Major Crimes Season 3 Review “Letting it Go”

Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 17 Year-End Blowout (4)

On the latest episode of “Major Crimes,” last week’s considerably breezier tone was replaced by decidedly more serious matters, but not necessarily in a bad way, in “Letting it Go.” I love the more light-hearted shows, to be sure, but this episode served as a reminder of how powerful the show can be with the right storyline, and this one had two variations of them, each concerned with coming to terms with something from one’s past.

The main plot was the kind of thing no cop likely wants to deal with: the murder of a bad guy. What are you supposed to do when a person is killed who, for all intents and purposes, looks to be a terrible human being? In this case, the team did their job, however begrudgingly, which is, I suppose, how it should be. Still, it’s not as if they were thrilled about it, given this guy’s resume, which included multiple counts of rape which he’d managed to weasel his way out of. The question wasn’t so much who would do it, as who wouldn’t.

Leading the list of suspects were two women who had previously filed charges against the “victim,” one who saw her case swept under the rug by the military, and another who had an all-but airtight case, who saw it fall apart on a minor technicality. Was it suspect one or two? Or was it the slightly-too-attached lawyer who represented the latter suspect? Or could some- or all- of them be working together?

The answer wasn’t an easy one, as Laura Day (Nikki Deloach, currently of “Awkward.”) was all too happy to take credit for the murder, and did. Alas, the evidence didn’t support her confession, and it was later proven that it was actually the other victim, Jackie Chaidez (Alexis Carra, “Mixology”), with an unknowing assist from her sister, whose car Jackie used to commit the crime while her sister had dinner- thus establishing her alibi, as the two looked a lot alike.

Obviously, it wasn’t a great outcome, as these things sometimes can be a mixed bag when you have such an iffy scenario. Who can blame Jackie or Laura for wanting some peace of mind? And yet, murder is obviously wrong, so what are you supposed to do in a situation like this? In this case, the team did their job the best they could.

Meanwhile, the drama between Rusty and his mother likewise came to an unfortunate end, as the other Sharon (Ever Carradine, “Eureka”) finally showed her true colors after unsuccessfully trying to pull a fast one on her son by attempting to get him to obtain a forged prescription. Rusty didn’t bite, and refused, after doing the right thing and seeking the help of Raydor, who confirmed his suspicions.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse for Rusty than I did in that horrific scene in which his mother lashed out at him at rehab, essentially blaming him for what happened to her- and for being gay. It wasn’t an easy thing to watch, in an episode filled with things that weren’t, and I certainly don’t blame Rusty for ultimately turning his back on his mother, given the circumstances.

Kudos all around to the actors in this episode, who really brought their “A”-game in an episode that was both riveting and heartbreaking all at once. Carradine, in particular, nailed her role as an addict who lashed out at everyone but herself, and was just a generally reprehensible human being besides. It was a disturbing reminder that not everyone out there has made their peace with the idea of their kids being gay, no matter what they say on the surface- if they acknowledge it at all in the first place. Homophobia is still alive and well, and it is insidious and nasty when it reveals itself, as was the case here.

The turn by Deloach- a long way from “Awkward.” to be sure- was also heartrending, as we saw the aftereffects a rape can have on someone who isn’t able to “move on” with their lives. Deloach also really nailed her role, as a woman who was, by turns, angry, vulnerable, and essentially a total mess. I’ve always liked the actress, and she hasn’t always had the opportunity to show her true chops, as someone who tends to be in more lightweight or soap-opera-type affairs, a la “North Shore” or “Days of Our Lives.” She really rose to the occasion here, and the scene in the bathroom, with an also top-notch Kearran Giovanni (aka Detective Sykes) was perfection.

This was, top to bottom, a case of “Major Crimes” firing on all cylinders, and doing what it does best: working its way through some thorny issues as best as it can, just as we would hope their real-life counterparts would. I thought following up last week’s hilarious episode with this was a smart move, as it really went a long way towards showing the range of how good this show can be in a variety of areas. Well played, “Major Crimes.”

What did you think of “Major Crimes” this week? Did you find the main case as absorbing as I did? How about the situation with Rusty? Do you think he’ll be okay in the long run? Will his mother crop up again? Did you have a favorite performance? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next week!