (airing Wednesday at 9/8c, on TNT) has some earth-shaking developments of its own.
Explaining the decision to close the season with this particular two-parter — in which a Marine slayed his father-in-law merely to lure his ex-wife to a Los Angeles funeral, which he then targeted with a bomb — series creator James Duff tells TVLine, “We’ve never really had a mad bomber before, and we’re always looking for stories about criminals that we haven’t seen in our previous 198 episodes.
“It’s hard. All the low hanging fruit is gone!” he adds with a laugh. “But we also wanted to put an explosive punctuation to the end of the series, if that’s what we were doing, and instead it was an explosive punctuation to the end of the season. And as season enders go, it’s pretty big for us.”
As Duff indicated above, the events of this Wednesday’s eventful hour were originally conceived to serve as a series finale, seeing as “TNT was so unsure about whether or not they were going to pick up the series” for Season 6, he shares. But aside from a tweak here and there to some pacing and the catalyst, the storyline remained largely intact after TNT ordered a renewal.
The other draw of this arc is that fact that while the Major Crimes team at this point knows who they’re hunting, they perhaps don’t truly know why, yet. (Hint: the photos that bomber Cristian Ortiz was seen snapping from afar at the cemetery “will loom large in how the case gets solved,” Duff says.)
“The mystery of Major Crimes isn’t just about who did it all the time. Sometimes it’s about how you catch them,” Duff notes. “That’s one of the things we like about the show, that tonally it shifts and the formula shifts. We don’t always have a whodunit, and our finales very often are about people you see committing the crime at the very beginning, and… making the connection to who they are. And since this whole ‘back 8’ winter order has been about ‘connections,’ we wanted to do a two-parter about when you assume you have connections and you don’t, or that your connections are stronger than they are, or that things that should be connected don’t seem to actually work properly.”
While viewers should probably count on another bomb going off (“Ortiz has a lot of C-4 left…,” Duff warns), and yes, a new assistant chief “will be chosen at the end of the episode,” on the personal front, someone’s love life may go boom as well.
“What happens with Gus and Rusty in this episode is typical of how a lot of relationships might end in life,” Duff previews. “It calls upon Rusty to do something that I think is very mature, and I feel like people are anxious to see him do something grown-up.”