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Y'all know how much I hate the Rusty Beck, Super Journalist storyline of season four, so imagine my eye roll when I finished work early tonight and turned on "Sorry I Missed You" just in time to hear Rusty snotting to Slider (who cracks me up when he sees the "reporter" he's supposed to be meeting with is this kid, and asks if he's writing about Alice as a show and tell project) that he doesn't write for a college paper, he writes for an online vlog.  Yeah, because that's more prestigious.  I mean, it could be, depending on the blog, but this one is produced exclusively by a guy with five minutes of journalism class under his belt who couldn't even get staffed on the student paper. 

But after I put my eyes back where they belong, that scene always makes me think in hindsight, because he tells Slider if he had access to it, he'd know Rusty isn't just some middle class white boy, that he lived on the streets.  When Slider asks about his drug hook-up (to verify his street experience), Rusty says he didn't do drugs, he did sex.  So I wonder if the vlog, in talking about teen homelessness, reveals he survived by hustling, because if it does it's possible Aiden (Gus's boss he cheats on Rusty with) learned by looking him up online and finding Identity, rather than his "well, I hear you'd know all about that" when Rusty refers to being bought coming by way of Gus having revealed it to Aiden.

The greater context of that confrontation between Rusty and Aiden (at the end of season five, when Rusty is being an insecure dolt about the Napa job offer), in which it's clear that Gus has been talking about Rusty to him to some extent, definitely raises the possibility Gus revealed Rusty's past.  And while Aiden might have been curious enough to look Rusty up at one point (like Rusty did him), I can't imagine him caring enough to actually sit and watch any of the vlog entries, so Gus seems more likely as the source, but that was never once noted by anyone as being among his transgressions once they broke up, so I'm not sure.

And I absolutely fucking hate Gus by season six, so if I have one more reason to do so, I'd like to know. 🙂

Edited by Bastet
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I just watched the end of season 1 The Closer.  I had forgotten how much Andy and Taylor had changed over the years. 

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9 hours ago, Ellee said:

I just watched the end of season 1 The Closer.  I had forgotten how much Andy and Taylor had changed over the years. 

It's jarring, isn't it, when you go way back in time like that?  I watched some season one episodes of The Closer a couple of years ago and thought, "Wow, I had truly forgotten how much I hated half these people in the beginning."

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Did anyone watch S4, E6 Personal Effects?  I tried to go to the archive area posted on page 1 but it’s no longer there.  
 

ETA:  I laughed at @Bastet’s comment about ‘hating’ half of these guys in the beginning.  It’s true but by the end of Major Crimes not so much.  It was the perfect cast.  One sees it more and more with each re-watch. 

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Thanks @shapeshifter  I would never have found that.  Yes... I didn’t even think to start at the beginning of the thread  SMH

I went out to find James Duff to see what he is doing now and will probably try a few others.  Am I the only one that had no clue that he is married to Buzz (Philip P Keene)?  No clue.  

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Last night I was thinking about buying a few of the holiday episodes on itunes and was able to get all six seasons for $30.00. I don't know if it's a limited time offer or what, but it's way cheaper than buying each season separately. Slowly making my way through season 1 (again). Just letting everyone know! Also the boyfriend in episode 3, wow, just a terrible person.  

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51 minutes ago, Ellee said:

Thanks @shapeshifter  I would never have found that.  Yes... I didn’t even think to start at the beginning of the thread  SMH

Heh, I have a masters degree in Library & Information Science and was a professional finder of information for 30 years, so I have tricks. 😉

 

53 minutes ago, Ellee said:

I went out to find James Duff to see what he is doing now and will probably try a few others.  Am I the only one that had no clue that he is married to Buzz (Philip P Keene)?  No clue.  

But as far as not knowing the James Duff connection to Philip P. Keene (Buzz), I'm afraid you are the only one here. 😄

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8 hours ago, Ellee said:

Did anyone watch S4, E6 Personal Effects?  I tried to go to the archive area posted on page 1 but it’s no longer there.  

It never was.  When they archived the forums for old shows, replaced them with single threads, and did some big server change, the entire M archive went poof.  Over 5000 posts in the Major Crimes forum alone, so I can only imagine how many altogether.  (Yes, still annoyed.)  So there's only what has been posted here during syndication airings, and the little that is accessible via the Wayback Machine (not much from the Past Seasons sub-section).  Most of the original discussion is gone.

(I didn't watch "Personal Effects" this time around, but I know it well.  And, speaking of things that still annoy me, I wish they'd kept the deleted scene at the end where Rusty gets all awkward when Sharon tells him Andy will probably be spending the night sometimes in the future; Graham Patrick Martin nails the ew, gross, moms have sex face guys get.)

55 minutes ago, Ellee said:

Am I the only one that had no clue that he is married to Buzz (Philip P Keene)?  No clue.

Well, maybe.  🙂  I knew, as I'm thoroughly convinced no one but Duff would have hired Keene (and, in fact, few but Duff have); he sucks.  (As an actor, that is, especially once Duff started giving him storylines in Major Crimes - he was fine enough [other than that hideous surfer 'do he had in the beginning] in The Closer when all he said to do was say "Yes, ma'am" and hit play - but he seems like a good person from the little I know.)

12 minutes ago, TrixieTrue said:

Also the boyfriend in episode 3, wow, just a terrible person.  

Ugh, yes.  I think the actor playing his girlfriend does a terrific job in that hospital room scene where she - wired for the police - goes off on him after getting him to say what they need to nail him; the way she breaks on "You made me kill four people!" is great.

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😂😂 @shapeshifter

I had no clue.  Wouldn’t have even entered my mind.   

I did keep looking for info about the cast.  Apparently my lack of awareness also applies to ages.   Wish they would have kept this show going another couple of years.   Other than a few reruns that was the last of TNT I probably watched. 
 

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Lol I thought Buzz fit in perfectly with the cast and its chemistry.  And it does sound like he is a good guy as he does a lot of charitable work. 
 

I didn’t really find new work that they are currently doing as we all now know I suck at ‘finding things.’  
 

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43 minutes ago, Bastet said:
1 hour ago, TrixieTrue said:

Also the boyfriend in episode 3, wow, just a terrible person.  

Ugh, yes.  I think the actor playing his girlfriend does a terrific job in that hospital room scene where she - wired for the police - goes off on him after getting him to say what they need to nail him; the way she breaks on "You made me kill four people!" is great.

It just occurred to me that the boyfriend in 1.3 "Medical Causes" is very similar to the boyfriend in The Closer episode "Fantasy Date," both with regards to being a horrible human and with regards to his MO. Coincidentally (?) The Closer episode is also 1.3.

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25 minutes ago, Ellee said:

I didn’t really find new work that they are currently doing as we all now know I suck at ‘finding things.’  

Well, there's still not a lot of filming, especially of new shows/movies, going on.  Plus, several of the cast members are high risk for COVID.  Mary McDonnell had her suitcase half packed to film two things in Vancouver when things shut down in March, and has been home ever since.  I'm sure the other older actors are in the same boat.  (I don't know if Tony Denison has made any recent appearances on All Rise; I only watched one episode.)

Michael Paul Chan said a while back he didn't have a tremendous urge to work, so would largely just live off the money this franchise brought him, at least for a time.

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Rewatching season one and I wish Amy had been more like her later season self. She transferred to major crimes from SIS and served in the military, so I would assume that she knew standard procedures. But interrupting the Captain while she was questioning a victim's wife and saying out loud that he was accused of rape (episode 2) and walking into a room and saying "I searched the rest of the barrels and no more dead guys" without knowing exactly who was in the room...sheesh (episode 5). She's really likable, because of the actress, but did some really dumb things. 

