Tonight’s episode of Major Crimes, “Dismissed with Prejudice,” started with a flashback…how did we know? It had that out-of-whack off-kilter color scheme thing happening, for one; more importantly, it had Lt. Tao (Michael Paul Chan) sporting a full-on 70′s porn-style ‘stache! Oh yeah! (Okay, the flashback was actually set only eight-and-a-half years ago, but I know a 70′s mustache when I see one…)
I kid Major Crimes, but it’s with love, I assure you. Truth is, I always enjoy a closer look at The Closer team’s individual members, and hoped that we would get more of it on the spin-off, and that has essentially proven true.
Tonight was Tao’s turn, and it was a pretty good- if a bit predictable- tale of a father who may not have killed his wife, despite the hard evidence and compelling testimony from his own daughter way back when. Turns out some new DNA evidence has cropped up and that, combined with the father having won over the daughter to his innocence, results in the father being set free. Or should I say, to the case being… “Dismissed with Prejudice”! (See what I did there?)
So, it’s up to Tao to prove his mettle by either clearing the father once and for all or finding the “real” culprit- in this case, a long M.I.A. man with a dubious track record, whose disappearance coincides with the disappearance of a whole lot of money. There also appears to be some connection to the father’s wife, possibly of the romantic variety. The plot thickens!
So, did Pops do it or not? Or did our new suspect take out the wife over money and split town? I thought the father (William R. Moses, a long way from The Secret Life of the American Teenager) was just cagey enough to keep you guessing, but it seemed pretty obvious that he likely did do it, even from the flashback. After all, child or not, you don’t soon forget seeing something like that, even if you’d like to, and she seemed pretty convincing in the flashbacks.
That said, kudos to Moses for keeping us on the fence about his guilt or innocence, and to Tina Ivlev as the daughter for helping to keep us unsure one way or another. By far the most chilling moment of the season has to be that moment- spoiler alert!- when confronted with the evidence of her father’s undeniable guilt, she approaches him and he says, going from reassurance to a snarl in the space of a couple of lines: “You know my only regret? That I didn’t kill you while I was at it.” Yikes! Better reserve that therapist now, kid, if you haven’t already. You’re gonna need it for years to come.
Tao had some nice moments where he doubted himself, before he got that steely gaze we know so well by now and we knew he wasn’t going to stop until he proved that he was right all along. Mission accomplished, sterling record kept. That’s how you do it, folks.
There was also some more subplot shenanigans with Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin) getting to know his biological father, played by Teen Wolf regular Ian Bohen. Not unlike Moses, Bohen is proving mighty hard to pin down. Is he a good guy trying to do the right thing, or is he a scumbag running some scam? It’s hard to say, but I’m erring on the side of dubious.
On the other hand, I’m not the hugest fan of Martin, so if it gets him off the show, then I’m all for it. Plus, how about that unfettered look of sadness on Raydor’s face at the very end? Nice moment there. Mary McDonnell is clearly settling into the role, and we’re definitely starting to see more chinks in that hard façade she always makes seem so effortless. (You’ll recall there was a similar moment in last week’s ep as well.)
Just two more episodes to go, and the show is really just starting to grow on me. Isn’t that always the way? Well, there’s good news for fans- it just got picked up for a second season! Insert cheer- or boo, as the case may be- here.
So, what did you think? Nice to see Tao get his moment to shine? Do you think the show is getting better as it goes along? Are you sad to see it go, or do you wish they’d left well enough alone in the first place and ended it with The Closer? Let me know in the comments section!
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