Major Crimes / Screen

Revenge is sweet on Major Crimes

I do enjoy when television is both entertaining and educational. This week’s Major Crimes does this, tackling the very real issue of revenge porn. In “Sweet Revenge” the squad busies itself with solving the murder of the owner of a revenge porn site, devoted to punishing women who break up with their boyfriends “without a second thought”. Keep in mind there are men who actually think this way, that they’re allowed to punish former girlfriends by exposing private photos and videos online hence my delight at the show shining some light onto an issue a lot of people don’t even know about. These same men don’t stop there and are willing to expose any woman. Such is the case with a widower’s wife who committed suicide after the photos ruined her life. So it’s safe to say that “Sweet Revenge” is not an episode where we’re treated to the overwhelming outpouring of grief at his murder.

 

The case itself is hard to follow. There’s a sniper who isn’t killing anyone and various players in the Sweet Revenge site doing various bad things with the site and to each other. Hearing about how terrible they all are isn’t all that satisfying when I already figured that just with the existence of such a site. Knowing that they steal their photos and squeeze money out of victims with the promise of removing them doesn’t add anything. This case, despite the lovely PSA qualities of it, doesn’t unfold as seamlessly as usual cases do. By the time the squad ends up discovering the fifteen year old boy hiding in the bed of a pickup truck, I had no idea why or how they’d ended up there. But it’s this kid, the Ranger’s son, who is the sniper. After this the episode unfolds fairly predictably with the son looking to take the fall for his dad and his father doing the opposite, confessing to premeditated murder.

Though the specifics are clunky, the episode’s broad strokes are fine. I’ve already said how much I enjoy a good PSA (when they aren’t afterschool specials about the dangers of drinking and drugs at least), and this episode even keeps the ball rolling on Fritz coming to the LAPD. After “Two Options“, Fritz is planning on retiring from the FBI and taking the command position with SOB. Besides some nods to this inevitability, as well as the squad offering their support to his career change, Fritz doesn’t get a whole lot to do. But there is a secret exchanged between him and Tao in the closing moments: Fritz is having a heart attack and needs Tao to take him to the hospital and not tell anyone – not even Brenda – about it. Assuming the spinoff ever happens (there’s still no official word), this is going to be another huge plot point for it to play with, but how awkward would it be if this spinoff never came into being?

On the more personal end of things, Sharon’s son Ricky (Ryan Kennedy) turns up and isn’t thrilled at the prospect of gaining a little brother. Sharon’s weirdly ignorant of this reality, despite Rusty telling her so multiple times, chalking up Ricky’s resistance to the natural reluctance of siblings to embracing new ones. It’s only when Ricky summarizes Sharon wanting to adopt Rusty as her falling victim to a con and feeling abandoned by her biological family and crappy husband, that Sharon lays down the law. It’s actually quite affecting to watch Sharon take her son to task for his lack of “human compassion” and his own warped opinions (courtesy of Sharon’s soon-to-be ex) and therefore satisfying when Ricky does change his attitude and offer his support to Sharon and Rusty.

Next week is the summer finale, and it’s hard to believe we’re already at the midseason and aren’t going to get new episodes until December.

Stray Observations

  • Ricky had the audacity to turn up in Los Angeles with that terrible beard (and Sharon had the nerve to say it was cute), bad haircut (thank God Rusty said something) and ill-fitting shirt and be so awful.
  • But Sharon probably horrified him. When your mom says she’s that disappointed in you, you really have no choice but to change your attitude. Unless your mom is like Rusty’s mom and is disappointed because she’s kind of a terrible person in which case you can ignore her.
  • I wish more women had been present in this episode, since the revenge porn business is one that’s used against women. The only woman we heard about this episode was dead, and we heard from her husband what happened to her and how affected she was. The show did a much better job with sexual violence and revenge and showing how women coped with their trauma earlier in the season.

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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