Major Crimes Season 3 Review “Jane Doe #38”


On the latest episode of “Major Crimes,” the garbage man got one hell of a surprise when he picked up the trash in an upscale neighborhood only to discover a dead body inside the bin, in “Jane Doe #38.” As you might have guessed from that title, though, this was no laughing matter- not that it’s supposed to be, mind you- but regardless, this was not meant to be one of the more light-hearted episodes of the show that we get every now and again as a bit of a palate cleanser from the heavier stuff, despite that oddball beginning.

Instead, we got the heartbreakingly sad tale of a homeless maid who lived in a tent and was just trying to save up for beauty school tuition. Alas, she got caught up with the wrong crowd, and for once, it wasn’t the idle rich getting rid of someone for some perceived slight or because they saw something they shouldn’t have or what have you. No, this was actually the rare scenario where the person in question was actually trying to do right by her employers and got killed for it- not that they were inclined to believe it, given the evidence against the girl in question.

Dubbing the girl Alice, after the fake name she gave on her library card, the team back-tracked her to the place she was camping out with other homeless kids, including a real piece of work nicknamed “Bug,” who directed them to a place near the scene of the crime, where they discovered a house with a swimming pool filled with salt water- the deceased had it in her lungs, as she had been drowned- Alice’s barrette in the pool filter, and two rich d-bags living it up, who they promptly arrested.

As it turned out, the guys were not guilty, and the same applied to the mother, who expressed disappointment that Alice had robbed them, as she liked the girl and had given her a beauty kit as a gift to help with her dreams. After getting a list of the stolen items, they tracked it to a local pawn shop where “Bug” was trying to hawk some things, but before they could arrest her, she was gunned down in the street by a thug in a car that sped off before the cops could catch him.

Luckily, “Bug” lived and led them to the guy, who went by the nickname of “Slider,” and ultimately confessed to the crime, though he opted to go the trial route rather than accepting a life without parole vs. the death penalty plea bargain. I’d say all’s well that ends well, but it kind of didn’t end well, what with that outcome and that beyond sad funeral at which only the team and a priest attended. Even sadder- the wall of other missing kids that had never been found that we saw throughout the episode.

So, clearly, this episode wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs, and more than a little depressing, but these things happen sometimes, and it would be wrong for a show like this to not address it. My only complaint really was that we didn’t get a scene where someone from the team contacted the woman who employed Alice and reconfirmed that she was a good kid. I feel like she might have gone to the funeral if she’d known- maybe. Or maybe not. Who knows, with these rich people? But I did feel like they could have at least shown a member of the team trying to reach out to her, or maybe that’s just me.

Beyond that, we did get some forward momentum on Rusty’s story as Captain Raydor sought to officially adopt him. Only one problem- she had to get the approval of her ex, Jack (Tom Berenger), or else a divorce. Well, Jack wasn’t having either, so it looks like lawyers are going to have to be involved, but I’m glad Rusty didn’t fall for Jack’s line of BS again, and went straight to Sharon with his dubious internship offer. As someone who’s dealt with conniving parents before that was completely within his character, so it made perfect sense that he would second-guess a guy like that, especially after their previous run-in. Nice going, kid. Stick with that mode of thinking, to be sure.

So, a decent, if near-unbearably dark episode about how even the homeless trying to make something of themselves can meet with grisly ends- at the hands of other fellow homeless people, no less. Not exactly a fun viewing, but it was a solid enough episode overall, with some decent acting from the guest cast, including former Disney girl- “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” among other shows/movies- and “Step Up” dancer/franchise regular Alyson Stoner as “Bug.” (Some of you might also remember her from several Missy Elliot videos, like this one, or this one.)

Also cropping up was 80’s-favorite Amanda Wyss, of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Better Off Dead” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” fame. More recently, she had a recurring role on “CSI,” but she sort of dropped off the radar for the most part after the early 90’s where she did a stint on the “Highlander” TV series, save a few guest spots here and there.

It took me a hot minute to place her- and Stoner was even more unrecognizable, for that matter- but it’s cool to see Wyss still looking good and giving a solid performance here, and Stoner stretching her wings to try something different. Hey, given the way a lot of these Disney girls turn out, I suppose we should be glad she’s a Stoner that doesn’t live up to her name- when she’s not playing one on “Major Crimes,” that is.

What did you think of the episode? Did you get a kick out of seeing Wyss or Stoner? Or did you even recognize them? Did you find the subject matter as near-unbearable as I did? Or are you glad they did an episode like this, regardless? Let me know down below and I’ll see you next week, for a hopefully more uplifting episode!