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MC409
Title Wish You Were Here
Series Major Crimes
Season 4
Episode 9
Airdate August 3, 2015
Viewers 4.57 million
Written by Duppy Demetrius
Directed by Steve Robin
Guests
Previous episode Hostage to Fortune
Next episode Fifth Dynasty
Episode list Season 4

When a YouTube video of a bloodied, half-naked man walking down the middle of a street with a gun goes viral, Major Crimes must decide whether the victim was targeted, or a potential suicide. Rusty asks Sharon for help as he finally finds Alice Herrera's brother, Gustavo.

The VictimEdit

  • John Price
    • Ex-husband of Gretchen Tucker.
    • Disposed of evidence for her.
    • Killed by Gretchen when he tried to blackmail her for the alimony he was owed.
    • Died on a street full of people and seen on YouTube.
  • Max Riley
    • Plumber with a history of affairs.
    • Had an affair with Gretchen Tucker.
    • Killed by Gretchen when he wouldn't tell her he loved her.
    • Body found in the back of John Price's vehicle.
  • Eric Schuman
    • Cement worker who was reported missing nine months ago.
    • Had an affair with Gretchen Tucker.
    • Killed by Gretchen when he wouldn't tell her he loved her.
    • Body kept in John Price's ice cooler.
    • Owned the gun John Price had when he died.
  • Paul Donohue
    • Painter reported missing in Fullerton six months ago.
    • Had an affair with Gretchen Tucker.
    • Killed by Gretchen when he wouldn't tell her he loved her.
    • Body kept in John Price's ice cooler.
  • Douglas Alan Martin
    • Surveyor who worked for C.J. Construction.
    • Had an affair with Gretchen Tucker while having marital troubles in 2010.
    • Survived a murder attempt by Gretchen when he wouldn't say he loved her.
    • Blackmailed into silence by Gretchen and her father.

The SuspectsEdit

  • Max Riley
    • Suspected of killing John Price briefly.
    • Eventually revealed to be a victim.
  • Gretchen Tucker
    • Ex-wife of John Price.
    • Serial killer targeting men who won't say they love her.

EvidenceEdit

Closing the CaseEdit

The squad visits Max Riley's home and asks his wife Angela about Max's whereabouts. Angela claims that Max is on a job and she doesn't know when he'll be home. He also left his cell phone at home. However, when they ask if Angela would know why her husband was at a motel, she is clearly lying when she says no. Shortly after everyone else leaves, Angela drives off, tailed by Sykes at a discreet distance. Angela leads the squad to the marina parking lot where they spot John Price's vehicle. Angela begins screaming that she knows her husband is there and that she would find something out. After Angela breaks open the back window of the vehicle with a rock, she is arrested by Sykes for vandalism. Inside the back of the vehicle, Tao locates Max Riley's body in a hockey bag.

In interrogation, its revealed that Angela had found the vehicle using a makeshift tracking device she put on her husband's key chain. Angela tells the detectives that the year before, Max had had an affair but promised that it was over. Suspecting her husband of still cheating, Angela had placed the device on his key chain in hopes of catching Max in the act. When questioned if Max could've been meeting John Price for a sexual encounter at the motel, Angela expresses doubts about the possibility.

Tao interrupts the interrogation to reveal that he has found something: John Price was so disorganized that its easy to categorize his life from the contents of his vehicle. Several of the items found inside point to John working in some kind of repair shop. There are also over a hundred receipts for a food truck. Its decided to check on the food truck and its route in hopes that it will lead them to John's home or work. John also has a piece of paper with a list of numbers they believe to be the combination for an apartment building or parking garage.

After everyone else leaves, Doctor Morales brings Sharon the news that Max Riley died the same way as John Price: a Phillips-head screwdriver to the back of the head. However, in Max's case, the blow severed part of the spinal column, resulting in Max's autonomic nervous system being shut down, effectively paralyzing Max. Sharon and Morales theorize that the killer tried to do the same to John, but missed. Not realizing that John wasn't paralyzed, the killer left to dispose of Max's body and left John behind to come back later for.

The squad is able to locate the food truck, but while the owner remembers John, he doesn't know anything useful. As the others talk to the food truck driver, Buzz locates a nearby scrap metal yard with a gate and a pin pad and suggests that John worked there instead of at a repair shop. The numbers prove to be the combination for the pad on the gate and inside, they locate a trailer with signs of Max having lived there, including a picture of his ex-wife Gretchen Tucker. Noticing a power cord running from the trailer, they follow to a cooler for bags of ice. Inside, they find hockey bags with two more victims.

