Major Crimes Review: Let's Stay Together, Yeah, Yeah

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NOTE: Hey, Major Crimes fans. Carissa's on vacation, so I'm filling in for her this week. Everyone wave to Carissa!

While this week may have given us more of Chief Taylor, (and I, like Carissa, don't care much for the character), "The Shame Game" also delivered more of Sharon and Rusty in the midst of our case-of-the-week. And it's Sharon and Rusty who continue to set this show apart from its predecessor.

Sanchez & Flynn

Using DFCS last week as a way to find out more about Rusty's father was just too easy to be true. There was no way that Rusty would decide not to meet his father and that would be the end of it. Learning that DFCS had brought Rusty's dad to the police station to meet the boy sent Sharon into a spiral of trying to protect not only Rusty, but also herself.

As Captain Raydor on The Closer, particularly in the beginning, she came across as stodgy and cold. But seeing her be so maternal and protective while struggling with the rules she knows are in place for a reason has made her into a character I love. She's conflicted. And that conflict makes her real and relatable.

Rusty has earned a place in this former high school teacher's heart. He wants to seem so strong and grown, but he's really just a fragile kid. All he knows is heartbreak, disappointment and abandonment. Tonight, though, tonight he knew. Tonight he understood that Sharon doesn't want him to leave. He may not understand that she wants to do what's best for him, even at the sake of her own personal loss, but he understood that the adult world is a messy one and her hands may be tied.

The interactions between Rusty and Sharon, particularly her words to him at the end, were superb, proving that they need each other. (You can read what she said, and more, by checking out the Major Crimes quotes page.)

And not only does Sharon need Rusty, but it seems as if her team needs him, too. Watching Flynn and Provenza grow protective over him when just a few episodes ago they were all pitching in money to try to get rid of him shows a different side of these characters, a more loveable side.

I'm pulling for there to be a way for things to work out so that they can all stay together.

The procedural portion of tonight's episode was nothing spectacular, really. An activist working to end sex-trafficking is murdered in his home and a prostitute is seen jumping out of his window near the time of his murder. Provenza is quick to say that perhaps the activist wasn't as pure as he wanted to appear; the others shut him down, as did the evidence.

As it turns out, he wasn't killed because of his work at all. A politician's aide did it. In the study. With a knife. Over a blackmail attempt. While the aide being literally under the noses of Major Crimes the whole time was a decent enough "twist," the story itself was interesting but not integral. We learned that the division all learned a thing or two about interrogation from the Brenda Leigh Johnson School of Detective-ing with all the sleight of hand, including Captain Raydor.

Really though, at least for me, it's seeing the new or slightly different sides of these characters as they interact with one another on the outside and fringe of the week's case that's making Major Crimes a must-see. If we thought they were endearing before, they're even more so now. Case-of-the-week shows are a dime a dozen.

What keeps me coming back isn't the sordid affairs or the brutal murders or the robbery of billionaires. The characters and their stories are why I tune in every week. I feel invested in them and want to see both the subtle and overt ways they grow and develop. I want to know more about what makes each of them tick.

Major Crimes is more personal and that is what makes the show work.

What did you think of "The Shame Game"? Is your favorite part each week the characters or the procedural? Or do they go hand-in-hand?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (68 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


Each week Major Crimes keeps getting better and better. I love how everyone has that surprised little look when they realize that they do like/respect one another. I especially love the relationship between Sharon and Rusty. His character has brought the nuturing, protective side of her. She's still tough as nails but she does have emotions. This show just keeps getting better and better.


I have to say that I didn't think that Sharon would grow on me, but she has. The inspiration to "soften" her by having her interact with Rusty was brilliant on the part of the writers. Having the others in the ensemble have a chance to participate more is also a welcome addition. I have noticed however that while Provenza, Sanchez and Flynn have more airtime that I don't see Lt. Tao doing too much. I would like to see him also have more time. The rest of the cast has really stepped up to the plate and I'm sure that they too enjoy being more involved. Maybe it would make Provenza "happier" to become Sharon's right hand man the way that Gabriel was to Brenda, that would make him take on a more Senior role and make him feel more in charge. As for Sykes, wow, I see people complaining about Rusty, but who could tolerate Sykes when she started? What others might call enthusiastic I just saw as brown nosing, but her character has become better, I like it when she hit the guy who had slipped something into his girlfriends drink and made her hit the people with her car. I thought it was precious when Sanchez says she's beginning to grow on me. I feel like Kyra left while on top and that often happens and the rest of the cast is sort of left behind, and the fans are also left behind. But what this show has managed to do is keep us all together (and them working) but it has really crossed over to a new feeling and even more fans. Good Job!


thank you CHUCK!!I thought i was the only one who thought rusty was annoying as hell...god every episode he makes me mute the tv like shut up already god. i love this show i never ever watched the closer but i think im gonna start since this is the spinoff from it. tnt shows are the best this is probably the best and the second best is rizzolli & isles


Her son and daughter are studying somewhere (or even working already), we were not given details yet. She is separated (but not divorced) with her husband for 20 years, he was a lawyer, but than got into gambling... I don't think we will find out more in season 1.


Where is Sharon's son? She mentioned he was in a frat in college. Did I miss an episode that explains what happened to her husband?


Speaking about Taylor - in this episode he was half dumb, half nice. I think they will use Pope's pattern here, so that being sneaky and melodramatic, Taylor would be sometimes able to recognize his mistakes, and to behave properly. Generally, those three last episodes were great, I'm sad to think we have just three more to go. All the awards for Mary McDonnell for her scene with Rusty.
And although we've criticized episode about Israeli family, now I'm looking forward for a story with more humor, than drama. I'm quite sure, there will be one)


Thank you for reviewing. I am liking this show more and more every week and I really didn't think I would having been such a big fan of the closer! On another note - is there a way to change the order of the comments so that the oldest ones appear first?

Sue ann

@ Francine, that guy was a "John".


Was Rusty' biological father the same guy he was with in The Closer when they witnessed the murder?


Love watching Rusty's progression - I dont know how they will do it, but he needs to stay with Sharon - when he calls her that, it so tickles me, since usually she is addressed by her title - this show is terrific and I say so each week. The character development keeps me coming back and wanting more.

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Major Crimes Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Sharon: Damn it.
Flynn: Wow. Such language.
Provenza: Shocking, I know. It seems that the Captain has suddenly become very frustrated with the system.

Senator: It was great to meet the LAPD's best and brightest...
Provenza: Which am I? The best? Or the brightest?