Major Crimes starts with the nightmare scene of a large SUV swerving in traffic before crashing into a crowd of people waiting to get into a club. Video footage from bystander’s phones show the driver stumbling out of the car and being beaten by the crowd before a bouncer stops it. Provenza (G. W. Bailey) tells Buzz (Phillip Keane) to stop the video. He asks if the paramedics smelled any alcohol on the driver’s breath, but that seems a no go. There is a handbag in the car, but it’s zipped. Flynn (Tony Denison) suggests that maybe it spilled its contents in the crash, but as three people were killed and nine were injured, Provenza says they should do things by the book and declare détente with Raydor (Mary McDonnell) considering the seriousness of the case.
“Medical Causes” contained one of the most gruesome cases I’ve seen portrayed on television in quite some time. And it was so easy to imagine it happening.
A bunch of happy revelers waiting in line to get into a nightclub were plowed down by an SUV. The crime itself was a bit of a letdown. It was the most cliche of incidents and that was something we weren’t often subjected to before Raydor took over Major Crimes.
Flynn arrives at the hospital with the warrant and the bag and he and Sanchez go through it. They discover the driver is Dr. Leslie Nolan. There are no drugs nor alcohol in the bag. Raydor arrives with Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin) in tow. Rusty is unhappy about being up at 6 in the morning, but no one cares. Raydor and Sanchez go into talk to Leslie.
Along the way, we were given a lot more insight into the new dynamics of Major Crimes. Thankfully, Taylor was absent, thereby making it a rather pleasant experience outside the horror of the crime of the week.
Watch Major Crimes – Medical Causes Online
Major Crimes S01E03: Medical Causes
Unless you were paying close attention to what was happening as Flynn was gathering money for the bus ticket for Rusty’s mother, you might have missed Sanchez’s cute, scrunched up laugh to his buddies as Provenza hid his wallet to dig out cash. It was such a little thing, but I loved it. It’s all a part of the renewed concentration on the whole team. They get along better and they’re more comfortable. I can’t decide why Brenda’s leaving would bring them all closer, but that’s exactly what has happened.
While all this is going on, Raydor expects a call from the Reno P.D. about Rusty’s mom. The call comes through. Rusty is ecstatic to finally talk to his mom. Before she can come back, she demands $500 for the ticket and to pay back her boyfriend, the one for whom she abandoned Rusty in the first place. Buzz starts a collection because he never wants to babysit Rusty again. Everyone pitches in. Rusty is so happy and tells Raydor that he and his mom will absolute pay them back. Flynn is going to pick the mom up and take her and Rusty out to dinner. Raydor has to tell Rusty that he won’t be able to live with his mom right away because of the abandonment. He’s upset, but there’s not much to be done. He’s very grateful his mom has been found. He leaves the school application Raydor had him filling out since he won’t need it now.
After going through Leslie’s phone, the squad calls in her new boss (David Starzyk). The doctor is all sorts of sleazy as Sykes finds out when she discovers that he has had a couple of sexual harassment claims against him, but he clams up after telling them that his relationship with Leslie was strictly professional.
There was a major development as a result of discovering Rusty’s mother. Provenza and Flynn found that seeing their nemesis caring so deeply for Rusty melted their own frosty feelings toward her. Flynn was by Rusty’s side as he waited for the bus and kindly listened to a young man’s desires and dreams about the return of his mother without passing judgment. Provenza realized Sharon might want to be in the role Flynn was portraying and offered a suggestion that would allow her to do that.
Raydor brings that to Leslie and the DDA (Anthony Ruivivar) is involved. They want to offer manslaughter. Leslie is shocked. She tells her attorney she wants to tell them what happened.
Tom comes to the hospital and they tell him that Leslie wasn’t having an affair and that she’s taking a plea deal. He rushes into her room and asks her what is going on. Raydor walks away and goes to another room. They set up a camera in Leslie’s room. Tom phoned in the prescriptions. He has all the drugs in his locker at the club where he is a pro. He also drugged Leslie so that she would fail her mandatory drug test the morning after they had drinks. He thought he was losing her and crazily drugged her to prevent that from happening. Instead he killed four people. Leslie is sickened. She screams at Tom. He tries to strangle her, but Sykes runs in and clocks him.
She seems very fragile. When she gets home she turns on the lights and goes to the kitchen to grab some wine. She is startled when Rusty pops up to say she’s late. He’s filled out the applications. He doesn’t want to talk about his mom. Raydor asks him why he ran from Flynn. He tells her he doesn’t cry in front of people. Raydor calls Provenza to tell him that Rusty came home. The show is a little heavy handed trying to show that there’s a reason for Raydor and Rusty. So far it’s not that successful. McDonnell is a great actress but the show is really rushing all this.
Amazing how the writing has moved the character of Sharon from hard ass internal affairs enforcer to team leader in a totally believable way. I especially like the way she reveals her vulnerability in subtle ways. When Brenda led Major Crimes, everyone was just background to her narcissistic personality. I always felt the team was the best part of this show and now they are being allowed to show the complexities of their characters. Each one is great in his own way. Even the new girl, while a total clueless jerk, is interesting and shows great potential. I have gone from thinking I wouldn’t like the new show to being a total fan.
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