'Long Shot'

Unbelievably, we have reached the finale of our first season of Major Crimes. And the title of our last episode reflects what many of us thought about our chances of success when we first began this adventure. Amazingly, our audience stuck with us, and so we will be back next year with fifteen brand new stories we hope will serve to intrigue and entertain.

But! Before we go, a few words about our final offering, the culmination of our ten-episode examination of fairness. For this climatic episode, we have chosen to ask if the justice system itself is always fair, and what happens when law enforcement officers are asked to confront political issues without adequate resources.

For example, in his person, Rusty Beck embodies the unfairness of the world: a genuinely decent boy facing a series of terrible choices not of his own making. The rules are not written to protect kids like Rusty, who inhabit a world that would have made Dickens blush with rage. Captain Sharon Raydor (who for me, exemplifies the conscience of the justice system) has dedicated herself - whether she's fully aware of it or not - to becoming Rusty's protector. And now she faces her biggest challenge of all, and the most important deal of her tenure.

Another inquiry underpinning "Long Shot" concerns the ongoing difficulties of our society's struggle with the drug trade. I have no answer - at all - to the thorny question about whether marijuana should be legalized; I only know the justice system has proven itself utterly unable to enforce its will. I'm not taking sides, as tonight's amoral villain, one of the worst criminals we've ever depicted in either series, should adequately demonstrate. But our inability to effectively address illegal drug trafficking creates more and more innocent victims everywhere you look. The intractable nature of this issue seems irresistible to dramatists of all stripes because, while no one can agree on the answer, the question over what to do about

First of all, everyone should know that Jon, who is a great friend and a stupendous actor, was (of course) offered a series regular job on Major Crimes. He didn't want to continue his role on that basis, because so much of his character's personal life had exited with Kyra Sedgwick when she finished her historic run. But TNT knew a good thing when they saw it, and Jon (who I have previously described as a character actor in a leading man's body) is simply too talented to not have his own show. But, in addition to potentially performing as the lead in a new series, the network has agreed to allow Jon to recur on as many episodes of Major Crimes as his heart and his schedule will allow. This was a big shift in TNT's policy, but one they recognized as helpful to all parties involved.

The other question is more complicated. Will Brenda ever make an appearance on Major Crimes? Kyra and I have talked about this several times, and we are both open to the idea conceptually. But Brenda's return would need to be an extremely special occasion. So the answer to the question is, "Yes, definitely, we want Brenda to come back and no, we're not sure how or when." Stay tuned. Brenda works just down the street from her old stomping grounds.

I hate to end our time together so abruptly. Especially considering how lucky all of us at Major Crimes feel about the loyalty shown by our audience. But my hope is that absence will make the heart grow fonder, and that this temporary farewell will be lessened by the certain knowledge that Mary McDonnell, G W Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Phillip P. Keene, Kearran Giovanni, Graham Patrick Martin, Robert Gossett, Jonathan Del Arco, Ransford Doherty, Kathe Mazur and Jon Tenney will all be back next year.

On behalf of myself, our local genius Mike Robin, our writers, producers and crew, thank you for turning our "Long Shot" into something more like a sure thing. I've never been happier to say, we'll be back next year with a new season.