|Title||“Taking the Fall”|
|Airdate||November 23, 2015|
|Written by||Jim Leonard and Nick Zayas|
|Directed by||Stacey K. Black|
|Previous episode||“Reality Check”|
|Next episode||“The Jumping Off Point”|
|Episode list||Season 4|
The Major Crimes team is called to investigate a follow up attack on a victim of road rage, as a business executive and his wife fall prey to a furious driver in a pickup truck. As Thanksgiving approaches, Flynn suffers a setback on his road to recovery. And Rusty finally gets the interview with Slider that he wanted.
- Tom Palmer
- Stockbroker for Hamilton/Lockwood.
- Abused his wife.
- Sexually harassed Jordan Garcia and stole her accounts, clients and promotion.
- Assaulted by Jordan's fiancé Sam Curtis two days before his murder.
- Jordan Garcia
- Sexually harassed and bullied by Tom Palmer at work.
- Lost a promotion, bonus and stock options to Tom.
- Had to put off her wedding to Sam Curtis as a result.
- Sam Curtis
- Fiancé of Jordan Garcia.
- Assaulted Tom Palmer two days before his murder.
- Blamed by Tom Palmer for the injuries he himself inflicted upon his wife.
- Took a deal on an assault charge as a misdemeanor.
- Lilly Palmer
- Wife of Tom Palmer.
- Was abused by her husband for years.
- Murdered her husband to stop the abuse and get his stock options and bonus worth two million dollars.
- Offered a deal of manslaughter, but the deal was rejected.
Closing the CaseEdit
The detectives discover that Jordan Garcia has a fiancé named Samuel Curtis that she lied to them about. They discover that Sam has a truck that matches the description of the one from the road rage incident and bring Sam in for questioning. Sam claims that Jordan put off their wedding due to needing to find a new job in case Thomas Palmer was going to fire her. The detectives notice that Sam has bruised knuckles and his fingerprints, lifted from a picture of his truck he's briefly handed, matches some on the driver's side door of Tom's car. Sam is arrested and put into a lineup before Lilly Palmer. While she pauses on Sam briefly, on the paper they give her to write the number of the person, she writes #4, which is Sam, then crosses it out and writes "I'm sorry."
Discussing the situation with DDA Hobbs and Assistant Chief Russell Taylor, Sharon feels that if Sam Curtis did kill Tom Palmer, it was less of a road rage incident and more of a follow-home attack. Tao also suggests that Sam had wanted something out of the trunk that he couldn't get on his first attempt. With Sam's bruised knuckles, his fingerprints on Tom's car and his truck at the scene of the beating, they have enough to charge him with aggravated assault, but not murder. Though Taylor suggests waiting until after the holidays are over to finish the case, Sharon chooses to press on.
Sharon and Julio confront Jordan who tells them that she didn't lie as they only asked about a boyfriend or husband. Sharon and Julio reveal that Tom is dead and show her a picture of his body. Jordan is questioned about if she sent Sam to attack Tom on Monday and then kill him on Wednesday, but she insists that Sam attacked Tom on his own on Monday. While this statement locks Sam in for aggravated assault, its not enough to get him for the murder. Jordan tells them that Sam punched Tom a few times and left him on the ground, but didn't kill him. However, Jordan left for work before the murder and can't alibi Sam during that time. Horrified, Jordan tells them that Sam and Tom had a fist fight on Monday and if its murder, she's invoking her rights.
Next, Tao and Sykes interrogate Sam, telling him that they have motive and a witness who can place Sam at Tom's house at the time of the beating. After they tell Sam about Jordan being the witness and Tom's murder, Sam tries to tell them that he wasn't the one who did it while his lawyer interrupts Sam's attempts to cooperate. Hobbs notes that while Jordan is small, a tire iron could even out the odds for her if she caught Tom by surprise while Julio notes how quickly Jordan was to give up Sam as if she wanted him to take the fall. She also had motive from what Tom did to her at work. Sharon wonders why Lilly Palmer refused to identify Sam Curtis if he was there during the beating while Hobbs decides to offer Sam a deal for the first assault and to see what he says. Stating that Jordan Garcia has her thinking "really hard", Sharon decides to take a look at Tom Palmer's finances.
Later, Hobbs and Tao bring Sharon Sam Curtis' statement of facts. In exchange for a deal of assault as a misdemeanor, Sam confessed to attacking Tom Palmer. However, he claims to have never hurt the wife or even seen her. Sharon notes that Lilly almost identified Sam and then stopped herself. Hobbs notes that Sharon is completely unsurprised by Sam's claims of innocence in attacking Tom's wife. Sharon admits this to be true and states that Jordan Garcia is who she really needs to talk to. Sharon decides to talk to Jordan even though she's invoked her rights and her lawyer won't be there until Friday. She orders Sykes to continue looking through the victim's credit card statements. "Will do. I have several instances already, sadly," notes Sykes as Sharon leaves.
