Major Crimes Review: The Merriest Depressing Christmas

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It was the week before Christmas on Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 15 and the squad was, once again, forced to sideline its holiday plans when someone had the audacity to turn up dead.

Such nerve!

The case of the week was pretty good, and for the first time in a while almost impossible to figure out from this end of the screen. It was also nice to have a family member of the victim on hand who was immediately ruled out as a suspect and didn't find themselves back on the list before the hour ended.

Christmas Vacation

It was Buzz's week to shine with the one-liners.

For the first 15 minutes or so, he was on fire. Even after the realities of the case started to hit, it only added more fuel to his already hot tongue. The title of this review is in homage to his wit. I think that's a first.

Oh my God. I didn't think it was possible but Christmas just got more depressing.


There was a lot going on about parents. The murder victim wasn't a great father, and his son was planning to spend Christmas with him because he was going through a divorce. His father died but he did learn, through evidence, that he was never far from his father's thoughts via videos his dad had of he and his sister.

His father had stumbled upon a boy who could throw a baseball with both arms, who also happened to be a boy that went to the family's church. That boy was kidnapped years earlier and the victim was killed to keep his identity quiet.

The whole story was so convoluted you really have to watch Major Crimes online to understand the context, but it was rather brilliantly thought out by the writers. 

While it meant one man lost his father, it also meant another boy was reunited with the mother he lost at age six. His kidnapper told him his parents ran away and left him alone, and he was left with nothing, while his mother had been searching for years. 

Even though the victim's son lost his father, he did discover he was loved more than he knew, and a young boy who had his live torn apart through no fault of his own would be able to get some of it back. That's a merry depressing Christmas, right?

While all of this was happening, Rusty was meeting with Dr. Joe a final time. He didn't like how he felt Dr. Joe kept tricking him into talking about his mother, but Dr. Joe was just trying to get Rusty to open up about his feelings for both his mother and Sharon.

It's still surprising that Rusty feels sad that he is happy with Sharon while his mother is out there somewhere. Rusty doesn't know if she is happy or not, but he assumes not.

She's the one who took money from his friends and left him alone, again; but he's acting as the adult and worrying about her. When Dr. Joe asked if he would leave with her if she showed up, he said he honestly didn't know. Did seeing the other mother and son reunite sway his answer?

It's difficult to watch Rusty feeling so responsible for such an irresponsible woman. He deserves time to be a kid. That's my wish for him. That by next Christmas he has the opportunity to be a normal teenager.

I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get any follow-up to what happened between Andy and Sharon at the performance of The Nutcracker. At least let us know how Flynn's family took everything. We know he's looking for Christmas gifts for his new grandkids and Sharon is still calling him Andy. I'd like more information please!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (36 Votes)

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


Although complex, the case of the week was excellent, I love the intricacies of the family interactions, and this case provided plenty. From the kidnapped child; to the son who felt ignored by his father. We also got insight into Rusty's concern for the mother that obviously dumped him.
This was the best episode to date for me.


I agree. I was hoping for some sort of something in reference to The Nutcracker. I guess I have to be happy that she's calling him Andy and flirtly hitting him in the chest with a file folder - so clearly it didn't blow up in their faces... yet.


another good episode. dr joe and rusty good storyline. don't no who playing doc joe but i like him. rusty has alot on his plate from his past to the present he doing good job. its clear sharon luvs and worries about him very much. would like to no soon who sending those letters

@ barbara

The actor who plays Dr. Joe was on NYPD Blue years ago as the office administrator.


I'm glad that so many people are enjoying the Rusty story line but it has completely lost me. I know how insufferable teenagers are, but this kid is over the top. It's been long enough for him to have learned to lose the tantrums and inappropriate interjections. After his description of life with his mother he still doesn't know if he'd leave or stay? I'll be hitting mute whenever I see him. Give me more Flynn and Sanchez. Please.

@ Hooligan

Are you kidding me? You think a child can overcome that kind of childhood in a snap, because it makes you uncomfortable? If anything, he's not acting out nearly enough. Taking in a child in circumstances like this is not a part time thing that can be set aside when we're bored with it. I'll repeat my observation that one's irritation with his character says a lot about the observer. Why does he irritate you so much? For anyone who's ever been on the street, or worked with kids who have, Rusty is amazingly well behaved and realistic. Beyond that, though, I think the Rusty thread is both well written and expertly played. Rusty was so dead on this week, his vulnerability was totally believable, and I could also believe that Dr. Joe could bring him to that place of vulnerability. "And we're not even dealing with the whole plate, are we?" was the PERFECT line. I hope it was a hint that we'll actually get to dive even deeper into Rusty, that we'll get to watch him sort out the sexual orientation stuff that's been barely hiding between the lines all season. The murder this week also fit the Rusty thread so well this week, better than I've ever seen it; they complemented each other really well.

@ roosterbear

Rusty and his situation does not make me uncomfortable, I just don't like him. I see him as a snotty "know it all." He thinks he's smarter than everyone. Plus, if he's so fragile and vulnerable, why is he allowed such access to investigations? Due to the nature of the crimes, that should be off limits to him.

Martin christiana
@ Hooligan

I couldn't agree more.The constant whining about everything and now the whole "what about my real mother?" garbage is just annoying. Are we just supposed to forget that this woman already abandoned him, and then given an opportunity to come back into his life stole the squad's money and jumped off the bus the run away again?
This show is not even close to what The Closer was. The only reason I watch it is because I'm used to watching a crime drama in this time slot on TNT. If it was cancelled tomorrow I wouldn't miss it at all.

@ Sac Jones

Real people, especially children, are not nearly as rational or logical as you seem to expect. Especially with the mother/child bond, it's totally normal to want her back in his life. There is no other person whose approval counts for more, or is more desired, than one's parents, and even when they're clearly incapable of providing the love and support a child needs (from your detached, outsider's perspective), that hope that things might be different if he got one more chance to earn it takes a long time to die. It's not at all garbage. Maybe you can't forget all the evidence that Sharon is far better for him than his mother is, but it's not realistic to expect him to see it so clearly. I'm glad he's conflicted because otherwise I'd have trouble believing his character.

@ Hooligan

Rusty had to grow up way too soon; so in circumstances I see him as a child, and trying to understand and distinguish socially appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.
He would think about going because he loves his mother and additionally he seems to want to protect her

@ Hooligan

@Hooligan I think Dr. Joe had to get Rusty to realize that his life was threatened long before the letters and before he took to the streets, just by being in the custody of his own mother. He is getting it now. I'm betting he will verbalize it before the finale in January and at least we will move beyond that portion of the story.

@ Carissa Pavlica

I hope you're right about moving beyond the Rusty storyline. I'd rather see the focus on the rest of the cast. By the way, good review.

Ronald simkins

I love Dr. Joe and Rusty! I think that Dr. Joe was Rusty once upon a time that is why they click. I really like they way they are building the relationship of Rusty and Sharon ---and Dr. Joe.

@ isoron

I"m with you. LOVE Dr. Joe. I thought it would be a challenge to write a believable mental health professional that would both serve the plot and move it along, while also being believable. Whoever is doing the research/consulting for that character should get a bonus. I hope they keep him around at least through the inevitable trial.

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Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 15 Quotes

Now I know we were scheduled to take this week off for the holidays. Don't blame me because we have a victim! Blame Flynn.


Nothing says Christmas in L.A. like a string bikini.