Major Crimes Finale Recap: To Tell the Truth

Major Crimes Season 2 FinaleTNT’s Major Crimes on Monday night closed the book on a major chapter in its (and predecessor The Closer‘s) history, when the one person who could take down the sinister Phillip Stroh finally had his day in court.

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The hour opened with the MCD in crisis mode, in the wake of Stroh’s hired gun nearly driving a big knife into Rusty, who’d been duped into thinking the guy was an undercover cop. Raydor promptly declares an end to Rusty’s participation, as bait, in the manhunt, yet clues were few about where their prey may have vanished off to.

Cue the arrival of Stroh’s attorney, Linda Rothman, who cryptically suggests that her client may have information about the identity of Rusty’s assailant — in trade for certain considerations, of course. Raydor, smelling even a whiff of catching Rusty’s tormenter, growls for Rothman to cough up what she knows. The lady lawyer, though, plays games of semantics, ultimately only offering up an envelope containing a list of six suspects.

Raydor briefly considers Rothman’s proposal to cut a deal for Stroh, but when she gets word that the FBI has tracked down at least the killer’s incarcerated mother, she turns the legal lizard away.

Meeting with the suspect’s mother helps narrow down the manhunt only some, seeing as his name (Ryan Mills) is a common one and Mom hasn’t been in touch with her boy in a while. But when she mentions the dark tale of how her onetime beau used to trade her drugs in exchange sex with her son, the MCD ultimately uncovers the alias he is living under — Wade Weller — and the teen outreach facility where he works.

As it turns out, Wade is poised to skip town, with a teen “ward,” Tyler, in tow. But when they get waylaid by an LAPD road block and an Amber Alert goes wide, Wade panics and flees the vehicle to dash down an alley. Tyler gives chase, unaware of the felon he favors, and just as Wade is cornered by Raydor & Co, he takes his friend hostage, pointing a gun to his head. Wade gets but a few steps into his escape, though, when a shot rings out and a bullet pops his forehead — a daring, risky bullseye, but a bullseye nonetheless, from Provenza’s gun. Raydor can only react with an expression of half amazement, half amusement.

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Meanwhile in court, ADA Rios lays a foundation for Rusty’s sorrowful street life, while Rothman aims to undermine his story about that pivotal night in the park and cast aspersion about his tendency to lie to the cops. Rusty lets “slip” that he just recently was not truthful with Captain Raydor, at whose home he has been residing. When Rothman presses Rusty to share his latest lie with the court, he balks, saying he “can’t” divulge it. And yet, legally, he must — so Rusty “begrudgingly” reveals that he lied to Raydor about… the threatening letters he’d been receiving. Rios visibly squees at this twist, as it allows the damning letters to be entered as evidence, very much against Rothman’s wishes.

At episode’s end, Provenza reports that with Stroh in solitary and Wade dead, Rusty can lose his security detail. When Provenza tells the lad he “knocked the ball out of the park” with his testimony, Rusty thanks his lawman friend “for everything.” Rusty, however, seems iffy on his future as Raydor’s ward. He shares his worry that little separates him from the likes of Wade. “I am exactly like him,” he offers, “and I can’t fix it, Sharon. I can’t fix it.” But Raydor sees it that way not at all. “Rusty, who you are is who I love,” she says, pulling him into a warm maternal hug, “and all of you is coming home.”

What did you think of Major Crimes‘ sophomore finale? Satisfying-ish closure for the Stroh saga? Or did you feel cheated by his “sick day” no-show in court?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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47 Comments
  1. Cathy says:

    “Raydor promptly declares an end to Rusty’s participation, as bait, in the manhunt, yet clues where few about where their prey may have vanished off to.”

    Did you mean where or were? I’m on a lot of cold medication right now, but it seemed a little off to me.

    • the old proofreader says:

      The tvline.com business model does not allow for a copy editor. Please lower your expectations accordingly. (And be grateful for what you’ve got. Things are much worse over at hitfix.)

    • Virginia Joline says:

      I love Major Crimes as much as I loved The Closer. Hate to see it go off until summer. Also like the fact that Brendas’ husband is used in this show also and hope Rusty continues to be on. Do I see some kind of relationship developing between Radnor and Flynn?

  2. Tony says:

    TNT missed the boat on not getting back Kyra Sedgwick for this episode. With her and her family being on all of the entertainment mags for weeks with the Golden Globes the ratings for her return to put away Stroh would have been through the roof!

    • Jimmy says:

      It would have been great to have Brenda back for this episode, but that assumes Sedgwick would come back or they could afford her.

    • Aly says:

      They probably filmed (and for sure wrote) this before Sosie was announced as Miss Golden Globes. Can’t really predict that sort of press.