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The way Kearran Giovanni embraced Amy's eager beaver tendencies is what landed her the role, and I do like what she does with it, but I'm also glad they backed off on that as Amy settled in.  It's possible Amy was like that in each new job, meaning she got off to a similar start while proving herself in the military and SIS.  She's still pretty young by the time of her transfer to Major Crimes, so I can go with that.  She also has this call me what you want, I don't care because I know what has worked for me (maybe she was like that at the beginning of each new school, too) attitude, so, yeah, the more I think about this, I can definitely see that just being Sykes.

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2 hours ago, TrixieTrue said:

Rewatching season one and I wish Amy had been more like her later season self. She transferred to major crimes from SIS and served in the military, so I would assume that she knew standard procedures. But interrupting the Captain while she was questioning a victim's wife and saying out loud that he was accused of rape (episode 2) and walking into a room and saying "I searched the rest of the barrels and no more dead guys" without knowing exactly who was in the room...sheesh (episode 5). She's really likable, because of the actress, but did some really dumb things. 

She must have risen pretty fast but as a MP and later an undercover tracker and surveillance expert for the LAPD she wouldn't necessarily have much experience with questioning witnesses and suspects 

3 hours ago, Ellee said:

 

I didn’t really find new work that they are currently doing as we all now know I suck at ‘finding things.’  
 

Graham Patrick Martin/Rusty is on the current episode, S4E6 Hopeless Sinner of S.W.A.T 

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4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

But as far as not knowing the James Duff connection to Philip P. Keene (Buzz), I'm afraid you are the only one here. 😄

 

4 hours ago, Bastet said:

IWell, maybe.  🙂  I knew, as I'm thoroughly convinced no one but Duff would have hired Keene (and, in fact, few but Duff have); he sucks.  (As an actor, that is, especially once Duff started giving him storylines in Major Crimes - he was fine enough [other than that hideous surfer 'do he had in the beginning] in The Closer when all he said to do was say "Yes, ma'am" and hit play - but he seems like a good person from the little I know.)


Yeah he was fine as a secondary character, but he didn't have a lot of range. It's a shame that all of the network suits who felt the need to "help" the show creatively told Duff that he could have one Gary Stu, but not two. Instead of trying to force it to become serialized and darker and younger, but still with both Rusty and Buzz as investigative geniuses getting the season arcs.
 

3 hours ago, Ellee said:

I did keep looking for info about the cast.  Apparently my lack of awareness also applies to ages.   Wish they would have kept this show going another couple of years.   Other than a few reruns that was the last of TNT I probably watched.


Me. too. Unfortunately it was part of a new "creative" direction for the network where they dumped all their "boring" police procedurals, which were also their highest rated scripted series and the only ones that re-ran well, to go after younger viewers and mostly failed. They also dropped the original Law & Order which was a shame since they were the only network that actually ran the original network versions instead of the censored syndicated edits.
 

3 hours ago, Bastet said:

Michael Paul Chan said a while back he didn't have a tremendous urge to work, so would largely just live off the money this franchise brought him, at least for a time.


While I understand and respect his decision I'm sorry he's not interested in working more since he's been great in everything I've seen him in. He was one of the characters I wish the show had focused on more instead of Buzz and Rusty. Unfortunately there probably aren't a lot of roles out there that are that creatively interesting.

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I always forget to complain about this when the "Julio wants to become a foster parent" storyline starts in season five: He's already done this.  So the whole thing with him asking how it works is bad enough, but then when they do the entire episode about Cynthia investigating him and later at long last approving him for emergency care of Little Adolf -- apparently, James Duff and the writers forgot their own show, since he got approved for emergency foster care back in The Closer

"Help Wanted" early in season six leads into that gross storyline where he lied about looking for the kid's mother because he wanted to keep him.  (The kid was the son of an ICE agent who raped and murdered several undocumented women working as nannies for kids the son played with at a local park [the ICE agent then got shot in the head by Fritz during a stand-off with Brenda]; he had ditched the kid's mom in Mexico years before and Julio just up and decided she wasn't worthy and he and Mrs. Sanchez should raise the kid ... and then when he finally got caught and the mother his was found, he hit on her.  Julio was fucking gross in The Closer, yo.)  As part of his plan, he got approved as an emergency foster through DCFS.  So he would not have been starting from scratch.

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Starting this Monday, the Closer will be running on Lifetime from 9-11 am (Central), followed by three episodes of Major Crimes, starting from the first episode.   This is scheduled for Monday through Friday.   

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Oh, cool.  I get the East Coast feed on my satellite, so that means MC will be airing from 9 a.m. to noon, way too early for me to watch TV (and I generally don't record things I've already seen numerous times), but I'm glad Lifetime was finally able to pick it up to add to The Closer.  And, yay, more residuals for actors stuck at home.

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6.9 "Conspiracy Theory: Part 4" (in which Sharon dies) happened to make an unscheduled appearance on The U while my TV was on.
I hadn't watched in a long time, and noticed that the script had a lot more foreshadowing than I had noticed. 

One thing that mirrored the death of Brenda's mom on The Closer was Julio telling Sharon he had a couple of things he needed to tell her, but Sharon says "later." 

I can't recall if we ever learn what Julio wanted to ask her, but it doesn't happen before she passes.

Fantastic, nuanced acting of the different responses from those who were closest to Sharon to those who were more of just colleagues. 

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44 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

I can't recall if we ever learn what Julio wanted to ask her, but it doesn't happen before she passes.

He wanted to tell her about transferring divisions (in order to have more time to raise Mark, especially now that his mom was gone).  And probably to thank her, in his low-key Julio way, for everything she did to put and keep him on the path that ultimately resulted in him confronting and controlling his issues so that he was capable of being at this place in his life.  (She brokered the compromise that let him stay on active duty in exchange for twice weekly anger management sessions for a year, suspended his ass without pay for five months when he failed and then not only took him back but put him right back out in the field [knowing he needed to feel like he still fit in and was needed] over Taylor's objections, and set things up for him to confront his residual anger over his wife's death [which was the biggest root of everything].)

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I just saw the pilot episode, and the next two episodes.    I forgot how much I loathed Rusty's haircut, and rotten attitude.   And his whining over finding the mother who dumped him is so awful.      I know why he wants his mother back in his life, but he's in love with the life he thinks he could have with her, but never could in real life. 

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20 minutes ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

And his whining over finding the mother who dumped him is so awful.      

Yet so sadly realistic; she's all he has, and her brand of love is all he's ever known for 16 years.  When she's sober, has a job, and doesn't have a shitty boyfriend, he's happy with her.  It's typical for him to diminish her culpability in his mind - blame Gary for making her dump him, blame himself for making life hard for her (it's heartbreaking in The Closer when he tells Brenda he needs his mother to come back so he can show her he can be better) - and his life on the streets is so godsawful (the Rusty-Brenda parallel in that finale is ham-fisted, but it's still true when he says he's not just dealing with bad people, it's becoming part of who he is and he can't go on like that) that he'd much rather be back with her, especially the "it can be better" version of their life he imagines.

After a couple of years experiencing appropriate maternal love from Sharon, he starts to confront the reality of life with his mom, but even then his perception of when things were acceptable and when they crossed a line remains skewed (we know things went off the rails when he was six, but he thinks it was okay until he was 11); it's an ongoing process.  That process is one of the 248 tragic things about Sharon dying (okay, no, I haven't made a list - but I could); 21 is young for anyone to lose a parent, but for someone who's only five years into truly having one, still overcoming his conditioning and learning to feel secure, it's even more sad to have to move forward with only memories. 

