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I love the blow to Jack’s ego that Sharon’s failure to file for divorce has, for a while now, been largely pragmatic; of course he responds by convincing himself it has to be about another man instead.  And of course he spills the adoption beans to Rusty after Sharon said she was getting her ducks in a row first. But the resulting scene between Sharon and Rusty is one of my favorite parts of “Jane Doe #38”.  Like the separation/divorce, the adoption is a blend of emotion and situational practicality – he doesn’t need to be her son for her to love him as a mother, but now that she’s legally just his roommate, he does need to be her son for her to retain the parental rights she had as his guardian.

It’s so beautifully telling that Rusty already feels like he’s one of her kids despite never having thought about the adoption scenario; while Jack refers to Emily and Ricky as “our real children” when asking Sharon how they feel about this, when Rusty asks the same thing of her, he refers to them as “your other kids”.

While in season four I have many moments I wish I’d never heard of “Alice Herrera” (thanks to the damn Rusty Beck, Super Journalist storyline), I continue to love this case on its own.  Those increasing pictures on the board throughout – just the girls who match Alice’s description and were actually reported missing add up to that many kids - and then you think about the girls who don’t match, the boys, and all the kids never reported missing in the first place, and the staggering number of homeless teens is a smack in the face.  Alice, Bug, and Slider illustrate the more typical fate of kids who were either abandoned or ran away because of what was going on at home, and remind us (and him) how very fortunate Rusty is to have lucked into a happy ending. 

It’s always so poignant to me that Alice died protecting the property of a woman who’d never even bothered to learn her last name.  That the homeowner bought Alice a hair-cutting kit is on the one hand a touch of depth to a very typical character, but on the other is so out of step with the rest of her; I kind of like it (that she’s not a cartoon) yet kind of wish the kit had been something she had around the house, left by someone else she’d discarded, for consistency with who she – and the entitled little shit she raised – is.

Even back when he was frequently insensitive, Andy was very affected by young victims (I figure that’s rooted in his failures as a father), so it makes sense that a more mature Andy, who’s actively rebuilding relationships with his kids, would be the member of the squad most upset by this case.  I love his disgust prompting Andrea to take a second look at Slider’s callousness and change her mind on the charges, and everyone – including Andrea and Dr. Morales - not just attending but dressing for the day in funeral clothes for the service he arranges.

My one, minor, quibble is that Buzz is even more annoying than usual in this one; Mike simply points out – in response to Provenza’s crime scene speculation that she OD’d since it’s a rich neighborhood in which kids could get their hands on anything - that her clothing and condition indicates she’s not from around there, and Buzz gets his typical indignant smirk on to say, “That doesn’t mean she belongs in the trash.”  No shit, Sherlock; no one implied that, as you well know after ten years with these people. 

I do have one additional, continuity, complaint, but one that may not actually exist given my shitty eyesight -- the damage Julio inflicts on Slider’s car by shooting at it doesn’t seem visible when they surround him in the parking garage, but we don’t get a close look in the latter scene, so the bumper and rear window may in fact be damaged and I just don’t see it.  Can anyone else?

Edited by Bastet
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15 hours ago, Bastet said:

It’s always so poignant to me that Alice died protecting the property of a woman who’d never even bothered to learn her last name.  That the homeowner bought Alice a hair-cutting kit is on the one hand a touch of depth to a very typical character, but on the other is so out of step with the rest of her; I kind of like it (that she’s not a cartoon) yet kind of wish the kit had been something she had around the house, left by someone else she’d discarded, for consistency with who she – and the entitled little shit she raised – is.

I hadn’t previously considered how well they depicted the differences between how Haves and Have Nots [necessarily] relate to money in “Jane Doe #38” —to the extent that it cost “Alice” her life. But now that you’ve got me thinking about the vastly sliding scale of the value of money as demonstrated here between “Alice” and her employer, I have to agree with the writing choice to have the employer purchase the gift of hair cutting tools rather than just having had them laying around the house, because it shows the employer having done something to a make her feel good about herself by spending an amount of money that is insignificant to her but that  “Alice” would have spent much mental energy deciding how to spend. I can imagine the employer patting herself on the back for driving to a beauty supply store** rather than just ordering online, and then, while at the store, using asking for advice on purchasing the haircut kit as an opportunity to elicit praise from the poorly-paid clerk for her generosity as an employer. 

__________________

**Alice's last employer says the "professional" hair cutting equipment was expensive "even used," so I'm not sure exactly where she would have purchased it.

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9 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I hadn’t previously considered how well they depicted the differences between how Haves and Have Nots [necessarily] relate to money in “Jane Doe #38”

In justifying his desire to steal their stuff, Slider describes the household as "the kind where they have, like, ten of everything" so "there's plenty to go around".  (Like in "False Pretenses" where Tyler starts his theft spree by taking one of his hook-ups' many watches, that to this day the guy probably doesn't even realize is missing, but that paid Tyler's rent for the month.)  And the Casses are just irritated that they have to fill out paperwork and get new TVs; it's not any actual hardship for them to have lost their electronics.  (Thad isn't even upset about his schoolwork [on his laptop] going missing.)

But Alice didn't share that attitude; she didn't object to his plan out of fear she'd get fired, but that she cared about Joanna and didn't want him stealing from her.

9 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

**Alice's last employer says the "professional" hair cutting equipment was expensive "even used," so I'm not sure exactly where she would have purchased it.

Yeah, if she'd come across it in a thrift store, remembered Alice saying she's saving up to go to beauty school, and bought it for her, that would be a thoughtful gift - except Joanna would never be in a thrift store.  So she deliberately bought it, but used.

When Rusty contacts her as he begins his quest to discover Alice's real identity, she wants nothing to do with it, so even after knowing how and why Alice died, she doesn't care enough to take a few minutes to answer "I don't know" to questions about the poor girl.

I think she liked Alice on a very superficial level, while they were in the house at the same time - Alice was polite, hard-working, and spoke English.  It was all about approving of her as good help, she didn't care about her as a person.  So I agree the hair cutting kit, however it came about, was at least as much about patting herself on the back for a good deed to the disadvantaged as it was giving Alice something she could utilize.  (Okay, yes, the kit is a necessary plot device for them to realize Bug was involved.  But since they went ahead and wrote in this one seemingly thoughtful action for Joanna Cass, I'm prone to analyzing it.)

