Major Crimes: Season 1, Episode 7 “The Shame Game” (B+)
It’s never a good thing when the founder of an organization devoted to helping human trafficking victims is found murdered. As tends to be the case, however, there’s more to the story than it initially seems, and it turned out that he was too aggressively pursuing his passion. The senator’s presence at the start indicated another ill-advised over-investment in a case by Assistant Chief Taylor, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Pope, by playing politics to help keep the department running. The ruse he and Raydor concocted was impressive, and it sure succeeded in trapping the guilty man. It’s entertaining that a suspect breaking an interview room door while in the middle of a fit of rage actually exonerated him from the crime of which he was accused, since the real killer’s strength and actions didn’t match up. The arrival on the scene of Daniel Dunn, Rusty’s father, was rather abrupt and somewhat unexpected. His presence was most effective in helping to establish a rapport between Raydor and Provenza, something that is crucial to the success of the team but still needed some finessing up to this point. Rusty’s reaction to the news was expectedly panicked, and the episode ended on a powerful note with Rusty looking into the room and then running away when his father saw him watching. Having Rusty walk in just as the executive director of the human trafficking victims organization is talking about working with kids from the streets feels somewhat manipulative and contrived, and it’s good to see Rusty – and the writers – taking some steps to distinguish himself from just being a convenient statistic for the show to invoke.
Great news for fans of the show - it's been renewed for TNT for a second season!