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I just started watching Major Crimes on HBO Max. I was a huge fan of The Closer, and I loved Sharon Rayder's character on that show. I'm excited to finally watch. I haven't had a chance to read everyone's comment, but I plan to; however, I just needed to get something off my chest.

I'm currently on Season 5, and while I thought the first 3 seasons were completely engaging, I am finding it harder to stay engaged now. Not because of Sharon or the writing as I think both are still superb, but because I try loathe Rusty. I imagine that's an unpopular opinion, but while I liked him in the first 3 seasons, the last 2 have really stretched credulity to explain why he's always around and especially in the restricted access portion of the Major Crimes division. 

The Mariana/Alice case was interesting enough, but I am really struggling with the Sharon Beck storyline and the Buzz storyline for Rusty. I'm also not a big fan of the Rusty/Gus relationship. I just can't understand why these two are together since they spend most of their time complaining about the other. I'm also not sure why the writers decided to make Rusty so judgmental this season.  These side storylines take away from the more interesting aspects of the show, and I wish Rusty was an appearance every 4 episodes characters if he must stick around.

That being said, while they don't get a lot of screen time, I do like Rayder and Flynn and Provenza and his new wife that was an ER Nurse. I also really like Sykes and Tao sticks out to me more on Major Crimes than he ever did on The Closer. I actually think all the secondary characters are better used on Major Crimes than The Closer - I actually didn't like Provenza on The Closer but find him hilarious on Major Crimes.

Anyway, I'll catch up with some of your comments, and I hope you'll enjoy a new member to your community.

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1 hour ago, 4evaQuez said:

, while they don't get a lot of screen time, I do like Rayder and Flynn and Provenza and his new wife that was an ER Nurse. I also really like Sykes and Tao sticks out to me more on Major Crimes than he ever did on The Closer. I actually think all the secondary characters are better used on Major Crimes than The Closer

Good point!

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2 hours ago, 4evaQuez said:

I actually think all the secondary characters are better used on Major Crimes than The Closer

By far.  The ensemble getting something to do is second (to Sharon Raydor, whom I adore beyond reason and have since her first appearance in The Closer) for why I like this show a lot better than its predecessor.  So much so I have a hard time watching The Closer other than the Sharon episodes, because the squad is so underutilized.  I didn't know any better at the time, but now that I know who they are and what they can do, watching them just fetch people for Brenda is frustrating.

2 hours ago, 4evaQuez said:

I try loathe Rusty. I imagine that's an unpopular opinion,

Oh, thank you for starting my day off with a hearty laugh.  No, you're in good company with that one.  Plenty of people quit Major Crimes because of him; they liked everything else about the transition from one show to the other, but couldn't handle him.  Add in the larger number who loved the show but complained about him every episode (oh, for the archived forum not to have gone poof in the big server change), and yours is not at all an unpopular opinion.

I roll with him a lot better than most, as I like his early storylines and always flat-out love his relationship with Sharon.  I don't ever dislike him until season four, when he becomes unfuckingbearable as Rusty Beck, Super Journalist (which, of course, has nothing on Rusty Beck, Junior Detective in season five ... and then there's the unforgivable sin of making the whole damn thing about Rusty Beck vs. Phillip Stroh in season six), because by then James Duff is so far up his Mary Sue's ass he can't even see straight and we get storyline after storyline for this little shit while we don't so much as know if Sharon has siblings, where even one of Mike's three kids goes to college, etc.

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42 minutes ago, Bastet said:

By far.  The ensemble getting something to do is second (to Sharon Raydor, whom I adore beyond reason and have since her first appearance in The Closer) for why I like this show a lot better than its predecessor.  So much so I have a hard time watching The Closer other than the Sharon episodes, because the squad is so underutilized.  I didn't know any better at the time, but now that I know who they are and what they can do, watching them just fetch people for Brenda is frustrating.

Oh, thank you for starting my day off with a hearty laugh.  No, you're in good company with that one.  Plenty of people quit Major Crimes because of him; they liked everything else about the transition from one show to the other, but couldn't handle him.  Add in the larger number who loved the show but complained about him every episode (oh, for the archived forum not to have gone poof in the big server change), and yours is not at all an unpopular opinion.

I roll with him a lot better than most, as I like his early storylines and always flat-out love his relationship with Sharon.  I don't ever dislike him until season four, when he becomes unfuckingbearable as Rusty Beck, Super Journalist (which, of course, has nothing on Rusty Beck, Junior Detective in season five ... and then there's the unforgivable sin of making the whole damn thing about Rusty Beck vs. Phillip Stroh in season six), because by then James Duff is so far up his Mary Sue's ass he can't even see straight and we get storyline after storyline for this little shit while we don't so much as know if Sharon has siblings, where even one of Mike's three kids goes to college, etc.

First, thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in my feelings for Rusty. Because he gets so much screen time in seasons 4 and 5, I assumed it was a result of audience demand. I'm happy to hear my issues with the character aren't me sitting at a table for one.

To your bolded, I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about what little we know about Sharon's personal life where she does not have to play a leadership role:

One one hand, something I do love about the Sharon/Rusty relationship is that Sharon is recognizable even in her maternal role. Because Sharon is such a hard character on the Closer and Major Crimes, a lesser show would have used the Rusty relationship as a way of showing us "soft" Sharon, and to use her maternal role as a way of outright contradicting Sharon in her Captain role. For example, I loved how even as a mother Sharon calls Rusty on his crap including his selfishness and quickness to judge others. Sharon still is able to inform Rusty of his great attributes, when he's being too hard on himself, and when he's being too hard on others. Sharon still has a no-nonsense quality about herself as a mother to Rusty that perfectly transfers to her role as Captain Rayder. The actress plays Sharon slightly differently and a little more casual, but the writing also doesn't turn Sharon into a hypocrite or someone who rewards or excuses bad behavior. In other shows, I could see this being a problem to make sure they "humanize" Sharon for the audience.

On the other hand, I actually do dislike that we never see Sharon outside her leadership Rayder role. As Captain Rayder, she's the leader, as a mom, she's a leader, her relationship with Flynn is immediately impacted by his health issues, so she must be a leader, and even her relationship with Taylor felt more like equals or the very least a subordinate who understands how to work the system for her gain. (I just made it to the episodes where Taylor dies, so I haven't seen her dynamic with Fritz yet. However, considering my opinion of Fritz, I assume he's a not very good leader, and she plays the role of leader in their interactions). Speaking of these episodes, because we don't see Rayder with anyone who she can be less guarded and authoritative, she must go to her priest for confession about her feelings regarding killing the white supremacist. I don't want a "soft" Rayder; however, I do wish we could get more of Rayder with an equal to understand her outside her role as captain. 

I think of this mainly because of what Rayder's son said to her when he was against her adopting Rusty. He said that Rayder was "lonely." Honestly, I keep thinking about that interaction because even though we see Rayder constantly surrounded by people, I do wonder if she's lonely because none of these relationships are one of equality where she can drop her guard as leader. Maybe I'll get more of this in the second half of season 5 or season 6. Also, to be clear, I'm not saying this as a criticism of the writing, character, or acting, but because I love the Rayder character, but feel very distant from her in a way that I didn't from Brenda. However, to be fair, they are such different characters that maybe that is intentional from a writing standpoint. 

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27 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

I think of this mainly because of what Rayder's son said to her when he was against her adopting Rusty. He said that Rayder was "lonely."

I thought Sharon Raydor's son was just parroting what his father told him, and his father's motive was to prevent Sharon from adopting Rusty for his (the father's) own financial gain or lack thereof. Sharon may not have had time for a lot of friendships because of a demanding career, but I too chose not to spend time developing friendships for the same reason and never felt "lonely," so maybe I'm projecting somewhat too.