A tearful Jordan tells Sharon that she's not talking anymore without a lawyer. Sharon reassures her that Sam has already signed a deal for the assault and she is simply there to corroborate Sam's statement and get Jordan out of there for the holidays. Sharon asks Jordan to revoke her rights and to answer some questions about her job. Confused, Jordan revokes her rights and Sharon asks about the health insurance available at Hamilton/Lockwood. Jordan tells her that she is provided with excellent health insurance, low deductibles, the ability to see any doctor that she wants and an "awesome" prescription plan. Sharon also asks about the stock options and bonus Jordan had mentioned with the promotion she had wanted. Jordan explains that the entire package was worth two million dollars, but doesn't understand why its relevant as she didn't get it and Tom did. Agreeing with Jordan, Sharon departs the interrogation room, looking disturbed by what she has learned.
Sharon and Sykes confront Lilly Palmer with several charges on her husband's credit card statements for medical visits over a period of several months. Lilly claims not to know what the charges are for and none of them were claimed by Tom on his health insurance. Every single one was charged to the credit card with at least one charge being fifteen hundred dollars. Sharon and Sykes ask Lilly to sign a consent form allowing the health care providers to supply them with the Palmer's medical records so that they can find out what the charges are for. Lilly refuses and Sykes reads Lilly her rights.
Watching from Electronics, Hobbs realizes what's going on: "she's an abused wife." Tao and Julio note that it makes sense: if Tom Palmer bullied a woman at work, he probably did it at home too. Sharon threatens to have a special master sort through all of Lilly's health records. Sykes asks if they should assume that Tom took her to different doctors and never submitted the charges to his insurance company so that no one would realize how often he was assaulting his wife. Hobbs is confused why they are handing Lilly such a great defense, but Taylor explains that they are establishing a motive.
After Lilly asks why this is so important now, Sharon explains that the man who confessed to assaulting Tom insists that she wasn't there during the attack. Sykes suggests that Lilly watched the fight and saw Sam Curtis as someone she could blame for murdering her husband. After Sharon and Sykes threaten to take Lilly into custody, she finally tells them that she was at home when the fight started. She heard Tom and Sam yelling and looked out the window and witnessed Sam hit Tom. When Lilly went to help her husband, he broke her wrist and beat her up for not helping him and not calling 911. Lilly calls her injuries "about average" but states that Tom kicking her "was extreme." Lilly then admits that Tom has been abusing her for years.
Sharon asks if Tom had abused her that morning or tried to, but Lilly admits that he didn't. Instead, she thought that while the police were looking for Sam Curtis, she could put a stop to the abuse for good. While Tom was taking boxes from his home office to his car trunk, Lilly ambushed him from behind with a crowbar and beat her husband to death. "I may have hit him more than necessary. But I needed to be sure," she admits. As Taylor wonders if they can get her on murder charges based on her statement, Lilly goes on to explain that she returned the boxes to Tom's home office, ran the crowbar through the dishwasher and put it in the beneath the stove. Exhausted, Lilly then went back to bed until she was awoken by her neighbor with the news of Tom's death.
Sharon asks Lilly to write it all out while Tao questions Hobbs on what a jury will do with the case. "Its not manslaughter. She thought it out, killed her husband on purpose and tried to cover it up. And he wasn't beating her at the time so its not self-defense." As Julio notes that Lilly wouldn't stand a chance in a fair fight, Sharon questions her on why she didn't report Tom to the police or go to a shelter. Lilly states that she shouldn't have been the one to leave as Tom was the monster. Sykes points out that she had told them that the beatings had been going on for awhile and wonders if Lilly had killed her husband that morning hoping that the wrong person would be arrested. Lilly admits that she didn't think the police would find Sam Curtis and that "there were many timing issues."
Sharon questions Lilly if her real reason for not going to the police was because Tom never would've gotten his promotion and the bonus and stock options that came with it that is worth almost two million dollars. "There were many concerns, yes. If I had reported Tom to the police before, there never would've been a promotion. And if I had reported him after, he would have used every cent of that money on an attorney, defending himself. And I would have been left with nothing. No, it had to be exactly this way," Lilly admits to Sharon and Sykes.
"Premeditated murder for financial gain by a battered spouse," notes Hobbs. When Taylor asks if she really thinks she can win in court with this interview, Hobbs decides to figure it out later. She tells them that Lilly needs an attorney and she will figure out the charges the next day "and then we'll see."
The next day, as Andy Flynn is wheeled into surgery, Hobbs tells Sharon that Lilly Palmer's lawyer offered her a deal for manslaughter, but Hobbs couldn't take it. An emotional Sharon tells Hobbs "she had every opportunity to say what she needed to say and she didn't say it. I can only wonder why?" Hobbs is relieved that Sharon understands why Hobbs couldn't take the deal.
The Other Side of the CoinEdit
- Rusty watches Slider's interview on his laptop and agrees to show Andy the parts of the interview that Judge Grove will allow him to post. However, Andy collapses before he can show it to him and Rusty later refuses on Sharon's orders until he's finished filling out his medical forms. He later gets a call from Slider to Andy's annoyance.
- While going to brush his teeth, Andy passes out and hits his head. At the hospital, tests determine that his blood thinners made Andy dizzy and he passed out. However, the fall has made the blood clot move closer to his brain.
- On Thanksgiving, Andy is wheeled into surgery to remove his blood clot before it can move to his brain. After learning of the location of the clot, Doctor Morales appears to be worried.