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Being a backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off, “Two Options” is an awkward episode, crammed with new characters and technology, and an overall shoot-out style.  Gloria Lim is another Emma Rios, with a horribly clunky one-note introduction, and it’s quite problematic for both such characters to be women of color.  And the idea that the department’s FBI liaison would be recruited to head up the Special Operations Bureau is ridiculous; a federal agent who’s never been a boss is going to be sought out to oversee numerous tactical divisions? 

So, on many principles, I wouldn’t have watched the SOB show had it come to fruition, but every time I watch episodes that hint at it, especially this first one, I wonder what the plan was, particularly with respect to Fritz’s marriage to Brenda (between shipping her off to D.C. and reminding us of his love for kids that she didn't want to have while introducing Ann McGinnis as having lost her husband and child in an accident and having her give him meaningful glances as he holds one of the rescued kids).

But it has elements I like; Ann fits into the Sharon and Fritz side of the dynamic against Taylor nicely.  I like her, including that she turns down the promotion; she doesn’t want to head the division because of all the administrative responsibilities, she wants to remain second in command in order to do the hands-on job she loves.  It’s like Provenza, and when everyone but Winnie Davis runs screaming from the Asst. Chief job.

I’ve mentioned before that I developed the head canon that Ann is one of those who benefited from the work Sharon did as the LAPD’s Women’s Coordinator and is grateful to her (appreciating the circumstances by which she outranks her at their respective ages and experiences), and I’ve since read that the actors discussed the same dynamic, so I’m calling it official.  The respect she shows her is one thing, but there’s also frequent deference despite Ann outranking Sharon; I dig it.

I’m also interested in Jamie Perez, the third-generation officer; what must life as a black cop in a racist organization been like for his grandfather and father, and what’s it like for him now? 

There’s some funny stuff sprinkled throughout a high-stakes case, most notably Julio’s improv with the ice cream truck: Provenza’s WTF reaction to Julio going on an ice cream run (and to Buzz protesting he’d have liked a snowcone), the driver’s “shoot us?!” reaction after his excitement when Julio pretends to deputize him, everyone’s response to hearing what Julio is doing, the actual ruse – it’s wonderful.  (Too many white extras for that park, though; they’re better than many L.A.-based shows with main, secondary, and even tertiary casting, but the extras are a recurring problem [for which both sides of casting are culpable].)

There are also nice personal dynamics throughout, from the established - Provenza knowing the specific pep talk an exhausted Sharon could use from her second in command, and Sharon and Rusty talking about the adoption – to the relatively new - Cooper and Julio, the two “crap magnets” being sent down into the bowels of the building.

I also like the touch of Amy giving the kid in the next apartment her vest while he complains about having to get in the tub.  And of the little girl covering her ears during the shoot-out; her hearing is still going to be fucked up, but that’s usually ignored altogether.

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16 hours ago, Bastet said:

Being a backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off, “Two Options” is an awkward episode, crammed with new characters and technology, and an overall shoot-out style.  Gloria Lim is another Emma Rios, with a horribly clunky one-note introduction, and it’s quite problematic for both such characters to be women of color.  And the idea that the department’s FBI liaison would be recruited to head up the Special Operations Bureau is ridiculous; a federal agent who’s never been a boss is going to be sought out to oversee numerous tactical divisions? 

 

It makes as much sense as bringing in a Lieutenant for a Lieutenant's position and the city paying her a Assistant Chief's salary to bypass local civil service rules. Its the franchise's premise,  Then Captain Taylor and the others had cause to be upset.

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16 minutes ago, Raja said:

It makes as much sense as bringing in a Lieutenant for a Lieutenant's position and the city paying her a Assistant Chief's salary to bypass local civil service rules. Its the franchise's premise,  Then Captain Taylor and the others had cause to be upset.

I'm not objecting to the rank - as you said, we've known from the very premise of The Closer that he'd come in as a Deputy Chief and why - I'm objecting that his FBI experience in no way qualifies him to lead the entire Special Operations Bureau of the LAPD.

Brenda was qualified to run Priority Homicide (or Priority Murder Squad, heh, until she pointed out PMS wasn't a good name) at least, given its purpose - getting confessions that would hold up in court - and her specialty - as "the closer" - and it made all the sense in the world that she was Pope's pick for the job under the circumstances (personal and professional).   (The squad's resentment in response also made sense between her being a woman, an outsider who knew jack about the city or department, and Pope's pet, and getting a rank handed to her rather than working her way up within the LAPD as they had.)

Fritz wouldn't have got the SOB job if he applied for it, let alone been recruited for it, though; there is no reason, personal or professional, that Taylor would seek him out or that Pope would sign off on it.  It was only written in order to set up this potential spin-off, so we lost him as FBI liaison (although I didn't mind Morris as his replacement) and got all these additional characters along with him whenever he appeared for a while.

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After all this time, tonight I noticed something new to add to my extensive list of things that make me laugh in “Cutting Loose”: At the graduation party, when Amy is taking a picture of Rusty with the squad and Jon Worth, Julio jumps up as it’s snapped, since he’s short and standing in the back.

I won’t recount that list of favorite moments, because I’ve pretty much called out the whole episode over the years as it’s packed frame to frame with them, other than to highlight three that are funny because of utterly perfect line deliveries: Sharon’s appalled “I am just surrounded by people with no sense of occasion” reaction to learning Julio is back and no one did anything, Taylor reading the “frowny face” part of Jon’s social media post, and the storage facility worker reiterating “It was cute, and old, and red, and a convertible” when asked for more detail about the cute old red convertible the woman was driving.

Instead I want to explicitly praise the fundamental heart behind the creation of a comedic episode:  I love the meta ones where they take piss out of the entertainment industry, and I appreciate that in this one they went with a character who is completely oblivious to his privilege rather than one who’s an arrogant jerk – Jon Worth became a star when he was a teenager, so he has long since lost all touch with reality (nice touch casting the one guy in Hollywood who hadn’t to play him as he could readily tap into the inner good guy), but within the bubble of fame and fortune in which he lives he has a good heart. 

