Dr. Morales finally stepped out of his examination room and took center stage on Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 17.
The doctor has been quirky, strange, and an integral part of each investigation for years, but I don't remember him ever having his own story before.
Not only did he get a storyline, but he also got a visiting father who was wiser to his son's strange ways than he let on.
It was certainly different and interesting, though I hope he goes back to his usual role after this.
Quirky medical examiners are stock characters not only on Major Crimes but on many crime dramas, so it was nice to see the trope turned on its head by fleshing out Morales' character and giving him a very human story, even if it was kind of silly.
I have to admit I've never really thought very much about this character. The Major Crimes Unit goes to him to find out who killed each victim, he makes sardonic comments while giving them his answer, and then they go away and we don't see him anymore.
Morales: I may have exaggerated to my father how closely I work with Major Crimes.
Provenza: Exaggerated how?
Morales: How would you like to work for me this week?
No wonder Morales relished the opportunity to pretend that Provenza works for him rather than the other way around. Of course, Provenza immediately took advantage, manipulating Morales into climbing a tree that no one wanted to climb.
I would have felt sorry for Morales if he didn't get the last laugh by turning out to be an accomplished gymnast.
It doesn't seem like this little stunt got Morales very much, though.
His father was more worried about whether his son was making friends than his job title, and as soon as Morales Sr. goes home, things will be back to normal.
Hopefully playing detective for a day will help improve his self-esteem, though I doubt this incident will ever be mentioned again.
Tao: You don't have to tell us anything.
Provenza: But if you want to, of course we are happy to listen.
Woman: First off, I am not selling drugs. I am giving them away. If you buy a photograph you get a free baggie of medicine. Marketing.
The Moraleses weren't the only quirky characters in town during "Dead Drop." Every once in a while, Major Crimes devotes an hour to pure weirdness for its own sake, and this seemed to be one of those times.
My favorite was the photographer who gave away free pot and was so high she couldn't really answer the detectives' questions. I've never seen pot affect anyone the way it affected her, but I'll overlook that because it was so funny.
The two dudes who turned out to be the murderers weren't any less odd, though considerably less intelligent. I guess they were there to demonstrate the old adage that the majority of criminals are stupid and to allow Provenza to feel superior even with Morales pretending to be his boss.
None of that really mattered, though, because the crime of the hour wasn't the point. It was more or less comic relief while a few more serious storylines were going on.
Julio: Mark, when your grandmother gets here, I want you to be nice to her?
Mark: Why? She left me all by myself! You can't let her take me back with her!
Julio: No, no, no. But she's your familia, Mark and when someone in your family does something wrong, you don't do something wrong too. You forgive them. Now your grandmother is old and she is afraid.
Mark: But you don't forgive people. You arrest them.
Julio: That's true. But the criminals I arrest, they're the people who never learned how to forgive. Is that the kind of person you want to grow up to be?
I remember when Mark made his first appearance, and I thought the kid was an obnoxious, stereotypical poor kid raised by bigots. So it was wonderful to see him make such a turnaround.
I especially loved Julio's advice to him. Julio's point about criminals being people who can't forgive others for the past was interesting, and in a way, it makes sense. Statistics show that jails and prisons are filled with people who suffer from mental illness and/or substance abuse issues, so this was a nice nod to that fact.
Plus, I had the feeling that Julio was talking about himself just a little bit. Like his foster son, he has come a long way since he was suspended for anger management issues a few years ago.
Winnie: I heard you made an arrest.
Sharon: Yes, Chief, please come in. You can see how your help paid off.
Eduardo: [in foreign language]: Who is this witch?
Fernando: [in foreign language]: Bureaucrat. Administrator.
Meanwhile, Winnie Davis was back to putting her nose into how Sharon runs Major Crimes. I love Camryn Manheim and don't mind her playing Sharon's nemesis. However, it would be nice if the Deputy Chief had some idea of how criminal interrogations work.
Davis is supposed to be a bureaucrat who cares only about budgets and money and filling out forms in triplicate to get funding for special equipment. But I'd think that even police administrators have a basic understanding of the crime fighting side of the business.
Besides, anyone who has ever watched a crime drama knows that cops make false promises during interrogations all the time, so why was she so freaked out about them "letting go" of two low-level drug dealers who weren't relevant to the case?
I wonder if Davis will succeed in getting rid of Howard so she can be a bigger thorn in Major Crimes' side than she already is. I don't usually like office politics stories, but this one has my attention. Sharon might end up having to apply for that deputy chief position she has no interest in just to keep Davis from wreaking havoc.
Flynn: We caught a murder, so cancel everything.
Rusty: It's no problem, everything's insured, but can I just say I don't think this secret trip to Napa you're trying to take Mom on would have gone over as well as you think.
Flynn: What? I can't whisk your mom away for a romantic surprise?
Rusty: Whisk? Can I ask, since maybe I missed this, but since when does Mom like getting whisked, or getting surprised?
Finally, "Dead Drop" made up for a decided lack of Andy/Sharon time on Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 16. Andy's ideas to surprise Sharon were all so sweet and romantic even if they were totally impractical, and I loved Rusty being his accomplice in trying to pull it off.
It feels a little soon for him to be pulling out a ring, and it's odd that his proposal is coming so quickly on the heels of Gus' pressuring Rusty to move in with him. We didn't get to see Sharon's answer, and I'm very curious as to what she will say.
Are you excited about a possible Sharon/Andy wedding, or would you prefer a slower buildup? How emotional were the Mark/Julio scenes for you? Did you enjoy seeing Dr. Morales step out of his usual minor role?
Weigh in below, and don't forget you can always watch Major Crimes online if you missed anything.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.