Major Crimes Review: The Unhappiest Family

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I had a lot of problems with "Boys Will Be Boys."

The subject matter was terrible. There's no doubt about it: I don't know how covering the murder of a transgender child by a family member could be handled well, but this felt awful to me.

A Frantic Search

Going after the kid who harassed the victim was done well, and Sanchez when he hunts those who hurt kids. That's his forte, without a doubt. While the child wasn't the killer in the end, it was a satisfying conclusion they were able to charge him with what he did in the bathroom and posted on the Internet. 

What was so difficult for me to watch was the focus on the family, especially on the father, a great guest starring role by Craig Sheffer, who seemed to have "anger" issues. To me, he seemed the only one in the family who cared for his daughter. His anger stemmed from his frustration that the family was in such a messed up situation to begin with and that he felt he was dealing with it alone. I never once imagined he could have murdered Michelle.

Gail O'Grady did a terrific job as the mother who not only couldn't let go of her son to bring a new daughter out of the boy she gave birth to... but worried about the cost, what it would mean to everyone who looked at them and judged them and was obvious choice for the murderer - but they did have me fooled there.

She was cleared, having only protected her remaining son who had killed his sister after learning their father was going to establish residency for her to go to high school somewhere else and begin hormone treatments. In his eyes, she was tearing their family apart and he had had enough. It was quite a difference from the earlier boy we saw fighting on behalf of his sister as the harassing kid walked through the room. It was almost as if by hitting him, he was hitting himself. 

One very strange family in an out-of-the-ordinary situation turned on one another with dire consequences. It was horrible to watch. There wasn't much room to listen to Rios and her whining about looking at the victim's photos and I cheered when Provenza told her to grow up and do her job.

As a part of this episode, Jack brought up Rusty's sexuality. He has been rather ambiguous in his dealings with Chris and every time Jack brings up anything referring to being straight or homosexual or even to dating, Rusty plays the "I have a police escort" card. Will we find out about that part of Rusty's life before he has to deal with the Stroh trial or after? I have a feeling it will be much sooner.

I'd like something a little lighter next week. How about you?


Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (56 Votes)

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


Major crimes has really fallen badly in the scripts this season. The murderer's motive in Final Cut was ridiculous. In Boys Will Be Boys, a minor is questioned without a parent or child advocate present. And the family is so in need of counseling but there was no indication that they ever got it. Nobody asked if they got it and nobody recommends it to them. The show seems to have lost a reality check adviser.


Some boys who trade sex for money with men are gay, some aren't. I'm pretty sure the show is going to have Rusty come out as gay, and soon, maybe next episode, or the one after that; they're spending much too much time dropping such clumsy hints to drag it out any further. And will somebody please push DDA Rios off a high ledge? Man, she is SO annoying.


Spencer got it right. Rusty only has experienced sex with men and only associated with a monetary negotiation. He doesn't know if he is gay or straight or bi. He is uncertain about his sexuality.
The script for "Boys will be Boys", was one of the most difficult to watch performed. Terrible.
It is right up there with the Closer episode of Sanchez's brother being shot and the one about the Japanese mother who kills her daughter so the daughter should not be caught up in a criminal child abuse ring. The short promo/trailer for The Closer showing Kyra photographed from behind and low and she is using her arms and hands tying an imaginary knot, that is a shot from the episode of the Japanese mother.


My opinion on Rusty's predicament with Chris--for what it's worth. He didn't become a teenage male prostitute because he's gay; he chose to deal with men because not many women pick up boys in parks and pay them for sex. Rusty is straight but has never had a boy/girl sexual relationship and is afraid to learn how. I also think he's being protective of Kris because he's in far much more danger than anyone knows. Did you notice is the previous week's episode how many letters he has hidden away? He's had MULTIPLE threats from the letter writer.


Major Crimes continues to be the best of the Cable Dramas following in the footsteps of The Closer.. Unlike Joey, I like the lightness of some episodes since they are mostly dealing with grimm stuff... Having Radar's husband around has been fun... Tom B is a great actor always memebered by me for Major League movies..


Sure, the subject matter was heavy. So was the subject matter of Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, but they were great films. I'm relieved that Major Crimes is moving away from the slapstick buffoonery and devoting way too much time to the Rusty saga. The show has gone back to being what it's supposed to be - engrossing stories about an elite unit that solves the toughest and grimmest of crimes. If they continue along this line I may keep watching the show after all. There are plenty of other places to watch sitcoms if I'm in the mood for one.


I, too, had a lot of problems with this episode. It was difficult to stomach. I was tempted to change the channel. I didn't know how to feel or whose side to take. I understood the frustration of both of the parents and the brother and pitied them all, as well as the victim. I wonder if this was the writers' intention. It was all so heavy. And the ambiguity of Rusty's situation added even more weight to the episode.

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Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 6 Quotes

Jack: So it's a hate crime.
Sharon: Every murder is a hate crime.

Maybe it wasn't him. Maybe it was a family member who did this.