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1 hour ago, 4evaQuez said:

I think of this mainly because of what Rayder's son said to her when he was against her adopting Rusty. He said that Rayder was "lonely." Honestly, I keep thinking about that interaction because even though we see Rayder constantly surrounded by people, I do wonder if she's lonely because none of these relationships are one of equality where she can drop her guard as leader.

I don't think Sharon (it's Raydor, not Rayder) is lonely (nor does Mary McDonnell, but I felt that way before hearing her confirm it).  When Ricky - whose head at the time was filled with stuff Jack said in expressing his "concern" about Sharon wanting to adopt Rusty (and thus finally cut her final legal tie to Jack) - said that in "Sweet Revenge", part of Sharon's epic take-down in response to him mansplaining her own life to her was to mock that notion ("... and I mean that from the bottom of my ever-so-lonely heart").

One of the many things I like about the presentation of Sharon - undeveloped as it is - is that she's content with her personal life.  Rusty and Andy are bonuses rather than filling holes in her existence. 

I agree there aren't many avenues of her life where she's not at least mostly in charge, but I think she likes it that way.  (I love how she immediately finds a way around their agreement that she'd only be the boss at work, everything else would be a discussion, when Andy gets hurt and has to stay with her -- "Well, your doctor said you needed care and supervision".) 

I think part of that is a natural result of meeting Sharon when she's almost 60 - she's raised her kids, she heads a division, she's effectively divorced (and later legally is) - so she's organically in charge in all aspects of her life.  Certainly as a single mom dealing as a sergeant/lieutenant with a paramilitary organization when it was even more inhospitable to women, where her best avenue for advancement - and a little more stability/safety as a parent - was within a department the rest of the LAPD despised, we might well have seen where she needed a space in her life (e.g. a best friend) where she could just drop those burdens and not be the one making decisions all the time.

But I also think it's just her; she's stubborn - she knows how to get her way without rubbing the wrong people the wrong way - and she likes being in the leadership role, whether that's as a boss or a caretaker.  And, boy, as she says (paraphrased), she has a long history of managing while dealing with the male ego, and she's over it. 

(Which, of course, doesn't mean she doesn't need/want/have friends, and that's just one more area of her life it would have been nice to hear even a mention of to help further develop the main character.)

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7 hours ago, 4evaQuez said:

I hope you'll enjoy a new member to your community.

Oops!  I got so excited at having your posts to respond to, I forgot to specifically respond that, yes, indeed, it's nice to hear from someone watching for the first time.  I'm glad you found your way here.

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3 hours ago, Bastet said:

I don't think Sharon (it's Raydor, not Rayder) is lonely (nor does Mary McDonnell, but I felt that way before hearing her confirm it).  When Ricky - whose head at the time was filled with stuff Jack said in expressing his "concern" about Sharon wanting to adopt Rusty (and thus finally cut her final legal tie to Jack) - said that in "Sweet Revenge", part of Sharon's epic take-down in response to him mansplaining her own life to her was to mock that notion ("... and I mean that from the bottom of my ever-so-lonely heart").

One of the many things I like about the presentation of Sharon - undeveloped as it is - is that she's content with her personal life.  Rusty and Andy are bonuses rather than filling holes in her existence. 

I agree there aren't many avenues of her life where she's not at least mostly in charge, but I think she likes it that way.  (I love how she immediately finds a way around their agreement that she'd only be the boss at work, everything else would be a discussion, when Andy gets hurt and has to stay with her -- "Well, your doctor said you needed care and supervision".) 

I think part of that is a natural result of meeting Sharon when she's almost 60 - she's raised her kids, she heads a division, she's effectively divorced (and later legally is) - so she's organically in charge in all aspects of her life.  Certainly as a single mom dealing as a sergeant/lieutenant with a paramilitary organization when it was even more inhospitable to women, where her best avenue for advancement - and a little more stability/safety as a parent - was within a department the rest of the LAPD despised, we might well have seen where she needed a space in her life (e.g. a best friend) where she could just drop those burdens and not be the one making decisions all the time.

But I also think it's just her; she's stubborn - she knows how to get her way without rubbing the wrong people the wrong way - and she likes being in the leadership role, whether that's as a boss or a caretaker.  And, boy, as she says (paraphrased), she has a long history of managing while dealing with the male ego, and she's over it. 

(Which, of course, doesn't mean she doesn't need/want/have friends, and that's just one more area of her life it would have been nice to hear even a mention of to help further develop the main character.)

Ooops, I see you and Shapeshifter tried to more subtlety correct me in other posts. I somehow missed the proper spelling.

Great observation about her age and the part of her life she is currently living. While I think I often thought about how her job in Internal Affairs impacted Sharon professionally and personally, I never thought about her current station in life. She is beyond the need of seeking validation from others. That explains the lack of a confidants; although, I still think Sharon could have benefitted from having one.

Wow. Stubborn is an interesting interpretation as I don't think I've ever seen Sharon as stubborn. In general, I think she's often willing to give people the benefit of the doubt based on new evidence. I think I'm thinking mostly of the other Sharon here. While Sharon Raydor definitely sees Sharon for the addict she is, Raydor is more nuanced in her interpretations of Sharon Beck's character than Rusty. As a leader, she also seems willing to listen to her team's suggestions and even change directions based on their feedback.  And while stern and a stickler for the rules, removed from her IA position, she actually seems more willing to listen to her team when they are less than stellar in their conduct while in the field. I'll have to watch future episodes to see if I'm missing something.

I agree. I wanted to know Sharon outside her Captain Raydor role, which is something I haven't seen yet. However, I also wonder if this was a conscious decision by the writers because this is one of the things that makes for a hard line in distinguishing Brenda from Sharon. 

47 minutes ago, Bastet said:

Oops!  I got so excited at having your posts to respond to, I forgot to specifically respond that, yes, indeed, it's nice to hear from someone watching for the first time.  I'm glad you found your way here.

Thank you! I'm in the process of reading some posts here - I'm not someone who is concerned with spoilers - and I'm amazed at everyone's amazing memory for both The Closer and Major Crimes. I'm doing a binge now, but I'll have to do a rewatch where I view episodes more closely, so I can have the detailed discussions I'm seeing and loving here.

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1 hour ago, 4evaQuez said:

Wow. Stubborn is an interesting interpretation as I don't think I've ever seen Sharon as stubborn.

Well, I noted her brand of it specifically as knowing how to get what she wants without rubbing the wrong people the wrong way; it's a particularly refined stubbornness skill (especially as contrasted to Brenda's scorched earth policy - this is most amusingly evident when Sharon has to get the FBI [meaning, Fritz] to do what she wants).  She's selective on who she'll manipulate and how she'll manipulate them (she won't go outside the law; the ends don't justify the means to her if it violates her oath), but within those bounds, she will not stop. 

And personally, too - she did whatever was necessary to first keep Rusty, and then to lead him through the growing up process.  We can imagine the dogged determination in raising the first two kids, especially under more difficult conditions.

Stubborn has a negative connotation, especially when describing women, but, I - as a stubborn woman 🙂 - think in terms of the strong-willed, persistent, resolute, etc. aspects of the definition.  Tenacious is probably more in line with common vernacular, but I like to reclaim stubborn.

1 hour ago, 4evaQuez said:

As a leader, she also seems willing to listen to her team's suggestions and even change directions based on their feedback.

