This week’s episode of “Major Crimes” begins with an emergency call about a daughter who hasn’t come home. Her dad told the 911 operator that his daughter was bullied – cornered in a bathroom by guys who told her to take down her pants so they could take pictures. That’s not bullying, says Sykes. That’s sexual battery. Michelle is also transgendered. She used to be Michael.
Michelle’s mom says her husband is overreacting. Which is my first clue that this woman somehow has something to do with the crime. She’s not even freaked out that her daughter is missing, and says they’ve turned their lives upside down to accommodate “that child.” I’m not a violent person, but that statement makes me want to punch this woman in the face.
Clues lead to a kid named Lewis, who goes by the Internet name of “The Tranny Hunter” (who builds their life around such an abhorrent goal?!), and after a chase through his neighborhood, he ends up at Major Crimes.
Meanwhile, Rusty brings his friend Kris to the station, and when Lewis is led through the room, he looks at Rusty and says, “What are you lookin’ at, faggot?” Hmmm… Lewis also tells Capt. Raydor that he likes to stay “as far away from that freak as possible.” Meaning Michelle. Yeah, a real model citizen, that one. And the squad has Lewis on camera at the mall last night, within 15 feet of Michelle.
Meanwhile, Flynn and Provenza search a nearby woods and find a girl’s scrunchy. Sadly, they also find Michelle’s body with a tissue stuffed in her mouth. Whoever put her in the grave didn’t want her to breathe in any dirt. Also, the battery from her cell phone is missing, and the guys conclude that the killer might have been a family member. I’m calling foul on the mom, at this point, but that’s probably too easy.
When Michelle’s brother sees Lewis at the station, he attacks him. But Raydor has issues with charging Lewis, because his behavior is inconsistent with the murder. They video-document the family’s reaction upon hearing the news of Michelle’s death, and the parents argue over her gender identity issues. The dad was accepting; the mom, not so much.
I appreciate that Capt. Raydor tells the squad to identify Michelle as a girl. “It helps me to identify with the victim,” she says.
Jack and Rusty discuss Michelle’s case, and Jack says, “You can’t hide who you are, as I’m sure you know.” “Sure I know what?” says Rusty. “You know … being a foster child,” Jack covers. Turns out that Capt. Raydor had told Jack about Rusty’s history of hustling guys on the street, so Jack could understand him better.
At the station, Raydor listens in as Kris tells Rusty that the last guy she dated ended up being gay. Remember, we had that “is he or isn’t he” discussion a couple of weeks ago. Oh, and Rusty calls DDA Rios “Creepy Emma” when he introduces her to Kris. She IS a little creepy. And what does she eve do around there? She can’t even look at a body without nearly passing out. She’s just annoying. I had to laugh when Provenza told her to grow up and get a spine, or whatever words he used.
At this point, Raydor seems to think Michelle’s dad is her killer. She lets him go see Michelle’s body at the morgue, and is grief-stricken when the medical examiner tells him, “Her head was crushed in with a baseball bat.”
Turns out the dad rented an apartment. He’d planned to establish residency so Michelle could go to school in that area. He also took $80,000 out of their joint account, “for Michelle.”
Raydor and Provenza then question the mom about the shovel in the trunk of her car, as well as her shoes, both of which have the same dirt that was in Michelle’s grave. “Mrs. Grant, we have arrived at that point in our relationship where the lying has to end,” says Provenza. “I’m a good mother,” she says. “And I want a lawyer.”
She’ll need one, because she’s now under arrest for Michelle’s murder.
Evidence leads to the fact that Michelle’s brother picked her up at the mall, and then killed her after she told him about the new apartment and school. “She was destroying our family!” he yelled. “It’s been like living in an insane asylum ever since she was born.”
After he killed Michelle, he went home and told his mom, who then buried the body. Talk about a seriously dysfunctional family. Oh, and Lewis gets justice, too. “These pictures prove that you committed sexual battery, which is enough to put you away in juvie,” says Sanchez. “Have a miserable life.”
By the way, I love Tom Berenger in the role of Jack. And I love his character, too, especially when he comes up with the idea to take Capt. Raydor, Rusty and Kris to the outdoor movie “Shakespeare in Love.” He seems like a good guy, if a little lost and misguided.
Your thoughts on this episode?
Oh, what a sad, sad, show. 🙁 ~sniff-sniff~ Am I the only fan of this show that feels they “really haven’t seen it” unless you watch an episode twice? There are so many 1/2 second shots of facial expressions and gestures that if you *blink* or look away for literally one second, you can miss so much!
This show…man…it really hit me hard and I don’t know why. No transgender friends; guess it was the complete brutality of everyone involved except the girl (Michelle) and her father. Regarding Lewis spouting off at Rusty about the faggot remark; that’s just a common insult. I hear it ALL the time on the street: “Oh, you’re so gay!” or “That’s so gay!” or “You’re a fag!” or “You’re a lesbo!” A great portion of the youth of any era are demon spawn and they take out their frustrations from life and home on others. Of course, we the audience, like the Greek chorus of yore, KNOW about Rusty’s background so a casual insult has more impact to us and Rusty.
Regarding Jack being “nice”….hmmmm, even before this week’s episode showing his true colours as an attorney, I knew that he was ONLY displaying his best side to impress both Sharon and Rusty. I’ve personally known waaaaay too many Jack’s (and Jill’s) who wore a smile to your face, while sharpening the butcher knife behind their back. Sharon nailed it in the episode where she forced Jack to invest time in his OWN children in order to camp on her couch and he whined and pouted like “a widdle girl.” Rusty was clueless as to “why calling your kids” was such a big deal because Jack showed him oodles of love that he hadn’t given his own children. Yah, Jack never fooled me for a second.
I find this particular show on transgender interesting for the role reversal of the supportive parent vs. denial parent: usually, in TV shows of the past, it would have been the Dad who resented his SON becoming a girl, but in this case, it was that wack-a-doodle mom (who I also wanted to throttle) who hated who her son became.
The saddest part of this, for me, was when the brother mistook Michelle’s glee at moving as “selfish and tearing the family apart.” The brother was too close to the situation to realize that ALMOST ALL 13 year old girls are narcissists and of course, she was thinking only about the move with her supportive dad. This was a “House Divided” and since there was no communication nor counseling in the family in regards to the transgender issues, the polarity split between the Mum/Son and Dad/Daughter was bound to happen.
This TV show continues to impress me with it’s awesome, relative subject matter without the silliness of a 5 season Red John Arc or endless serial killers (Criminal Minds).
I think it was horrible!! How awful it would of been for that girl! What I still cant believe is that a parent could misunderstand their own child for such a brat! Michelle seems nice enough and I don’t believe she deserves any of what happened to her, especially those boys telling her to pull her pants down so they could take pictures. Who would do that?! Anyway, I love the show and I want to see it again!! Bye!
very nice story…I like major crime…All team members are so good.