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.


@Chuck... how is Rusty that annoying??? He has been an abused teenager now suddenly finding himself in a solid home and enrolled in a top parochial school ( uniform and all) where he can get to know decent kids and his natural smarts could be used in a productive way ( chess team and academics).. There are far far more annoying teens on TV than this kid... He's even noticing that he doesn't really belong hanging in a police station... I am pretty sure he will stay with Sharon.. It would be a silly plot direction to take away one of the distinctive things about this show...


Thanks Miranda...I didn't get to see the episode but I can tell I'm going to love it. Great job breaking down the Raydor/Rusty dynamic and what it brings to the team. You guys need to remember that Provenza is an older man. Change isn't his favorite, but he's willing to adapt and that's what makes his character human. If you all tell me you just roll with every situation in your usual form, I'm not going to buy it. :-)


The procedural side of it to me is almost incidental. It's the backdrop to the wonderful character dynamics on show. It's always characters that hook me into a show, and part of the reason I never really got into The Closer was that the only character who really got a lot of development was Brenda, who was never that interesting or appealing to me. I watched for Sharon, because Mary McDonnell has such depth as an actress that I loved her despite her role simply as an adjunct to Brenda's story. What I'm loving about Major Crimes is that ALL the characters are being painted with finer brushstrokes, and we're getting so much more out of them. Sharon is my favourite, but my newfound admiration for Julio Sanchez, for example, and for Provenza and Flynn, is what has surprised me about Major Crimes. I think it's great. And the new characters just add to that, for me. I love that there is another woman in the regular cast, and Rusty's relationship with Sharon is the heart of the show, as far as I'm concerned.


Sorry, Rusty, to me, is the most annoying teenager on a TV show since Dawn on Buffy. Can't he just go back to turning tricks on Hollywood Boulevard?


Well okay. I'm beginning to accept Rusty. He's not all that bad, for a whiney and annoying teenager.
I like that Flynn has remained constant and that he's getting more screen time and I'm thrilled that Julio is too. Provenza, on the other hand has been all over the map. Over on The Closer he was buffoonishly just putting in his time, now on Major Crimes suddenly he's throwing a tantrum over not being in charge, whining to everyone, habitually slamming Sykes, then just as suddenly recovers, defends her and now he's the jaded yet "Wise Elder"? Ordinarily, such rapid and extreme personality changes require a team of psychiatrists. To me, he's not as interesting anymore, but considering that Flynn and Julio are more up front, and that we're learning more about them, I'm willing to overlook Provenza's multiple personalities.


I too, love the dynamics between Rusty and Sharon. Maybe because Rusty reminds me so much of my nephew at that age (he turned out OK). Rusty really softens Captain Raydor and brings out her maternal nature. I was suprised when she allowed her self to become tearful in front of Rusty and Provenza. And I thought it was true to Prozena's character to chastise Rusty. Another great episode! This show is growing on me. It has a totally different feel from The Closer, but I suppose that's what the creators were aiming for.


Omg "Rusty has earned a place in this former high school teacher's heart," just about killed me. I love MM in BSG! And I definitely agree, I don't mind watching the crime if I get to see Sharon and Rusty's relationship blossom (and the whole team dynamic--Mike and Julio getting more screen time? A-Okay with me!). I wanted to cry when he couldn't see that she really did care for him. Excellent review. Oh and also, when Provenza closes the door on Taylor at the beginning, I chuckled pretty hard haha.

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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?