Francis "Buzz" Watson
Name Francis "Buzz" Watson
Rank Civilian Surveillance Coordinator (The Closer - Major Crimes)
Reserve Police Officer (Major Crimes, Season 4 - 5)
Reserve Police Detective (Major Crimes, Season 6)
Affiliation Los Angeles Police Department
Division Scientific Investigation
Major Crimes
Gender Male
Family Jay Watson (Father, deceased)
Unnamed Mother
Javier (Stepfather, deceased)
Casey Watson (Sister)
Steven Watson (Uncle, deceased)
Played by Phillip P. Keene
First appearance "The Closer (Pilot)"

Francis "Buzz" Watson is a Civilian Surveillance Coordinator in the LAPD's Major Crimes Division on The Closer and Major Crimes.

He is responsible for memorializing crime scenes, and managing technology in the field and in the squad's office.

In Major Crimes, Season 4, he qualified to be a LAPD Reserve Police Officer and for Season 6, a Reserve Police Detective, allowing him to act as a detective when the division needs additional investigative personnel.

Character Information Edit

Buzz assists the Major Crimes squad with electronic surveillance and analysis of video and audio footage. Buzz became interested in police work when his father and uncle were murdered in a robbery in 1986 and the case went unsolved. He wanted to become a police officer to track down their killer but his mother was afraid of losing him too so he went to film school instead and became the LAPD's Civilian Surveillance Coordinator instead of a Police Officer.


Reserve Police Officer Buzz Watson.

During season 3 and season 4 of Major Crimes, he was taking courses to become a Reserve Police Officer with the LAPD and referenced parts of his training during cases. In the episode “Turn Down”, he was on his first drive-along as a Reserve Officer with Lt. Flynn and Lt. Provenza. He later states he is now taking courses to become a Reserve Detective. Despite being a Reserve Officer now, Buzz is shown to continue his work as a Civilian Surveillance Coordinator. After inspiring Rusty to investigate Alice Herrera, Buzz occasionally serves as his cameraman on his blog Identity.

During Season 5 of Major Crimes, he requested the murder file of his father and uncle from Lt. Provenza, and has started investigating the crime with Rusty Beck as a part of his blog Identity: The Long Shadow. Buzz' and Rusty's partnership on the case is on a rocky base as Buzz needs to follow LAPD policies and guidelines to achieve his goal of convicting his fathers and uncles killers whereas Rusty just wants a story.

Buzz started combing through hundreds of partial fingerprints found at the sites of other ATM robberies to locate the person who left his partial on his fathers credit card. He conducts this search as a search for a possible witness, as he doesn't have enough of points of comparison needed to locate a suspect, per LAPD policy, but they are enough to locate a witness.

His search eventually pays off as he identifies one man who could have been one of the killers, Gene Hecht. Hecht is currently serving a life sentence at Kern Valley State Prison for truancy, shoplifting, burglary, car theft, armed robbery, and attempted murder. After this, Buzz compiles his evidence and presents them to Captain Raydor who, per Lt. Provenza's request, hands them over to him to follow up on. Captain Raydor also congratulates him on a job well done.

With Provenza at his side, Buzz eventually interrogates Hecht personally. After Buzz threatens to have him transferred to another prison with a bad reputation, Hecht finally gives him an alibi. During the middle of solving the conspiracy surrounding the shooting committed by Dwight Darnell, Buzz interviews Hecht's alibi witness who not only breaks the alibi, but admits she suspected him of having a role in the murders due to Hecht wearing a rare at the time watch that had been stolen from Buzz's uncle after the murder. Buzz then interrogates Hecht again who gives him a name, Billy Jones, but shows reluctance to give further details. Buzz is able to identify a likely suspect, a man with a juvenile record who went to school with Hecht at the time of the murders, but is worried about the implications of Hecht's reluctance to help.

In “White Lies, Part 3”, after some amateur detective work by Rusty, he identifies the correct Bill Jones, and Buzz arrests him for the murders of his father and uncle. However, Buzz is left unsettled by the revelation that Bill has two kids of his own with his son being the age Buzz was at the time of the murder. Though he solved the case, Buzz is left upset by the idea that in solving the murders, he left another family fatherless. On the conclusion of The Long Shadow, Buzz states that Gene Hecht and Bill Jones confessed in open court to their roles in his father and uncle's murders and Gene received another life sentence at the prison he was already incarcerated at, while Bill got life without parole at a prison close to his family. Buzz continues to be troubled by the idea that instead of getting rid of the long shadow over his life, he merely shifted it to Bill Jones' children instead.

