Tonight on TLC Major Crimes continues with an all new Monday December 15, season 3 episode 14 and we have your weekly recap below. On tonight’s episode called “Trial By Fire”, a gang member is acquitted and released from custody, leading to criminal complications. Meanwhile, Rusty’s [Graham Patrick Martin] crush visits the station.
On the last episode a Hollywood comeback was interrupted when a former child star was found dead on skid row, leaving the director of the actor’s current movie and his manager as prime suspects. Flynn’s daughter (guest star Torrey DeVitto) comes to visit and the true nature of Sharon and Flynn’s relationship comes to light. Ransford Doherty, Carlos Bernard, Justina Machado and Jason Dolley guest star. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it we have a full and detailed recap, right here for you.
On tonight’s episode as per the TLC synopsis, “There is a miscarriage of justice when a gang banger is acquitted of murder and released from custody. Sharon’s ex-husband, Jack Raydor (guest star Tom Berenger) represents the suspect in a subsequent murder. Rusty takes a chance when the guy (guest star Mitch Ryan) he has a crush on visits the station. Jon Tenney, Kathe Mazur, Steve Tom, Jude Ciccolella and Glenn Plummer guest star.”
Tonight’s episode is going to be filled with action and you won’t want to miss it, so be sure to tune in for our live coverage of the show tonight at 9 PM EST! While you wait for our recap hit the comments and let us know how excited you are about the third season.
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There’s blood on the curb and a backpack full of photos lying next to a dead young man. Provenza points out to Buzz some more blood he needs to take photos of. They note blood on his knees and that he was crawling for his life. Sanchez counts six casings and Flynn says he counts 18 impacts points. Cho says the shots were in a wide array pattern and says this indicates a drive by. The ME says the victim drowned in his own blood.
Months later, the victim’s dad is on the stand and they ask if his son was involved in gang activity. He says all his son knew was how to avoid them. He says Curtis was always in the house by dark. He says Tuesdays were a late day for him but he was usually home by nine. Luis Navarro is ID’d as the guy driving around their neighborhood. The court breaks out in noise.
The witness says he saw him driving but didn’t see him shoot Curtis. Sharon gets a note and leaves the court room. The case breaks for lunch. They tell the DA that Claudia is missing and Sanchez thinks that the gang got to her. Claudia is their only eye witness since she was in the car with Luis. The DA goes to ask for a continuance. They trick Claudia into coming into the department.
They play her the video of her deposition saying Luis shot the kid. She says he told her he’d kill her if she ever told anyone. She agreed to testify to not be prosecuted herself as an accessory. She says the kid was just waiting for the bus. Sharon closes the laptop and asks if that’s the kind of world she wants to raise her little girl in. Claudia says they don’t got no other world.
Provenza says if she backs out of testifying she’ll got to jail and her baby won’t have anyone. She testifies and Luis glares at her while she’s on the stand. She gets the shakes. Sharon notices. They ask Claudia if she was with Luis. She doesn’t answer. The judge tells her to answer. She cries and the judge repeats the question. Luis glares some more. She wouldn’t answer.
The judge tells them that he can’t compel her to answer unless they lock her up for contempt. Sharon asks for him to take in the video deposition. The judge says not but also tells the defense lawyer if he finds out she was involved in witness tampering, God help her. The jury finds Luis not guilty. His gang members cheer on his acquittal.
Luis stares daggers at Sharon and pulls up his fingers like he’s shooting her. Sharon just gives him a cold stare. Outside the courtroom, Curtis and Luis come to blows and the whole waiting area breaks out in trouble. Someone videos it and they arrest some of the trouble makers for assault. Sharon clicks off the TV as Rusty watches the story. He tells her tomorrow is his last day of working on Badge of Justice and says Jeff is coming to take photos of the set.
He says he thought witnesses had to testify. She says Claudia was arrested for not keeping her deal and the killer is walking away free. We see someone setting fire to Luis’ car with its pimped up rims. The guy drops his lighter and walks on. We don’t see who it is. Flynn is at his desk. Sykes pulls some reports off the printer and asks if it’s Provenza’s application for retirement. He says it’s not.
