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Major Crimes - Snitch - Review: "It's a Date!"

One of the things I enjoy so much about Major Crimes is the writing. This was a episode that seemed pretty straight forward in the promo. Yet another gang killing in Los Angeles. There’d be a gang shooting and the Major Crimes unit would have to find the killer before a gang war is ignited. In the process of finding the killer, they would discover that the motive had nothing to do with gangs. Raydor would come up with a great plan to get a confession and a crisis would be averted. I should have had more faith.

Two people associated with a gang have been shot to death. An innocent bystander (an 83 year old man taking out his garbage) was also killed. This gang, The Monsters, is known for “retaliating” against witnesses brave enough to come forward. And that is what this episode is ultimately about: protecting a witness.

Amy walks the neighborhood looking for a gun and the voice of an eleven year-old girl tells her where to look. The moment Amy realizes how young this girl is she goes into protective mode. She tries to stop the girl, Amira, from telling her anything she would have to testify to.

Back at the precinct, they determine the gun is not only the murder weapon in this murder, but was also used to kill a man during the robbery of a taco truck. Raydor is curious how Amy found the gun behind the screen of a house. Amy spins a story about seeing the screen ajar. Everyone in the room is fully aware Amy is lying. Provenza lets her know that she will, eventually, have to give up the name of the witness. Not, she says, if their first suspect confesses.

They pick up a guy named Twizz. A witness saw him kill the taco truck owner. This guy remained flummoxed as to why the cops cared so much about a taco truck driver’s death. That was one of those touches that I know is part of how the real world works, but I just cannot believe people think that way.

Unfortunately, Amira calls during Twizz’ interrogation to let Amy know the killer, a guy named Big Hazzard, is outside at that moment, looking for the gun. Amy is pretty fast on her mental feet. She has the little girl call in a tip to a main switchboard line from a pay phone. The people who need to know are aware that Twizz didn’t kill these three people, but they also know that Amy has a witness she’s not revealed.

Amy is dragged before the Chief but she stands firm. She will not give up the girl’s name. I spent most of the episode worried that something bad was going to happen to that little girl. I could not see a way out. Fortunately, Raydor did.

She decides to put Twizz into protective custody as a prelude to putting him into Witness Protection. They, very publicly, arrest the killer then make sure he overhears the mention of Witness Protection. Big Hazzard makes sure the information makes it back to The Monsters. Everybody is talking. Amira is safe. No one in the neighborhood is aware that she is the witness who helped put two killers away.

Amira is only 11 years old. She had to ask how a payphone worked. These are the moments I feel older than my Grandmother. I confess my first thoughts were (1) I thought they stopped installing payphones anywhere and (2) the payphone in that neighborhood actually works?

The ep was peppered with small moments that feel like real life cop touches. For example, Tao stating that the only good news in the situation is that the innocent bystander’s family is in Hawaii. They won’t have to do the notification. (A horrible part of the job, I’m sure.) The other moment was while they were arresting the killer. Tao informs Amy that if it is necessary to shoot someone, it is Amy’s turn, because neither he nor Sanchez can afford another shooting in their file.

Was it just me or did you guys get the impression that The Monsters have some expensive lawyers on retainer? The lawyers here did NOT seem like public defenders to me. I especially liked Big Hazzard’s lawyer making sure they saw the evidence before he started handing over information and confessions.

As seems to be the rule for this season, the B-story revolved around Rusty and his quest to identify Alice. Throughout the episode he’s in session with Dr. Joe. I love Dr. Joe. He doesn’t let Rusty off the hook.
Rusty wants Dr. Joe to tell him how to report on Alice’s messages in his VLOG without screwing up the case against her killer. Unfortunately, Dr. Joe is focused on his job, which is helping Rusty work on his issues. I wondered last week who was helping Rusty get information on Alice. Turns out his name is TJ Shaw, and judging by his vehement denial, Rusty likes him.

I like the way Dr. Joe gets Rusty to open up about what’s going on with him. He never tells Rusty what to think or how to feel. He gets Rusty to recognize and quantify how he feels about things like his feelings for TJ, or why he is so driven to find out who Alice was. I say again, I really like how Rusty has grown. What’s really bothering him is not talking to Sharon about the messages. He doesn’t want to damage the trust they have between each other. Rather than telling Rusty how to handle the situation, Dr. Joe declares time is up and leaves Rusty to make the decision himself. Yup, he makes the right one and goes to Sharon.

Have we heard Rusty use the word ‘love’ when talking to Sharon? He didn’t in this episode either. But he told her, in a much more direct way than I can remember him saying it before. It was sweet, as was Sharon’s reaction to hearing it.

And to make Sharon’s evening perfect. ANDY FINALLY ASKED HER OUT ON A DATE! And the idea made her smile. I smiled as well.

I started this week's episode expecting to be disappointed by the season's (hopefully) only dud. Once I discovered that I was wrong and this episode wouldn't be what I expected, I began to fret that something bad would happen to a little girl for whom doing the right thing is so engrained she never considered keeping quiet. Neither expectation turned out to be the case.

All the pieces of this episode came together to surprise and entertain me. I liked the casting (the actors playing Twizz, Amira, and Big Hazard's lawyer were the stand outs) and the writing. I absolutely, loved Raydor's solution to the problem. And she and Andy have a date at a romantic restaurant! Let me know what you thought.

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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