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S02.E02: False Pretenses 2013.06.17

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Major Crimes discovers that an apparent murder-suicide may actually be a double homicide, and Rusty receives a frightening anonymous letter connected to his upcoming testimony.

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Andy’s continued attempts to cram for his physical via increasingly foolish activities continue to make me laugh.  “Ginko Balboa.”  I love that Sharon doesn’t even react to his caffeine lecture, even though he’s standing right behind her as he speaks; she just keeps reading the file. 

Rios continues to make me want to find whatever network executive surely insisted she be added and retroactively smack him.  At least everyone on the squad – other than the smitten Julio – is as annoyed by her immature, inappropriate, idiotic behavior as I am. 

It’s interesting that Rusty takes the letter to Buzz first rather than Sharon.  He’s not trying to hide it from her, and Buzz takes it immediately to her, so it’s almost like he’s checking with Buzz as to whether it means what he thinks it means and if he should bother Sharon with it right now.

I adore Sharon’s “That would be misleading” when Rusty says her “I’d prefer if I drove you to school and had patrol pick you up” until they get the lab results back on the letter makes it sound like he has a choice.

I adore even more when Rusty finds out those results mean he’s under police protection for the indefinite future, and instead of flying into a fit like he’d have done even a short time ago, he just accepts it because it means he gets to stay with Sharon.  And, "He doesn't need to understand.  He just needs to stay safe."

The killer in this one is interesting in his confession.  Because at first it seems like what he’s saying is true – he’s struggling to pay his bills while he tries to get gigs as a musician, one night after hooking up with someone he started poking through the guy’s stuff and found about 20 designer watches, one of which could pay his rent for the month and would never even be missed by the hook-up, so he started using Dude Ranch to help him find other similarly-situated guys, and was going to stop once he got a steady gig and could pay his bills legitimately.  But then I realize he didn't just quietly liberate those guys' property while they slept; he handcuffed them and left them that way.  Then it really turns, when he realizes they know the supposed murder/suicide was another one of his robberies, gone terribly wrong when the sister came home, and the “that sounds deliberate, not panicked” recitation of events completely changes my perception of him.    

It’s nice to see Morales out of the morgue the few times he comes to PAB. 

Sharon knows exactly how to get Taylor on her side in the debate with Rios over Rusty going into witness protection – ask who’s going to pay for it.  His repeated, so dismissive it's straight out of the SNL flight attendants sketch, “bye-bye” to Rios was the episode highlight for me. 

The robbery victim whose gun was stolen is written pretty stereotypically, but he cracks me up.  Why on earth did you keep the chest photo of the guy who tied you up and robbed you?  “I told you, he was kinda hot.”  His face when Mike starts downloading the Dude Ranch app in the middle of the interview is great, too.

Mike’s “Mr. Clean” handle for Dude Ranch is fun on its own, but the way he passes his hand over his bald head as he announces it is great.

I like the young curly-haired public defender.  Sharon comes up with a good bluff for why Major Crimes is handling a string of minor robberies, with the hate crimes angle, to set him up to deal.  He’s not at all an idiot for agreeing.  (And she’s proud of herself for it, too – it’s cute, the little look she gives Provenza when it works.) 

The wardrobe department is good; everyone’s street clothes (when they go out to find the Dude Ranch guy) are appropriate to their characters.  We see so little of them outside of work, little touches like that help form the whole picture.

I like Sykes taking on the abusive husband, and the way she has zero sympathy upon learning he burst into tears when Provenza told him the wife is dead.

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