His introductory scene reveals him perfectly – he makes a grand entrance off the elevator, but he’s respectfully passing on a project rather than snapping/snotting at someone that it's beneath him, and he offers up “Anything I can do, just let me know and I’ll have Kiki do it” because he has an assistant to handle his whole life (he doesn't even know how long a big-ass storage container was in his driveway) but he’s there in the first place, and stays far longer than he was scheduled to, because he genuinely does want to help Lt. Mike.

I also appreciate the touch that the young characters don’t know who he is; he was a huge star back in the day and is still working, but Rusty has no idea who he is and the woman at the storage facility can’t place him as a celebrity, he’s just a guy who looks familiar.  Nice commentary on career trajectory.

My favorite aspect of its presentation of show business is probably the way Kiki is written; she is the absolutely perfect representation of a celebrity assistant (unnoticed in the background and silent unless spoken to yet keenly aware of everything going on, always on her phone, has a Sharpie at the ready, etc.) and they show the myriad stuff she has to roll with regularly, and that she does indeed do so -- she doesn’t even bat an eye at being detained by the federales.  She’s never the butt of a joke and I appreciate that.  Making fun of actors and psycho super fans I’m here for, but not mocking celebrity assistants (a Los Angeles native who worked in the music industry for a time, I’ve known quite a few, and they earn their money), so I like that in taking on their own industry they aimed properly.

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15 hours ago, Bastet said:

I appreciate that in this one they went with a character who is completely oblivious to his privilege rather than one who’s an arrogant jerk – Jon Worth became a star when he was a teenager, so he has long since lost all touch with reality (nice touch casting the one guy in Hollywood who hadn’t to play him as he could readily tap into the inner good guy), but within the bubble of fame and fortune in which he lives he has a good heart. 

The gone-to-soon Luke Perry. 😢

I thought it might be sad watching this one, but it was just really good. 

This time I noticed and enjoyed just how flustered Hobbs/Kathe Mazur was when "Jon" was in the room with her.

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2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

This time I noticed and enjoyed just how flustered Hobbs/Kathe Mazur was when "Jon" was in the room with her.

What I like is that she's initially not; she notes how great he looks despite the crappy lighting in the interview room, but that's it for her level of interest.  Later she's even completely unaffected by him standing next to her in Electronics, because she's focused on the fact that husband hasn't said anything they can nail him with.  But then after Sharon sends Jon in and he successfully riles the husband up into revealing the car's location (meaning they've got him and now he'll confess and accept a plea bargain), she's thrilled and turns totally giddy when Jon returns.  I love that she only gets flustered level of attracted to him when he makes the case for her. 

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5 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Starting Monday, August 29, 2020, Start TV will be airing 2 episodes of Major Crimes Monday-Friday, 7-9 p.m. CDT.

I don't get that station (I have a satellite, so I don't get a lot of these "new" over-the-air channels) and I have the DVDs, but yay for everyone getting another source of residuals, especially now when most of them can't work even if everything else fell into place since production is still largely shut down.

I’ve never had even a flash of recognition about the actor playing the killer in “Sweet Revenge” before, but somehow tonight as soon as he opened his mouth, I realized I knew that voice from something.  I still didn’t recognize his face, but looking him up, I learned he played the asshole boyfriend in a movie I haven’t seen in years, Where the Heart Is.  I have no idea why that suddenly came to me. 

The episode reveals how they wrote themselves into a corner, because it makes no sense that Ricky – who not only has a good relationship with Sharon and lives in the same state, but has met Provenza and calls Andy by his first name – has never met Rusty; Rusty doesn’t go anywhere (in fact, for quite some time he wasn’t allowed to go anywhere), so that would have to mean Ricky hasn’t visited this whole time. 

But I forgive it, because the stuff with Sharon and Ricky is fantastic.  Fundamentally, I like that Sharon has a good relationship with her kids, instead of going down the usual TV path where a career woman has resentful adult children.  Specifically, I love that Sharon is disappointed the case limits her time with Ricky, but she’s not guilt-ridden about it; she just apologizes and moves on.

I also appreciate that Sharon is not blinded by her love for Ricky and excitement at his visit; she assures Rusty this is just the usual sibling adjustment period (I so adore "they're always three") but she takes notice of Ricky’s little comments and when it escalates, she lets him have it.

And, hoo boy, does she let him have it.  I love every moment of that conversation at the condo: her face when she realizes these are Jack’s words coming out of her son’s mouth, mocking her “loneliness” when he tries to mansplain her life, pointing her finger at him about the advantages he’s taken for granted every day of his life, and delivering a guilt trip – complete with full-naming him – that belongs in the Mom Hall of Fame. 

The final part is something I now have to work to keep from being tainted by Sharon’s death, because when Ricky asks if she really wants her future grandkids calling that guy “Uncle Rusty” my mind wants to sob its way down the they’ll call him that, but she won’t see it path and I have to force myself to stay in the moment.  Because “That is a whole lot better than what I’m thinking of calling you right now” is perfectly delivered, and it somehow gets even better from there.  The actor playing Ricky nails the response to her "Oh my god, I am so disappointed in you, I don't even know what to say"; he's new to the role and relationship, but tears up and looks devastated.)

It’s a nice scene at the end, with the sweet definition of family, but my favorite is Ricky telling Sharon not to “snort laugh” at him, since Mary McDonnell does that in real life.

I also like the case; there’s some funny stuff at the crime scene, like Amy's “Why are men ever up late at night on their computers?” and all the guys just looking like oh, yeah.  But it’s weird for Provenza to be the one on the ladder, since climbing is among the things he doesn’t do.

Fundamentally, I love that they were able to nail the surviving slimeballs behind the website.  The scruffy man-child’s gross entitlement is so realistic I instantly hate him when he’s on about how women have been breaking up with men without a second thought.

The killer’s son blaming himself for his mom’s suicide as much as he blames the victim, and trying to protect his dad, is pretty sad.  I love how no one wants his life ruined over this, given his mental state and age when he made the decision.  Sharon trying to assure him mothers know when their sons are temporarily being insensitive idiots and thus don’t take their words to heart is sweet; her face when she realizes he blames himself always makes my heart clench.

