Major Crimes

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Major Crimes Review: Something He Deserved?

by at .  Updated at . Comments

So far, it feels as though something is missing, and Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 13 didn't provide the spark that I was looking for.

I can't quite place my finger on it, but the magic that was established during Major Crimes Season 1 and disappeared with the introduction of DDA Rios at the beginning of Major Crimes Season 2, hasn't been reestablished. 

It's not that the stories or characters are badly written, but the thread that used to tie the two together seamlessly is missing. There isn't a commonality that makes me care about the team as they crack the case, which was a lot more prevalent not only on The Closer, but in season one, when there was still discourse between Provenza and Raydor.

Now that the team doesn't have a lot of personal discourse, they're less interesting. We're left with marginal cases and "moments."

Chess Therapy

There were quite a few good moments in "Jailbait." Here are some that stood out for me, and these are the little things that I miss on a more consistent basis:

  • Dr. Morales left the L.A. County Morgue's annual Christmas party to do a preliminary autopsy for major crimes, but he was tipsy so he would have to do all the tests again the next day, and they shouldn't expect his regular genius. He's always been a great character, and his exploration in Major Crimes is much appreciated.
  • When Flynn asked Sanchez if he happened to know Deputy Diaz, and Sanchez got all comically uppity because of course Flynn would think he knew all the L.A. Latinos. Then when Sanchez reached Flynn's desk he realized he did know the guy, and he was married to his sister's best friend from high school.
  • When DDA Hobbs sat on the side of Provenza's desk and he wanted her to stop, so he scrunched up his face and slyly put a set of wind-up chattering teeth on the spot where her behind had just been. Classic Provenza move!

Those are really small in the overall scheme of the series, but are the special touches that set the series apart from every other procedural on the air. Without the interaction between the characters on a larger level, we're stuck with leftovers. Something dramatic needs to happen. The Rusty storyline isn't filling the void.

I think the hope was that Rusty's turn as a witness would be the emotional connection that would pull everyone together. Instead of a big bad like Phillip Stroh; Brenda Leigh vs. Pope; Priority Homicide forced to work with the FBI; the constant threat of restructure because of Brenda Leigh's renegade ways; Brenda Leigh vs. Sharon Raydor; Raydor vs. Provenza and the many other internal conflicts that we've encountered during the run of the two series, Rusty as a witness in the Stroh case was supposed provide that underlying tension. It's not.

That's not to say Rusty's plight and Sharon's reaction to it isn't compelling. What it's explaining to the viewing audience about victim's rights and witness testimony is worth the story in its own right. But it's dragging on too long and not providing enough for the incredibly talented cast to work with on a weekly basis.

The discussions between Sharon and Rusty and Dr. Joe and Rusty about therapy were enlightening. Sharon's take on mental illness and emotional damage as both being reasons to necessitate therapy were helpful to Rusty's cause. Dr. Joe's caring description of Rusty's past situation finally shed some light for Rusty as to why he might be more confused than he even realizes.

Dr. Joe: I'm not sure that you that you understand, in taking care of yourself the way you did, you were subjected to a form of physical abuse that, legally, we would call rape.
Rusty: Rape? No. I was never raped. I charged people for what I did. I solicited. I chose to do that.
Dr. Joe: And did you also choose to be left behind when your mother left L.A. with her boyfriend? Did you choose to live on the streets when you were 15 years old? And if you didn't choose those things, would you describe taking care of yourself under those conditions as something you deserved?

That fit both Rusty's plight and the case of the evening, so it all fell together, but still not enough to make it a stellar episode. 

The ability is there, however. We've all witnessed it before. The introduction of the right tension could once again propel Major Crimes to greatness. Share your thoughts in the comments.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (39 Votes)

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

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I love, love, love all of the characters, and I have to say Mary McDonnell is doing a great job. On the other hand, I have to say I am burned out on this whole storyline with Rusty. He's had a hard life, but he is still stomping around, whining, demanding, not following rules and then more whining when he is reprimanded for not following those rules and expectations. I am ready for Stroh to die and Rusty to be "off to college" with occasional guest appearances at most. If he is going to be a big part of season 3, I beg the writers to consider small modifications to Rusty's character.