In “Heart Failure”, Buzz receives a letter from Gabe Jones, Bill's son that leaves him greatly upset. Buzz shows the letter to Rusty in which Gabe tells Buzz how his family's life has fallen apart since Bill's arrest and asks for Buzz to forgive Bill so Bill, who greatly regrets his actions, can return home. While Rusty tries to comfort him, Buzz is left visibly conflicted. In later episodes, Buzz is shown to remain in contact with Bill Jones' family and had plans to take the kids to Disney in “Shockwave, Part 1” before a murder investigation interrupted the plans. The rest of the squad appears to be worried about this relationship and do not think its a good idea.

In “Sanctuary City, Part 1”, it was revealed that Buzz has now qualified to be a Reserve Detective instead of just a Reserve Officer. Due to Julio being on bereavement leave following the death of his mother, Sharon asks Buzz to take an active role in the investigation as she needs an extra hand. He is shown to be both excited and nervous to be given this chance. During the investigation, Buzz conducts an interrogation on his own, joins Provenza in a more official capacity in visiting a reluctant and hostile neighbor and leads search teams through the house of one of the victims. In the latter role, Buzz's understanding of Spanish proves key as his ability to understand the victim's parents leads to a million dollars that they have hidden. Buzz also continues his usual role throughout the episode when not filling in for Julio, monitoring interrogations and bringing along his camera in case a possible witness will speak to them. In “Sanctuary City, Part 3”, Julio returns from bereavement leave and therefore Buzz returns to his usual role, removing his suit jacket and tie along with changing his badge from the Police Officer's badge to his civilian one

Buzz and Rusty Edit

Buzz was originally greatly annoyed by Rusty Beck, mostly as he had to watch him most of the time when Captain Raydor was busy. At one point, he gladly donated money to bring back Sharon Beck just so he could get rid of Rusty, saying he's happy to help as it gets rid of him as he didn't want to babysit him anymore.

The two however grew closer over time and Buzz was angry with Daniel Dunn for his treatment of Rusty. Notably, despite his differences with Rusty, Buzz was one of the most vocally angry with Dunn's actions, suggesting that the man's mugshot would make a great addition to his wedding album. Following the final confrontation with Dunn, the two develop more of a brotherly relationship, with Buzz advising Rusty on asking the other members of the squad why they became cops to show the squad that he's not as self-centered as they might have thought. Buzz also dedicates some of his free time to tutoring Rusty when he's forced out of school by Wade Weller's threatening letters.

When Rusty comes out as gay, Buzz is obviously unsurprised and badly hides it. Along with the rest of the squad, Buzz obviously knew already and even earlier teased Rusty that he had been passed over for an arraigned marriage while helping him study. Buzz also appeared to be the first person Rusty considered telling after Sharon, but was too nervous to go through with it and instead tried to get Sharon to tell everyone for him when he chickened out of telling Buzz.

When Provenza has Buzz get the video of Rusty's visit with his mother, Buzz is shown to be disgusted with Rusty's mother's behavior and actions toward her son. When Rusty was upset that he missed a story he wanted, Buzz told him that there is a story in the murder room for him if he just looks closely enough. Rusty realizes Buzz means the Alice Herrera case and begins his investigation into her real name. Buzz also helps Rusty during his investigations, along with Tao, giving him advice on how to crack a voicemail password on a phone, setting him up with Slider's interrogation tape and acting as his cameraman during his vlog Identity, including when he is filming at the station for interviews with a missing person's detective and Dr. Fernando Morales. Rusty thanks Buzz both times for his help at the end of the vlog, making sure he gets credit for helping him. In one instance, Rusty has Buzz come on camera so that his audience knows who is helping him.

Rusty later aids Buzz in his search for justice for his father and uncle, making it the subject of his third vlog story The Long Shadow. However, their differing takes on how to handle the investigation lead to occasional tension between the two. Rusty's dedication to helping Buzz leads in part to the arrest of the killer when Rusty secretly goes undercover to get his fingerprints for Buzz. After the two close the investigation, Rusty thanks Buzz for helping him come to the revelation that he is an advocate and not a journalist, changing his path in life.

Trivia Edit


Buzz Watson wearing his SID jacket.