She's a fantastic boss, truly a team leader; she makes it clear who has the final word, and doesn't hesitate to play that veto card, but she ascertains and acknowledges everyone's strengths and wants their input before making that call.  She's also not afraid to delegate as time goes on, based on relative expertise and experience, and I'm always impressed by that since it was the hardest skill for me to learn in managing people and something I still have to put conscious effort into.

1 hour ago, 4evaQuez said:

However, I also wonder if this was a conscious decision by the writers because this is one of the things that makes for a hard line in distinguishing Brenda from Sharon. 

I'd love to give the benefit of the doubt that it was a conscious characterization-based decision, but I can't; James Duff clearly gave far more thought to the characters he based on his own character traits - Brenda and Rusty - than any of the others, including Sharon, even when she became the center of the new show (that was initially TNT's idea, not his).  Sharon was never his in the way Brenda was, and then came Rusty, his Mini Me.  That's not the only answer, but it affects things.

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Since (for now) Lifetime shows 2 Closers, and 3 Major Crimes, it gives me a change to see the two different ways the characters, and stories are portrayed.    The first few MC episodes weren't good for me, the story and crime was good, but I hated the way Provenza was treated, and kicked in the face by Taylor.     I'm not going to watch the final episodes of MC either.    I still think they could have had Sharon have the heart transplant, and everyone would still have their own stories during that time.   It's not as if she would have surgery today, and be back at work in a month.   Someone I knew had a heart transplant, and it was a matter of months before he could even ride in the front of a car (sternum has to mend), so no air bags could be near him.     After recovery, Sharon could have moved up to the Commander slot, and then the squad would either have Provenza in charge, or someone else, but continue on.     

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12 minutes ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

After recovery, Sharon could have moved up to the Commander slot,

She was already Commander; Mason, in his first act as Asst. Chief, promoted her in "Shockwave" (the season five finale).

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58 minutes ago, Bastet said:

She was already Commander; Mason, in his first act as Asst. Chief, promoted her in "Shockwave" (the season five finale).

I just watched the Shockwave episodes, and The Closer/Major Crimes definitely know how to excel in high octane season finales. I was shockingly touched by the Commander promotion for Raydor. 

As for season 5, overall I loved it. I love Sykes/Honor Roll and Hickman. I think I ship them. Also, did they change the way Sykes is styled this season? She seems a lot more glamourous. I love the tan coat she wears this season, they seemed to have made changes in her makeup, and her ponytails seem a little more styled. Sykes visually stands out this season in a way she previously hasn't.

I was severely disappointed that Camryn Manheim/Winnie Davis wasn't promoted to Asst. Chief. I love the actress, I loved the character, I think Raydor excels when she has an antagonist, and I actually thought an Asst. Chief who is less than thrilled about the Major Crimes division had storyline potential. I also resented how Davis was unceremoniously removed from the Shockwaves follow-up. The show put up so much set-up in the first episode regarding a Davis vs. Major Crimes or even a Davis is wrong about terrorism plot to completely abandon it. Unless Wikipedia is wrong, she doesn't seem to be returning for season 6. I actually liked what the show seemed to be saying about ambition, and ambitious women with her character, and sadly, it doesn't seem like that'll actually go anywhere. That being said, seeing Raydor tell Detective Nolan and the Major Crimes team that regardless of how they feel about Davis, she will not be disrespected in Raydor's presence confirms all the ways I love and respect Raydor. Just an amazing scene.

Speaking of Detective Nolan, unless he earns his weight in Season 6, I'm not quite certain what his purpose is yet. He seems...okay. Honestly, I'm not quite certain of his characterization yet, who he is, the team still seems to be adjusting to him, Raydor seems to forget he's there most of the time, and he has a cockiness that is unearned thus far. He's cute enough and I like his eyes, but as a character, the show seems to be struggling to find his niche. I assume he's there for season 6, but I didn't care enough about his character to check Wikipedia. Is the actor a producer's cousin because I just can't explain his inclusion in the show thus far.

Julio and the junior Klan member is not something I care about. The only episode I've skipped this entire series is the one centering the junior Klan member's mom. I don't care about his grandmother. I don't care about his foster experience. I don't care about his potential adoption. While the idea of a single man fostering and potentially adopting is something I do think has a lot of potential I just don't have an interest in hearing a child spout racism and other forms of hatred. As a minority who was a high school teacher for 3 years, believe me I got my fill, and I don't need to relive those memories in entertainment.

I wish I had more to say about Raydor, but Raydor was Raydor. She was consistent in her values, actions, and characterization. It's odd that for a show that's about Raydor, Raydor doesn't actually get storylines. I will say that she is the type of leader I hope to one day be.

Rusty. Ugh. So I will say this. I do think pairing him with Andrea at least gives him a legitimate reason to be in Major Crimes that wanting to be a journalist does not. Also, I do love that Andrea in no way worships Rusty, nor does she seem to hold him in high regard. He is an intern, and I'm sure one who's there only because of her relationship with Raydor. Similar to Sykes, I've noticed that Andrea is styled differently and more glamorously this season. Her makeup is different and so is her hair. Actually, while Raydor's makeup seems the same, she does have more elaborate hairstyles this season, too. There's one episode where she has this half updo that was stunning. 

Back to Rusty, I struggle with this character so hard. Raydor gets no storylines, and Rusty gets them all - slight exaggeration. I couldn't care at all about Sharon Beck being pregnant. I didn't care about the journalist storyline, and I was so annoyed when the judge had to tell Rusty what a great lawyer he would be. Rusty and Gus completely confound me. I struggle to think of one happy moment the two shared. And while I know they are young, seeing them make even simple disagreements into life altering decisions seem out of place and more appropriate for the CW, and I'm someone who actually likes the CW even though I am in no way in their demographics. One of my least favorite moments between the two is when Rusty is judgmental about Gus wanting to be a chef instead of attending college. Rusty, the boy who was selling himself in Griffith Park to survive seems to not understand that people are sometimes placed in less than ideal situations where they must make hard decisions to survive. Also, I have a bad memory, but why did Rusty flip off the female lawyer in the White Lies episode? Do they have a history I've forgotten? That being said, I love that female lawyer.

The show is also obviously setting up the Philip Stroh return. I am of two minds of this before I watch the final season:

1. I do like that this will give Rusty an actual purpose to be on the show.

2. I do not like that this will give Sharon and the rest of the team a reason to fret over Rusty and turn their attention away from interesting cases to fear for Rusty's safety.

Lastly, I miss Emma Rios. I love the character. Was she unpopular as I feel that she easily has a purpose on the show even without Stroh's inclusion. A Wikipedia search shows me she shows up in season 6. I didn't look to see how many episodes because I do want to be surprised, but I hope she has the same attitude toward the team, Sharon, and especially Rusty that she had in seasons 2 and 3. 

Anyway, I'll update you all during the halfway point of season 6 unless something major happens first.

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2 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

Since (for now) Lifetime shows 2 Closers, and 3 Major Crimes, it gives me a change to see the two different ways the characters, and stories are portrayed.    The first few MC episodes weren't good for me, the story and crime was good, but I hated the way Provenza was treated, and kicked in the face by Taylor.      

Didn't The Closer begin with Lieutenant Provenza as the unwanted old cop that they couldn't force to retire. It was probably why Chief Johnson was given him and then Flynn for Priority Homicide without specialized skills in the first place 

 

It was with Major Crimes that he became the on scene incident commander and reporters would question him as if he were an old source for them. As a "Division", a Captain's job with political approval he never would have retained command of Major Crimes anyway.

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4 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

Also, I have a bad memory, but why did Rusty flip off the female lawyer in the White Lies episode? Do they have a history I've forgotten?

