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Major Crimes - Cleared History - Review: "You Can Never Go Wrong with a Gift Card"

An evil person with a lot of enemies as a murder victim is a bad thing, unless you’re the murderer in which case I suppose it’s a good thing.

This week’s victim, Gavin Davis, turns out to be the kind of jerk who earned every entry in the long list of suspects. Before becoming a freelancer, Davis installed security systems. He managed to get a copy of each customer’s house key. He would later break in and steal computers, tablets, etc. He would either try to sell the homeowners their property back, or use what he found to blackmail his victim. It’s not until Tao gets past the encryption on Davis’ laptop do they find a greater motive and a greater crime.

The laptop contains a sizable collection of kiddie porn and an indication that the pictures and videos have been “actively traded for at least five years.” They pretty quickly figure out who the killer is. It is, of course, one of the many victims of Davis’ blackmail schemes.

The killer writes novels for the teen market. When they meet to work out the deal with his lawyer (they want the names of the men he traded the images with), he seems to think the fact that he was molested when he was a boy makes it, I don’t know, a lesser crime? Needless to say the cops get what they are after and he goes to prison for murder.

Rusty did not accept Gus’ proposal to move in with him. I didn’t expect that response, but I was really proud of Rusty for following his instincts even in the face of being dumped. It provided another opportunity to prove how much better a mother Sharon R. is than Sharon B. When Rusty explains that saying yes felt wrong, she doesn’t judge.

In fact, she tells him that following his instinct was the right thing to do and suggests that he try and figure out why his gut says this is wrong and then explain it to Gus. Rusty took his mother’s advice and was able to make Gus understand why he couldn’t live off another man and respect himself. It really feels like this part of the season is about Rusty making that turn into manhood. I’m enjoying it.

If anyone missed the subtle references last week that Flynn had a heart attack, it was made clear this week. Sharon came this close to suggesting that he was going to give himself another heart attack stressing about why he had a heart attack. I am pleased that they’ve moved in together but it would not upset me if we got a little more movement in their relationship. I’d rather watch them than watch Buzz indulge his guilt.

The only thing that saved Buzz’ story for me was Provenza. His snark echoed my feelings toward Buzz feeling guilty and fretting over the family of the guy who killed his father and uncle.

This episode worked for me on several levels. But the author’s protests that he had been molested himself, felt out of place. It seemed like an after thought, or perhaps something that made sense in an earlier draft of the script, but lost cohesiveness during editing.

Other than that it was the kind of case I rather enjoy. They started out simply trying to solve a murder and ended up handing the FBI evidence in a child pornography ring; a twist I did not see coming.

I always love it when they give Tao a little focus. His reaction to finding all that hardware in the bathtub was priceless.
It was a much better episode than last week for me. What did you guys think?

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