Major Crimes opens with Raydor (Mary McDonnell) and Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin) at home. Rusty doesn’t want to meet his dad, not when he could be a drug addict or a criminal or who knows what else. Raydor doesn’t push him, but tells him it might be something he wants to do. She leaves when she gets called to a crime scene. Rusty asks if she’s going to leave him alone a lot now that he’s no longer in emergency care. She tells him to do his homework before TV.
A 16-year-old black kid is dead in his car. He was reaching for something in the glove compartment when he was shot in the back. It looks like he was in a fender bender with a red car before the shooting. It looks like he was reaching for his insurance and registration when he was killed. Provenza (G.W. Bailey) and Flynn (Tony Dennison) seem ready to write this off as some sort of gangbanger thing. Sykes (Kearran Giovanni) doesn’t seem to agree. Especially once she looks him up and realizes he was the quarterback at the nearby high school. Provenza and Flynn remain unconvinced. Raydor wants to notify the family, but Provenza tells her that Taylor (Robert Gossett) has nixed any for the time being.
It turns out that Taylor’s youngest attends the school and he is worried that this will turn into gang war between the Twilight Crips and the Treces Locos. The fact that he wants that nowhere near his son is unspoken.
The squad brings Anthony Lewis’ brother Lamar down to notify him about his death. Lamar (Clifford McGhee) is a Crip and they are worried that he’ll retaliate first and think later. When Sanchez (Raymond Cruz) informs him of his brother’s death, it’s clear that they were right to worry. Raydor’s knowledge of the rules comes in handy and she has Sanchez arrest him for violating his parole by being out past 10, and never mind that he’s out past his curfew because they called him out.
Sanchez also has the paint analyzed using some nifty gadget. Tao (Michael Paul Chan) asks how he could have done that without him, he seems to be kidding on the square. Sanchez seems somewhat apologetic about the need for speed. They now know that the other car was a red 2002 Kia Sedona.
At home, Rusty has made Raydor breakfast. It’s really good. It’s a little heartbreaking that Rusty thinks he has to keep Raydor happy so that he doesn’t get sent away. He’s never been able to count on the adults in his life. He’s hesitant to even meet his dad since it turns out that everything his mom (stellar parent that she is) told him about his dad was a lie. Surprise. Raydor tells him that she can’t look him up without having a valid reason for it, but she’ll try to get some information for him.
To that end, she asks Flynn and Provenza for advice, and after Flynn calls in a tip to Provenza that “Rusty’s Dad” is a person of interest in a homicide, and she points out it needs to be legal, Flynn says he’ll ask someone over at social services to look into it. Turns out that the dad isn’t bad on paper, but Rusty wants to stay put and has no interest in meeting him.
Raydor and Sanchez go to talk to Coach Ramirez (Benito Martinez). He tells them that Anthony was really gifted and that even though he was only a sophomore, scouts were already interested. He says he thinks he say a red minivan that night, but he can’t say for sure that it was a Sedona.
Raydor has Sanchez show Lamar the crime scene photos so he can see that it’s really unlikely that Anthony was murdered by the Treces. He asks Lamar if he knew of anyone who would have had a personal beef with his brother. Lamar says he’ll let Sanchez know. Sanchez follows him. They already have police stationed at the school so when Lamar turns into the school, Sykes is already on hand to follow him. Lamar meets someone in the stands. They watch as Ramirez leads the football team in an impromptu pep rally/memorial.
After Diego Alvarado (Alberto De Diego) says that Anthony would want them to win and the team chants/shouts it, they break and head their separate ways. Lamar follows the coach and Diego. Lamar starts chasing Diego after Ramirez leaves. Sykes chases Lamar as Sanchez tries to catch up. The uniforms and Sanchez are all blocked by a ton of students so it’s left to Sykes to tackle Lamar, which she does. Lamar pulls out a gun and they fight for it. Lamar viciously beats Sykes and pounds her head into the concrete just as Sanchez finally catches him. He kicks the crap out of Lamar and hands him off to the uniforms and tends to Sykes. He tells her she got the gun and to stay with him. She is unresponsive and she is covered in blood. Provenza, Flynn, Raydor and Buzz witness the whole thing via cameras, helpless to do anything.
Diego is in an interview room. D.D.A. Michaels (Anthony Ruivivar) watches the questioning. Diego tells Raydor that he hasn’t done anything. She asks if he wasn’t mad about Anthony taking his position, but Diego seems confident that the tide would have turned his way. That his experience would have earned back his position. They ask about the Sedona, even though a check has shown none in his family. He thinks they’re being ridiculous that there are a ton of those cars. Even his grandma has one.
Remember Wanda Holloway? Mr. Alvarado didn’t wait on a hit man. He did the deed himself. And his only concern when Raydor realized that the alibi receipt was a little too convenient? That Diego get to be quarterback.
Oh, and thankfully Sykes is going to be okay.
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