Yes, Linda Rothman was Phillip Stroh's lawyer.  He got the best of her during the preliminary hearing (season two finale), getting the previously-excluded threatening letters admitted.

5 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

I was shockingly touched by the Commander promotion for Raydor. 

I tear up every time I watch it.  It's terrific specifically for Sharon, and she's also standing in for women everywhere, so we feel it in a particular way when she finally gets her due.  (BTW, we have Mary McDonnell to thank for the promotion; she'd periodically ask James Duff if Sharon was ever going to be Commander.)

7 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

That being said, seeing Raydor tell Detective Nolan and the Major Crimes team that regardless of how they feel about Davis, she will not be disrespected in Raydor's presence confirms all the ways I love and respect Raydor. Just an amazing scene.

I love it, too, because it's so clear without Sharon needing to say it that she knows he wouldn't speak that way to a male superior officer, and that pisses her off.

8 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

Honestly, I'm not quite certain of his characterization yet, who he is, the team still seems to be adjusting to him, Raydor seems to forget he's there most of the time, and he has a cockiness that is unearned thus far. He's cute enough and I like his eyes, but as a character, the show seems to be struggling to find his niche. I assume he's there for season 6, but I didn't care enough about his character to check Wikipedia.

Yes, he is, and, no, he doesn't ever wind up having a clear purpose.  Granted, they wound up with only 13 episodes to work with, and there's another new character introduced, too (plus, Mason is new), but just like the storyline of a cop trying to reintegrate to squad life after being undercover - and with Nazis to boot - for so many years doesn't get explored in season five, it doesn't get any better in season six.

11 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

I was severely disappointed that Camryn Manheim/Winnie Davis wasn't promoted to Asst. Chief. I love the actress, I loved the character, I think Raydor excels when she has an antagonist, and I actually thought an Asst. Chief who is less than thrilled about the Major Crimes division had storyline potential.

Mason does prove to be problematic in season six, but in a different way and manner than Davis would have been.

13 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

Also, I do love that Andrea in no way worships Rusty, nor does she seem to hold him in high regard.

Same here. I love to picture Rusty mowing her lawn for eight years, like he agreed to as part of getting her to sign off on him interviewing Slider.  I also love when she snaps her fingers in his face instead of just asking him or otherwise politely gesturing for him to hand her a file in "Cleared History".

15 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

Back to Rusty, I struggle with this character so hard. Raydor gets no storylines, and Rusty gets them all - slight exaggeration.

Yet only slight.  There's only a small percentage of each episode available for personal storylines, and with about 10 characters in the main credits, the overwhelming majority of that precious time is given to Rusty.  And not just more than the other members of the ensemble, but more than the main character.  It's infuriating, no matter how I feel about Rusty himself at any given time.

23 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

I was so annoyed when the judge had to tell Rusty what a great lawyer he would be.

That is a particularly egregious aspect of the Rusty worship going on at that point in the show, because Judge Grove had always been so deliciously cranky and annoyed with Rusty despite the judge's friendship with Sharon.

18 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

Lastly, I miss Emma Rios. I love the character. Was she unpopular

Very.  Duff and the writers have said the audience hated her more than they intended; they tried to redeem her in the second half of season two, but it didn't work and she only ever appeared again in conjunction with the Stroh case.  Which was fine with me; I found her very out of step with the rest of the show, and how often she was the subject of the camera's gaze - especially in that wardrobe of hers - was disturbing.  Gloria Lim is another problematic character, and it's disturbing two women of color were written as such stereotypical antagonists.

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Soooooooooooooooo...I just...I just...I just finished Conspiracy Theory Part 4, and Raydor is apparently dead? I haven't watched the last 4 episodes yet, but I looked at the descriptions, and it doesn't seem to be some type of fake out or dream unless the episode image and descriptions are a fake out. Anyway, I don't actually have anything to say, but I'll be back tomorrow when I finish the last 4 episodes. I'm hoping this is some type of Bobby Ewing in a shower scenario, because...I...just...don't know what I just watched.

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I just started By Any Means, and I was super excited to see my girl, Emma Rios. Then they kill her off in the very next scene. Let me be honest; these last few episodes are going to be difficult to watch. No Raydor. A dead Emma. Is it normal to be pissed off at a show that ended several years ago. I promise this is my last post until I finish the series.

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13 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

I just started By Any Means, and I was super excited to see my girl, Emma Rios. Then they kill her off in the very next scene. Let me be honest; these last few episodes are going to be difficult to watch. No Raydor. A dead Emma. Is it normal to be pissed off at a show that ended several years ago. I promise this is my last post until I finish the series.

I think we are the only two not immediately turned off by the appearance of DDA Rios. Well along with Detective Sanchez 🤤 

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I would say that while the many Deputy DA's were a nemesis of Chief Johnson with the initial focus of Captain Raydor to not just bring a confession but a plea bargain on Major Crimes that outside nemesis shifted to the City Attorney's office

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On 1/17/2021 at 5:09 PM, Bastet said:

I love to picture Rusty mowing her lawn for eight years, like he agreed to as part of getting her to sign off on him interviewing Slider.

I forgot about that! Whenever I watch Irritating Rusty scenes in the future, I'll just imagine him lawn mowing --with Andrea reading a book in a lounge chair where Rusty can see her (so he doesn't try to pull a Tom Sawyer and get someone else to do it), and she's sipping an iced tea.

 

@4evaQuez, as one of the *many* who loathed the character of Emma Rios, I thought her manner of death was perhaps supposed to mollify us Rios-haters.  But now, seeing it from the point of view of a Rios fan (didn't know there were any, LOL, poor @Raja probably didn't dare post too much about it here) maybe her fate was also supposed to give her martyr status to her fans. IDK.
Also in hind sight  (and after reading your posts, @4evaQuez) at least Rios had a personality and a raison d'etre, unlike Nolan.

 

One more thing, @4evaQuez, I actually tolerated Rusty a tiny bit more than most --except for his hair, LOL, because of the dye, mostly. I think it reminded me of the obnoxious middle school boys in the 1960s who tried to look like "surfers" in the Midwest.
But I have since had 3 teenagers who, at times, could be every bit as self-involved as Rusty, so his bad behavior often seemed par for the course to me.

Edited by shapeshifter
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Okay. So, it's been a long, long, long time since I've been so completely dissatisfied with a series finale. Honestly, they were ending a series I never watched with the exclusion of Raydor, the anticlimactic end of the Philip Stroh case, and quite frankly, even saying anticlimactic is giving the show praise it did not earn, and ending the show on a moral note that completely contradicted the moral philosophy of the main protagonist. Rusty killing Stroh and having the department cover it up - the show makes it pretty clear that everyone in Major Crimes knows or at least suspects Rusty kills Stroh and not Provenza - would work for the series finale of The Closer. Brenda had a more unstable moral center than Sharon, and she would look the other way with some reservations at that conclusion. However, the show made it perfectly clear that Sharon would never want Rusty to take matters into his own hands in that manner. She would never want Provenza to take "blame," and she would be appalled that FID (that's their name right) would clear Provenza and would probably demand a new investigation be open. Regardless of how much Sharon loved Rusty, the show made it clear that there was a moral compass that Sharon wanted to instill in Rusty that the show ignores and outright demeans in the final moments. The fact that the show has everyone lovingly look at her office when they've all disrespected her memory makes me question if the show understood Raydor as much as I had previously given them credit.

