Captain Raydor cautiously investigates the murder of teenager in gang territory; Rusty wants to know more about his biological father.
Rusty doesn’t exactly know how to process the news of his newly found father and is upset that he never tried to search for him. Raydor reminds Rusty that he may not know of Rusty’s existence and that he should meet him with an open mind.
The rest of Major Crimes patiently await Raydor’s arrival at the crime scene; a 16-year-old boy, Anthony Lewis, was found, shot dead in his car. His car was involved in a collision with another car, as there is a dent and red paint on his rear bumper.
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Anthony seems to have been reaching for the glove box when he was shot.
Chief Taylor wants Raydor to hold off on notifying the family, as Anthony’s body was found in gang territory. Anthony’s brother, Lamar, is a member of the Twilight Crips, and even if this is an isolated incident, Lamar may go after the rival gang, starting a war.
Raydor and Taylor come to a compromise; she’ll notify Lamar in the station and convince him not to take the law into his own hands.
Sanchez notifies Lamar of the death of his brother, and it doesn’t look like Lamar is interested in listening to anything after that. But he’s not allowed to leave, as he’s violated his probation by being at the police station after 10pm; they have to hold him. After all, those are the rules. Ha!
Rusty’s proving his usefulness; he’s made breakfast for Sharon and offers to continue to do so. He spent time researching his father’s background and has since found that the story he heard from his mom was a lie. But for some reason, Rusty seems convinced that he’s involved in some illegal activity or is just an all-around terrible person.
Back at the station, Raydor is updated on the case; no one’s claimed responsibility for Anthony’s death. The car that hit Anthony’s is identified as a red 2002 Kia Sedona.
Raydor and Provenza speak to Anthony’s coach, Javier Ramirez. He was the last to see him alive last night. He kept the team late to watch football footage and to keep them out of trouble. Ramirez has nothing but great things to say about Anthony and says that he didn’t have anything to do with his brother’s life.
They can only hold Lamar for a short period of time, but before letting him leave, Sanchez lays out the evidence in front of him; and Lamar, surprisingly, agrees that his death doesn’t look like a gang retaliation. While relieved that he had nothing to do with his brother’s death, it doesn’t look like he’ll take a back seat to the law. Raydor releases Lamar, but not without a tail. She hopes he’ll lead them straight to the killer.
Lamar heads to Anthony’s high school. He stops by the memorial laid out in front and then heads to the football field, where he’s met by a friend.
While watching the footage of Lamar, Raydor requests advice from Flynn and Provenza (of all people!); she wants to know of a legal way to request a background check on Rusty’s biological father. After a humorous “anonymous” tip from Flynn to Provenza, Flynn suggests going through DCFS.
On the field, Coach Ramirez gives a pep talk to Anthony’s teammates, and then they disperse. Lamar follows and chases one of the team, Diego Alvarado. Sykes goes after Lamar, alone, and when she catches up with him, he beats her to a bloody pulp. Sanchez isn’t far behind and detains Lamar. They also apprehend Diego to take his statement.
Lamar left Detective Sykes with a concussion and a dislocated jaw. Raydor, always prepared, is baffled as to how this happened. Provenza comforts the Captain, reminding her that you can’t prepare for everything. Taylor isn’t as concerned with Sykes as he is with wrapping up this case. He’s called for a press conference.
Raydor needs to speak with their current suspect, Diego Alvarado, since Lamar assumed that he killed Anthony. Coach Ramirez says the two fought two weeks ago over Diego’s loss of his starting position to Anthony.
Right before they head to the interview room, Diego’s parents arrive; they want to know why their son, the victim, is being held in the station.
Raydor asks Diego as to why Lamar ran after him. He admits to having fought with Anthony but knows of nothing else. Apparently, Anthony replaced Diego as quarterback, but Diego says that he would have earned his spot back, not kill Anthony for it. When they mention the red Kia, he says that car is so common, even his grandmother owns one. Either, he’s stupidly confessing, or he really had nothing to do with it.
Raydor leaves the interview room to head off Diego’s father; he’s tired of waiting and wants to see his son. He has a handy alibi for Diego for the time of Anthony’s murder, too – a receipt from a local store; he sent Diego out for groceries that night. Raydor notices that the receipt is the only one in his wallet. Odd that he’d have it, and it’d coincide with the time of Anthony’s murder. Mr. Alvarado admits to following Anthony after practice and hitting him with the car but says that the shots were in self-defense, as he thought Anthony was reaching for his gun. That all sounds plausible, except for the fact that he purposefully sent his son out so that he’d have an alibi. Alvarado will confess to everything if he’s ensured that Diego will keep his spot on the team.
A press conference is held in which Diego tells of his father’s crime, and it is made known that this was not a gang-related crime.
Rusty read the background check on his biological father and found that he’s just a normal guy, but he’s afraid that Raydor wants him to reunite them so that he’ll leave. She assures him that not only is that untrue, it’s also solely up to Rusty if he wants to meet his father. He’s finally made some friends at school and joined the chess team. He’s happy.
Such a great episode, though it seems like I’m the only one who still isn’t crazy about Sykes’s character. Yes, I feel terrible that she was beaten so badly and seeing how much Provenza and Sanchez care has to be the most adorable thing ever, but no, I haven’t warmed to her character as of yet.
Taylor has returned to his horrible ways (see The Closer: season 1). What happens when he finally comes around (again)? Who’ll be our new antagonist? Thinking too far ahead, aren’t I?
Catch the new episode Monday, September 24, on TNT at 9/8c.