Title The Ecstasy and the Agony
Series Major Crimes
Season 1
Episode 4
Airdate September 3, 2012
Viewers 5.87 million
Written by Adam Belanoff
Directed by Arvin Brown
Guests Michael Weatherly
Dylan Minette
Previous episode Medical Causes
Next episode Citizen's Arrest
Episode list Season 1

A homicide case involving the Israeli mob and a self-proclaimed "intuitive life strategist" leads Major Crimes to partner with the FBI. Lt. Provenza opens up to a suspect in a rare display of vulnerability and Rusty’s first day of school doesn’t go as planned.

Why is this a Major Crime? Edit

The Major Crimes Division was called to investigate this case because the victim lived in an affluential area and therefore the case had a probability of being high-profile.

The VictimEdit

  • Alon Strauss, founder of Hadera Securities along with his cousin, Ilya Blum. Was going to testify against his cousin in federal court about illegal drug trafficking.

The SuspectsEdit

  • Ilya Blum, founder of Hadera Securities along with his cousin, Alon Strauss. Responsible for trafficking ecstasy to the US by using his business as a front.
  • Arthur "Thorn" Woodson, an "intuitive life strategist"/life coach of Roma Strauss. Thorn was having an affair with Roma Strauss along with every other wife connected to Hadera Securities.
  • Roma Strauss, wife of Alon Strauss. Roma was having an affair with her life coach Arthur "Thorn" Woodson.
  • Avi Strauss, son of Alon and Roma Strauss.


  • Bullet that killed Alon, a .50 AE (Action Express) fired from a Desert Eagle handgun;
  • FBI's investigation into Hadera Securities;
  • Thorn's screenplay which contains information on Ilya Blum's drug operation;
  • Argument between Thorn, Ilya and Roma;
  • Open peephole on the front door; and
  • Gold plated Desert Eagle which was used as the murder weapon.

Closing the CaseEdit

When Major Crimes was interviewing Roma Strauss, they found out that she had told her life coach, "Thorn", about going into the witness protection program. Alon was going to be testifying in federal court about the drug trafficking orchestrated by his cousin, Ilya. Ilya has been using Hadera Securities as a front for bringing in ecstasy from Europe, netting them about $3 million a month.

The drug trafficking operation is being ran by six relatives of Ilya, all of whom are Israeli-born American citizens and live in LA's west side. Couple of years ago, Ilya & associates began investing in low-budget action films, which apparently is a good way to hide and launder cash from the drug trade. The movie projects were supervised by Yossi Hersch who disappeared in Pittsburgh approximately one month ago.

When Major Crimes went to pick up "Thorn", identified as Arthur Woodson, they found him attempting to leave town with $60000 in small, unmarked bills. When they searched Mr. Woodson's personal effects, they found a screenplay called The Ecstasy and the Agony: My year as intuitive life strategist to the Israeli mob. In the screenplay, Thorn described information about Ilya Blum's drug trade as given to him by the wives of Ilya's relatives, all of whom are Thorn's clients and all of whom are having an affair with him, including Roma Strauss.

After Thorn had told Major Crimes several times that he didn't know anything about the drug trade, they tell him about the screenplay they found, causing Thorn to admit that he was lying. When he was asked who knew about it, Thorn told them that he had shown it to approximately fifteen TV executives, something which horrified the FBI. Thorn reassured them that he had used an "undecipherable code" to conceal the identities but Special Agent Howard noted that all he had done was change the first letter of every name.

After learning that Ilya Blum has a Desert Eagle like the murder weapon, Raydor decides to bring him, Thorn and Alon's wife Roma together in the murder room and let them have it out in hopes that when they argue, they let something slip while at the same time, Julio and Sykes search Ilya's house for the gun. During the argument, its revealed that Roma was having an affair with Thorn who was also sleeping with all of the wives in Ilya's operation. However, Ilya doesn't seem to be the killer and Julio and Sykes find his gun missing.

Ilya, Thorn and Roma are then interviewed separately and Roma admits she wanted a divorce from her husband to be with Thorn but it was ruined by them having to go into witness protection. Meanwhile, Thorn admits to the affairs but had no intention to be with Roma permanently. Ilya claims no knowledge of the murder and when he mentions how Roma was at his house two weeks before, Tao finally realizes what about the murder scene had been bugging him and has Buzz pull up a picture to demonstrate it: the peephole in the victim's door was open meaning he recognized the killer and opened the door for them which he wouldn't have done for Ilya as he wanted him dead for ratting him out to the FBI.

The killer was someone Alon knew and trusted and Tao suggests it was one of his family and the gun could still be in his house. As part of a plan, Tao and Sykes drive Roma and her 14 year old son Avi home and tell Roma they will be back with a warrant later to check to make sure the killer and the gun still aren't in the house. However, they really hide around the corner and monitor the house, believing the killer will try to get the gun out before they return.

Sure enough, that night, Avi leaves, supposedly to go to a friend's house and is confronted by the squad outside after trying to run. Inside his backpack, they find the murder weapon. Avi confesses to murdering his father, explaining that he has a life in LA and his father's criminal activities were about to ruin it by forcing him into witness protection. He wanted to stay in LA with his friends and school.

Raydor shows the confession to Roma and they offer her a deal: with the confession they can charge Avi with murder as an adult and send him to prison for life, however, if Roma tells them what she knows about the apparent murder of Alon's cousin Yossi Hersch by Ilya and give them a good enough reason, they will charge Avi as a juvenile and he will be out of prison by the time he is 25. Roma tells them that after the viewing of one of the family's movies they make to cover up their drug trade, Ilya confronted Yossi about a big scene that was missing from the movie. Yossi had spent all the money on clothes, and he and Ilya left in a car and Yossi never returned, because he was presumably murdered by Ilya.

Roma agrees to testify to what she knows and tells them she believes Avi killed Alon to protect her from having to leave the life she built for a new one she hated. The FBI's drug bust goes down and Ilya is arrested for his illegal drug activities and Yossi Hersch's murder. Meanwhile, Roma goes into witness protection and Avi to prison. While Thorn is cleared of all involvement, the FBI seize his screenplay as evidence as it contains information on the drug operation given to him by the company's wives. Provenza warns him that the people that have been arrested will want revenge on him for his part in their arrests and suggests he go find a new life with the $60,000 he has collected in a Latin American country which he agrees to do, after realizing that he could be an "intuitive life strategist" nearly anywhere in the world.

Guest CastEdit

  • Michael Weatherly (Arthur "Thorn" Woodson)
  • D.B. Sweeney (FBI Special Agent Morris)
  • Necar Zadegan (Roma Strauss)
  • Ivo Nandi (Ilya Blum)
  • Dylan Minnette (Avi Strauss)
  • Rob Nagle as (Father)



Episode NotesEdit


Episode MediaEdit