Mary McDonnell, Jon Tenney
Finally, we have come to the end of our second season. Major Crimes will not only finish up business it started last week, but also answer some questions it asked last November, last summer and last year. The manner in which identity and character combine to form human nature - our nineteen episode theme — will, of course, remain a mystery, but we have framed our inquiry as well as we could.
Part of that frame involves dramatizing how two boys from similar circumstances could have turned out so differently. I won't give away our ending — I've never wanted to use this opportunity to present spoilers — but it won't take long to spot the numerous similarities between Rusty and his would-be murderer: both abandoned, both abused as teenagers, both affected by the addiction and drug problems of their respective mothers, and the comparisons do not end there. They see themselves in each other, yet every resemblance is superficial. Our identity is not determined by circumstances alone. Graham Patrick Martin, the young actor who inhabits Rusty Beck like the color green inhabits leaves, gives a remarkable performance as he finally takes the stand against the serial killer, Phillip Stroh. Meanwhile Mary McDonnell and G.W. Bailey lead the rest of the cast in tracking down the murderer who got away last week, trying to find and corner him using the city of Los Angeles as a trap.
There is a lot to say about our very last scene in Sharon's office as Provenza follows up on the title's promise (in more ways than one). Some people might be either confused or surprised by the end; others will say, "But we already knew the answer to this particular riddle." Or, even, "What's all the fuss about?" Since the desire to politicize every aspect of our culture seems to continue in its interminable fashion — and past all reason, too - I also imagine there will be those who insist on seeing the last two minutes of Major Crimes through the limited scope of their own partisan points of view. As is always the case, there will be people from the far left of the spectrum insisting we have produced a crisis where none exists, and people from the far right who will say that we're challenging their beliefs. I can promise you, there has been no attempt to do either. The last few beats of this story are only about two people whose love for each other has led both to do some pretty amazing things. I hope the vast majority of our audience will embrace our show as it fades to black, and in the same way that the characters involved embrace each other. It's a sad comment on the times, but detailing ordinary life on screen seems impossible to do without offending someone's politics. We give up.
All right! Enough with the disclaimers! What you are about to see in the Major Crimes finale are several story lines - spread out across multiple seasons, and even multiple series - come very, very close to a complete conclusion. I'm happy that a series dedicated to law enforcement was able to spare a little time to authentically portray the ordeal of the witness, and that we end this particular perspective on the American justice system with Jeri Ryan playing legal counsel for the hated serial killer, Phillip Stroh. For those of you who are fans of great actors, Ms. Ryan has been lighting up television screens since her series debut as Seven-of-Nine on Star Trek: Voyager, and has gone on to much success in Boston Public, Shark, Leverage and, most recently, Body of Proof (which was cancelled in the middle of a successful run on ABC). Working with Jeri has always been one of my professional goals. And, yes, sci-fi fans everywhere will get a chance to observe the world's most famous Borg go head-to-head with the President of Colonies as we hurtle toward the finish line. Augustus Prew again proves why he is one of the best young actors working in Hollywood, Ron Marasco revisits his role as the unapologetic, proprietary judge, and Jim Beaver (with whom I preformed in the play, Wait Until Dark, over thirty years ago!) presents a pitch perfect version of our very best not-for-profit social service employees, carefully modulating the voice of irritated compassion.
Many thanks to all of you from Mary McDonnell, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Phillip P. Keene, Kearran Giovanni, Graham Patrick Martin, Jonathan Del Arco, Nadine Velazquez, Robert Gossett, Kathe Mazur and Ransford Dougherty, our talented team of writers and directors, the producers and our extraordinary crew for sticking with our new show while we found our footing. We invite you to return this summer, when we present the further adventures of Major Crimes, and begin our tenth season — in one configuration or another — in what will be a decade-long investigation into the American justice system as practiced by the LAPD.
Until then — James Duff