There's reality, and then there's reality.
In Major Crimes Season 4 Episode 13, Donna Cochran's death exposes reality television for the farce it is. Is scripted reality any type of reality at all? The detectives had to deal with the very real murder of a rather fake personality to try to get at the truth.
Meanwhile, Julio had his own painful reality to deal with, and that really made the show.
I really love the occasional mentions of the death of Julio's wife that have been peppered through this season. "Reality Check" brought this story to the forefront again in a natural, moving way.
Chip: Close call, huh? I was a lucky guy.
Julio: If you were lucky, sir, your wife would have gotten out of the car instead of you and you wouldn't have the rest of your life to wonder what you could have done to save her.
Julio's grief was quiet and subtle throughout the hour. It wasn't really clear if anything was wrong with him, as opposed to just getting frustrated with the silliness of the reality show world, until Sharon brought up that he wasn't acting entirely like himself. His problem unfolded slowly, which made the final scene between him and Chip that much more powerful.
Who else cried along with Julio when he so quietly expressed his grief, or hoped, along with Provenza, that understanding what he felt would help him feel better? I know I did!
Flynn empathizing with and understanding the real problem was perfect, too, especially the way it came up in the context of him and Sharon talking casually.
Sharon: He was hoping to win a million dollars.
Andy: Not worth losing a relationship, is it?
Flynn and Raydor's relationship is very natural, and it's obvious he has his priorities in order. Having Flynn convalesce at Raydor's is a brilliant move that helps develop this relationship and Flynn's relationship with Rusty without relying on some contrived plot.
At first, the Flynn/Rusty argument over the merits of Slider's lawyer seemed silly, but it ended up having a point. This is the second time Flynn's cynicism about Rusty working on this story has led to Rusty realizing something. In Major Crimes Season 4 Episode 12, it led to Rusty figuring out that Slider can't read. Here, it led to Rusty seeing through Slider's lawyer.
Can I ask -- are you representing Slider or your political cause?Rusty
Rusty's interview with Slider also provided an interesting counterpoint to the scripted reality show that the MCU was forced to watch in order to find clues. Rusty just wanted to get at the truth and had to coach his subject to be himself; this stands in stark contrast to the so-called reality show where people acted crazier and crazier to increase ratings.
Slider: I always wanted to be on TV. But don't make me look bad.
Rusty: No. The idea is for you to look like yourself.
I'm not sure I buy the reason the producer committed murder. Wouldn't it create extreme publicity for the show if he stepped down as producer? And do producers commonly sell pilots they are unable to produce because of a commitment to another project? The reasoning seemed tacked on to the story, even if turning the confession into a reality show sequence was amusing.
Leaving the case aside, there were plenty of small character moments that made this hour enjoyable. Provenza's conversation with Flynn at the beginning of the hour was hilarious, and Buzz adopting Provenza's odd habit of inserting "the" before social media sites was pretty endearing.
I'll check online with the Instagram, the Twitter and the Youtube.Buzz
What was your favorite Major Crimes moment during "Reality Check"? Did you expect Julio's big dramatic scene? What did you think of the way the reality show world was depicted? Discuss below!
Remember, if you missed it, you can watch Major Crimes online so that you can join in the discussion.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.