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as always good episode. i loved the closer with brenda but kyra chose to leave so now its majorcrimes with sharon and she doing great job as is the rest of cast. i think rustys part is good also i don't think he's bratty the poor kid has alot on his plate and his connection with sharon makes her mellow. would like to see fritz come back which tv guide said he would. i would also like to see jason omara the arsonist come back to shake things up with the team even tho on goodwife now it would still be nice

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Let's face it: that was an excellent episode. And it astonishes me how Major Crimes can get better every week. The problem is that most people still havev the bad habit to compare the show to The Closer. This should've been over on season one. Come on, people, this isn't The Closer, it's Major Crimes! Enjoy the ride!

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I have to disagree also. I thought this was an outstanding episode. I thought the crime of the week was intense. Somewhere in the middle, I started to think about the father, but I did not expect his explosive reaction or his wife's violent one. It was extremely powerful and, yet, totally believable. The crime showed how the families on both sides of the crime were destroyed. It was so much more layered and in depth than any other crime procedural. As for the Rusty part, last week I was kind of tired of him, this week, I was totally back in his camp. The part with Sharon telling him about being a witness and how it might affect him and, then, with the therapist finally getting him to realize that it's okay to know that he was treated badly and that he has a right to some sympathy, were absolutely brilliant. I teared up when Rusty was explaining what "he would tell that boy." Absolutely beautiful. Again, I don't think there is any other show right now that can give you such an honest and genuine emotional moment. If I had to pick one episode to show someone why I think Major Crimes is the outstanding television show right now, I would narrow it down to this one, Shame Game, Medical Causes, Poster Boy and Long Shot. As for great moments, let's not forget Flynn, Sanchez and Provenza drawing their guns on the sheriff while Raydor sat there cool as a cucumber. I don't need every episode to be about every character, or to have it full of Provenza's one liners. I think this show has so much going for it that I'm happy to have different aspects of it each week. As for Closer people doing cameos, Jon Tenney is coming back and directed one or two episodes this season. As for the rest, this isn't The Closer. I love all of those characters, but they chose to leave and this is a different show now. If they come back, great, if they don't, no problem.

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I have to disagree with your review. I never thought I would like Major Crimes as much as I did "The Closer." Let's face it - Brenda was incredibly unique and the writing & character development/comedy made it my favorite show. But what they are doing with season 2 of Major Crimes and with Rusty is, in my view, excellent. I also didn't think much of Rusty's character at first. However, as this season progressed and especially with the last two episodes, I find Rusty's slowly coming to terms with his past to be both believable and fascinating. Yes, it's been drawn out and yes, we need to see a conclusion to the storyline, but are we not expecting too much too fast? If he was suddenly 'OK' wouldn't that feel false? There are six episodes left of this season. They are developing his complex character in a way that's believable. I assume next season will deal with the trial and that will be a whole other issue to contend with which could be terrific. We all know Rusty is going to stay with Raydor after the trial so let's get it started and see what the future holds. And let's put an end to the 'is he or isn't he gay' theme. I don't see Rusty as the type of kid who would keep that a secret anyway. It's obvious his concern for his girl 'friend' was about her safety (and his past) and not because he was gay. I might be wrong. Time will tell. He's an excellent actor and I actually teared up both when he told Raydor he loved her last week and his self-realization this week of his 'abuse.' And for all you people looking to see cameo's of Brenda and Fritz - get over it! This is not The Closer, but in its own way just as good.

Gigi2776
@ Annette

I am glad that some one is still getting something out of this show. However, two seasons is more than enough time to wrap up a storyline. And we were promised cameos of Brenda and Fritz, so it's not too much to ask that the producers come through.

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I really like this show and the characters. I have not been disappointed.

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I try really hard to like this show, and for the most part it passes as something to watch. However, I can't through a single episode without mentioning how much I despise the Rusty character. He's the embodiment of a self-centered, smart-ass, brat. For example, the dialogue he had when he was first introduced to the therapist last night. Here's a guy who is trying sincerely to help this kid and what he gets in return is a boatload of disrespect and sass. I WISH he would go into the Witness protection program just to get him off the show. What are we in now, Season 3? The show just doesn't seem to be "about" anything. The bad guy of the week is caught way to easily, you have three characters (Rusty, Rios, and Sykes) that are annoying and uninteresting, and it never has that "A-HA!" moment the Closer always had.