Next, I'm outraged that the show makes so many comparisons - and rather weak and flimsy ones at that - between Stroh and Rusty. Then ignore the one major difference in the finale. Sharon would never look the other way if Rusty raped and murdered a woman. She would never help him cover up a crime. She would never pay off his victims. While her heart often went out to parents, she never condoned vengeance and often said that adult children must suffer the consequences of their horrific actions. However, that's exactly what the Major Crimes Division is doing. Yes, Stroh is a monster, but the show made a conscious decision to at least not allow Stroh to grab his hidden gun before Rusty kills him. I'm no lawyer, but as it was shown to us on the screen, Rusty went into the boat with his own weapon, shot Stroh a man for which he had a long and contentious history, Stroh is not an immediate threat at the time because his gun is completely hidden and Rusty uses an opportunity when Stroh has no conscious awareness of Rusty's presence to shoot him 5 times. Isn't that motive and intent. How it is self-defense when Rusty was in no immediate danger since the gun was hidden. Again, why couldn't the show just have Stroh take out the gun and then have Rusty come and save the day for Provenza. I am truly appalled that we are supposed to see what looks like cold-blooded murder as a happy ending. Again, if Sharon Raydor were not the moral center of this show, I would roll with the punches, but Sharon would never want this ending.

Looking at the finale, I'm actually thankful Sharon died. Before those finale moments, my thoughts were so different regarding this season and the multi-part finale. Now, I'm thankful Sharon was dead and that the show didn't have Sharon contradict her years of character development to condone or even praise Rusty's action as I fear that would have been the writing decision if Sharon were still alive.

Again, why couldn't they just have Stroh take out his gun first. Why did Provenza have to find it after he'd been shot 5 times? Why did they have Provenza be horrified at Rusty's actions and even outright state that Rusty shot him 5 times in a horrifying manner, and why did the show make it clear that Stroh had absolutely no interest in Rusty in this final appearance, only to show Rusty as a hero for getting away with murder in the same way Stroh had done so because of his own mother's love for him and belief that she was protecting him. They have Andrea say that Sharon would be proud of Rusty - to be fair this is in relation of him wanting to work for the DA's office- but nothing would be further from the truth. Sharon, with a heavy heart, bloodshot eyes, and a lost discussion with her priest, would take Rusty's gun to the LAPD herself to make sure a proper investigation was had. I did not just finish watching the finale of Major Crimes. I watched the finale of Rusty Beck, Junior Murderer and that is not the show I've been binging these last few days.

I don't know what I just watched, but I know I didn't like it.

I'm sure everyone has already had discussion regarding the finale, so I'll look for them in the thread, but I just...Raydor deserved better. Those were not the lessons she preached.

Edited by 4evaQuez
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30 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

 and she (Commander Raydor)would be appalled that FID (that's their name right) would clear Provenza and would probably demand a new investigation be open. Regardless of how much Sharon loved Rusty, the show made it clear that there was a moral compass that Sharon wanted to instill in Rusty that the show ignores and outright demeans in the final moments. The fact that the show has everyone lovingly look at her office when they've all disrespected her memory makes me question if the show understood Raydor as much as I had previously given them credit.

 

F.I.D., Captain Raydor was the commander of  Force Investigations Division, sort of an offshoot of Internal Affairs when a LAPD officer used force lethal and less than lethal.

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1 hour ago, 4evaQuez said:

The fact that the show has everyone lovingly look at her office when they've all disrespected her memory makes me question if the show understood Raydor as much as I had previously given them credit.

I don't have the emotional energy to truly get into my myriad feelings (which, yes, I still have, strongly, three years later) about killing Sharon off, making the whole damn show about Rusty vs. Stroh in the end, and Rusty and Provenza's actions in Stroh's death, but since you weren't around at the time, I'll just tell you that James Duff has given at least six different answers for why he did what he did, and one of them was to claim he wanted to show that without Sharon, everything went to shit, that Rusty and Provenza would never had done what they did if she'd been alive.  (Mind you, this is an answer he gave after being raked over the coals for months, so I do not believe him, and it's stupid even if true, because it states that her influence on them died right along with her.) 

Duff also said - as if this is an amusing anecdote - that he used to threaten TNT with killing off Sharon all the time to get what he wanted in season renewal negotiations.  (This is not information he ever shared with Mary McDonnell in the past, but he did tell her heading into season six - which, while they hadn't officially been cancelled yet, they knew would be their last despite still being TNT's highest-rated show [the new exec hated it; he wanted "edgy" programming] - that he was going to do it.)

The only thing we will ever know as true is that the story of Stroh's death as we saw it is what he wanted to tell in the end, and that couldn't happen with Sharon alive.  (She'd have never allowed Rusty to be anywhere near the scene to begin with, she wouldn't have allowed Rusty or Provenza to get away with it, etc.) 

And, like you, I'm glad she didn't live to go through that; having to let the two of them face the consequences would have been a fate worse than death to her.  But, holy shit, if the story you want to tell in the end requires giving your main character the world's most-rapidly progressing case of cardiomyopathy so she won't live to see two of your other characters who've changed so beautifully under her leadership and love take a shit on her legacy, maybe that's not the right story to go out on!

I like the way she dies itself (I love a death in the line of duty not involving a single bullet or drop of blood), I love the case her final four episodes were about, Tony Denison does great work with the scene where Sharon wants to postpone the wedding until she knows what's in store for her, Mary McDonnell knocks it out of the park and into another park on the other side of the country with Sharon's last day, the squad's reaction in the hospital to the news of her death is perfect, etc.  There was good television in there. 

But it wasn't worth it for what it took away.  And that's all I can get into these days, because I've never reacted so strongly in my life to a fictional character's death and that night is still this surreal thing in my head.

Those season six threads are among the few parts of the old forum that can be found via the Wayback Machine, if you want to track down what everyone said at the time.  Here's the thread for Sharon's final two episodes, and here's the one for the finale.

Edited by Bastet
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11 minutes ago, Bastet said:

I don't have the emotional energy to get into my myriad feelings (which, yes, I still have - and somewhat strongly when it comes up - three years later) about killing Sharon off, making the whole damn show about Rusty vs. Stroh in the end, and Rusty and Provenza's actions in Stroh's death, but since you weren't around at the time, I'll just tell you that James Duff has given at least six different answers for why he did what he did, and one of them was to claim he wanted to show that without Sharon, everything went to shit, that Rusty and Provenza would never had done what they did if she'd been alive.  (Mind you, this is an answer he gave after being raked over the coals for months, so I do not believe him, and it's stupid even if true, because it states that her influence on them died right along with her.) 

Duff also said - as if this is an amusing anecdote - that he used to threaten TNT with killing of Sharon all the time to get what he wanted in season renewal negotiations.

The only thing we will ever know as true is that the story of Stroh's death is what he wanted to tell in the end, and that couldn't happen with Sharon alive.  (She'd have never allowed Rusty to be anywhere near the scene to begin with, she wouldn't have allowed Rusty or Provenza to get away with it, etc.) 

And, like you, I'm glad she didn't live to have to go through that; having to let them face the consequences would have been a fate worse than death to her.  But, holy shit, if the story you want to tell in the end requires giving your main character the world's most-rapidly progressing case of cardiomyopathy so she won't live to see two of your other characters take a shit on her legacy, maybe that's not the right story to go out on!

I like the way she dies itself (I love a death in the line of duty not involving a single bullet or drop of blood), I love the case her final four episodes were about, Tony Denison does great work with the scene where Sharon wants to postpone the wedding until she knows what's in store for her, and Mary McDonnell knocks it out of the park and into another park on the other side of the country with Sharon's last day.

But it wasn't worth it.  And that's all I can get into anymore, because I've never reacted so strongly in my life to a fictional character's death and that night is still this surreal thing in my head.

