Major Crimes Review: The Third Option

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There is always a standout on every installment and on Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 12 the character who got all the good lines was Amy Sykes.

Remember when she was so irksome after first joining the department? Perhaps that means even DDA Rios will eventually become a standout.

Yes, Rios was the DDA of choice on "Pick Your Poison," and amazingly she wasn't a complete annoyance. The writers must have gotten the message from us faithful viewers that the "I hate dead people" joke had run it's course because she actually stood inside next to the bodies of the deceased without making clucking and gagging noises or pretending she was about to faint.


Pick Your Poison Scene

The case wasn't bad, and had a lot of twists and turns leading the team past a few red herrings before the got to the real offender, but about halfway through it became apparent who the killer was going to be. These days, it's always the female teacher sleeping with her male students.

It must be just too taboo for a male to sleep with young girls as the entertainment community has take major strides away from those storylines. I can't think of the last time a male teacher slept with a young girl and claimed to be in love. It's always the women who are the silly goose romantics in these situations. Don't be afraid to switch things of your own making up a bit, Hollywood.

The big finale at the end of Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 11, wherein Rusty was caught having kept all of the letters from his stalker from everyone, and subsequently being turned in by his gal pal Chris still wasn't resolved as of this episode, so we got to see some of their rationale behind the decision making process. 

Up front it appeared there were three options open to Rusty, but Sharon put the kibosh on one of them. That left the witness protection program or staying with Sharon and never giving his protection detail the slip again or being forced into option one against his will. Provenza mentioned there was a third option, and that was all Rusty needed to hear to know exactly what it was - using him as a lure to get the letter writer out and in the open.

It was a cool twist to have the "buy guy" (who everyone kept thinking was "bi-guy") from the high school the murdered kids attended offer himself up as a personal security detail to Rusty. Since he had to out himself as the narc, he couldn't go back as such. As he looked like a student, he could easily provide the protection Rusty needed that would allow him to be a normal kid.

Rusty's past and his wishy-washy behavior over his relationship with Chris have left everyone wondering whether he is a homosexual or bisexual or whatever. While they've never come out and said it, the bi-guy references and Sharon's perked up ears at Rusty's insistence that a mental help professional be experienced in the area to help him with the one issue with which everyone knew he was struggling if he agreed to a mental health evaluation sure made it seem like it's on everyone's minds.

No. It wasn't his sexuality. It was his ability to play chess. How, exactly, a therapist will be able to help a kid play a better game of chess is beyond me, but perhaps some sort of anxiety reducing strategy could be put into play. If it gets them all to the end of the case and he can be a normal boy, they should be all for it.

There were some really enjoyable moments to the episode, even if it felt some of the signature team comedy moments were a bit lacking. Dr. Morales calling Rayor, Sykes and Rios Charlie's Angels a couple times was definitely a highlight. The second time he did it, they turned in unison and it felt very right. Even with Rios!

Provenza sticking up for Rusty is still on point, and I was surprised that Taylor had Rusty's back with Provenza. Normally he'd be the first stickler in any situation and would be all for separation of Rusty and Sharon, but he's seeing the benefit of their relationship as it allows for Rusty to help further the investigation. Even Rios has come on board. Will wonders never cease?

It's the holiday season, and The Closer was always so great at bringing all of the eclectic characters together for off-kilter holiday episodes. I hope over the next five weeks we get to see that with our friends in Major Crimes. Wouldn't it be nice to have a friendly face from the old days pop in for a hello, as well?

What did you think of the winter premiere and what characters are you looking forward to standing out in this short return from hiatus? 


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (34 Votes)

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


The character of Rusty is important and well-written. Graham Patrick Martin is a superb actor. His character needs to stay. What is being overlooked by many people is that there is not just one sub-plot - Rusty - there are two sub-plots, the second being Sharon. Rusty is the conduit into her personality and her changing persona. This type of writing is rare in Television and should be encouraged and cherished.


I don't see the point having Rusty in all the episodes. Him having joined a police operation to see if he's a "team player" is too much of a stretch! How many teenagers/witnesses can lounge around police stations or even be in an actual crime scene? It's just not funny anymore. The show is awesome but the Rusty storyline is too much. The kid playing him has an annoying voice and expression. I push forward everytime he's on my screen. Instead of giving more airtime and storyline for Rusty, why not let the other characters shine? Buzz, Lt. Provenza, Flynn, etc. are actually funny. If the writers obsess about the Rusty storyline some more, I promise to quit watching.


I don't remember the buy-guys actual name. but he was Ned in Ned's declassified school survival guide that used to play on Nick.


I checked IMDB and there's no credit given for the buy-guy. I was wondering who the actor is who played him.

@ krys

I looked for him, too. I was hoping to give him a real name because I'm hoping we see him again. He was a fun character and it would be interesting to have him around once in a while.

@ Carissa Pavlica

I'm hoping we see him again too. Sharon should hire him to guard Rusty since it's basically her fault his cover was blown at the school!


He doesn't want a chess playing therapist to help him play chess better; he wants a chess-playing therapist because that would help the therapist understand him better.

@ roosterbear

I'm hoping we see him again too. Sharon should hire him to guard Rusty since it's basically her fault his cover was blown at the school!

@ krys

Haha! Sorry. Posted that in the wrong thread.


so glad the show is back. when she started on closer she was a thorn in everyones side then she mellowed after awile. i really like sharon now and i like how the whole cast is showcased. personaly i do like rusty i like how she reacts with him.


Rusty and the writers of Major Crimes: A seasoned chess player NEVER
gives a "checkmate" in one move. The narc - equally good at chess - can see the checkmate coming 2,or 3, or 4 steps ahead, at which time he simply resigns and topples his king on its side.

@ Shouki

I think the point they were trying to make is either that the narc wasn't as good as he thinks he is (more likely), or that Rusty is so much better at it that the narc never saw it coming.


Carissa, you misinterpreted the narc. He wasn't "bi-guy" as in bi-sexual. He was "Buy-Guy" as in someone who was under cover attempting to buy drugs. I don't know how you missed this as it was stressed in the show.

@ Jester

That's what I said in the review. "It was a cool twist to have the "buy guy" (who everyone kept thinking was "bi-guy")." Didn't you notice the reaction every time someone said "buy guy"? They all thought it was "bi-guy" from Dr. Morales down on to Rusty. "Oh - you mean NARC!" :-)


Two moments really struck me. 1) Captain Raydor referring to herself as Rusty's "mother" instead of "guardian". 2) Rusty saying "you realize I'm only agreeing to do this because I love you". And the look on Sharon's face afterward.


Make the next 'Major Crime' they solve be Rusty's murder.

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Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

Criminals have rights. Suspects have rights. But witnesses don't? What kind of bullsh*t is that?


What is this? Charlies Angels?

Dr. Morales