Since by the end of The Closer I was watching for the evolving relationship between Brenda and Sharon, it always intrigues me that the walk and talk between Sharon and Fritz as the episode opens reveals she already knows about Brenda’s job offer in D.C. – did Fritz already mention it to her, or are she and Brenda still in occasional touch?

One little thing that only sticks out to me this many viewings in: During the night one scene in the hallway, when Taylor says he’s going to supervise looking for the sniper, the skirt of Sharon’s white dress is wrinkled.  If that scene existed in a vacuum, it would be nice touch of realism, that after a long day in and out of chairs her skirt was mussed.  But in the scene set immediately after in the break room, it’s intact.  So it wasn’t deliberate, and how did no one, especially the script supervisor (in charge of continuity) or wardrobe peeps, fail to notice in that one scene that the costume needed to be steamed?

On the flip side, and in tune with my love for the episode, no matter how many times I’ve seen it, it never fails to make me laugh that Mike’s phone is programmed to bring up a photo of Provenza in his white hat when he calls.

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18 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Starting Monday, August 29, 2020, Start TV will be airing 2 episodes of Major Crimes Monday-Friday, 7-9 p.m. CDT.

👏🎉

That is odd, Major Crimes looks like their only Monday through Friday show as the rest of the schedule remains 7 days a week.

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6 hours ago, Raja said:

That is odd, Major Crimes looks like their only Monday through Friday show as the rest of the schedule remains 7 days a week.

Yeah, I wonder if they'll be doing more rearranging.

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The first 2 episodes of the series aired this evening on Start TV, "Reloaded" and "Before and After." 
2 things:

  1. The first episode of The Closer is titled "Pilot," whereas the first episode of Major Crimes is titled "Reloaded," making it clear there is continuity between the 2 series, but perhaps also leading to (or at least foreshadowing) Major Crimes being snubbed for the Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe recognition that The Closer racked up.
     
  2. When Sharon opens her new desk drawer for the first time, it is full of Brenda's candy stash. Wouldn't that be long gone since Brenda had to give up sweets because of her medical condition? Or was that resolved? 

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

When Sharon opens her new desk drawer for the first time, it is full of Brenda's candy stash. Wouldn't that be long gone since Brenda had to give up sweets because of her medical condition? Or was that resolved? 

Oh yeah, resolved - Brenda's sugar moratorium (during which she forbid anyone in the Murder Room from having it, like that's fair) was short-lived. 

My favorite moment of Brenda's candy drawer other than when Fritz comes in during "Reloaded" to collect its contents while apologetically shrugging at Sharon is in The Closer, when Sharon opens it for Brenda, forcing her to finally fess up that Gabriel asked the multi-million dollar question and Brenda indeed said yeah, let's leave this guy here, revealing there was a leak in the division fueling the Baylor lawsuit.

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Start TV is up to season 2 now. 
Watching insufferable "Evil" (Rusty's word) DA Emma Rios while knowing her future fate is much different than watching her character before knowing she would eventually be found floating in a swimming pool with her blood draining out of her body into the water thanks to Stroh (maybe his last victim?). 
Because so many characters on The Closer and Major Crimes started out unlikable and were later rehabilitated, that's where I thought they'd go with Rios.
But no. 
I wonder if this was always the plan for her character. 
In "Rules of Engagement" (2.7) when Julio is explaining why he doesn't think the murder was gangs, Emma interrupts and talks over him, making him angry, which surprises her since up until then he'd been flirtatious with her.

Quote

[EMMA (AFTER JULIO STORMS OUT)] Does he always get that...that... that... that hostile?

[PROVENZA] Actually, Emma, I think what he was trying to say, in his own way, was: Don't be so damn rude.

[EMMA (AFTER PROVENZA EXITS)] I wasn't rude. I was...

[BUZZ] Obnoxious? Dismissive?

 

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

In "Dark Money" (2.7) when Julio is explaining why he doesn't think the murder was gangs,

That's "Rules of Engagement" (there is no "Dark Money").

1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

I wonder if this was always the plan for her character. 

I can't imagine that being the case.  She wasn't even brought on as a guest star to start, she was added to the main cast from her first appearance.  But Duff and the writers have readily admitted the audience hated her a lot more than they intended.  That unanticipated response seems to be why, after attempts to rehabilitate her during the second half of season two couldn't fully overcome the initial impression, she was not just jettisoned from the main cast after that one season, but only ever brought back in relation to the Stroh case - in season three's "Special Master" finale and then to kill her off as part of the big Stroh showdown to close out the series in season six. 

Duff's original idea for the final Stroh storyline (whenever he might write it) was to bring Brenda back in some way; he had a contract in place with Kyra Sedgwick from the time she left The Closer, but it just didn't work out for a variety of reasons when the time came.  So I don't think "let me kill off Sharon, then have Emma turn up for the funeral and mention something about Stroh, but off her, too, before she can get into it" was a plan back in season two, no.

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1 hour ago, Bastet said:

That's "Rules of Engagement" (there is no "Dark Money").

Whoops. I fixed it. Thanks. 
 

1 hour ago, Bastet said:

Duff and the writers have readily admitted the audience hated her a lot more than they anticipated.  That unanticipated response seems to be why, after attempts to rehabilitate her during the second half of season two…

I don’t remember what happens next with Emma. I skipped the following episode, "The Deep End," when it just re-aired, but I’ll try to catch the rest of season 2 and look for signs of Emma’s rehabilitation. 
Anyway, it’s helpful to know that the writers didn’t think Emma would be detested by the audience.
But calling Rusty a “whore-phan” was pretty unforgivable, and not the last of Emma’s thoughtlessly cruel remarks about Rusty blurted in front of Rusty by Emma. 
I guess the writers thought the audience would not find such remarks so offensive. 
But perhaps even worse was Emma’s sociopathic-level of lack of empathy for Sharon’s feelings. 
I guess since Rusty was still so obnoxiously self-centered at that point, the writers might have thought Emma was speaking for the audience??

