Russell Thomas "Rusty" Beck is a once-homeless teenager who witnessed Phillip Stroh burying one of his victims in Griffith Park. He later authored the web-series Identity and started working for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office

Early life[edit | edit source]

The illegitimate child of teenage parents, Rusty lived with his mother, Sharon Beck, in Los Angeles, and until recently, never knew his father. When he was 15, his mother took him to the zoo where she abandoned him and left LA with her boyfriend. Rusty became homeless and started to prostitute himself to survive, working the streets of Hollywood for two years.

In “The Last Word”, Rusty came to the attention of the LAPD's Major Crimes Division after witnessing Phillip Stroh disposing of a victim's body in Griffith Park. He eventually agreed to testify against Stroh in exchange for the detectives locating his mother, Sharon Beck. Stroh later attacks Rusty while Rusty was staying with Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, leading to his status as a protected witness.

Life with Sharon Raydor[edit | edit source]

Season 1[edit | edit source]

Rusty was initially placed in a foster home, but after running away repeatedly LAPD officers returned him to Major Crimes. Given his protected status, Sharon Raydor took him in while the search for his mother continued. Raydor was later formally confirmed as his foster mother. After some time, the LAPD located his mother, Sharon Beck, in Reno, Nevada. Major Crimes provided a bus ticket, but she only got as far as Bakersfield before getting off the bus and leaving with an unknown man. Rusty had been taken to meet her by Andy Flynn, because Raydor was occupied, and disappeared from the bus station when they realized his mother was not on the bus. It was evening, and the Major Crimes squad told Raydor that they would keep working until he was found, but Raydor finds that he had returned to her home.

He later meets his biological father, Daniel Dunn, whom he had never known and had not known about him. However, on his first trial weekend with him, Dunn becomes enraged when Rusty tells Dunn's fiancee about having had to prostitute himself. Sharon comes home from work to find that Rusty used the money she gave him to get back to her home, and that he had a split lip and a black eye. As she treats his wounds, her police training leads her to photograph him. In the end, Rusty claims he will not apologize to his father and Sharon prays that she will refrain from killing Dunn.

Dunn tries to explain his side of the story to Raydor and delivers a spontaneous confession. The team comes together to force Dunn to give up his parental rights to Rusty for good or face criminal charges for child abuse. Rusty is then reassured that he has a family in the team even if they are not biologically related to him and not all of them are extremely fond of him.

Raydor enrolls Rusty in the Catholic school that her biological children, Ricky and Emily, had attended. Rusty takes summer school classes in order to catch up with his peers. He also gets use of the car that Raydor kept for her biological children to use during visits. In “Final Cut” Raydor is asked by Deputy D.A. Emma Rios if this might be considered a bribe of the witness. Raydor makes it clear that Rios should count on her remaining Rusty's guardian.

Season 2[edit | edit source]

In “Final Cut”, Rusty is introduced to DDA Emma Rios who is going to be prosecuting Phillip Stroh. When first seeing her, Rusty asks Sharon what she's like and after a short pause, Sharon just states that she and Provenza will be with him at the interview, leading Rusty to ask if she's "that bad?" At the interview, Rios wanted to prepare Rusty for the trial with personal and somewhat inappropriate questions which Stroh's defense attorneys would most likely use to attack Rusty's character on the witness stand, though this resulted in Rusty barging out of the interview and calling her an asshole. This resulted in Rios going to Assistant Chief Taylor who in turn ordered Sharon to talk with Rusty and to tell him to finish the interview, because if Rusty stops cooperating with the DA's Office, Taylor will personally see to it that Rusty is removed from Sharon's care and placed somewhere else by DCFS. Sharon tells Taylor that threatening his placement at this point would do more harm than good. Regardless, Taylor gives her 24 hours to get the point across or else he'd go through with it.

