Recap/Review – Major Crimes – “Under the Influence” – 6/24/13

majorcrimes627smallThe detectives struggle to investigate a triple homicide when their only suspect refuses to speak.


A quiet ride-along with Tao, Sanchez, and TV writer Jason Andrews (Ben Feldman of Drop Dead Diva) soon turns into a high-speed chase. Sanchez is able to corner the vehicle and notices that the driver is covered in blood. It’s possible that Sanchez thinks the suspect is hard of hearing, the way he’s yelling at him. Either way, the suspect stays silent. His clothes are taken into evidence, as are the two sets of car keys found on the man. One is to a Range Rover registered to a Rosa Vega in East L.A.

Jump with me to read more.

Señor Sangre’s (they call him Mr. Blood, but this sounds better) prints aren’t in any database, so Raydor has Tao call the FBI and remove the nosy TV writer from the media room.

Flynn is on a new cleanse, and he tells Provenza about it while they go check to see if Ms. Vega (Elizabeth Pena) is the source of the blood found on Señor Sangre’s clothing. But she’s very much alive and terrified of the septuagenarians breaking down her door.

Fitz is off on another assignment (aka the new TV show, King & Maxwell, on TNT after Major Crimes), so it’s just Agent Morris, and he’s a quick study. Raydor claims that their suspect might be a potential terrorist and, in the interest of national security, has Morris there to monitor his meeting with his lawyer. Buzz is eager to serve as translator for Morris, but no es necesario. Andrews is still listening by and is deeply concerned about the suspect’s civil rights. Tao introduces him to the Patriot Act.

Rusty wrote an essay about how much he’s influenced his own life. And not only does the teacher want him to write it over, so do Buzz and Sharon.

Agent Morris says Señor Sangre isn’t a terrorist, but gives the detectives a clue about the whereabouts of the missing Range Rover. The detectives find it by a chop shop, along with three bloody bodies in a pit.

Mr. Andrews rewrites Rusty’s paper in return for learning if Amy Sykes is single.

Señor Sangre’s real name is Juan Diaz. He admits to stealing cars and working for the chop shop. That morning, he innocently stole a car, took it to the shop, and got in the pit, when one body was thrown on top of him, then another, and the third. To stay alive, he kept silent until he was sure that the murderer was gone. In return for his crime of theft, Mr. Diaz is willing to go back home to Mexico.

Hobbs is satisfied with his story, but something doesn’t sit right with Sanchez. His dress and demeanor when they caught him didn’t scream scared innocent man. Raydor is ready to chalk it up to shock, when Agent Morris comes back with information on Mr. Diaz. His name is actually Manuel Luis Vega, and he’s wanted in Mexico for drug racketeering. The car they found Manuel in was registered to a Mrs. Vega. No way that’s coincidence. The take the car apart and find $3 million worth of heroin.

After de-drugging the car, they bring it back to Mrs. Vega. Once they drive off, she checks the dashboard for the drugs, and Flynn and Provenza are back to take her into custody.

Rusty’s essay is good. Too good. And it’s all about Sharon. She’s flattered, not by the cheating, but tells him to write about someone else and to actually write it himself this time.

Mrs. Vega’s story is that her son is too stupid to have smuggled in that much heroin. She claims that they didn’t know anything about the drugs and that she hasn’t committed any crime. Mrs. Vega is an attorney and knows ALL about the criminal justice system. And as for her son, who the detectives now believe is the murderer—which he doesn’t deny, but says that he killed them to get his car back. So three gruesome murders are now self-defense.

Sanchez finds the phone Manuel used to contact Mama Vega, and on it, she tells him to make sure those people don’t bother them again. It’s not exactly solid evidence, as she points out after handing the detectives the phone, but they knew that—they just wanted her prints.

Now that they have the drugs, will Manuel be eager to go back to Mexico? Raydor tries to use the prospect of sending Mrs. Vega’s son back, empty-handed, to the cartel, and Mommy Dearest doesn’t care. He made his bed, let him…die in it?

That didn’t work out as planned, but Mrs. Vega’s prints come back—awfully fast—and she has a record too. So they’re sending her back to Mexico. For someone who was so calm in the station, she sure freaks out at the news of the trip.

Sharon and Hobbs give Manuel’s lawyer an ultimatum: either he goes back to Mexico for a double funeral or gets life in prison in the U.S. He chooses the latter. (Or at least, I’m guessing he does; we didn’t get to see Ahmed discuss the matter with his client, so we’ll have to assume.)

After that’s all over, Amy and Jason share a few cute, awkward moments during which she hands over her card and tells him to call her with any questions. Flirty!

Flynn longingly mulls over a bag of chips left in his desk drawer. EAT THEM!

And Rusty chooses to write about his mother for his paper; her poor choices have had the greatest influence on him and his desire to make better ones.

Kudos on the guest stars! The likable Ben Feldman took over for Ms. Rios in the show’s annoying character of the week slot, and it was nice to see Elizabeth Pena in that role. Granted, it wasn’t as hilarious as last week’s DudeRanch episode, but every ep can’t be about a new detective finding their stripper name, now can it?

– Lindsay

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