Quote

Duff's original idea for the final Stroh storyline (whenever he might write it) was to bring Brenda back in some way; he had a contract in place with Kyra Sedgwick from the time she left The Closer, but it just didn't work out for a variety of reasons when the time came.  So I don't think "let me kill off Sharon, then have Emma turn up for the funeral and mention something about Stroh, but off her, too, before she can get into it" was a plan back in season two, no

No. But Emma just seems so dreadful for so many episodes that I wondered if Duff et al. intended from the time of "Rules of Engagement" to eventually have Emma die some fittingly horrible (for a fictional character) death. 

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

No. But Emma just seems so dreadful for so many episodes that I wondered if Duff et al. intended from the time of "Rules of Engagement" to eventually have Emma die some fittingly horrible (for a fictional character) death. 

Again, I don't think so (and I've certainly never heard anyone say so).  Her one (well, two, as "Special Master" was a two-part episode) appearance between season two and her death two minutes after we were reminded of her in season six make it more likely she was simply dispatched with, and then became another expendable female character down the line when Duff decided the show was going to end in a Rusty vs. Stroh showdown that no one but him gave a shit about.

1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

I’ll try to catch the rest of season 2 and look for signs of Emma’s rehabilitation.

There's a mild thawing in "The Deep End" when Julio acknowledges her, but it really starts in "Backfire" when she takes on Judge Grove over refusing the first deal (which resulted in another murder) and Julio offers to buy her coffee afterward.  In "Pick Your Poison" there's a meta reference when she says "in my ongoing attempt to be less annoying" (about not attending the meeting about Rusty's options) and at the end she's presented as understanding when she offers to deal with the teacher and spare Sharon having to deal with someone who knowingly had sex with a minor.  "All In" ends with her apologizing to Rusty for her psychological evaluation freak-out and genuinely saying she doesn't believe a minor should be endangered as bait in an LAPD operation, and he accepts.  Then in "Return to Sender" she's fiercely protective of Rusty on the stand and properly appreciative of him seizing the opportunity to get the threatening letters admitted, and in the deleted scene at the end there's a blatant moment of understanding when Sharon acknowledges she can't be objective about offering Stroh a deal (which would keep Rusty from having to testify), Emma says she has to be, and they nod at each other before going their separate ways.

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Boo - this doesn't seem to be in syndication in my market anymore.  It was preempted last weekend for some gospel music awards show, but, looking at the schedule, this weekend and next they have an entirely new line-up for Saturday nights.  I can't really complain; they aired it in syndication for four years!  And, even though I don't get the other station that recently started airing it, I have the DVDs.  But there's something comforting about it being on TV.

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In my area it’s being shown two hours later.  They are showing 3.11 Down the Drain and 5.14.  Heart Failure.  
 

Have a feeling we will be losing it too. 

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8 hours ago, Bastet said:

Boo - this doesn't seem to be in syndication in my market anymore.  It was preempted last weekend for some gospel music awards show, but, looking at the schedule, this weekend and next they have an entirely new line-up for Saturday nights.  I can't really complain; they aired it in syndication for four years!  And, even though I don't get the other station that recently started airing it, I have the DVDs.  But there's something comforting about it being on TV.

Yeah. It's like a social gathering of the minds.

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Interesting - another station in Los Angeles has picked it up (Sundays at 1:00 on channel 9, for anyone else in this market), and they're starting with the episode that would have aired last night on channel 13 ("Down the Drain"), had that station not dropped the show from its line-up.  And it's not like a parent network just switched channels; channel 9 is affiliated with CBS (like StartTV, which also recently started airing it, and is about halfway through season 2) and 13 with FOX. 

Anyway, it's football season (for however long COVID allows that to last), so the most I'll be doing is checking in during breaks in play, but, yay, it's back on my TV.

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21 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Why does Chris go to Rios about the letters instead of Sharon?

Remember she doesn't want Rusty to know the information about the letters came from her, so I think one of the reasons is because she can go see Rios without anyone on the squad knowing (even if she managed to catch Sharon at work when Rusty isn't there - which at this protection stage is only while he's in school - it would still get back to him; the whole squad would've seen that Emma ditched to come talk to Sharon on the DL). 

(Of course Rusty knows it was Kris, since she was the only one who knew about the letters - it's not like he was going to believe Emma was snooping through the super cubicle and happened upon them - but getting in the mind of a teenage girl dealing with something out of her league, I can imagine some rationalization at the time she decided to go for it.)

But I think an even bigger consideration is she barely knows Sharon and thus can't guess how her personal feelings might affect her response, but she knows from all Rusty's complaining about Emma that she'll do whatever is necessary to keep him alive in order to protect her case.  Kris doesn't want her to put him in witness protection - she doesn't want him to lose Sharon or be forever lost to his mom - and pleads with her not to, but she's scared for his safety (and he's refusing to spend time with her outside of school so she has no opportunity to try to persuade him to come clean) and figures Emma is the adult who has the personal distance to make an objective decision. 

Edited by Bastet
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Two Options just aired on START TV, for all the talk about DDA Rios when Deputy City Attorney Lim barging into the murder room had to be among the worse outside of the LAPD clueless functionary in scenes of the franchise.

Since the franchise focused on Chief's, except Captain Raydor I think we got SOB instead of Metro Division as a proposed spinoff. Moving Lt Cooper from Robbery Homicide to SOB and needing a place for Fritz when they moved him from the FBI would have been the differences from Shemar Moore's later SWAT series.

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Here in Chicagoland, The CW airings of 2 non-consecutive episodes just switched to Saturday midnight to 1am Sunday CDT and 5-6pm Sunday. This makes more sense chronologically.
The M-F airings of 2 consecutive episodes from 5-7pm CDT are continuing as well.

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On 9/23/2020 at 9:25 PM, Raja said:

Moving Lt Cooper from Robbery Homicide to SOB

He was never in Robbery Homicide; he's been heading SIS (which, on the show, is part of SOB, even though in the real LAPD it's under Robbery-Homicide) ever since we were introduced to the character.

A rage-inducing campaign ad had me switching channels during a break in NFL play, just in time for my favorite scene in "Trial By Fire": Sharon and Rusty in the living room when she comes home and finds him on the couch because he has invited Jeff to spend the night in his room.  The way Rusty smiles when he says "That's how we met" when Sharon explains she's so late because she was trying to identify an anonymous 911 caller is cute, as is the way he says Jeff and his boyfriend "totally broke up" so he has nowhere to go for the night after his flight was canceled.  Plus the Beck'n/Mom stuff.

