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Major Crimes - Internal Affairs - Review - "This Is Going To Be A Long Day"

3.17 - "Internal Affairs"

This week on Major Crimes, a thief of a caretaker ends up dead in his apartment, and none other than Detective Sanchez is the primary suspect. Rusty comes home to find Jack, Sharon's ex husband has broken in and waiting, while drunk and raving about winning it big.

"Where's your jewelry box?"

Detective Sanchez finds his mother on the floor of her living room while she's recovering from surgery. She swears she's only been lying there for a few minutes. Sanches notices that a jewelry box is missing, and her caretaker, Tino Rodriguez walks in shortly afterwards, drunk, with his mother's money in hand. Sanchez roughs him up pretty badly, and then Tino runs back home.

Later, as Tao and Provenza approach the philanderer's apartment to see about Sanchez's mother's missing items, they notice his door is open, and then find him dead in his living room. Unfortunately, it looks as though he either might have succumb to the injuries inflicted on him by Sanchez, or someone attacked him in his home after the fight.

While the episode overall had a feel similar to any other show where a main character is mistakenly accused of a terrible crime, once again the tone and acting held things in place nicely. Mary McDonnell had her first real chance to bring back out her impartial and enigmatic side in order to protect the team and Sanchez from what would be an impending Internal Affairs investigation (if you'll remember, that's where she transferred from, so she knew how things would go down, and she prepared accordingly.)

While it was nice to see her at her best even in the face of her team being against her welcoming investigation and distancing herself and the others from the case, it was a bit odd to me given that she's had SO much experience with issues like the one in this episode, I thought it was off that they'd still have Provenza resist it so much. But he likely is set in his ways, which is to say, he still regards process and formality with the same hot-headed temperament that he always had. Sanchez also further played into his own usual characteristic issues, as he lost his temper more than once, in his capacity as a police officer as well as a son, when his mother was brought in for further questioning about the events that took place.

The night of Tino's death, the jewelry box showed up at Sanchez's mother's home, which led them on a hunt for a 3rd party involved in the missing items. They came upon Javier Mendoza, a local power player in a gang in the neighborhood. They questioned him, and he let slip that he brought it back but did not take it in the first place. He was covering for someone. They bugged his shoes that they used to identify whether or not he had been at the crime scene and then staked out his house. The next day, they caught him beating the fool out of a young man outside his residence -- Pablo Mendoza, his nephew.

They hauled both of them in to get the story straight, and eventually pieced together that they were involved but couldn't get the extent of who did what, so they carefully released the information to Javier that Tino was dead, and he was the main suspect, while Buzz rigged a camera in Pablo's car in the parking garage. The camera, in conjunction with the wiretap in Javier's shoe, and Tino's death tip brought Pablo's confession out in time for them to swoop in for the arrest. Sergeant Staples, the man tasked with investigating Julio Sanchez, was reminded of how this was something the Major Crimes team deals with on a daily basis, and his insistence for things wasn't doing anything for the investigation--that he should leave it to them to provide what he needed without him annoyingly pushing for it. He was impressed with how they handled the entire ordeal.

But the evidence he had gathered showed a history of aggression and anger from Sanchez. This is not a new problem. There has been multiple episodes dating all the way back to The Closer that Sanchez has gotten way too physical with  a witness, and I was beginning to wonder whether that was supposed to be acceptable behavior, as Sharon didn't really get onto him too strongly for it, while she's usually a stickler for rules. In the end, she worked on a deal with Staples to effectively put Sanchez in "time out" -- he must take Anger Management classes for 12 months 2 times a week -- hardly a penalty for all the times he's crossed that line. Maybe it will reflect in his character over the course of the show?

"Shah- Rohn..."

The personal side plot of the week was Rusty running into a severely inebriated Jackson Raydor in Sharon's apartment. He had used his key that was supposed to have been revoked to break in, and wait for her to give her some news. Rusty took his keys, and then ran back up to the office to let Sharon know immediately what was happening.

She raced home to confront Jack, who sputtered in between snores and stumbles about hitting it big, and giving her his winnings. She wanted to deal with him right then, but Rusty told her that Sanchez needed her presence in that case, and he would handle Jack, as his mother had exposed him to way worse types of men, and he'd set Jack straight after he slept it off. They swapped "I love yous" in that mother-to-son way that melted my heart a bit, I'll say honestly, and she went off back to the main story of the week.

The next morning, Rusty coached Jack through waking up and reminding him of what he had done the night before. Jack was still self-absorbed in whatever issue had caused his alcoholism, his negligence, and his divorce,  but he let on about losing something irreplaceable. Rusty said that he should have been more thoughtful about what he had rather than what he didn't: he was a great attorney, he had an amazing woman for a wife, with 2 really impressive children.

In the last scene, he came to Sharon, with money he won in his legal settlement with the LAPD, to try to cover an old debt. He was so upset with himself that I momentarily stopped hating his guts. Sharon seemed to feel something very strongly as he quite eloquently apologized for all the terrible things he'd done. He was not going to make it alright with his apology, but that was about all he had. Her eyes welled up a bit. I am not going to say that I'd prefer her to get back with her husband, but I do hope he can improve himself and make amends at least. Sharon and her family deserve some peace.


- Sanchez's mother veered between being adorable and incredibly annoying... I know he loves his mother, but my goodness, moving in with her is going to put some work on his Anger Management classes.

- Andy did his best this episode to be both helpful to the case, as well as hopeful about Sanchez's involvement. I appreciated his diplomatic points that he made throughout the episode, trying to keep people from flying off to one side or the other. But even he had had enough of Staples by the end of the episode, and he let that pencil pusher have it when the guy pointed out something they were clearly aware that they needed for the investigation.

- Sykes needs more to do. She had a lot going on last season, and now she seems to have been sidelined. She has grown into one of my favorite characters on the show after she "matured" 1-2 years ago, so let's have her more involved with the stories!

What did you think of this week's episode? Start a discussion below in the comments!

About the Author - Wilson Crawford
Wilson is an avid fan of television, music, and the occasional video game. He enjoys well-written, thought-provoking characters and series that get better with age. Current favorites include The Good Wife and Mad Men. Past favorites include Damages, Fringe, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock, and Veronica Mars.
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