Later, at the condo, Sharon talks with Rusty about how he needs to finish the interview, though doesn't tell him about Taylor's ultimatum. Rusty worries that the things he needs to say on the witness stand would ruin his life and alienate all of his friends but Sharon states that if his past as a prostitute comes up, he could just plead the fifth. After Sharon's talk, Rusty agrees to talk with DDA Rios on the condition that Sharon nor Provenza would be there to listen as he needs them to be his friend and the things he'd say would make them "not like him." Rusty also asks Provenza to be the person who asks Sharon to not be at the interview but in a way that it would seem like the idea was Provenza's, as Rusty doesn't want Sharon to know he doesn't want her there.

In season 2, Rusty is hunted by serial killer Wade Weller on the orders of Phillip Stroh. This results in Rusty first having to give up things like driving after the first threatening letter, in his terms, being "grounded", to having an around-the-clock protection detail and participating in an Special Investigation Section operation to catch Weller when the threat is confirmed.

He puts up with restrictions after confirming that he will stay with Sharon. He is attacked while out of the detail's sight, and is rescued by Sharon. After Weller's death at the hands of Provenza, Rusty comes out as gay to Sharon, expecting a rejection (comparing himself to the pedophiles in the case, because they went after boys). Instead he gains full acceptance from her.

Season 3[edit | edit source]

In season 3, Sharon Raydor decides to officially adopt him. Rusty agrees and the two began the process of the adoption. In “Down the Drain”​​​​, Sharon officially adopts Rusty.

In season 3's “Do Not Disturb”, Rusty comes out to the Major Crimes Division who express obviously fake surprise at the news and fully support him. He also has a strong relationship with Louie Provenza, whom Rusty actually consulted before coming out to the rest of the team.

In “Special Master Part One” and “Special Master Part Two”​​​, things come to a head with Phillip Stroh when he agrees to make a deal and uses the moment to point the police towards Markos Christakis, and then escape. While Sharon wants to give Rusty another protective detail, he declines as he wants to live his life without allowing Stroh to disrupt it. Sharon keeps a secret SIS protective detail on Rusty for five months but eventually calls it off, partially on the advice of Lt. Cooper, after Rusty spots one of the SIS detectives following him.

During his investigations for his blog, Identity, Rusty meets a man named TJ Shaw who starts out as a source but becomes a good friend. It is suggested that TJ is interested in Rusty and that Rusty may be interested in TJ as well. Rusty claims not to be looking for a relationship with TJ, who is gay but so closeted that he hasn't come out to his family with whom he lives and works. Their relationship outside of the investigation quickly crumbles and they go their separate ways.

Rusty's investigates the true identity of murder victim, Alice Herrera, and uncovers her true name. Rusty meets her brother Gustavo "Gus" Wallace who ends up being the key to identifying Alice. While initially fearful of Gus due to the little he is able to find out about the man, Rusty quickly befriends him and aids him in securing Alice's burial and finding his other sister Paloma.

Following the conclusion of his Alice story, Rusty does a story on the background of her killer, Slider. Rusty's story eventually leads to him being forced to testify on Slider's behalf at his sentencing hearing. On the stand, Rusty states that while Slider has a lot of issues that contributed to his life of crime, it doesn't excuse what he did and he sees Alice as the true victim. Slider is given the death penalty and is enraged by Rusty's testimony because he believed Rusty to be his one friend.

Following Alice's burial, Gus starts to express an interest in Rusty romantically. At the squad Christmas party after Slider's trial, Rusty agrees to date Gus. In “Off the Wagon”​​​​, Rusty admits he loves Gus for the first time and can't imagine a life without him, something which Gus reciprocates.

Season 4[edit | edit source]

Starting in season 4, Rusty attends journalism school in college. While Rusty initially goes to Santa Monica City College. Judge Grove's wife sees Rusty's VLOG and believes his talents are wasted at Santa Monica City College. Judge Grove and his wife pull some strings to get Rusty transferred to UCLA.

