Graham Patrick Martin
Monday's Major Crimes finale will attempt to close the book on a major chapter of the show.
As Capt. Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) & Co. try to find the killer who attacked Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin) to prevent him from testifying against serial rapist Philip Stroh (Billy Burke), Rusty will have his day in court.
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"I felt like it was time to put Rusty on the stand and that it was time to see what Sharon's tutelage had accomplished," creator James Dufftells TVGuide.com. "It was time to help get a little closure to the ongoing emotional arc we have been dealing with between Rusty and Sharon in the matter of Philip Stroh. It doesn't mean [Rusty's] out of the woods. It just means things are looking up for him."
Indeed, while Rusty has no more run-ins with his attempted killer, he will face off against Stroh's bulldog of an attorney Linda Rothman (guest star Jeri Ryan). And as you can see in the exclusive sneak peek clip below, Rothman will go to any lengths to discredit Rusty as the prosecution's material witness.
"The battle of wits that you see between Rusty and Rothman is somewhat typical of how witnesses struggle to get their story into the record," Duff says. "Rusty is put on trial every bit as much as Stroh is in this episode. Witnesses have to fight to prove they're innocent as well. It's just the way our justice system works and witnesses are the most vulnerable aspect of the justice system."
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That's precisely why Duff says he built so much of the first two seasons of the show around dealing with Rusty's journey in this case. "No other crime show to my knowledge has taken the time to detail the ordeal of the witness that we have tried to portray," he says. "Witnesses are the weak link in the justice system and they are the most underrepresented characters in any story. They put their lives and reputations on the line in order for law and order to work. I wanted to take someone who was every vulnerable and who was on the outskirts of society, because that's often who you find sitting in the witness chair, and detail their story."
And no matter the outcome of Rusty's testimony, Duff, who also directed the episode, promises that Rusty will have a major breakthrough on a personal level in the finale. "He's created an artful mask behind which he hoped to live," Duff says. "Every time something happened to him emotionally, the mask cracked until he can no longer sustain it. What we see with him in that last scene is the mask off and the vulnerable child stuck and terrified. But [he's] determined to tell the truth."
Major Crimes' Season 2 finale airs Monday at 9/8c on TNT. What do you think will happen in the finale?