Recap/Review – Major Crimes – “The Ecstasy and the Agony” – 9/3/12

The detectives of Major Crimes investigate the murder of an Israeli businessman helping the FBI uncover a drug-smuggling ring within his family.


After pulling Rusty out of bed at an ungodly hour on his first day of school, he and Raydor head to the crime scene. Alon Strauss, an Israeli-born businessman, was found shot dead in the doorway of his large home. He was expecting his driver that morning when he let the killer in the house.

Jump with me to read more.

As Raydor tries to assist Flynn in his interview of Alon’s wife, Roma, she is startled by the presence of FBI Agents Fritz and Morris. Roma isn’t too happy to see them and blames them for the death of her husband. Alon was preparing to testify against his cousin and business partner, Ilya Blume. She wasn’t happy about their options in the Witness Protection Program. Before continuing to speak with Roma, Raydor enlists Buzz’s help, again, asking him to take Rusty to school. Provenza, feeling out of sorts lately, requests a coffee-run from Buzz, too.

Now at the station, Roma explains her cousin’s involvement in the drug trade. She knew nothing of the operation until Alon was approached by the FBI. She claims to have kept the matter a secret, though her son reminds her that she spoke of the matter with her life coach, Thorn – aka Arthur Woodsen. It seems as if the life coach was quite popular; he spoke with all 6 wives in the Strauss family. They’ve made $3 million/month from their movement of ecstasy, using their investment in low-budget action films. Recently, one of the family, Yoshi Hirsch, had gone missing after a screening of one of their films in Pittsburgh.

The detectives find Thorn (Michael Weatherly of NCIS), now a murder suspect, at his home, packing up all of his belongings. After finding out that his conversations with his clients aren’t covered by privilege, he refuses to share their secrets. And insists he isn’t a life COACH but rather a life strategist. Big difference.

Since Thorn isn’t too keen on answering any of the detectives’ questions, Raydor reminds him that his knowledge may put him in jeopardy. He claims that he just found out about his clients’ drug-related activity, but upon search of his home, Fritz and Morris found a script entitled “The Ecstasy and the Agony” and in it, a “Nosi Gersh” has disappeared. In fact, all the names in the screenplay are strikingly similar to everyone in the Strauss family. They take it to Thorn, who admits knowing about the family business and to sharing the screenplay with several executives.

Raydor wants to search Ilya’s home, but Morris and Fritz think that it would derail their investigation. After all, they already know that Ilya has a Desert Eagle handgun in his nightstand. Raydor won’t interrupt their investigation, but she wants Ilya brought in and the gun to be tested for ballistics.

Ilya will be brought in under the guise of comforting his cousin’s widow to see if one of them will hopefully say something incriminating.

Rusty has been escorted back to the station, but the school day hasn’t ended yet. The Father says that Rusty lied about the events over summer break and got into a fight with some of the other students. And even though he did not start the fight, they want to remove him, but the other three badly-injured boys only get a slap on the wrist. This won’t fly with Raydor, and she strongly encourages the Father to reconsider his actions. But Rusty isn’t pardoned from his actions; Raydor wants him to take a “time-out” and think about the reason for his actions.

While they’re waiting for Ilya’s arrival, Provenza seeks Thorn’s advice with his newfound slump.

Ilya has arrived and having Thorn placed in his sight works like a charm as Ilya blames Thorn for everything. As Roma watches his anger unfold, she comes to Thorn’s aid, screaming at Ilya.

They’re revealing all sorts of secrets; Thorn was sleeping with his clients, including Ilya’s wife, and Alon and Roma were getting divorced, but no one is confessing to murder.

After separating the crazy trio, Provenza spends more time divulging his past actions than investigating Thorn. Roma complains to Raydor about the Witness Protection Program ruining her chances with Thorn.

Tao looks over the crime scene photos again, looking for a discrepancy that he forgot about earlier. The peephole of the Strauss’s door was open, meaning that Alon knew and trusted the murderer. Sanchez didn’t find the Desert Eagle at Blume’s home, and Tao suggests that it probably lies somewhere inside the Strauss home.

Sharon puts Rusty in the care of his case worker while she’s out on the stakeout and reminds him of the great respect she’s shown him all this time while he has been less than grateful.

Sykes and Tao escort Roma and her son back to their home and tell them that they’ll be back later with a search warrant to help with the investigation. Once out of the car, Sykes and Tao circle around the block and wait.

Roma’s son, Avi, leaves the house with a backpack and is stopped by detectives. Inside his backpack, they find the missing Desert Eagle.

He defends himself, citing his father’s hypocrisy; he had strict rules for Avi while he was running drugs. And the Witness Protection Program would’ve “ruined his life.” Killing his father was his ONLY option. Roma watches her son confess on video and is presented with a way to help Avi; if she assists with the FBI’s investigation, Avi will receive a lighter sentence.

Thorn is all too thrilled that he gets to leave, but without his precious screenplay. Provenza suggests that he get out of town, as his “work” incriminates many mobsters who’ll probably want him dead. In return for his freedom, Thorn offers some free advice for Provenza – to change himself. It’s a good thing he didn’t have to pay to hear that!

Rusty is back at home with Raydor and is bothered by her silence. He admits to purposefully sparking the fight at school. He makes a deal with Raydor; he wants a month’s notice for whenever she decides she wants him to leave.

I think I’m falling in love this show. Part of it probably has to do with Michael Weatherly’s lovely turn as a crazy guest star, but Major Crimes is growing on me.

I love Rusty and Sharon’s relationship; the motherly side of Sharon isn’t that much different from Captain Raydor with her strict adherence to rules and regulations, but there’s a sweetness there when she speaks to Rusty.

I don’t understand why Fritz is still there. His presence only serves to remind me that Brenda is gone, and while I loved his character on The Closer, I realize it was only in relation to Brenda. Maybe I’ll eat my words after a few more episodes. We’ll see.

– Lindsay

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