That thread is one of the few parts of the old forum that can be found via the Wayback Machine, if you want to track down what everyone said at the time.  Here's the thread for Sharon's final two episodes, and here's the one for the finale.

1. I agree with you that his answer is stupid and more than likely an outright lie. The squad is jubilant and triumphant. It in no one indicates to the audience that shit is out of control or that we should question their actions. It's framed as a happy ending.

2. It's shocking that for someone who could write characters as politically savvy as Taylor and Raydor, Duff apparently lacks that same diplomacy and ability to negotiate with threatening to kill the protagonist of his show. 

3. Exactly! As you said earlier, did her teachings and influence end the moment her heart stopped beating? When I imagined what to expect from the conclusion of Stroh's arc, Rusty killing him in cold blood never once entered my mind. This story was not the story that should have been told on this show.

4. Thank you for the links. I'm dying to know what people thought about both at the time. This is not the ending I was expecting, nor is it the one I want. I'm not usually someone who thinks something can be "ruined" because of less than ideal decisions, but the finale comes pretty damn close. Not because Stroh is killed, but because the show has to outright contradict the very themes of the show that were developed for 6 seasons. Hell, it contradicts the themes of the show from the episode prior when Sharon is railing against a murderer for caring about love and protection more than justice. Sharon is literally willing to give up her life for the justice system she truly believes in only for the show to throw away that sacrifice in the very next arc. I'm honestly baffled. 

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Since I saw Commander Raydor's death today, I thought I'll go back and watch her first episode on The Closer "Red Tape." I assume it was Mary McDonnell's phenomenal acting that prevented this character from being as despised as my beloved DDA Rios because it's clear we're supposed to see her as an antagonist. From Brenda's use of pulling rank to calling Raydor single-minded, and even withholding evidence, it's obvious we should not root for this woman.

That being said, I loved her from the moment she came on screen. It's odd seeing her first interaction with Flynn and to a lesser extent Taylor as their relationship and dynamics are so different than they are on Major Crimes or Brenda calling her "That woman!"  There's even a moment where Raydor loses control in Pope's office as a result of Brenda constantly trying to undermine her.

All that being said, she also shows some of the characteristics I'm used to seeing on Major Crimes. While Brenda pulls rank, Raydor also subtly yet directly inform Brenda and Pope that her duties are federal so her "superiors" in this regard outranks them, she also informs Brenda that her sneaky and morally questionable methods will go in Raydor's report, and she's still able to conduct her investigation and submit her report even with Brenda's tactics to undermine her. I assume it was McDonnell who saved this character, because in the hands of a lesser actress, I can't imagine Raydor getting a spinoff that lasts 6 seasons.

All that being said, it's odd to see the team on The Closer after watching Major Crimes. One thing that is apparent is how much younger everyone is on this season. Another thing that is apparent is how much quieter the crime room is. I watched Red Tape and Power of Attorney (the first appearance of Philip Stroh) and under Brenda, the crime room is just very quiet. The cast doesn't interact with each other as much and it seems more sullen - I don't mean that as in insult. It's also nice to not see Rusty interfering in cases.

Anyway, I think I 'm going to rewatch some episodes of Major Crimes and The Closer as I want to study more how Brenda and Sharon's leadership styles impacted the overall moral and methods of the team.

P.S. this may not be the right forum for this comment, but watching those two episodes reminded me how much I do not miss Gabriel as a part of Major Crimes.

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31 minutes ago, 4evaQuez said:

I assume it was McDonnell who saved this character, because in the hands of a lesser actress, I can't imagine Raydor getting a spinoff that lasts 6 seasons.

Raydor was originally an antagonist character intended for just those three episodes in season five, offered to Mary McDonnell (having just finished Battlestar Galactica, which James Duff loved, and thus back in L.A. full time), who said, basically, Eh, I don't know.  James Duff said I really want you for this, please let me address your concerns and she wound up signing on (at the fairly last minute, which is how Sharon wound up decked out in Armani on a captain's salary; Greg LaVoi [wardrobe supervisor], pressed for time, asked her what designer's clothes tended to best fit her off the rack and across the board). 

Neither she nor James Duff have spoken - because, as far as I can tell, they haven't been asked - about the specifics of her concerns with the character as described (when only one of those three episodes had been even somewhat written), but I know McDonnell will not take roles in which women are pitted against each other for stereotypical reasons (e.g. a well, of course they hate each other, they're two powerful women vibe), so I suspect "Red Tape" needed some tweaking to make it palatable and then the next two expanded on the professional differences that were the root of their conflict.

Because she's Mary Frakkin' McDonnell, the cast/writers/producers loved her, it was a welcoming set so she loved them, the network (TNT's old leadership, very supportive of the show) salivated Do you think you can get her back?, and much of the audience loved to hate Raydor while some (me included, although I didn't watch until later) just plain loved her, so Duff asked McDonnell to return as a recurring character in season six and she was happy to do so. 

Around this time Kyra Sedgwick reiterated nope, she would not be continuing past her (7-year) contract no matter what happened with the series.  But TNT didn't want to let the franchise go, given its cast and ratings, and started talking with Duff about how it could potentially carry on without Brenda, and as those conversations continued, it seemed to everyone like Raydor was a potential bridge for that transition.  Thus her numerous appearances in season seven, as the spin-off was being developed.

So it could have all gone so very differently, or not gone at all.  As frustrating as it wound up, thank goodness we got it to begin with.

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On 1/16/2021 at 7:03 PM, 4evaQuez said:

 

I'm currently on Season 5, and while I thought the first 3 seasons were completely engaging, I am finding it harder to stay engaged now. Not because of Sharon or the writing as I think both are still superb, but because I try loathe Rusty. I imagine that's an unpopular opinion, but while I liked him in the first 3 seasons, the last 2 have really stretched credulity to explain why he's always around and especially in the restricted access portion of the Major Crimes division. 

The Mariana/Alice case was interesting enough, but I am really struggling with the Sharon Beck storyline and the Buzz storyline for Rusty. I'm also not a big fan of the Rusty/Gus relationship. I just can't understand why these two are together since they spend most of their time complaining about the other. I'm also not sure why the writers decided to make Rusty so judgmental this season.  These side storylines take away from the more interesting aspects of the show, and I wish Rusty was an appearance every 4 episodes characters if he must stick around.

That being said, while they don't get a lot of screen time, I do like Rayder and Flynn and Provenza and his new wife that was an ER Nurse. I also really like Sykes and Tao sticks out to me more on Major Crimes than he ever did on The Closer. I actually think all the secondary characters are better used on Major Crimes than The Closer - I actually didn't like Provenza on The Closer but find him hilarious on Major Crimes.

Anyway, I'll catch up with some of your comments, and I hope you'll enjoy a new member to your community.

Strong agree on everything. I just binge-watched all six seasons, but I can't remember if Rusty was still under protection by season 3, or if Sharon had decided that he was no longer under immediate threat. 

The Rusty/Gus relationship was always uneven. Had they been good friends, sure, I might have bought that. But I don't know if it was the actor's chemistry or what, but the two barely seemed to tolerate each other at times. Something I noticed from the last few episodes that made me uncomfortable...Gus needs protection from Stroh, too, since Stroh was a customer in his restaurant. So he moved in with Flynn and Rusty and pressured Rusty to let him sleep in his bedroom. He even got Andy's approval. If we were watching a show with a male character pressuring a female character to let him sleep in her bedroom, well, that would be the beginning of a Major Crimes episode. But it's ok because they used to date? And are the same gender? Nope, not to me. 

The rest of the squad is great and could have been utilized more. I didn't mind Nolan being brought in, but disliked Cami.  

 

 

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