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Major Crimes - Personal Effects - Review

This episode felt unfinished to me. I’m not quite sure yet why. It may have been because they didn’t get their “man” this week, or perhaps it’s because of the dangling post Sharon/Andy date story.

The first clue that this episode wasn’t going to follow our familiar paradigm was that it didn’t start with a body or at a crime scene. It’s Provenza’s apartment, which did look a little like a crime scene in the initial out of focus shots. Provenza is still dating Patrice. Not only that, but she’s moving in!

I’ve never, in a TV show or movie, seen a man more copacetic about having his stuff thrown out until Provenza. Everything was sailing along beautifully. He’s not even watching carefully to see what’s being marked for removal. Then he spots The Ducks; a pair of hideous lamps. The situation just got real. Not the duck lamps. They must stay. He will fight for the lamps. But before an argument can start, the phone rings. Provenza begs for a murder. He gets his wish. Aside from the duck lamps though, I think our crotchety Provenza is happy.

The victim this week spends a sizable chunk of the episode being referred to as Mr. Box of Bones. I like it. I think I’ll keep using it. Dr. Morales gets a database hit from Mr. Box of Bones’ DNA. It’s from a rape kit run more than a year ago. Raydor considers a rape victim a viable suspect so that’s where the investigation begins.

They bring in the rape victim. Sykes asks her to walk them through the attack. When she balks saying that she’s done it before, Sykes says, “But maybe there’s a chance your memories have changed.” That line of dialog just seemed off. It felt so out of character for Sykes that I was bounced out of the episode for a moment. This isn’t the first rape victim we have watched her deal with and she’s shown more awareness, tact and compassion.

However, the process of her telling this all again does give Major Crimes the extra clue they needed to find out the name of Mr. Box of Bones. She confirms that Tate Harrison is the man who drugged and raped her. I think the creepiest thing about this guy is that after he rapes a woman he talks to her like they’re a couple. He’s not only oblivious to the fact that he’s done something heinous, but he’s also oblivious to her.

They walk the clues backwards to reveal what kind of person Mr. Box of Bones was. He was an alcoholic who drugged and raped women, and was not liked by his family. But, before he died, he had joined AA and was doing the 12 steps. Tate’s sponsor leads them to his brother. His brother leads them to Mallory Greggs, a rape victim whose name he had to get from his brother because she was so personally unimportant he couldn’t even be bother to remember it. I wonder if he even asked.

They visit Mallory Greggs’ home, and I was certain that we’d found the killer. Mallory Greggs husband owns a .22 caliber gun so it’s logical that he’s the killer. Her daughter recognizes Tate’s picture, so I formed my theory. Mallory Greggs was having an affair with Mr. Box of Bones, her husband found out and killed him. I was flummoxed why the woman would have an affair with such an evil guy, but women marry convicted killers. Maybe, I thought, Mallory Greggs was one of them and that was going to be our twist.

Our guys are smarter than I am which is why I watch this show. They quickly determine that Mr. Box of Bones wanted to make amends with Mallory as part of Step 9 in the 12-step program. Once they have proof that she did talk to the man, they bring her in. She’s worked out her lies ahead of time and delivers them pretty well. Raydor and Tao might believe her if they didn’t have proof she was lying in hand already. When she realizes she’s been backed into a corner where her lies will no longer work Mrs. Greggs calls a lawyer; an extremely good lawyer. (Guest Star: Jeri Ryan)

But while Mrs. Greggs is spinning, what turns out to be another lie, Provenza and Raydor both twig to the fact that something is wrong with her statement. Then Flynn comes in with a DNA test proving that Mrs. Greggs’ oldest son is Tate Harrison’s son. She is the rape victim whose name Tate asked his brother about and the boy is a product of that rape. As they’re discussing this, the ADA (a man this episode) lists the problem with the case. He refers to the rape as “having sex”. When Sanchez’ voice begins to rise, Raydor stops him with a word. He steps away, the ADA wisely reads the room and clarifies. At this point, they have nothing he can use in court. They decide to re-interview Mrs. Greggs to see if she can provide the information they need to convict her for killing Mr. Bag of Bones.

Mrs. Greggs confesses to drugging and killing Mr. Bag of Bones. He had discovered he was the father of Mrs. Greggs’ older son and wanted visitation rights. I’m not sure I would have decided anything different. I have to add that, personally, I think the most heinous criminal in this story is Jonathan Harrison, Mr. Bag of Bones’ brother. He had received “some” complaints about his brother over the years. He knew and he allowed it to go on. He allowed more women to be hurt because he didn’t want to deal the unpleasantness. In my mind, that’s worse than committing the crime.

After Mrs. Greggs confesses to everything, her lawyer retracts all of the woman’s confessions. Without any evidence, they have to let her go. They don’t even have an autopsy that says Mr. Box of Bones was murdered. So she walks.

Rusty’s appearance this week was really only to service Provenza’s story. We did get to meet TJ who seems to be a little cutie. He seems completely age appropriate for Rusty. I’m pretty sure he’ll be back again. I hope so because we didn’t get any real insight to the character. So far we only know what Rusty has told us. Rusty does ask about secrets and long term relationships especially after learning that Provenza is keeping secrets from Patrice. Sharon tries to answer his questions but it sounds a lot like she’s actually talking about herself and Andy. What on earth happened on that date?

Provenza returns home to find his house redecorated. And after grousing about not having picked anything out, he announces that the place looks better than it ever has. He loves it. Provenza ultimately confesses to putting his stuff into storage. Patrice makes the same confession. Looks like this might be a real lasting relationship for him.

As I said at the beginning, I finished up the episode feeling as though it were unfinished. I’m used to the team getting their man. Although I don’t think that was the real issue for me. I think it’s because the scene where they’re coming to grips with having to let a killer free felt unfinished. Have you ever talked to someone whose voice got higher at the end of a statement? I sounds like they asked a question but they didn’t. That’s how I felt when that scene ended.

In addition to that, Rusty didn’t have a story this week. I’m not saying I needed to have more on the Alice investigation but it would have been nice to have him some purpose in the episode. For example, they could have given us some insight into who TJ is. Did it bother him that Provenza, knowing Rusty is gay, might think they were a couple? Rusty denies to Sharon that he and TJ are a couple, but how does he really feel about the guy? It would have been nice to get some insight there through Rusty’s body language before Sharon came in.

Most of the pieces were present in this episode; great performances, twist in the crime, but they didn’t come together like they usually do for me. I do not think this is going to be one of my favorite episodes this season.

What did you think?

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 and Major Crimes.
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