As Andy Flynn's relationship with Raydor increases, Rusty's relationship with Flynn changes. First, Rusty notes the amount of time Raydor and Flynn spend together. When Rusty watches Andy try to explain to his daughter, Nicole, that he and Sharon are not romantic, Rusty explains that Sharon and Andy are in a relationship but have not yet admitted the fact. When Raydor and Flynn decide to date openly, Andy worries that Rusty won't accept him. When Andy tells Gus that he will try to find Paloma, Rusty tells Andy that, if he is going to be a bigger part of his life, he has to mean what he says.

When Flynn finds a house to buy with Raydor, Flynn tells Provenza about the place and talks about things available there for "the kid". Rusty asks Flynn if he will be in the way. Flynn assures Rusty the he would never separate Rusty and Sharon. Flynn often gives Rusty advice on how to deal with his mother and Rusty trusts him enough to ask about his experience as a recovering alcoholic Flynn is very open in his answer.

In “Hindsight, Part 1”​​​​, Gary Lewis, the man who abused Rusty and led to his abandonment at the zoo returns to his life. Rusty discovers that Lewis is conspiring to blackmail his biological mother, Sharon Beck, into returning to a life of crime. Rusty visits Lewis in prison on the advice of Raydor and he admits to his plot. Lewis decides to represent himself in court. Lewis' conversation with Rusty is admissible as evidence against him and Rusty alerts DDA Hobbs and the Major Crimes Division. With the evidence Rusty gathered, his biological mother is exonerated for her role in the crime and Lewis is put in prison for life.

Season 5[edit | edit source]

During season 5, Rusty works with Buzz Watson on a new Identity story, titled The Long Shadow, centered around Buzz's efforts to find the men who murdered his father and uncle in 1986. At times, the differing approaches to the case as a journalist and police officer bring them into conflict. In “White Lies, Part 3”​​​​, in order to help Buzz identify the correct Bill Jones, Rusty goes undercover to get the suspect's fingerprints. Rusty's successful efforts enable Buzz to positively identify and arrest Bill Jones for his father and uncle's murders. Buzz later tells Rusty and Gus that the two men have taken deals for life in prison. On his final Identity, Rusty states that helping Buzz has caused him to realize he is an advocate, not a journalist which causes Rusty to switch from journalism to law school.

In “N.S.F.W.”​​​​, Sharon Beck reveals that she is pregnant by Lewis and asks for Rusty's support in raising his sibling. Rusty, feeling that his mother is in no position to raise a child, pushes for adoption. She explains that Lewis's parents are good people who are willing to adopt the child. However, after seeing the sonogram of his unborn sister and learning that Gary's parents are willing to raise the child with his mother (Sharon Beck originally told him that she would give the child up and neither of them would have contact with her), Rusty changes his mind and drives his mother to Gary's parents house so she can keep the baby. Rusty was influenced by Gus and Andy in his acceptance of the baby and in encouraging Sharon Beck to be a part of her daughter's life, first by Gus' love of his surviving sister and then by Andy's story of what inspires him to remain sober, including his relationships.

In “Heart Failure”​​​​, Rusty begins working as an intern for the DA's office as part of his law school aspirations. As a result, he has started to wear a suit and tie and acts as Hobbs' assistant, calling Sharon "a badass" after she tricks a suspect into hitting her so they can get an arrest. In “Quid Pro Quo”​​​​, as part of his new job, Rusty observes a murder trial presided over by Judge Grove and with Linda Rothman, Phillip Stroh's former attorney representing the defendant. Rusty is less than pleased to see Rothman again, even flipping her off in response to a wave, but receives congratulations from Judge Grove who is proud of Rusty's accomplishments.