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@ sacjones

I agree , Rusty is annoying at best but it is worse watching his whining scowl. I fast fwd thru his scenes now, which doesn't leave much of Provenza, Flynn , Chou (sp?), et al.

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@ sacjones

I can promise you that any therapist qualified to talk to Rusty is well equipped to handle such sass. And we're in the second half of Season Two. I find everyone's discomfort with Rusty really interesting. Cases like this take a long time to come to trial. If anything, he's adjusted to a normal living arrangement way too fast. It's even easier to see when you watch the episodes back to back; the Rusty thread is not dragging at all. It's not like we've had an episode that was totally Rusty; he's a sidebar. I really liked both the actor they picked for Rusty's therapist and the way they've written his character. When I see this many people having a reaction to him, at least one explanation is that he's really well written and triggering something in a lot of people. Why does a bratty teenage boy trigger you? To everyone whining about Rusty: this isn't The Closer. The Closer is history. This is a spinoff. You can't have The Closer back. Get over it.

Modwild

I have tried twice to reply to Gigi, but the comment keeps flying to the top. Sorry G! this is for you.... I'm disappointed we never saw any guest spots from our former Closer friends, as well. What about Gabriel? I know Corey Reynolds is working on his own projects, but seeing him as an emissary of Brenda's team would be great, especially because of how he left the team. With the cancellation of King and Maxwell they need to work hard to get Jon Tenney to show his face. Surely the will be a need to call in the FBI for something. Severing the ties so completely is disappointing.

Hooligan

I also felt this episode was a bit bland. As for the Rusty story line, finish it. Please. However, since therapist Dr. Joe added more depth and explanation about this kid, he was a welcome addition. I know that teenagers think that they're smarter than everyone, but Rusty's arrogant manner removes just about any sympathy he might otherwise get from me. Enough already with him.

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@ Hooligan

I agree -get rid of rusty!

Modwild
@ Hooligan

You know, I get why they've chosen the path they did with Rusty because of how it softened Raydor. However, she's too soft and it took too long. It should not have taken 29 letters from a stalker while under Raydor's care and the threat of witness protection for Rusty to realize he was a victim of abuse. Raydor is more intelligent than squirreling him away from therapists. The other team members seem to have moved on from Rusty. When they all rallied around at his emancipation, it was still touching. Now we need turmoil to get their head in the game.

Hooligan
@ Carissa Pavlica

I agree with you regarding Sharon Raydor. However, that they featured Rusty and his insufferable "I know everything" tantrums for this long, was in my opinion, pointless. After all, the final episodes of The Closer had Raydor's humanity surfacing. Flynn and Sanchez are infinitely more interesting than Rusty and his whine.

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@ Hooligan

It's hard to believe rusty has been drug out so long: whine, smear, talk back, "know-it-all" brat.

Gigi2776

Carissa, you hit the nail on the head!! I've been having this discussion with myself since this summer. I'm starting to care less about the team. The dynamic they had during The Closer and the first season as Major Crimes has disappeared. And yes, Rusty's case and storyline has carried on for way too long. At this point, I'm only watching to see how that particular story ends. Also, we were promised guest spots by Brenda Leigh and Fritz. From what I can tell, there are only 3 episodes left in the season. If the show doesn't pull me back in, I will definitely be deleting it from my DVR line up.

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@ Gigi2776

Who promised guest spots by Brenda Leigh? Kyra said that maybe she may do an appearence, but she didn't say when (I think in the next season). No, there are still 7 episodes left for this mid season, and Fritz there will be in episode 2.16 (now we have seen 2.13).

Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 13 Quotes

Sharon said we would be playing chess. If you're any good, you can figure out what you need to know about me by my game.

Rusty

Oh yeah, right, because all us L.A. Latinos, we know each other, right Flynn? Oh. Huh. I do know him.

Sanchez