Fundamentally, I love the way Sharon handles Rusty's crush on Jeff.  This is her third rodeo; she knows if she says he's too old for you and just got out of a relationship, so let it go, she makes him even more attractive.  Jeff has done the right thing in the past, and it's healthy for Rusty to have such a normal adolescent crush given his history, so instead she encourages him to ask Jeff out and - figuring Jeff will let him down easy - reminds him there is a whole lot of life ahead after Badge of Justice, especially since he's getting ready to start college.

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I watched bits and pieces of "Chain Reaction" during breaks in football play, and I love it, but the timing always bugs me: Day one is, according to Sharon’s phone, 12/22, and the party is scheduled for the next night (which makes sense; work on the 23rd, get together at Sharon's that night, and then spend the 24th and 25th with their families).  But the next day is suddenly – as stated twice – Christmas Eve instead.

I also always think how ticked I'd be if I was Provenza's family that he - who admits he only sees his kids and grandkids on holidays - was ditching family Christmas to spend with some random new person (he and Patrice aren't even dating at this point!). 

(In theory, I'd be annoyed if I was Patrice’s family, too, but in her first episode she was written like she either didn’t have family in town or was estranged from them, since it was noted that no one came to sit with her during the 24+ hours she spent at the hospital waiting to see if Keisha was going to make it, so at this point it's written like she isn't changing plans; it's only later that she's written as being regularly involved with her family, even though they still don't like Provenza.)

But, like I said, I love the episode; sticking with the Provenza theme, it has one of my favorite of his lines:  When Sharon recounts to the public defender how they found the choreographer’s body under his client’s bed, stuffed in one of the kid’s cello cases, Provenza says, “Thank God he doesn’t play the triangle.”

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I watched a bit of "Leap of Faith" in the lag between games, and came upon the scene where Sharon tells Rusty - who says he's not that guy in the park anymore - that he never was; circumstances brought him there, that's not who he was.  It's crucial she reiterate that, because she and Dr. Joe only have him to the point where he knows that, but still only feels it as “mostly true".

That shifts to the scene where Bill's girlfriend is notified, and I appreciate the way she's written - in most shows, she'd be a willful idiot, ignoring red flags and endangering her daughter in order to keep a man.  But here there wasn't anything she missed, and when she learns about his past crime, she's shocked and horrified, but not in denial - she's only worried about her daughter, and welcomes the experts interviewing the girl when Sharon cautions her they need to talk to her to find out if anything has happened.

But doesn't the daughter seem a bit old to be making those paper hearts?  (I can't remember, since I only saw those two scenes today, how old she is, but they come across more childish than she looks to be.)

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1 hour ago, Bastet said:

But doesn't the daughter seem a bit old to be making those paper hearts?  (I can't remember, since I only saw those two scenes today, how old she is, but they come across more childish than she looks to be.)

Both the character and the actor were 13 at the time the episode was shot. Thirteen-year-old girls can vary a lot in maturity. More to the point, they tend to latch onto fads as part of beginning to engage with others socially outside of the family, so maybe making hearts was something her classmates were into. 
But, yeah, it would have made more sense if she was around 11.
They said the framed suspect was convicted of taking advantage of a 16-year-old, which could be one of those cases where he was convicted because of her age at the behest of her parents, rather than her unwillingness --we aren't told if he was 18 or 28 when it happened. 
Anyway, maybe the writers decided to make the heart-making girl closer in age to the 16-year-old after they decided to leave it ambiguous as to whether or not the suspect was a pedophile. 

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29 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

They said the framed suspect was convicted of taking advantage of a 16-year-old, which could be one of those cases where he was convicted because of her age at the behest of her parents, rather than her unwillingness --we aren't told if he was 18 or 28 when it happened. 

He wouldn't have got two years in prison if this was an 18-year-old having sex with a 16-year-old who was willing but legally incapable of consent and it was her parents who initiated the complaint; if prosecuted at all, realistically that would have been charged as a misdemeanor (it's a "wobbler" offense, which gets charged differently depending on circumstances).

He slipped a 16-year-old a couple of drinks and brought her back to his place is how it was phrased (something like that; I'm going from memory) and when Provenza marvels that Bill could turn his life around enough to have a healthy relationship, Dr. Joe says he's older now (as I recall, he's about 30), and people's attractions can change with negative reinforcement, although it's hard to do.

So any time it's discussed, it plays to me like this was a guy in his early twenties who behaved in a predatory way towards his teenage victim.  If it had "just" been an age difference case, I think Dr. Joe would have noted that in talking about how it's possible for things to be different now.

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The best scene in Leap of Faith was with Provenza talking to Dr Joe, where he tells him about dating Patrice and how it was a different relationship for Provenza, that was a great scene. I also liked how the episode started with Provenza and Flynn on the phone. 

I was unsure what to make of Bill, the guy who got framed, if he was a pedo or not and if he had changed or not. 

And was the murder premeditated or did the killer just get frustrated with the victim and lose it and kill her? I thought with the way Bill was framed and how he had been researched by the killer made the killing seem premeditated, but I’m not sure. Either way the killer was a massive piece of shit. 

Too much of Rusty and his stuff in this episode.

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21 hours ago, Xeliou66 said:

And was the murder premeditated or did the killer just get frustrated with the victim and lose it and kill her? I thought with the way Bill was framed and how he had been researched by the killer made the killing seem premeditated, but I’m not sure. Either way the killer was a massive piece of shit. 

Premeditated.  He tries to claim it was an accident, Julio scoffs that, what, he then "accidentally" moved her body to the local sexual predator's house, he says he "improvised" that, and Julio goes off about that was no improv, he'd thrown rocks through the windows so he could see where Bill would leave a key (and thus be able to get in with no forced entry).  He denies that, but after learning the rocks were being dusted for prints, that's when he confesses.

So it seems that he'd done his homework, and then on a night when his wife opted not to lock Annie's bedroom door, he seized his opportunity (if it had been on a night when it was locked, he couldn't have claimed this was another instance in which she'd wandered off) to go ahead and kill her and plant the body.

