The episode opens from the view of a reporter in a helicopter. Before she goes on air, she needs to find a politically correct way to report on the Latino kid that broke into the house of a white homeowner.
This homeowner, Coach Charles Frey, is quite popular, given the amount of press on the ground. Coach Frey found two young Latino males robbing his residence and shot and killed one, while the other fled.
Jump with me to read more.
Flynn is attending to the crime scene instead of going to his daughter’s wedding.
The victim is Mateo Torres, 23, and was shot three times.
To gain perspective on the public’s reaction or to remind us that she can use Twitter, Rios comments that “hashtag Coach Frey” is being compared to the Trayvon Martin shooting. She wants one of the detectives to smooth things over with the press, but since she’s burned bridges with her admirer, no one volunteers.
Coach Frey is now in the station and has a few cuts on his face. He recounts the details of the break-in and says that he didn’t recognize either of his attackers.
Mateo’s parents are used to his son’s troubles and think he’s been arrested when they are brought into the station. They are heartbroken when they hear the news of his death and find it odd that he broke into the home of his former swim coach. Albert, Mateo’s father, blames himself for his son’s death. He signed Mateo up for swim lessons at a young age and found that he was quite good. Mateo’s mother blames Albert too; she says that he pushed Mateo too hard.
Mateo’s parents identify Raymond Suarez as Mateo’s sole friend, and the detectives are out looking for him, as he did not show up for work today.
According to Albert, Coach Frey urged them to take Mateo off the team, as his numbers were slipping, but he didn’t want Mateo to think that he wasn’t good enough. After this loss, Mateo then turned to drugs. After Mateo’s 23rd birthday, Albert told him to grow up, and when Mateo lashed out about the swimming, Albert admitted that it was the coach’s decision to cut Matty from the team.
Coach Frey claims that he’s trained too many kids to remember Mateo.
Upon search of Mateo’s home, the detectives find numerous swimming trophies. Coach Frey may not remember all of his students, but a winner like this one? Not likely.
Taylor is concerned with the press: without an update from the LAPD, they’re spinning the rich-white-man-murders-defenseless-poor-Latino-kid story.
Rebecca Slater, Kris’s mom, pays a visit to Sharon at the station. She wants to explain her reasoning behind keeping Kris from Rusty. Apparently, someone was a little too forthcoming at dinner.
Tao interrupts their conversation to show the squad the video he found on Mateo’s computer. In it, Mateo tells the heartbreaking tale that led to his drug use and the reason he broke into Coach Frey’s home. Coach Frey abused Mateo daily after swim practice.
Of course, Coach Frey adamantly denies touching Mateo and now wants an attorney.
The detectives think that after Mateo learned that it was Coach Frey’s decision to remove him from the team, he got drunk and then confronted Frey. But even if they could prove that the molestation occurred, it’s a crime past the statute of limitations. Adding insult to injury, Mateo did break into Frey’s home, making it a justifiable homicide.
Raydor decides to use this to their advantage with the press. She wants to release a statement saying that they’re trying to dispel rumors of sexual abuse, and this will hopefully bring more victims to them.
Once at home, Sharon tries to advise Rusty on his pre-relationship breakup with Kris and offers to help him find a therapist, but he’d prefer to just focus on school.
Their press release worked; kids are filling up the station but so far, all of the cases are too old.
Before all hope is lost, a young boy walks in with his mother and tells of how Coach Frey took him into his home at first, just to play video games, and then proceeded to abuse him.
The detectives have to tell Mateo’s father that while Coach Frey will be put in jail, they can’t charge with what he did to Mateo.
In light of Albert’s regrets as a father, Flynn decides to attend his daughter’s wedding, and Sharon volunteers to accompany him.
On his way to the courthouse, Coach Frey is gunned down by Mateo’s father, who is then taken into custody.
Way to take current events and throw us a curveball, Major Crimes writers! A heartbreaking, well-done episode.
Till next week!