Rusty is also left worried by the implications of Gus wanting to discuss their future face to face, fearing a break up. Instead, Gus asks Rusty to move in with him. In “Cleared History”​​​​, Rusty reveals that Gus broke up with him after Rusty refused to move in with him even when Gus offered to pay for everything. As a result, Rusty is left heartbroken as he deeply loves Gus. After witnessing the killer talk about his trauma as a victim of child molestation, Rusty visits Gus at work and explains that due to his two years on the streets, he feels he needs to pay his own way or at least his half to ever be able to feel good about himself. To Rusty's relief, Gus decides not to break up with him, saying that it sucks they have to deal with all of this stuff but he's willing to do it.

In “Dead Drop”​​​​, Rusty helps Andy with his plans to propose to Sharon. Having fully accepted Andy's role in Sharon's life, Rusty enlists Gus' help to turn Sharon's condo into a recreation of Andy and Sharon's first date in lieu of the extravagant plans Andy had, believing that it would be something Sharon would enjoy more. Rusty departs before Andy proposes, but quietly wishes him good luck. After Sharon accepts, Rusty shares the news with his siblings and works with Ricky through “Bad Blood”​​​​ to find a way to get Andy an annulment from his first marriage so that the two can marry within the Catholic Church. Honoring Sharon's wishes not to bring the idea up to Andy, the siblings instead contact his ex-wife Sandra who files for the annulment instead, enabling Sharon and Andy to marry within the church. Sharon appears to realize what the two did, but doesn't confront them about it.

Season 6[edit | edit source]

In “Sanctuary City, Part 1”​​​​, Rusty continues to work as Hobbs' intern but appears to suspect Gus of cheating after not hearing from him for four days and finding a picture of Gus and his boss Aiden dancing at a club on Aiden's Instagram. After the possible murder of Phillip Stroh's step-mother, Sharon is finally forced to tell Rusty that Stroh has possibly returned. Rusty decides that he wants to become "more proficient" at protecting himself in case Stroh comes after him, but Sharon is called away before Rusty can explain his meaning.

In “Sanctuary City, Part 2”​​​, Rusty asks for Andy's support in convincing Sharon to allow Rusty to now be armed. Rusty's intention is to get a concealed carry permit which will ultimately require approval from the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department or from the Sheriff of Los Angeles County and he needs Sharon's help to get it. He wants to be able to defend himself if Stroh ever comes after him. Sharon agrees on the stipulation that she train Rusty properly to use a gun. Rusty is shown to struggle with hitting the target as he is firing too fast for an inexperienced shooter. It's later shown that he has created a map detailing the locations of Stroh's recent potential victims on the wall of his room.

In “Sanctuary City, Part 3”​​​​, Rusty gets Buzz to get him death reports on Stroh's victims and has become more proficient with handling a gun, having continued his lessons with Andy. Rusty's interest in Stroh's possible murders has led Rusty to create his own murder board on the wall of his room in an effort to figure out Stroh's motives for returning and killing the people.

In “Sanctuary City, Part 5”​​​​, Rusty acts as a ring bearer in Sharon's wedding to Andy alongside Mark Jarvis. Though Gus shows up for the wedding, Rusty only appears to spare him a brief glance.

In “Conspiracy Theory, Part 1”​​​​, “Conspiracy Theory, Part 2”​​​​ and “Conspiracy Theory, Part 3”​​​​, Rusty is left to deal with his breakup with Gus following the revelation that Gus cheated on him with Aiden. Despite being hurt and angry, Rusty forces Aiden to give Gus a severance package and a glowing letter of recommendation after learning that Aiden is essentially ruining Gus' life after Gus couldn't continue the affair as he didn't want to hurt Rusty further. While Rusty admits that he still loves Gus, he is unsure if he can trust him anymore and doesn't know how to forgive him. As a result, Rusty rejects Gus' continuing attempts to repair their relationship though he is obviously not ready to move on completely yet.

