Recap/Review – Major Crimes – “Before and After” – 8/20/12

Captain Raydor investigates the brutal murder of a personal trainer who raped many of his clients.


The detectives arrive at an exercise studio to find Chad Rayburn, a personal trainer, murdered in his studio. The murder weapon, a kettle bell, lies just below his head. He was found by one of his clients, Ms. Shaw, that morning when she came in for a session. Provenza rids the room of Det. Sykes and sends her off to notify the victim’s wife, Annette.

Jump with me to read more.

Captain Raydor isn’t on the scene just yet, as she has a meeting with the social worker. Rusty is determined to make Raydor’s home look like a war-zone, but the social worker isn’t buying it; he’s lucky to live there.

Sykes finds the wife and lets her into the studio – aka, the crime scene – to see her husband’s body. As she screams, Sykes feigns bewilderment over her actions.

Raydor meets the squad at the station with Rusty in tow. Buzz is back on babysitting duty, and he’s not too happy about it.

Sykes interrupts Raydor’s interview with Annette to inform Captain Raydor that Chad was a suspect in a rape. Sykes is trying to play a lost newbie, but Provenza sees right through it.

Assistant Chief Taylor hopes that Raydor would be grateful for her new job without a promotion. This case will be a test of her qualifications.

Jim Martino tried to file rape charges on behalf of his daughter, Amanda. Upon learning that nothing could be done without his daughter’s statement, he vowed revenge on Chad. Raydor and Hobbs are already planning for the deal they’re going to offer the assumed father/killer. Provenza, wisely, albeit rudely, suggests that they actually find out if Jim is the killer before arranging a deal.

Annette mentioned earlier that all of Chad’s work was on his iPad, and since it wasn’t at the scene, Sykes and Tao are sent to track it down. Sykes tries to charm Tao, asking how to get along with Provenza and then praising his wise advice. Tao’s only concern: finding the iPad.

Sanchez finds Amanda at home while Flynn and Provenza find Jim at his store – and he’s all too happy to find out about Chad’s murder. His happiness fades when Tao locates Chad’s iPad in the trash behind Jim’s store.

Amanda recounts the events surrounding her rape. Raydor shows Amanda the video of her found on Chad’s iPad, praising his skills as a trainer. She says she was forced to make the video. Raydor then inquires about her father’s whereabouts that morning. Amanda hesitates and then says that she and her father were both at home that morning.

Tao recovers 9 other videos previously deleted on the iPad, and all of them are similar to that of Amanda’s. Now they have nine other suspects, and as they speak to each woman, they find that they all have alibis for the time of the murder.

Assuming that the killer is someone other than Jim, why would they delete all the other videos, leave Amanda’s, and then put the tablet at Jim’s place of work?

They’ve got someone in mind for the frame-up when they bring Annette back in. She’s purposely shown a picture of Jim listed on the whiteboard under “Suspects” and claims to know him. Raydor lets her know of the other women they’ve found and returns Chad’s iPad.

Tao was able to remotely access the camera and the team watches as Annette frantically deletes the nine videos. Tao reinstates them; Annette deletes them. This continues until Sanchez arrests Annette. They find Chad’s cell phone in her purse, which she didn’t admit to owning, but that’s all they really have on her. Her lawyer takes full advantage of this and suggests that she get off with probation and no time served. There were mitigating circumstances; she found out that her husband raped all these women, and she snapped.

Provenza, already opposed to the idea of negotiating with murderers, is about to blow when he thinks that Annette will get off practically scot free for the murder of her husband. But the Captain isn’t through yet. Annette’s lawyer might be able to prove that there were mitigating circumstances if the murder weapon hadn’t been wiped down, all but one of the videos erased, and Chad’s incriminating iPad found at Jim’s place of work. She tried to frame someone else for the murder, and that took careful planning. Hobbs counters the offer for probation for the maximum: 11 years for manslaughter.

In court, Annette confesses to the murder, saying that her husband had to be stopped from hurting anyone else.

Even after that successful case, Provenza decides to pack up his desk. Raydor doesn’t beg him to stay (that’s not her style), but instead negotiates; he’ll stay until he finds a fairer line of work.

After arguing earlier over an exam for a private school and living space, Raydor provides some tough love for Rusty. He finally relents and moves to his room. He seems to only listen when she starts to scream at him…

That was the longest iPad commercial EVER. Extreme product placement aside, I enjoyed this episode. I’ll admit, the idea of negotiating instead of killer confessions did leave me feeling Provenza-minded at first, but by the end of the episode, I was pleasantly surprised.

I know there’s supposed to be one bad apple in the group, but intentionally jeopardizing an investigation?! And then suddenly empathizing with the victim? I don’t get Sykes’s goal in this. Maybe we’re not supposed to get it yet. Either way, watching her piss off Provenza is enough for now.

– Lindsay

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