Then he thinks it’s Flynn’s and tells Sykes to keep it quiet. Sharon comes in and Provenza says their crime suppression units are working well in the gang related neighborhoods. Sanchez tells Sharon they’ll catch him. Rusty comes in calling her Mom and introduces her to Jeff. He asks if he can snaps some photos and Sharon agrees as long as she can review them. Jeff talks Rusty up to them.
Cho says they can start in the electronics room but Buzz says he has to shut down the screens first. Sharon asks about the mom thing and Rusty says he didn’t want to have to explain everything to him. They tell Sharon there’s a burned out car in a gang neighborhood. They find Luis’ car all burned out and a body in the trunk. They can’t tell yet if it’s Luis. Sharon thinks Luis was alive when the car fire was lit. Sykes shows Sharon the lighter and says it may have been used to light it. Sharon says they have to look at Joe Wyatt, Curtis’ dad. Flynn says he doesn’t think Joe did this and says he was out of town.
Deputy Chief Howard says to keep it quiet that it may be Luis and says it could cause a gang war. The DC says they have to haul the car out ASAP. Sharon fights for more time at the crime scene but the DC shuts him down. Sanchez says a one nine gang member works with fire – his name is Zippo – and he’s committed a similar crime. His mom alibis him for the night of this car fire.
DC Howard comes in and says there may be an eye witness. He plays a 911 call saying some Mexican guys attacked another guy and threw him in the trunk of the car. Sykes says they brought in Zippo but he already asked for his attorney. Turns out his lawyer is Sharon’s ex and he sees Rusty there and calls him LA’s own Oliver Twist. Flynn is disgusted with Jackson being his attorney.
Sharon watches unhappy to see her ex. Sykes tells Zippo a member of a rival gang was burned. Jackson threatens a harassment suit. Zippo says he was at his mom’s watching TV. Flynn shows them the red lighter they found at the scene. Jackson looks at Zippo then calls out to Sharon on the camera that he needs to talk to her.
Jackson tells Sharon the red lighter is circumstantial and asks her to release Zippo to avoid a civil suit. Sharon says she’ll release him but says he should lie low. She says this crime could start a gang war and his client would likely not survive it. Jackson agrees to let her hold him short term as long as she doesn’t charge him with murder. Jackson asks her to ask Emily to stay with him over the holidays. She says to ask her himself.
The guys tells Sharon that it’s definitely Luis in the car. Flynn says the 911 call says he was being beaten which lines up with the broken arm they found on the body. The call was from a burner phone so they have no joy there. Sharon says the paper called for a quote on Luis Navarro’s murder. That means the gang war is likely on now.
Sharon comes home to find Rusty sleeping on the couch. He shushes her and says Jeff is staying there for the night since his flight was delayed. She asks why he gave him his room and Rusty says she may have panicked if she came in and found Jeff on the sofa. She says she was following up on a 911 call about a witness to a murder. Rusty smiles and says that’s how they met.
Sharon asks him about his and Jeff’s age difference and he says eight years isn’t a lot. Sharon asks if he’s going to ask him out and he says he’s not sure and Jeff is leaving. He says Jeff is one of a kind and Sharon says to ask him out now. She tells him goodnight and he asks if Jeff being there is a problem. She says it’s fine and heads off to bed.
Sykes tells Provenza they have a new suspect. Joe Wyatt. Joe didn’t go to Disney with the family, got a DUI and had a gun on him. Provenza worries that this will drive Flynn to retire. She says he should talk to Provenza and he says they’ve been friends for 30 years by not talking about their feelings. Provenza says cases like this crush detectives’ hearts.
She tells him Joe is already there in interrogation. Flynn goes in to talk to Joe with Sanchez. Joe says his son was murdered and his killer got away with it so he didn’t feel like stupid rides at Disney. Provenza says they are no closer to find the 911 caller and doesn’t think it will help. They ask Joe where he was and he says he doesn’t remember. He also says the gun wasn’t his and he doesn’t know how it got there.
They ask about his banged up knuckles and he says he fell out of the car when he was arrested for the DUI. DC Howard comes in to observe. He asks if this is a new suspect. Joe says he was in a bar and a one nine told him about it. They ask why he was hanging with gang members. He says he was drinking and that they weren’t doing anything to get the guy.