In “Conspiracy Theory, Part 4”​​​​, Sharon's condition worsens and she faces a possible heart transplant. At one point, Rusty and Sharon joke about their first meeting and how different Rusty was at the time. Rusty tells Sharon that when he first entered her office, he was looking for his mother and he now knows that it was her all along. After Sharon collapses during an interrogation, Rusty attempts to rush to her side but is held back. Distraught, Rusty calls Gus who arrives at the hospital moments before Rusty and Andy are told that Sharon has died. Despite his own grief, Rusty does his best to comfort Andy, helping Andy into a chair as the doctor shares the news with everyone.

In “By Any Means, Part 1”​​​​, the grief-stricken Rusty continues to deal with the loss of Sharon. Despite losing their mother, Ricky and Emily, Emily in particular, assure Rusty that he is still their brother and they want him as part of their lives. With the growing threat of Stroh, Rusty is provided by Buzz with a video Sharon recorded just for him before her death where she tells Rusty to not investigate on his own and to allow others to help him. Based on her own experiences, Sharon tells Rusty to see Stroh as a person, not a monster, which will give Stroh an advantage over him.

With the murder of DDA Emma Rios and the furthering evidence of Stroh's return, Rusty is asked by Provenza to take part into the investigation into Stroh's possible murders. Having dug into the lives of all of the possible victims, Rusty shares what his investigation has turned up and how the victims are possibly connected.

In “By Any Means, Part 2”​​​​, Rusty continues to observe the investigation into Stroh and is disturbed to learn that like Rusty himself, Stroh was abandoned by his mother, searched for her in LA and went to law school. The parallels leave Rusty deeply disturbed and he realizes that Sharon was right about seeing Stroh as a person to understand his motives.

During the investigation, while bringing Rusty food, Gus recognizes Stroh as a customer who asked about Rusty on the night that Sharon died. During the meeting with Chief Mason, Provenza and Camila Paige, Rusty and Gus sit together with obvious tension. Rusty is reluctant to share a security detail with Gus and stay in the condo with him due to their breakup, but concedes that Gus does need the protection. Rusty later discusses his fears with Andy who tries to reassure him before telling Rusty that he and Gus must stay together at all times and can't split up. Gus is excited by this news and while Rusty doesn't answer him, he also doesn't outright reject Gus.

In “By Any Means, Part 3”​​​​, Rusty continues to be disturbed by the parallels between himself and Stroh. After being told about Mary Wellington, Stroh's first victim, Rusty is intrigued due to the fact that the name Wellington seems familiar to him for another reason. Looking over his notes, Rusty identifies Elizabeth Dunn, one of Stroh's new victims, as the sister of Mary Wellington. Calling Mary's mother Alice, Rusty identifies himself as an assistant to the DA on the Stroh investigation and learns that Gwendolyn Stroh paid off Elizabeth to stop searching for Mary. Thanks to Rusty's discovery the detectives are able to determine that Stroh's current victims were all people that were being paid off by Gwendolyn until her stepson took over her accounts and stopped all of her payments, including to Stroh.

Though Rusty and Gus live together during this time, Gus sleeps on the couch and Rusty maintains a distance from him. After speaking with Andy, Gus requests that he move into Rusty's room and that Rusty give him a chance. After Gus pleads that Rusty let Stroh's return accomplish something good, Rusty seriously considers Gus' request.

In “By Any Means, Part 4”​​​​, Rusty continues to look into Stroh's actions and to think like him in an attempt to bring Stroh down for good. After Wes Nolan proves that the condo is no longer safe, Rusty and Gus, with Rusty now carrying his gun at all times, are transferred to the PAB until Stroh is gone for good. Rusty expresses to Gus a worry that Stroh will be arrested, fearing that if Stroh goes to trial, Rusty will have to testify and his past will be exposed. Rusty shows a fear of what people will think of him if they learn what Rusty did to survive on the streets when he met Stroh. While trying to figure out Stroh's next move, Rusty acknowledges that he understands Stroh very well, but that the opposite is also true.

