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Major Crimes - Sorry I Missed You - Review: “How Cops Watch Car Chases”

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It took me a few minutes to stop crying and start thinking in terms of reviewing this episode. I found this a very thoughtful episode with a crime that, by the end, had nothing to do with my initial expectations.

I loved the opening car chase sequence. Does any other city in the country send out the news choppers like Los Angeles does? Apparently the cops are as interested in the gossip as the rest of us. They have access to the juicy details that won't make the broadcast news so they were having a great time. Provenza’s reaction to the driver heading into the Major Crimes jurisdiction was priceless. When the body of a psychiatrist named Hensen flew out of the car’s trunk, Provenza was annoyed that they had their next case.

While most of the squad room is watching the car chase, Rusty gets his first look at the files on ‘Alice.’ (I’m going to continue calling her Alice instead of Jane Doe #38.) Andy asks Julio if he remembered to leave out files pertaining to the court case. Julio rather snippily replies that he didn’t because he’s an idiot.

Seems like Andy’s trying to apologize and Julio wants nothing to do with it. (Not a shocker!) I get the feeling I should adjust my definition of “Anger Management.” Now, I’m thinking anger management isn't about not being angry so much as what you do when you are angry. This seems to be where Julio is now. Throughout the earlier parts of the episode, he seemed like he was a slight breeze away from exploding. In the morgue, he notes that therapy doesn’t always work. It looks like we’re heading for that explosion. I hope fervently that we are not. I’m not the only one. Every other cop on the show seems to be waiting for it as well.

Before I move on, I must chuckle at Raydor’s reaction when the ME said “stomach contents.”

Rusty studies the contents of Alice’s file. I think this was one of my favorite scenes of the episode. Rusty realizes that Alice was smarter than he was. She had a job. She had a plan. Yet, she’s the one who ended up dead without a name. A simple mistake like getting into the wrong car and he could be her. He likens life to dropping a couple of eggs and “one cracks, the other one doesn’t.” Sharon concurs…luck plays a role in everyone’s life.

The call back to the episode last season when Sharon broached the subject of adopting Rusty was nicely handled. If I remember correctly, Raydor said that she wanted to have the authority to look for him if he ever disappeared. Rusty thanks her for taking care of him and notes that it is nice knowing that she’d call Missing Persons if he ever went missing. Before the sappiest among us can properly tear up, Raydor calls Missing Persons and they get the killer's name.

They find that the killer (and dead driver) is Randall Ward, a restaurant owner in the middle of some pretty serious financial problems. When Provenza, Sykes and Tau arrive at Randall’s house, they find the wife in the company of a lawyer (in a kitchen I was drooling over.) The cops are suspicious that the wife has contacted a lawyer so quickly. Janice, Randall's wife, says it was a previously scheduled meeting she’d forgotten to cancel. It was really weird for me to hear Tao call Mrs. Ward, Janice. I suspect someone wanted to make sure the audience heard that her name was the same as in the wedding ring. But the level of familiarity was odd and kicked me out of the story for moment.

Mrs. Ward plays the last phone message she received from her husband. His meeting with an angel investor was successful making it possible for the couple to open a new restaurant. With a 376 credit rating? (I did not know it was even possible to have a credit score as low as 376.) It was evident to me that the wife was fairly clueless about some fairly important pieces of information about her life.

I found the contrast between the two widows interesting. Dr. Hensen’s wife is calm. The investigation seems more of an inconvenience to her. She even finds aspects of her questioning funny. On the other hand, Randall’s wife is sick with worry. Her first words, the moment her kids are out of earshot, are essentially, ‘Have you found my husband?’ When the police search finds 20K in the trunk of her car, they arrest Janice Ward.

Captain Raydor sends Andy and Julio out to look for Randall’s cellphone. It seemed like an attempt to heal that wound in the unit. Put Andy and Julio together and they’ll work it out. Right? Wrong. Epic fail! When they return Julio is not talking. He joins Rusty, who is watching recordings of the interview with Alice’s killer.

Rusty asks Juilo a couple of questions about the case. When Rusty puts the interview’s audio on speaker, Julio asks him to stop. Rusty wants to know why Julio hasn’t reclaimed his desk. Julio isn’t sure he’s staying. The scene reminded me that the people in this unit are Rusty’s family. As much as they have been there for him when he’s needed them, he’s now willing to be there for them if he can. Yet another really nice scene.