And, yes, he's a massive piece of shit.  Because life with Annie sounded downright miserable, and his wife was never going to allow anyone else to help with her care or admit she was never going to need any less than constant supervision.  So LEAVE.  But he was so caught up in being the honorable stepdad in contrast to the biological father who'd said "we can't handle this" and split; rather than be yet another husband who took off on a special needs kid, he murdered the child who'd loved him as a father because he thought he could get away with it by framing a guy no one would give a shit about.

21 hours ago, Xeliou66 said:

I also liked how the episode started with Provenza and Flynn on the phone. 

That scene is great, and so typical of their relationship - they wind up busting each other's chops, but they're on the phone in the first place because Provenza doesn't know who else to ask what to do with these feelings he's catching, and Andy does in the midst of their aggravation with each other give him good advice.

21 hours ago, Xeliou66 said:

I was unsure what to make of Bill, the guy who got framed, if he was a pedo or not and if he had changed or not. 

He's not a pedophile, as that's someone who is sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children; his victim was 16, and he had no inappropriate feelings for Kayla.  Dr. Joe is cautiously optimistic that he's no longer a predator -- but I don't think Tori will be accepting his proposal. 

I liked the murkiness; of course you're going to hate a guy who's committed rape, especially of a teenage girl, but it's nice seeing the other side of the sex offender registry requirement after the person has done his time explored -- the difficulty in securing employment and housing, and then the high likelihood of being harassed by neighbors and disbelieved by police.  Is that okay for any given individual because of the nature of the past crime and the perceived recidivism rate (which is higher than the actual rate) among the whole cohort?

Thus, introducing a character like Bill, who is odious in one time and place and sympathetic in another -- where do we stop saying, "oh, boo-hoo, rapist" and start caring about what happens to someone in his position?  When he's harassed?  Or not until he's framed for murder?  It makes us think.

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16 minutes ago, Bastet said:

Premeditated.  He tries to claim it was an accident, Julio scoffs that, what, he then "accidentally" moved her body to the local sexual predator's house, he says he "improvised" that, and Julio goes off about that was no improve, he'd thrown rocks through the windows so he could see where he'd leave a key (and thus be able to get in with no forced entry).  He denies that, but after learning the rocks were being dusted for prints, that's when he confesses.

So it seems that he'd done his homework, and then on a night when his wife opted not to lock Annie's bedroom door, he seized his opportunity (if it had been on a night when it was locked, he couldn't have claimed this was another instance in which she'd wandered off) to go ahead and kill her and plant the body.

And, yes, he's a massive piece of shit.  Because life with Annie sounded downright miserable, and his wife was never going to allow anyone else to help with her care or admit she was never going to need any less than constant supervision.  So LEAVE.  But he was so caught up in being the honorable stepdad in contrast to the biological father who'd said "we can't handle this" and split; rather than be yet another husband who took off on a special needs kid, he murdered the child who'd loved him as a father because he thought he could get away with it by framing a guy no one would give a shit about.

That scene is great, and so typical of their relationship - they wind up busting each other's chops, but they're on the phone in the first place because Provenza doesn't know who else to ask what to do with these feelings he's catching, and Andy does in the midst of their aggravation with each other give him good advice.

He's not a pedophile, as that's someone who is sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children; his victim was 16, and he had no inappropriate feelings for Kayla.  Dr. Joe is cautiously optimistic that he's no longer a predator -- but I don't think Tori will be accepting his proposal. 

I liked the murkiness; of course you're going to hate a guy who's committed rape, especially of a teenage girl, but it's nice seeing the other side of the sex offender registry requirement after the person has done his time explored -- the difficulty in securing employment and housing, and then the high likelihood of being harassed by neighbors and disbelieved by police.  Is that okay for any given individual because of the nature of the past crime and the perceived recidivism rate (which is higher than the actual rate) among the whole cohort?

Thus, introducing a character like Bill, who is odious in one time and place and sympathetic in another -- where do we stop saying, "oh, boo-hoo, rapist" and start caring about what happens to someone in his position?  When he's harassed?  Or not until he's framed for murder?  It makes us think.

Good post, I thought the murder was premeditated, and yeah the killer was a massive piece of shit, he should’ve just left, instead he resorted to murder and framing someone all to keep up his image. Julio had to contain his anger when dealing with him I noticed.

I kind of liked the murkiness surrounding Bill as well, I was unsure of what to make of him but I thought there was a good possibility he had changed, I do think his relationship was over though.

The Provenza/Flynn scene at the start and the Provenza/Dr Joe scene later were both great. 

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1 hour ago, Xeliou66 said:

Julio had to contain his anger when dealing with him I noticed.

This is the final episode before his inability to control his anger finally gets dealt with in a meaningful way.  Sharon has had to rein him in several times this season, and then everything comes to a head in "Internal Affairs" when Professional Standards reviews his interviews for the past year (which doesn't even show them the half of it) and says there's a pattern that needs to be addressed.  Sharon brokers the deal that allows him to remain on active duty so long as he attends twice weekly anger management sessions for a year, and Julio acknowledges he needs help and thanks her. 

Of course, shortly into that, he goes berserk on Burning Man and gets suspended for five months.  I appreciate that he was presented as wrong, faced actual consequences, and was only allowed back because he changed his behavior, unlike on most cop shows (one of the reasons I don't watch most cop shows).

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9 hours ago, Xeliou66 said:

Too much of Rusty and his stuff in this episode.

James Duff: "So you're saying you want more Rusty?"

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10 hours ago, wknt3 said:

James Duff: "So you're saying you want more Rusty?"

With each re-watch, I find myself saying, "Shut UP, Rusty" earlier and earlier in the series.  I don't get thoroughly annoyed until season four, and I always love his relationship with Sharon, but good grief, man!

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20 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Now the only part of the Rusty scenes I can't handle is any time Gus speaks.