As the LAPD focuses their attention on the airport as an avenue of escape for Stroh, Rusty grows suspicious that Stroh is up to something else. Rusty shows a belief that Stroh is only pretending to target him as a misdirection. With Tammy Bechtal not answering her phone, Rusty convinces Provenza to check the situation out. Rusty, Gus, Provenza and Buzz visit Tammy's house only to find her murdered.

With Provenza heading off into the marina alone, Rusty realizes that Stroh is on Jim Bechtal's yacht and heads off to help Provenza. As Stroh appears to surrender to Provenza, Rusty arrives and shoots Stroh five times, killing him to Provenza's shock. Provenza discovers that Stroh had a hidden gun that he was presumably going for, making Rusty's actions not a murder. To protect Rusty, Provenza takes Rusty's gun and the credit for killing Stroh himself. In the aftermath, Rusty is assured by Fritz, who appears to realize what Rusty did, that Stroh's death was justified and Provenza is cleared by FID. Though Gus presumes that Rusty will ask him to leave, Rusty asks Gus to spend the night and takes his hand, appearing to resume his relationship with Gus once more.

At Julio's promotion ceremony, Rusty reveals that he intends to join the DA's office as a prosecutor sending criminals to prison once he graduates rather than going into family law as he originally intended. Before he departs, Julio tells Rusty to continue seeing Doctor Joe as Rusty will need it. In Provenza's speech, he includes Rusty as part of the Major Crimes team that will continue putting criminals away for years to come.

Identity by Rusty Beck[edit | edit source]

What's In a Name?[edit | edit source]

Rusty later started to go to college and became interested in journalism. After failing to get a story that will get him on the school newspaper in “A Rose Is a Rose”​​​​, at the suggestion of Buzz, Rusty starts investigating the case of Alice Herrera, an unidentified homeless victim who was the focus of “Jane Doe 38”​​ and part of the reason he chose to let Raydor adopt him. Rusty started working on identifying the girl and started an online blog called Identity that he posts his findings to.

According to Raydor, Rusty's work is professional-grade and she is clearly proud of his efforts. After Rusty interviews Alice's killer, Greg "Slider" Rasenick, in “Sorry I Missed You”​​​​, he nearly ends up part of her trial due to Slider claiming that Raydor sent Rusty to circumvent the justice system, but Judge Grove decided that Rusty was simply acting as a journalist and dismissed the subpoena. He also allowed Rusty to continue his work and advised Raydor to let him work without her looking over his shoulder all the time.

Rusty's efforts to identify Alice have hit a big break: after breaking Alice's voicemail with TJ's help, he found one from a man who clearly knew Alice, that her name wasn't really Alice and was the one she had run from Las Vegas to get away from. However, he couldn't leave any other messages afterwards as her voicemail box was full.

After playing the messages to Andrea Hobbs, Rusty deleted a few of Alice's old messages and left a new greeting message asking for anyone looking for Alice to call him back. Soon afterwards, the man left a message, identifying himself as Gustavo Wallace and showing worry about Alice and her little sister Paloma. Rusty believes that this man knows Alice well, doesn't watch Identity and doesn't know she's dead. Given Gustavo's knowledge of Alice, its possible he's the break Rusty's looking for, but he's determined to find out more about the man before he sets up a meeting with him to be safe.

Even after learning that Gustavo, who claims to be Alice's older brother, has a criminal record, Rusty still intends to meet with him because it would mean that he could solve the mystery he has been working on.

With a positive identification provided by Gus Wallace, the mystery of Alice Herrera's true identity was solved. Her real name was Mariana Wallace. Rusty later interviews Gus about Mariana and their family and his search for his surviving sister.

A week after Mariana's burial, Rusty visits her grave and reflects on her life.

The Other Side of the Coin[edit | edit source]

After identifying Alice, he decides that his next Identity story, titled The Other Side of the Coin will be on Greg "Slider" Rasenick, the man who murdered Mariana Wallace.