They wonder if Zippo and Joe are connected and decide to pull Joe’s cell phones. Joe says the person who killed his son went to hill so he’s done with them and just wants to go home. Sanchez says they can’t let him go. He says he sent his family out of town and asked his wife to lie to she was out of town. Joe says someone donated the tickets so they could go out of town. He says it came from the church.
Flynn asks where the extra ticket is since he didn’t go. Joe turns out his pockets and shows him the Disney ticket. Flynn says he’s going to follow up on the tickets and says he hopes he’s not lying. They wonder if Joe is a criminal genius or if he’s working with Zippo or is totally innocent. DC Howard agrees to help sort this out and leaves.
Provenza tells Sharon that charging Zippo will make Jackson furious and she says she hopes so because that’s when he makes his worst mistakes. Sykes says she can’t find anything to tie Zippo to Joe. Mike says the burner phone was purchased years ago. Provenza asks about the accelerant and says to find out what it was. He sets down the application for retirement on Flynn’s desk.
They bring in a Mr. Winslow who says he was the one who donated the Disney trip to the Wyatts. Sharon says he looks familiar and he says he watched all of Navarro’s trial. He says he just watches trials. He says since he retired as a teacher, he’s wanted to write a legal screenplay so he watches cases. Sharon asks him to make a short statement and thanks him for his time.
He says it was the least he could do and says I mean, seriously. It’s the same thing the 911 caller said. They play the call for Jackson and says they found the 911 caller who IDd Zippo. He asks how her witness explains that he was at Navarro’s house. Jackson asks who this nutter is. Sykes says the man is a teacher who retired from the inner city school.
Jackson asks if this do-gooder is Ed Winslow. He says the man was a teacher at Chester A Arthur high school which was a feeder school for both gangs. He says the guy was fired for physically attacking a student. Sharon asks why he knows all this and he says that nut job court watching stalker was at Zippo’s trial every single day. He says it’s no surprise.
He says Winslow had it out for Zippo because when he got him acquitted, Winslow threatened him on the streets. Jackson says he’s going to sue them for conspiring to frame his client by suborning perjury. Sharon wonders if they should arrest Winslow. She says that tanks Jackson’s chance of suing them. They pull up the video of Winslow hitting a kid in his class.
Sanchez and Sharon play the video for Winslow and confront him about why he called 911. He says that boy attacked another student in the classroom. He says he never called the kid a wetback and says he made it up. Sharon says none of the other students backed up his story. He says the little bastard was in a gang and the other students were scared.
Winslow says if he did it, they would hear about the horrible murder of Curtis by Luis and how the justice system failed Curtis Wyatt. Flynn says he’s not wrong. Cho says he’s not just a vigilante. Winslow tells them to have fun proving it in court since all the evidence is circumstantial. Sharon and Sanchez tell him they know the kid he hit in class was Luis Navarro.
Sharon offers him a second degree murder deal. Sanchez threatens to put him in county where he can see some of his former students. He says they have to protect him and Sharon says only if he did it. Winslow asks how many lives they were going to let Navarro ruin before they catch him. Winslow says no deal and he wants his day in court.
Flynn says this guy isn’t one to give up when he’s behind. He steps out and Provenza looks concerned. Flynn calls to have Zippo and Joe released and looks at the retirement form. He asks the others if it’s some kind of joke. Cho says it’s his – he says it’s not about retiring, but about the deferred pension program. They ask what this is and he says his business manager recommended it.
They ask how much he’s making as a consultant on the show. Provenza asks Flynn if he’s really not thinking about retiring. Flynn says his job has ruined his relationship and his faith in mankind but it’s the only place that he’s comfortable. Provenza tells him that’s the spirit. Rusty comes into Sharon’s office and says he asked Jeff out. He says he told him he’s too young for him.
Rusty says she was right about him asking him out because now he knows. Then he says having someone tell you they’re not interested hurts. She says moving on is what’s best and he says he feels wounded and crushed caring about someone who couldn’t care less about him. She asks if a hamburger would help and he calls her mom and says it couldn’t hurt. They leave together.