Major Crimes Review: Mommy Issues

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"Under the Influence" was my favorite episode of Major Crimes Season 2 so far, as it showcased some of the characters who don't normally enjoy the spotlight.

Detective Sykes even got to do a little flirting. I can remember when she was one of the least liked members of the squad... and now she fits like a glove. How time flies!

Following Sanchez

It's been a long time (if ever?!) that we've seen Tao and Sanchez have a Provenza and Flynn-style comedic scene, but we were treated to one as script writer Jason Andrews was doing a ride along with Tao and Sanchez in the opening few moments. I loved Jason asking why Sanchez wasn't wearing his seat belt, because it's a law, right? But Sanchez says he needs to get out quick in case of gunfire. But no, not you Jason, because you signed a release for gunshot wounds, not car crashes! 

Jason Andrews was a really great guest starring role by Ben Feldman, who has been in Mad Men this season and formerly of Drop Dead Diva. Since Tao is consulting on his show and he and Sykes hit it off, I hope they bring him back a few more times. He added something different with each character he interacted with, even helping Rusty with his essay when everyone else was busy, and that's a lot more than I can say for other characters to hit Major Crimes this season.

It took me about 30 minutes to realize why this episode was so damned pleasurable. It wasn't until the mass pile of bodies was found and they had some real evidence on their suspect and DDA Hobbs made an appearance. No DDA Rios! Oh, thank you Powers That Be for giving us a break for her mind-numbing idiocy. 

Hobbs may not have been the growling pussy cat that gets men to fall at her feet, which would have been handy with the particular group major crimes was up against, but she also wasn't willing to step back and let the defense have their way in a deal, either. 

I really liked how they managed to get Rusty into the fray with his requirement to write a story about someone influential to him and how he fought the idea of writing a paper about his mother, while the main suspect in the heroin/murder case was being influenced in much the same way by his own mother. 

It's strange to see an adult man so whipped by his mother, but Rosa Vega was one scary bitch. A lawyer in Mexico, she thought she had a thorough enough understanding of American laws to skirt under the radar and, essentially, get away with murder.

She'd obviously never run into a group of detectives as dedicated as our major crimes division and while she was telling them to ship her own son back to Mexico and into the hands of the Federales, which would have meant certain death, they were finding evidence to get her that very deal.

Only this time, her son got life in the U.S. prison system and she was sent back to Mexico to face what she wished for her son. Karma is a bitch, just like Rosa Vega.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (61 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I loved the episode, although I found the Jason Andrews character annoying. Might warm up to him down the road, if he turns out to be a recurring character. Remember how Sharon Raydor was universally despised at first? I suspect we will learn to at least "like" DDA Rios, too. These writers are talented. Wouldn't be surprised if that is the long term plan. At the end of this episode, I was happy to see "mommy dearest" sent off to meet the very fate she was so willing to impose on her son, but a bell went off in my head: What about the Johnson Rule?? Doesn't her impending demise remind anyone of the very thing that was Brenda's downfall??


Loved the bits with Tao, Sanchez, and Andrews. Tao's enthusiasm in the face of danger went along perfectly with Sanchez's obvious disgruntlement over having the writer with them.
Did not miss Ms. Rios.
Overall a great episode!


I thought this was a great episode. I love the Rusty/Sharon interactions. I always liked the Raydor character, but I like her even better in this show than in the Closer. Love the whole cast.


I am a fan for life - this show never lets me down. The supporting cast and guest stars are fantastic. This show makes Mondays bearable - I know at the end of my workday that I have a great show to watch.


Love Major Crimes and appreciate your quality reviews of each episode! This was a fun episode.


This was a fantastic episode that never let up. I never got a chance to raid the refrigerator - thought I'd miss something. Kudos to the writers and the entire ensemble cast - they just keep getting better and better. And I totally agree with you, Carissa, NO RIOS WAS A TREAT! Does the Major Crimes show runner realize what an annoying idiot they have created and dropped on us/themselves??? DDA Rios' character actually kills each episode - no matter how good it was. I change channels when she comes on. Is anyone listening at Major Crimes???


Elizabeth Peña had the role of Rosa Vega. Charming woman!


Elizabeth Pena


Who plays Rosa Vega in this episode of Major Crimes?


Who played Rosa Vega?

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Major Crimes Season 2 Episode 3 Quotes

Jason: So what's with all the blood?
Tao: It's what we call a clue, Jason. Excuse me.

That guys not our problem and don't say hot pursuit.