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Major Crimes - Off The Wagon - Review: "Very Vanilla"

The cold open this episode was the trailer for a new superhero TV show called Gold Storm. I kept thinking worse ideas have actually been made. Andy’s daughter asked him to look into the overdose death of Chris Walker, the lead in Gold Storm. She’s close to the actor’s sober coach, Jared. Andy asks Tao for help on the case since he knows “the business.” I just knew this meant I would be enjoying tons of Andy snark toward Tao. I wasn’t disappointed. Andy was determined not to let his daughter down, because she so rarely asked for anything. Given what we’ve learned about his drinking, it makes sense.

The first question the Major Crimes Unit must ask is if there are any potential suspects: Sean, the agent Chris dumped the second a high dollar project came along, his former manager and mother, and Tina, his soon to be ex-wife and pill supplier to the wannabes.

They seem to accept that Chris was murdered when they discover that there is a 2 inch wide strip of Oxy in the Very Vanilla shake powder. (I don’t want Sanchez fussing at me!) The interviews lead them to Mrs. Walker’s supplier, Dr. Deb. Who wastes no time providing all of the evidence they need to nail her to the wall. Listening to her lawyer argue for her, I thought perhaps he got his law degree the same place Dr. Deb got her medical degree.

Dr. Deb admits that she sold Oxy to Chris Walker’s dietitian, Jared. Jared is innocent of the murder, but he does give them a clue to finding the killer. Sean found an Australian actor that looks a lot like Chris. After sneaking into the house to spike the Very Vanilla shake mix, he got his replacement an audition and voila, he’s back in the money Chris screwed him out of.

Meanwhile, Rusty finally sees the other side/consequences of the demands he made of his birth mother. He takes his mom to an ultrasound and learns that he’s going to have a little sister. He’s shocked when Sharon B. tells him that Gary’s parents will expect her to sever her relationship with the baby if they adopt it. Rusty has the audacity to be surprised. I want to smack him upside the head.

Rusty backs off of his edict and encourages Sharon B. to accept the offer Gary’s parents extended of living with them and raising the baby together. Gus is there to see Rusty off as he drives Sharon B. to their house. Rusty decides to confess to Gus that he is in love with him. Gus is one happy camper but Rusty, after an all too brief but genuine smile, looks worried. I’m a little stumped by that.

Buzz’ story only got one scene this week. Raydor and Provenza were willing to go to bat for him and get the information from the partial prints, but they needed him to further justify the request to run the prints. Buzz committed himself to a thorough investigation, so we should be hearing results soon.

I feel the need this week to mention Andy. He had some awesome moments in the episode. My favorite was him finding out how much Tao makes working on Badge of Justice. He was pretty happy until he found out that the 10-12K wasn’t a one time payment but a per-episode payment. The look on his face was hysterical. My first thought long before Andy finds his own show to apply to.

But the scenes that really stood out for me were his conversation with Rusty and his final scene with Jared. Rusty wanted to know the secret to knowing when he could trust his mother. Andy tells Rusty that there is now guarantee. He suggests to Rusty that Rusty may be the one hurt if he doesn’t forgive his mother. The moment Andy took with Jared was just Andy being a good guy. He called Jared out on falling off the wagon and didn’t indulge Jared’s claim that he had it under control because he’s a doctor.

What did you guys think about the episode?

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.
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