Major Crimes Review: A Fly in the Ointment

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"Final Cut" introduced us to new Deputy District Attorney Rios. What a way to bring in a new character.

After the end of the first season, when viewers were brought to tears of happiness via how the story of Rusty ended - with him being an official orphan - her calling him a "Whorphan" was not endearing.

Raydor's Back

That Rios was also somehow finding her way into other crimes outside the Stroh case and bumping heads with pretty much everybody - and with a damned annoying attitude to boot - was a recipe for disaster. Even Chief Taylor had to read her the new rules of major crimes when it comes to getting convictions (i.e., making deals!) versus putting people on trial. The girl had ants in her pants and I just wanted to shake them out of her.

But, gosh, did it bring out the mother in Sharon Raydor and protectiveness of "the uncles" in the rest of the division. My favorite part of Major Crimes is the new family they've developed on the show. Watching them stand up for one another against all else was very gratifying.

The juxtaposition of Rios trying to demand that Sharon release custody of Rusty to foster care and the creepy director who was such a horrible father that his ex-wife killed his current wife just because he was having another child was a really sad state of affairs.

The attempt to make Rios seem even mildly empathetic when he was stuck with his kids full time and she wondered how they would end up didn't work for me. Because they were kids of a director they were somehow more important than a "whorphan?" She still wanted Rusty, a good kid in a horrible situation, put into the foster system. She has a lot to overcome from her introductory episode.

I completely understood Rusty's frustration and unwillingness to cooperate with Rios in the Stroh investigation. He was right that as a victim he shouldn't have had to have such horrible things about his own life come to light in order to testify and do the right thing. But that's how our justice system works. Victims have no rights. Their lives are left wide open to tear apart and use as fodder to try to get the suspect freed. The suspect's life, on the other hand, is closed. What a shame that Rusty had to learn that at such a young age because of what his parents didn't do for him.

It was so touching when Rusty finally decided to talk to Rios and asked Provenza to tell Sharon it was all his idea the do it on his own and why he should be alone. Whatever happened with Rusty and his "dates" was so God awful, even after all the time that passed, he couldn't let them hear about it from his lips. Even as comfortable as he is, and with all the love he feels, a part of him believes that in hearing what he did they would find him disgusting and push him to the curb. To think that real kids do those things every day just saddens me to no end.

So if the Stroh case is going to move forward, do you think we'll see Billy Burke reprise his role as Philip Stroh while Revolution is off the air? Perhaps this is the season we'll see Kyra Sedgewick make an appearance as she delivers testimony or has a reason to visit the major crimes division. Either way, I have really high hopes for this second season. Honestly, the first season set a very high bar of success to meet, but I really think this well oiled machine can do it, even with the presence of the new DDA.

Until next week, check out some thoughts on Major Crimes Season 2 from a recent set visit, and share yours in the comments!


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (91 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I will preface by saying that it is difficult to fill the shoes of THE CLOSER. But what do you do when you like Flynn and Provenza and the rest of the cast except the lead. I know Mary McDonnell won an Academy Award, but don't know how. Didn't like her when on The Closer, but as lead here she is a bore. Last nights show was ho-hum. That Asst. D.A. Rios was obnoxious. They need a serious recast there. Frankly have no interest in Rusty. This is not a soap opera or is it. To me the show seemed disjointed. I don't think at this rate it will make another season, and may not make it beyond 6 episodes.


The character Rios is fine in theory- a little controversy keeps things interesting. However, she may be one of the absolute worst actresses I've seen on tv in a very very long time. She was completely terrible and lacked the ability to give her character the depth and complexity that make all other chapters on that show so interesting. Her voice is also grating. I love this show and its powerful writing is what makes people cara about the characters, but there is no amount of talent or creativity within the writing dept to make the actress playing Rios worthy of being on this show. Please replace her because watching/listening to was actually painful. Love, loved everything else about the episode.


Rios needs to get over herself and get out of the show! The character is totally unsympathetic and abrasive. If you want to give us a character to hate she'd get my vote but I really wanted to punch her out. Julio may be interested but he'd do better finding a woman with a heart to match her brain. I think Sharon is highly underrated -- she's a very private woman with deep emotional wounds in her past (remember, she's not a widow or a divorcee and we have no idea what happened with/to her husband); for her to take Rusty in while developing a rapport with the Squad took a lot of chutzpah. I think the character is developing depth nicely and look forward to seeing more of her. The rest of the squad turned in their usual solid performance. My only gripe with the show? Please give Rusty a haircut!!! Those bangs are SO.DARN.LONG they're distracting. Make him look like a teen - not a coddled adolescent worshiping Bieber.


I'd rather watch The Closer, but with Kyra gone, I'll take Major Crimes over the alternative.


I adore Flynn and Provenza above all and they are why I will continue to watch. I wish Kyra wasn't done too but I'll take my summer dose of the squad. (We love Closer so much that we re-watch at least one ep on A Prime a night.)


Wow. I couldn't disagree more about Mary McDonnell. She is THE reason I watch the show. I think she is absolutely fantastic--forceful, intelligent, caring, etc. Love the dynamic she has with the team and with Rusty. I thought it was a great episode.


I'll stick with Major Crimes a little longer. How depends on two things:
1. They need to get rid of Rios or change everything about her. Her attitude, smirk, speech, and dress are not in keeping with her ADA role, even in LA i do not like the role nor do I like her in the role. She may be given an opening credit, but that easily changes if viewers react to her so negatively. Let's keep it up. Things could change. 2. I agree with those who said that Mary McDonnell's voice is annoying. There is no change in intonation or volume. It shows no emotional involvement in anything she says. I found it the same way when she was in The Closer. I don't remember her in other roles; does she always speak like that? I've always liked the crew, particularly Provensa. He is touching, funny, and now fatherly.


I pretty much understand the attitude of the Crime Family. I watched them stand up for one another. Steve Sedgewick, and Richard Burke attempted to put the boots to me, because the Major Crimes Division Detectives are frustrated, and disgusted about their investigation into my case. First, it's a real Blood thing. Second, everyone wants to copy it. Gossiping liars. It's me that's true blue.


Can't imagine this thing making another season. Mary McDonnell delivers all of her lines in the same expressionless monotone in every episode.


I tune in to this show because of the obvious bond the squad members have with one another and enjoy all of them in their own right. They are also starting to respect Raynor. However, I caught myself cringing having to watch Mary McDonnell in the Raynor role. While McDonnell is a brilliant actress, she just isn't warm and fuzzy, yet forceful, as Kyra Sedgewick was -which this show needs. This season I hope we get more of the squad and much less of both Raynor and Rusty. As for Rios (lots of negative "r"s here), if the writers' goal was to introduce us to a totally disgusting and useless character, they succeeded. Totally not sure why they needed a Rios with the big, superb cast they already have and Raynor being a legal eagle = Rios seems really redundant. Dump Rios. The writers already made sure no one would miss her. Otherwise, a good start to the season.

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Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

Flynn: Okay, never ending budget crisis. The morgue can't get out here until 5 a.m.
Provenza: That's okay. She's got no other place to be.

Provenza: Rusty has the right to have his guardian present!
DDA Rio: His guardian? Are you saying my witness lives with you?