After getting the permission to run a story on Slider and interview him, he visits Slider who was unaware that Rusty was coming to visit him and still feels that he screwed him over the last time they met. Slider insists on being innocent and that the system screwed him over.

After many interviews with Slider (during which Rusty deduces that Slider is illiterate, which was unknown even to his lawyer), Slider asks Rusty if he will be at his trial and he says yes because it's a part of his story. Slider also asks if he can wave at Rusty and would he wave back because he is the only person who cares about him and that he doesn't have anyone else who would come to the trial for him. These news leave Rusty visibly stunned.

Slider is put on trial for Mariana's murder with Justine Pittman, Mariana's brother Gus and Andy Flynn testifying against him. Slider waves at Rusty at the trial and he waves back even though he is caught in a moral dilemma when Gus is flown in for the trial and Gus will believe he is there for Mariana, while Slider will believe he is there for him and the fact that Rusty hasn't told Gus about his story on Slider.

After all of the testimonies in the trial, the jury returns with the verdict after only a day of deliberation. Slider is found guilty of all charges which include attempted murder, murder in the first degree with special circumstances, witness tampering and witness intimidation. Slider's attorney, Bobby Munroe, subpoenas Rusty to testify on Slider's behalf about his childhood, inability to read and disconnected view of reality in hopes of making the jury see Slider as a person and spare him from the death penalty. Rusty's relationship with Slider shocks and angers Gus who thought that Rusty was at the trial for his sister.

Rusty testifies to Slider's past, including that he believes Slider has a learning disorder like dyslexia. However, while Rusty agreed that the system failed Slider, he also didn't see it as an excuse for Mariana's murder, telling everyone that himself and Mariana both lived on the streets at fifteen like Slider, but neither turned to drugs or murder. When Bobby Munroe keeps referring to Slider as the victim, Rusty tells everyone that when he hears "the victim" mentioned in the case, he thinks of Mariana Wallace, not Slider.

Rusty's testimony causes Gus to look into his story on Slider and it helps him understand the relationship between Slider and Rusty and apologizes for his initial outburst.

The jury decides to sentence Slider to death and Judge Grove ultimately upholds the sentence.

On his final entry in The Other Side of the Coin, Rusty states that Slider will likely exhaust his appeals and then be executed for Mariana's murder. However, as the state hasn't executed anyone since 2006, Slider could spend twenty years on death row before execution.

The Long Shadow[edit | edit source]

