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An unusual television character


I have been watching “Major Crimes” (Mondays at 9 PM Eastern time on TNT Network, plus plenty of reruns at other times). “Major Crimes” is a continuation of “The Closer” without Kyra Sedgwick, and it’s much better for it, in my opinion. The ensemble cast gets to shine and develop their characters without being overshadowed by Sedgwick’s loopy Southern-drawling character. I much prefer “Major Crimes” over “The Closer.”

Currently the show features a long story arc concerning Rusty Beck (Graham Patrick Martin), a former child prostitute who is under police protection as a witness in a court case. Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) takes him in, helping him avoid yet another foster home while still affording him “police protection.” It’s interesting because her character is middle-aged, divorced, without children, and his character has been abandoned by his parents and abused by most other adults with whom he’s had contact. But as part of the Major Crimes police unit, he gets mothering from Captain Raydor (whose persona is usually stiff, not maternal) and fathering from all the gruff, hard-bitten men in the squadroom. It’s very interesting to watch.

I don’t think there’s another long-running character like Rusty Beck on television, nor has there been before now. It’s nice to see a victim of sexual abuse being portrayed not just as a victim, but as an ever-evolving person whose past is just one part of who he is. His past dominates his life, but it’s nice to watch him trying to move beyond it.

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