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....
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.
Winter TV: Get scoop on your favorite returning shows
"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 ....
We have arrived at the last two episodes of Major Crimes first winter season, during which we will answer several questions that have accumulated during the previous seven months, and unravel the mystery behind the threatening letters written to Captain Sharon Raydor and her material witness, Rusty Beck.
And we will face two of the final tests of character as this curious case unwinds in unusual fashion...
Used car dealerships have been justly famous for their fast talk and unsophisticated advertising, but their greatest salesmen were once genuine marvels of our culture. Part carnival barker, part magician, part traffic accident: the sincerest practitioners of this art inspired wonder and dark admiration as they daily transformed intelligent people into gullible customers, plopping them (almost without protest) behind the wheels of "one hundred percent guaranteed pre-owned vehicles," and going on to run up the price with a succession of worthless guarantees. Sadly, this marketplace, in which used-car salesmen once bartered with ferocity and cunning, daily diminishes under the pressures of the internet, where customers can go and find the exact car they want, in the exact color, and from the exact year, with an exact price. These dealerships, one successful owner mourns, are becoming less like bazars and more like parking lots, way stations for inventory absent any human connection. The next generation of used car salesmen will have a different character from their predecessors.
And that takes us to the theme we explore in our next episode...
I read once — somewhere in the long ago — that character must be tested like a blacksmith tempers metal. Our personalities are forged in the furnace of our circumstances, pounded into shape between the hammer of our ambitions and the anvil of daily life. I have taken a bit of poetic license here, mainly because this particular metaphor seems slightly overwrought, but let's stay with the fiery image because, when confronted with flames, heroic characters often run toward them instead of seeking safety...
Tony Denison, G.W. Bailey
I was supposed to post some afterthoughts about "All In," last Tuesday or Wednesday and, instead, I am late with my entry about this week's new episode, (which was directed by Jon Tenney, better known to our fan base as Special Agent Fritz Howard). It just goes to show you that our best intentions can suddenly be overwhelmed by the unforeseen. In my case, the surprise was sinusitis and a prescription for some fierce, energy-sapping antibiotics that have forced me to adjust my professional plans. While physically irritating, it has made me even more sympathetic to the detectives in Major Crimes, all of whom find themselves dealing with the unexpected when their holiday vacation gets derailed by a shopping trip to Venice Beach.
We begin with Flynn and Provenza ambling through one of the kookiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles...
One of the fringe benefits of Jon Tenney being loyal to The Closer and its spin-off Major Crimes for so many years? The shows have helped launch the actor's career behind the camera.
Tenney sat in the director's chair once more for Monday's episode (9/8c, TNT), which finds the squad investigating the murder of a baseball scout that turns into a complicated kidnapping case — and TVGuide.com has your exclusive first look at Tenney in action.
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Question: What are your thoughts on the awareness of people in the TV industry regarding the perception that it's always the non-white characters that are killed off shows? It seems impossible to me that those in charge don't see this phenomenon as a problem, and yet, consistently, that seems to be what happens. That reality is so pervasive for me that when I watched the pilot for Sleepy Hollow, my thought as what looked to be the two main characters — a well-known white, male actor (Clancy Brown) and a young, unknown-to-me African-American actress (Nicole Beharie) — approached the spooky, abandoned farm house was, "Seriously, Show? Already you're going to kill off the black actor?"
Mary McDonnell, Graham Patrick Martin
If the recent exigencies of the Great Recession have taught us anything — doubtful, honestly, considering how easily it could all happen again — it's that humans tend to take for granted the status quo in unhealthy ways, and that, worse, we tend to equate being rich with great wealth. During the financial downturn, many people were amazed to find how ephemeral their finances turned out to be. We woke from a sleepy sense of entitlement to find we had been living in a bubble.
So our victim tonight, the manager of a very small investment fund, turns out to have taken on more risk than he knew; his friends and family, who trusted him with their money, are horrified to find that he essentially sold their cow for magic beans, and their lives on country club estates are more tenuous than they first supposed.
Graham Patrick Martin , Bill Brochtrup
As we discussed in the previous blog, one way of dealing with those who hurt us is to forgive them, and another way of dealing with them is murder. Forgiveness seems to be the better route.
This is not to say I'm for dismissing charges in a homicide. The law should have its own say in dealing with criminal behavior. Grace is a human reaction; governments must look at murder in another way. But allowing the justice system to manage our passions and anger and desire for revenge could be one of the best innovations of human civilization.
Clearly, however, the justice system has flaws...