Gus's trajectory was weird.  He was originally just intended to be "Alice"'s brother, but then Duff decided to make him a love interest for Rusty (because heaven forbid he ever not be thinking of new ways to give Rusty more airtime), so Gus returns for the trial with the hots for Rusty.  And because that was in no one's mind during the original episodes, it makes NO sense.  Where in the traumatic process of discovering one sister is dead and the other is beyond his reach did Gus think, "Mm, I've got to get me some of that kid with the punchable face"?

But then, okay, their relationship is a really good first love for Rusty; Gus is patient with him, but consistently calls him on his selfishness.  Then comes Gus's bullshit false equivalency between Sharon Beck's fetus and Paloma, giving Rusty hell for not wanting to be part of his half sister's life once she exists because he's sad about not being in touch with an actual person he grew up with.  And then they're both idiots about the Napa job offer, when the right course of action is obvious.  But Rusty finally sees it, and does the most mature thing he's ever done.  Boom, done - Gus is off to Napa, and they will inevitably realize the relationship has reached its end.

Except, it's not done.  No, in season six, we get the utterly stupid storyline where Gus had cheated with Aiden and then they broke up, but now Gus is back sniffing around, culminating in that awful sorry about the whole dead mom thing; hey, wanna go ask your stepdad if I can sleep with you? scene.  Fuck off, Gus!

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8 minutes ago, Bastet said:

Gus's trajectory was weird.  He was originally just intended to be "Alice"'s brother, but then Duff decided to make him a love interest for Rusty (because heaven forbid he ever not be thinking of new ways to give Rusty more airtime), so Gus returns for the trial with the hots for Rusty.  And because that was in no one's mind during the original episodes, it makes NO sense.  Where in the traumatic process of discovering one sister is dead and the other is beyond his reach did Gus think, "Mm, I've got to get me some of that kid with the punchable face"?

But then, okay, their relationship is a really good first love for Rusty; Gus is patient with him, but consistently calls him on his selfishness.  Then comes Gus's bullshit false equivalency between Sharon Beck's fetus and Paloma, giving Rusty hell for not wanting to be part of his half sister's life once she exists because he's sad about not being in touch with an actual person he grew up with.  And then they're both idiots about the Napa job offer, when the right course of action is obvious.  But Rusty finally sees it, and does the most mature thing he's ever done.  Boom, done - Gus is off to Napa, and they will inevitably realize the relationship has reached its end.

Except, it's not done.  No, in season six, we get the utterly stupid storyline where Gus had cheated with Aiden and then they broke up, but now Gus is back sniffing around, culminating in that awful sorry about the whole dead mom thing; hey, wanna go ask your stepdad if I can sleep with you? scene.  Fuck off, Gus!

I’m laughing because I’m imagining Duff reading your recap of Gusty and saying something like: Well, yeah, when you put it like that, I guess it didn’t make a whole lotta sense…

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For any G.W. Bailey (Provenza) fans, MeTV will again be showing the M*A*S*H finale movie, "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen", on Veterans' Day, November 11th, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. His character, Rizzo, actually had a pretty decent-sized role in it.

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We got Start channel, I think the first of October, I didn't discover it until about the middle of the month. Now, I'm glued to it most of the day. I love that Major Crimes is on 5 days a week for 2 hour/day. Like others said above, I don't know why it's not on over the weekend except that maybe, here it is part of the Fox digital channels with H&I and MYTV and maybe because it's still being shown on MYTV. COZI was also added, but it took the place of GET which I never watched, there was nothing there I was interested in. The online tv guides have not yet caught up to the changes yet.

Tonight's first episode was Sharon and Andy's wedding. It's so sad/happy. I'm happy for the characters, it was a nice wedding and I love weddings, but it's sad because I know what's coming.

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On 11/5/2020 at 9:36 PM, friendperidot said:

We got Start channel, I think the first of October, I didn't discover it until about the middle of the month. Now, I'm glued to it most of the day. I love that Major Crimes is on 5 days a week for 2 hour/day.

The only problem I have is that it is not HD and I have to turn the volume way up, lol.  I've seen them all countless times, but I love the guys on the squad so much!

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4 hours ago, Babalooie said:

The only problem I have is that it is not HD and I have to turn the volume way up, lol.  I've seen them all countless times, but I love the guys on the squad so much!

One of the good things about having seen all the episodes several times previously is that you can have it on in the background without missing anything and yet still occasionally catch something you missed in the other half dozen viewings. 

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2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

yet still occasionally catch something you missed in the other half dozen viewings. 

I've probably seen them a dozen times, and, yeah, I love when I still notice something for the first time.  It's a crime drama, which isn't normally my thing for a variety of reasons that this show avoids, but it's intelligently and realistically written (for the most part; there are still some TV tropes to speed things along), and the cast is far better than usually assembled for something in that genre, so there are all these layers that are sometimes so subtle I don't realize until my nth viewing specifically what turn of phrase, facial expression, vocal intonation, etc. is responsible for a moment working so well.

Also, the cast - especially Mary McDonnell - is exceptional at reactions, so sometimes it takes several viewings to notice the spot-on reaction of a character who isn't the focus.  They are all so very present, even when they're in the background, and that takes dedication given the tedious nature of filming; that's one of the ways the show benefited from being largely populated by actors who'd honed their craft for decades.

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Speaking of noticing new things after numerous viewings:

Dish recently finally started carrying StartTV.  Major Crimes is on from 5-7 for me, and I usually work until 7:00, but tonight I finished early and turned on the season two premiere, "Final Cut", at 6:00.  While Andy's attempts to get healthy in a hurry are first explicitly explored later in the episode, when he and Provenza are headed to interview the actor the husband asked to alibi him, and it's in episode four of this season that Andy reveals he has high blood pressure, tonight I noticed for the first time that, in the opening scene, Andy is checking his pulse when Provenza first arrives.

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On 11/19/2020 at 12:09 AM, Bastet said:

Speaking of noticing new things after numerous viewings:

Watching 6.5 "Sanctuary City: Part 5" right now and just noticed the background of Rusty's laptop is a pattern of colorized versions of "Alice's" image:
 

mc.jpg

mc2.jpg

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"Cutting Loose,” the episode guest-starring Luke Perry, is airing right now. As sad as it is that “one of the good guys” died so young in March of 2019 due to no fault of anyone, I take small comfort in thinking he didn’t have to go through 2020. 

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