Performer of the Week: Mary McDonnell

Team TVLine

December 23 2017


Article taken from TV Line.

THE PERFORMER | Mary McDonnell

THE SHOW | Major Crimes

THE EPISODE | “Conspiracy Theory: Part 4” (Dec. 19, 2017)

THE PERFORMANCE | What was most affecting about Mary McDonnell’s Major Crimes swan song (or, technically, penultimate episode) was the nature of the scene that came midway through the hour.

Because yes, earlier in the episode we got an emotional exchange between Sharon and Andy, where she broke down after apologizing “for putting you through all this.” Andy (played warmly by Tony Denison) dismissed the burden she felt, but Sharon nonetheless regretted the “constant anxiety” she had instilled in loved ones with her heart scare. “Sometimes I think… I think it would have been better, easier, for you and the kids if I had just died in that ambulance,” she offered, crushing viewer hearts along with her husband’s.

The subsequent scene inside Sharon’s church, though, stood out — both for the frankness of the conversation and its overtly religious nature (which is so rare on TV). As Sharon met with Father Stan (Mark D. Espinoza), McDonnell managed to communicate both the police commander’s selflessness and sense of duty. By holding out for a transplant, Raydor argued, “I’m forcing everyone who cares about me into hoping that someone with ‘the right heart’ has a fatal accident in my vicinity.” With a nod to God, she asked: “How does He decide that?”

Sharon launched into an anecdote about a young woman who has spent every day of her three months awaiting a transplant living life to the fullest. “She is exactly the sort of person I pledged my life to protect — in the street, I would step in front of a bullet to save her. But in the transplant ward, I could end up taking her chance for a life as full as mine.” When Raydor got to her point, which was to ask for Last Rites, a shaken Father Stan pointed out that God expects us to defend our lives to the end. “Defend, yes. But compete, no,” Sharon retorted, McDonnell making every syllable reverberate. “I do hope for the very best but I must, I must plan for the worst. I have lived my whole life as a Catholic, and if necessary I’d like to die as one, too.”

Script developed by Never Enough Design