Some viewers may fine McDonnell's Rader to be too under control in leading her division, reminding them more of buttoned down schoolmarm. That makes her a good contrast to her predecessor but a little too icy to connect with. To give Rader something of a home life, she has taken in a teenaged material witness Rusty Beck (Graham Patrick Martin), a lookalike for a youthful Leonardo DeCaprio, who was found to be abandoned by his mother in the last episode of The Closer. The street kid is uncooperative for the divorced mother of grown children so we get to see Rader face a situation that cannot be left at the office. But the situation feels like an extremely contrived device found only on television and it's hard to see this working long term.

The producers of Major Crimes clearly hopes to carry on the franchise without its original star and I don't know yet whether the new show can carry the same electric charge without Sedgwick's voltage. The new cast dynamics, more ensemble than star-driven now, may take awhile to gel into a successful formula and maybe then viewers like me can watch this crime show with more conviction.  

*This review First Published 9/8/2012 

**Watch Major Crimes Mondays on TNT