    • Ange says:

      I never watched The Closer but now know how Rusty knew who Brenda’s husband was…

    • English (@dancingwishy) says:

      Right? And I know hes busy on Revolution but I wish Billy Burke could have made an appearance in court even if all he did was stare at Rusty.

  3. Amy says:

    So Did RustY Just Come Out By Saying He Was Like Dr Morales And Dr Joe? Loved This Episode!!!

    • Ann says:

      That is how I took it. It’s been clear all season long that Raydor, her husband, and Provenza have given him opportunities to come out but he hasn’t taken them. Loved what Raydor said to him at the end of the show. A very satisfying conclusion to the season.

  4. ewwww! says:

    I really loved this episode but am I the only one who’s suspicious about how relatively easy Stroh’s lawyer gave up that list? It also seems as if she deliberately painted herself in a corner with the way she questioned Rusty. Is she losing on purpose? Is this part some master plan? Am I reading way too much into things?

    As for Kyra Sedgwick, I’m sure they’re saving her character for an episode where Stroh actually shows up. I’m sure that they don’t want to blow the one or two opportunities they can use her and I think there hasn’t been enough time to distance her from the show yet.

    • Stroh wasn’t able to show because he is in a little show called “Revolution”. Your suspicions could be right but the episode might have just been a lesson on the folly of arrogance, which I suspect is the case.

    • Abby says:

      I don’t think they’re “saving” a Sedgwick return for anything. It was made clear from multiple sources, including Sedgwick herself, that she wouldn’t return. If she were to return, it would have to be a Story centered on Brenda, and not a small appearance just because she’s been involved with a storyline.

  5. karl says:

    Now watching

  6. Jessica says:

    Psssst…six victims, not six suspects.

  7. karl says:

    What’s up with the no show of Stroh in courtroom?

  8. dee123 says:

    Well, this didn’t end how i thought it would. The Stroh case is far from over.

  9. karl says:

    Thank you, I’m glad you liked the show

  10. Kat says:

    Stupid recorder cut off the last 2 minutes after Rusty said he didn’t think he should live with Sharon any more!!!! What was said?

    • Karluv says:

      Sharon told Rusty she loved him. She gave him a big motherly hug. And brought me to tears. But I didn’t cry. It was a wonderful moment although I don’t know if Rusty was alright still.

      • Saabgirlatx says:

        Thanks-my records shut off before the last words, too! I am so happy it ended like that. I have to say I was totally skeptical of the Rusty plot line at first, but the show did such a great job growing the relationship with him that I hope he stays a part of this show permanently. It softened Rador a bit and showed how important Rusty is to the team even though they all act like he is in the way. Loved that Provenza saved the day after doubting himself earlier in the season.

        • jenniferjo18 says:

          Haha! I’m all about some Provenza! And I loved Flynn’s slight smirk and back slap. In fact, I love everything about these folks – from Tao’s unbridled crime scene enthusiasm to Amy’s “I’m bad but I’m still a lady” attitude. I even like chief Taylor these days, LOL.

          And yes, I think Rusty finally realizes this is his family and they love him; they aren’t just trying to make his teenage life miserable.

  11. Winter says:

    It was a preliminary hearing to decide if there was enough of a case to move forward to trial. The trial could still be ahead of us.

  12. I think Stroh’s over. They did the best they could without having access to Kyra Sedgwick or Billy Burke. Well done. And I was literally fist-pumping that it was Provenza who shot the bad guy right between the eyes!

  13. Andrew Hass says:

    For now the Stroh story might be over but the show can always revisit it later.Billy Burke is busy on Revolution but when it goes on hiatus for the season he could do a few episodes for Major Crimes when the show comes back in the Summer.Plus even if Stroh gets convicted he could appeal.Plus now that Major Crimes over the last 2 seasons have separated itself from The Closer the show might have Kyra Sedgwick make an appearance.Brenda could return because she’s investigating a case that connects to the major crimes squad.Then the squad could be torn in a way between Brenda and Raydor.

  14. Sally says:

    Outstanding, very powerful episode. I’m so glad they DIDN”T bring Brenda back, as some have suggested. Then, the episode would have been all about Brenda, it would have been a publicity stunt. There was so much going on in this episode, it would have just detracted for the power and excitement.

  15. CL THOMAS says:

    What actor played the character Tyler in finale’? I know I’ve seen him before?

  16. Dan says:

    Provenza is da man great shot instant kill. Then the calm almost celebratory way he turns his pistol over to Cap Raydor was a new classic scene for the ages.