  • Buzz is officially part of the LAPD's Scientific Investigation Division (SID) but he is exclusively assigned to Major Crimes. He can be seen wearing the SID's jacket when out with the detectives as well as having a different badge from the regular police officers that identifies him as a civilian.

Badges worn by Buzz.

  • Buzz's badge number on his SID issued badge is 77. His badge number as a Reserve Police Officer/Detective is 62941.
  • Because his stepfather is Mexican, Buzz speaks fluent Spanish. As a result, on occasion he's been called in to translate, notably in “Return to Sender” when a suspect pretends not to speak English and Sharon calls Buzz in. It leaves Buzz with a rather smug look on his face when the suspect is caught in an act because of his translation. Buzz later converses with Eduardo Morales in Spanish in “Dead Drop” and translates a maid's rather humorous comments in “Turn Down”. During “Sanctuary City, Part 1”, the owners of the house Buzz is leading a search on don't know he speaks Spanish and thus mention a hiding spot they don't want the police to find. Buzz's ability to understand them leads his search teams to a hidden million dollars.
  • He has a sister named Casey, who appeared in "You Have the Right to Remain Jolly".
  • According to Buzz in Identity, the cameras he uses on a daily basis belong to him, not the LAPD.
  • Like the rest of the squad, Buzz is shown to be unsurprised that Rusty Beck is gay. He states in an unconvincing way "we did not know that" after Tao expresses obviously fake surprise that Rusty is gay.
  • Buzz's skill at interrogating Gene Hecht both surprises and impresses the squad along with Rusty. Buzz credits the Major Crimes squad for teaching him the skill.
  • Rusty states that Buzz only gets paid $1 a year before taxes for his role as a Reserve Officer, which is correct even in the real LAPD. He is still generally referred to as "Buzz" though he's called Reserve Officer Watson on Rusty's vlog and occasionally by the squad such as when discussing his investigation or when Flynn had him do some dumpster diving as Reserve Officer Watson after he filmed a crime scene as Buzz.
  • On his first night on the job as a Reserve Officer, Buzz caught a murder case disguised as a suicide which drew the ire of Provenza as it prevented the team from getting to an important Dodgers' game. Regardless, Provenza promised him a good score on his evaluation. Buzz ended up helping in the case as both a Reserve Officer and in his usual role with Major Crimes as seen with him originally wearing his uniform but in later scenes being in his ordinary everyday outfit.
  • When locating Gene Hecht's alibi witness, Buzz identifies himself as Detective Buzz Watson despite not being a detective. Upon hearing this, Provenza is left stunned.
  • In “White Lies, Part 3”, when going to arrest Bill Jones for the murders of his father and uncle, Buzz carries a weapon for the first time out-of-uniform. He also wears his Police Officers badge rather than his SID badge during the arrest, meaning he was acting as a sworn police officer rather than a civilian investigator he usually is during normal investigations. He also makes his first official arrest when he arrests Bill Jones for the murders.
  • Buzz wears a suit and tie instead of his everyday clothes when he is acting as a Reserve Officer/Detective. He wears this outfit when he interrogates Gene Hecht, arrests Bill Jones and takes an active role in the disappearance of the St. Joseph's Three in “Sanctuary City, Part 1”. Notably, when aiding Provenza and Detective Camila Paige in speaking to a hostile neighbor, Buzz is wearing this outfit instead of his street clothes which he generally wears in such a situation when he's acting as the Civilian Surveillance Coordinator and is recording the scene with his cameras. When Buzz is sent to perform the interrogation, he can be heard stating he needs a tie. Even whilst in the murder room and electronics, Buzz continues to wear the outfit instead of his usual street clothes after being assigned to help in the investigation.
  • In “Sanctuary City, Part 1”, when a member of Buzz's search team addresses Buzz as "sir", Buzz can visibly be seen looking around as if he's anticipating that the officer is talking to one of the other Major Crimes detectives. It takes Buzz a moment to realize that the officer is in fact talking to Buzz himself rather than someone else.
The Closer Characters
Brenda Leigh JohnsonSharon RaydorFritz HowardWill PopeRussell TaylorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoDavid GabrielJulio SanchezIrene DanielsBuzz WatsonDr. Fernando Morales
Major Crimes Characters
Sharon RaydorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoJulio SanchezAmy SykesWes NolanCamila PaigeBuzz WatsonRusty BeckRussell TaylorLeo MasonFritz HowardDr. Fernando MoralesAndrea HobbsKendall

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