Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 8 Review: Off the Wagon

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Is this the last we've seen of Sharon Beck?


Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 8 was a solid story, and the Gus/Rusty payoff at the end almost made the Sharon Beck nonsense worth it.

But Rusty's bio-mom adds little of value to the show and Rusty could be better used to further the Buzz investigation plot. So hopefully this is the last of her.

It was entirely predictable and annoying that Rusty would have sudden pangs of guilt and love for his new half sibling as soon as he saw the sonogram.

It's particularly obnoxious that almost all the characters that are dragged into this ridiculous storyline co-sign his bio-mom's decision to make him responsible for what she does with her baby.

Actually, Gary's parents invited my mom to move in with them so that they could all raise the baby together.


This blame game is entirely unfair to Rusty. It's also something that many people with substance use problems do in order to justify their drug use.

Rusty has a right to his opinion about his bio-mom's pregnancy. But as Sharon R. pointed out once, he doesn't have the right to dictate what she does with her body or her baby.

He should not be encouraged to allow her to use his new half-sibling to manipulate him into helping her by blaming his choice to be distant from her for her choice not to have any contact with the baby.

Rusty: If anything ever happens to me... damn it.
Gus: What?
Rusty: I love you.

The sweet Gus/Rusty scene almost made up for the stupidity of this whole storyline. Rusty finally admitting his feelings for Gus and allowing himself to be vulnerable was a touching moment.

It would have been even more touching if he came to this conclusion while helping Buzz investigate the death of his father rather than getting sucked back into a relationship with his bio-mom that's sure to cause more unnecessary drama down the line.

Rusty: How do you know when to give someone another chance?
Flynn: There is no formula. But sometimes not giving someone another chance hurts you more than it hurts them.

It was nice to see Flynn as an addict in recovery. I'd forgotten he was an alcoholic, and seeing that inform his choices – and the advice he gives others – was a nice piece of character development.

The case itself had enough twists and turns to keep viewers' attention.

Having Jared be a friend of the family that Flynn didn't want to be guilty was a nice touch. So much evidence pointed to Jared that it was pretty obvious it wasn't him, but the emotional component of the mystery was still enthralling.

Tina: You think someone's gonna mistake you for an actress?
Sykes: They did with you, so why not?

There were also a a whole cast of quirky suspects. Major Crimes does quirky well and it hasn't been using this strength lately.

Tina was the worst, and Sykes' comeback to her was applause-worthy. Chris' mother wasn't much better, with her domineering manner and belief that her son would be perfectly healthy if he were still under her thumb.

Rusty: Hey, Lieutenant. How's the murder investigation going?
Flynn: Oh, just fine. We have lots and lots of suspects but no motive.

Flynn's statement about how many suspects there were and how few motives summed everything up nicely. In the end, it turned out to be an agent with an axe to grind.

The inclusion of the replacement actor could have been prepared for better, but the rationale behind the crime mainly made sense.

Did you realize Sean was a killer? Are you hoping this is the end of the Sharon Beck baby storyline? 

Share your thoughts below and remember: if you missed anything you can watch Major Crimes online to get caught up.

Off the Wagon Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (61 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 8 Quotes

Oxy. The most addictive prescription painkiller available.


Jared is probably wrong, but I promised my daughter I'd give him a serious listen.