    • a. st. john says:

      Loved this, too. Worked on so many levels: Provenza has often appeared to be bumbling, he’s surely the oldest member of the squad — and his incredible marksmanship skill just defies the aging stereotypes as well as some previous impressions of him. Also, I really liked the episode overall. I thought the acting was just outstanding, particularly Mary McDonnell — Sharon holding it together, just; Sharon’s anger simmering below the surface, her love & tenderness for/toward Rusty – just beautifully shown and perfectly portrayed for her buttoned-down, tightly wound, strong character.

  17. jennifer says:

    I found the episode very satisfying. Loved the way Rusty figured out how to get the letters admitted into evidence and put one over on Stroh’s slimy lawyer. I could almost hear him thinking “Checkmate!” I like the young actor and the character, and am looking forward to seeing how they develop him. For me, he’s another member of the Major Crimes family. I really like how all of the cops, while sympathetic to his life, don’t pity him or pander. They hold him to the same expectations they would their children, and I think that’s the ultimate compliment to him. And Sharon. Awww, so much in that hug.

  18. barbara says:

    yay for Provenza got the job done!!!!!!! excellent episode as always. can’t wait til summer

  19. Charles White says:

    Kyra Swedgewick said that enough time has gone by and see thinks she will be able to guest on the show. They should wait until they have the actual trial and her character can be a surprise witness and they can keep the viewers in the dark about it. It’s only a matter of time before she shows up

  20. CLS says:

    Tyler was played by the actor who played Freddy on I-Carly. I just looked it up, his name is Nathan Kress.

  21. CL THOMAS says:

    Thanks CLS. I knew I had seen him on something before!

  22. rob says:

    Enough is enough… dump Sharon, dump Rusty, and please God dump Rios. Put Provenza in charge of the squad, helped by Flynn and Tao and let’s get some life into this dry, and increasingly annoying, husk of a show.

  23. Annette says:

    Probably one of the most satisfying season finale’s I’ve seen in a long time (the last being saving Ziva from the terrorists on NCIS a few seasons back). It demonstrates there doesn’t need to be a cliff-hanger to want to come back next season.

    Sharon and Rusty’s final scene was perfect. My dvr cut off at the end and I had to wait till this morning to see the last minute on a rerun of the show! I loved the way so much was said with so few words. Sharon’s confirmation of her love of ‘all of him’ and Rusty’s face – slowly realizing she ‘knew’, it was OK and it just didn’t matter. Tears flowed and I watched it at least 4 times. Provenza taking the perfect shot and Rusty’s sly move to get the letters admitted into evidence were also beautifully done. Can’t wait till the summer.

  24. Vergie Bacon says:

    Would loved to have seen at least two more episodes with Rusty living with “grumpy” Provenza. Great show – Great season finaly. Didn’t need Brenda at all. Can’t wait until summer. V.L. BACON

  25. G Smith says:

    Love the way the show ended with just enough things left undone to start new season with a bang. Yeah loved Brenda but that ship has sailed but another show with her taking over as DA would be great.

  26. Patty says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the team this season compared to season 1. I’m fine with Brenda not being involved because I think it would have diluted the rest of the team’s performance. With Mary in the lead you get a stronger feel for the rest of the cast. Brenda tended to overpower the rest with her eccentricities. It has a lovely mix of hard boiled crime and humor, esp. Provenza & Flynn, that makes it a pleasure to watch. Waiting eagerly for the next season.

  27. Dawn allen says:

    I’ve watched since the closer began and even gotten used to raydor but I can’t stand Sikes. Why is she even on? Last season it was as if she were a rookie now its as if she’s in charge.

  28. Carlene says:

    I am sick of Rusty, sick of the teasing about his sexuality…..So sick of it, I haven’t watched the last few episodes!

    • jenjo says:

      I like Rusty. The team’s concern for him shows how human they are even in the face of horrible evils. For Rusty, he finally has a stable home, filled with people who care enough about him to give him a hard time and mess with him. He has certainly helped us see another side of Sharon. Her love for Rusty is obvious to him and to us, but (aside from his well-being and making sure he gets counseling) she doesn’t cut him any real slack because he’s had a hard life. She HAS to want to just rip Rusty’s mother a new one – I know I do. And yet, she doesn’t trash talk her or try to persuade Rusty to cut her off. He has to figure those things out on his own and she knows that. it tickled me when he told them he was gay and they feigned surprise, then went on to tease Sykes. That’s an ideal reaction for a young man afraid of losing his only real family. I am particularly touched by his love and respect for Lt. Provenza; his fear that he might lose him because he is gay was sad. And bless Louie’s heart, there was no hearts and flowers speech – just reassurance cloaked in his trademark grousing.

  29. Joan Olson says:

    I never Thought I would like anyone as much as the Closer but you have exceeded any expectations I imagined. You are terrific and for that I thank you.

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