The brainstorming scenes feel more important this season, and I find I’m loving it.

Julio and the ADA interview Janice. They think they have this figured out and are just gathering the details they’ll need to put her away. Janice finally finds out that she’s nearly broke and her husband killed someone for hire. She’s devastated.

They talk to the psychiatrists’ wife. She confesses that the doctor’s dedication to his patients destroyed her marriage. Couples therapy got him to ignore the phone sometimes, but it wasn’t enough. She gave up on the marriage and decided to have an affair with their therapist. Such a lovely woman.

As I was writing this review I realized that somewhere during the episode I stopped worrying about who hired Randall to kill Dr. Hensen. Not that I didn’t care or wasn’t interested, but I was so completely into the story that I forgot to wonder. I hopped on board for the ride, sat back and enjoyed myself.

Rusty went to interview the alleged killer - who, after 10 months of sobriety - looks clean cut and innocent. (Okay, I admit there’s likely a healthy dose of “I’m going to meet a reporter and must look innocent” tossed in.) Rusty’s a pretty good negotiator. He lets the guy tell his side of the story, but only promises that if anything he says is useful, he "will make sure we have your version of what happened.” This kid has learned a lot hanging around with these cops. He also listened to the investigative advice Raydor gave him.

Back at the precinct, Raydor and her team turn up the heat on their real suspect. In looking at the people involved in the case, they discovered a connection they hadn’t expected. The lawyer’s daughter was being treated by Dr. Hensen. By letting the lawyer see some of the pain that Julio keeps hidden beneath the surface, he gets the guy to open up. Everyone, even Provenza, was surprised at the ring of truth in Julio’s words.

At a time when his daughter needed her doctor the most, he wasn’t there. When the lawyer realized that, after repeatedly telling the family they could call anytime, Dr. Hensen hadn’t picked up his phone. After 5 attempts to get help, his daughter committed suicide. Between the ignored calls and the anti-depressants, the lawyer believes Hensen killed his daughter. The law couldn’t punish him (‘a bad outcome doesn’t mean negligence’), so he did. He’s charged with double murder (Randall Ward’s death is at his feet because his fatal car accident happened while committing the felony.) Wow, that’s a lot of lives down the drain, because a woman wanted her husband to let the phone go to voicemail more often.

It’s Julio’s turn to pickup the information from the board. Sykes congratulates him on getting the lawyer to open up. Julio opens up and reveals the source of his anger. When his wife got pregnant (I had never noticed the wedding ring on Julio’s hand before.), the doctor said it was okay for her to go off her seizure meds. She had a seizure while driving and he lost his wife and child. Julio can’t seem to get past his anger over the tragedy. Julio finally decides to move back to his desk. He’s going to stay.

Raymond Cruz isn’t frequently given any acting challenges on this show. His character is a fairly quiet man. But his work in this quietly heartbreaking moment was stand out.

Rusty gets a bit more advice from Raydor: ‘the more he learns about Alice, the more important she becomes to him.’ It made me realize how much Rusty has grown and matured on this show. We’ve watched him come to grips with who he is and what he had to do to survive on the streets. We’ve watched him build his self worth. There have been scenes (as recently as last season) where one of the adults in his world has pointed out that he was being selfish and self centered. Not a shocker, he was a teenager. But this episode and this storyline is about him looking outward. His concerns and empathy are about someone else. He noticed that something was going on with Julio and reached out to him. I don't think he would have done that in previous seasons. He would have cared, but would he have noticed?

Rusty’s story is the main reason I started watching Major Crimes and I do not feel like I’ve wasted a moment of time watching this character grow. For me it's so much more satisfying than when shows try to reset everything so they can continue telling the same types of stories they started with.

Two episodes into the season, it feels like they’ve made a choice to delve deeper with the character stories. This isn’t always successful for a procedural (IMHO), but no faults so far.

How did you guys feel about this episode? How are you feeling about the season so far?

About the Author - Prpleight
Prpleight is a screenwriter and senior software engineer with solid geek cred. When not writing code, screenplays, or watching TV (sometimes she does all three at the same time), she uses her broadsword Bessie to battle evil. She's been a frequent contributor to the SpoilerTV discussion boards for several years now. Currently, she's reviewing Stitchers.
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