In Season 5, Rusty starts a new story, titled The Long Shadow, in which he works with Buzz Watson to solve a cold homicide case. The victims in that case were Jay Watson and Steven Watson, Buzz' father and uncle. In the final installment, Buzz reports that the killers, Gene Hecht and Bill Jones have both taken deals that put them in prison for the rest of their life. Buzz tells Rusty that he feels that he has not cast off the long shadow over his life but instead projected it onto the kids of Bill Jones, the shooter in his father and uncle's murders. Rusty states that working with Buzz has caused him to realize that he is an advocate, not a journalist and will now be pursuing law school instead of journalism to further his cause.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Rusty is shown to be skilled in the game of chess. In “The Last Word”​​​​, he mentions winning several trophies before his life on the street to Brenda Leigh Johnson and is sometimes seen engaged in the game. In “Jailbait”​​​​ he requests a psychiatrist who is good at chess, leading to him getting Doctor Joe Bowman who performs Rusty's evaluation over chess. They also appear to play sometimes during Rusty's therapy sessions. While doing an SIS operation to catch Wade Weller, Rusty's cover was playing chess in the park. In “Return to Sender”​​​, his skill is noted when its commented that he's won 42 of the 45 games he played up to that point. During Rusty's conversation with Andy Flynn in his room in “Blackout”​​​, his room can be seen to be adorned with two chess posters, a picture of a chessboard on one wall and what appears to be a black chess figurine on one of his tables.
  • When allowing Rusty to do his Slider story, Judge Grove suggests he become a lawyer due to his propensity to argue so much, reasoning that as a lawyer, Rusty would at least get paid to do it. In “Moral Hazard”​​​​, Sharon Raydor notes how Rusty's solution to Buzz's problem with the partials is more like that of a lawyer than that of a reporter. In his final installment of Identity: The Long Shadow, Rusty states he is planning to go to law school rather than continue with journalism. After finding out, Judge Grove tells Rusty "I told you so" as a result.
  • While Rusty appears to get along with Emily Raydor without any problems from the start, his new brother Ricky is cold and rude towards him at first due to his past. After reconciling, Rusty and Ricky are shown to be much closer with Ricky calling Rusty "little brother" at the Christmas party in “Chain Reaction”​​​​ and the two plotting behind Sharon's back to get Andy an annulment in “Bad Blood”​​​​.
  • When Judge Grove gets Rusty transferred to UCLA, he quotes something Rusty said to Sharon, causing Rusty to believe Sharon put Judge Grove up to getting him transferred. However, Judge Grove dodges the question rather than confirm or deny it.
  • Despite being adopted by Sharon in mid-season 3, Rusty doesn't start calling her "Mom" until mid-season 4 as anything other than a joke. Similarly, members of Major Crimes and Gus say "your mom" when referring to Sharon Raydor and specify "your biological mother" when they mean Sharon Beck.
  • While working as a set PA on Badge of Justice, Rusty garnered the nickname "Beckin".
  • In one of his earliest interactions with Sharon Raydor, Rusty told her that she is not his mother and can't order him around. In “Hindsight, Part 3”​​​​, in a reversal of the situation, Rusty tells Sharon "you're my mom" after she calls Sharon Beck his mother.
  • Rusty displays a propensity to sabotage his relationships inadvertently. Rusty's focus on his Alice story destroyed his friendship with TJ Shaw while his reluctance to tell Gus about his Slider story very nearly destroyed their friendship as well. However, unlike TJ, Gus and Rusty made amends. He also pushes Buzz as he pursues finding answers in his family's case, trying to move the investigation faster than Buzz is prepared to and restarting a recording after being asked to stop.
  • In “Moral Hazard”​​​​, Rusty fell into a similar situation to the one that destroyed his friendship with TJ, allowing his focus on one of his stories to consume him to the point of neglecting everything else including his relationship with Gus. Unlike TJ, Gus simply pulled Rusty away and was indulgent of his later rushing back to talk to Sharon while they were going on a date about a revelation he'd made.
    • The movie the two go to see is Star Trek, presumably Star Trek Beyond. Rene Rosado, the actor who plays Gus, played a background bridge officer in Star Trek Into Darkness.
  • In “White Lies, Part 2”​​​​, Rusty and Gus watch the first Die Hard movie which Gus promises isn't very violent as Rusty doesn't like violent movies. Die Hard is actually an extremely violent movie.
  • In “Sanctuary City, Part 2”​​​​ Andrea Hobbs calls Rusty "the best assistant I've ever had."
  • In “By Any Means, Part 4”​​​​, both Fritz Howard and Julio Sanchez are implied to have realized that Rusty killed Phillip Stroh instead of Provenza. In a deleted scene for the episode, Julio is shown to in fact be suspicious of this fact while Sykes and Buzz don't know what to think.
  • In “By Any Means, Part 4”​​​​, Provenza states that his first deal as the new commander of Major Crimes was negotiating with Rusty to serve as a prosecutor for the DA's office for five years once he passes the bar exam rather than going into family law as Rusty originally planned.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Characters — Major Crimes
Sharon RaydorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoJulio SanchezAmy SykesWes NolanCamila PaigeBuzz WatsonRusty BeckRussell TaylorLeo MasonFritz HowardDr. Fernando MoralesAndrea HobbsKendall
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