The discovery of the bodies behind John's home along with a video of them in the cooler on John's computer, another hockey bag and three brand new sets of sheets points to John being the killer if not for John having died in the same manner as the other victims. Detective Robby Oderno is able to identify the men as Eric Schuman and Paul Donohue. Eric was a cement worker reported missing nine months before. He also owned the gun that John was carrying when he died. Paul was a painter reported missing in Fullerton six months before. Both men were also last seen at cheap motels and died in the same fashion as John and Max.

Wondering if there might be more victims that survived, Sykes runs a search on the killer's MO and finds Douglas Alan Martin who was attacked five years before in a motel parking lot and claimed that it was homeless guy he couldn't identify. A search shows that Doug is a surveyor at Caltrans who is married. Sharon notes that like all of their other victims, Doug is a construction worker. Sharon decides to ask Doug for a better look at his resume after seeing that his previous employer was C.J. Tucker Construction.

Julio and Provenza question Doug who claims that the homeless guy attacked him from behind so he didn't see his face. Doug tells them that at the time, he and his wife were living in a studio apartment near Burbank and that his in-laws were staying at the motel despite the Sleepy Fox Motel being pay by the hour. Seeing through his lie, Provenza asks if Doug's in-laws would remember the Sleepy Fox, but Doug claims that the in-laws have stayed so many places that they might not. Julio asks if Doug has ever worked as a surveyor for C.J. Tucker Construction, something that Doug confirms, stating that the company had given him an excellent reference.

Julio displays a picture of Gretchen Tucker and asks if she is who Doug means when he says that "they" gave him an excellent reference. Doug's reaction makes it clear that Julio is right and Doug questions if he's in trouble. Provenza and Julio show Doug the pictures of John, Max, Eric and Paul and tell him about how all four hard-working men died of stab wounds to the back of the head, just like Doug's.

After Provenza promises not to let his wife know, Doug admits to having an affair with Gretchen, telling the detectives that he and his wife were going through a hard time when it happened. Gretchen would visit Doug while he was working for her father and they started having sex in motel rooms until Gretchen asked if he loved her. When Doug refused as they were both married and he loved his wife, Gretchen attacked him from behind with a screwdriver, yelling about how he lied to her and used her. Doug was forced to punch her in the face so that he could escape and drive himself to the hospital. Afterwards, he lied so that his wife wouldn't find out and because Gretchen and her father left him with a choice: quit with a good recommendation or be charged with assault and rape.

Under the pretense of having Gretchen identify her ex-husband's body, the squad brings her to the morgue where Flynn has her sign off on a Miranda warning under guise of it being procedure. Gretchen is led into the morgue where instead of being shown John Price's body, she is shown Max Riley's. As Gretchen reacts with shock, the bodies of Eric, Paul and John are brought in as well and they ask for her help in identifying all four men. Provenza tells Gretchen that they have learned from Doug Martin that she killed these men, all of whom worked for her father's company, when they wouldn't say they loved her.

Flynn brings up however that John Price did love her as proven by his dying words. In John's case, Sharon states her belief that he loved Gretchen so much that he covered up her murders. However, he kept the bodies of Eric and Paul on ice to blackmail Gretchen when she cut off the alimony payments she supposedly didn't owe him. Gretchen claims that all of the men were rapists who took advantage of her. "Its not murder if you kill the person raping you!" Gretchen explodes. Buzz confirms that he caught Gretchen's confession on tape and she is arrested for four counts of murder in the first degree with the special circumstance of lying in wait attached. Gretchen continues to insist that the men were rapists and believes that she will be able to get off with a self-defense argument in court.

Tao later states that Gretchen has been booked and he figures they can find enough DNA evidence to go with her statement. However, Sykes thinks Gretchen might be able to get someone to "clean up after this mess too." Oderno is left to make the notifications to the victims' families while DDA Andrea Hobbs is unable to make a deal with Gretchen.

Guest CastEdit

Co-StarringEdit

  • Jade Bender (Alice)
  • Sterling Brown (John Price)

RecurringEdit

LocationsEdit

Episode NotesEdit

The Search for Alice HerreraEdit

  • Gus identifies Alice Herrera as his sister Mariana Wallace with a DNA test confirming their relationship.
  • ADA Hobbs needs Gus to provide background on Mariana's movements and her reasons for coming to Los Angeles in order to built her case against Slider, but Gus is only concerned with finding Paloma. Lt. Flynn offers to help.
  • Gus is reluctant to explain to Hobbs and Flynn why Mariana left home. Gus wanted to put his family back together after returning from the US Army but Mariana fled to get away from her abusive step-father. Though Gus was willing to give up his dream of putting the family back together, Mariana panicked and fled.
  • Flynn offers to search for Paloma unofficially so that when he finds Paloma, she won't automatically be returned to her parents. Rusty supports Flynn's offer, pointing out that he was searching for who Mariana was unofficially and found Gus. Flynn has access to better resources for his search than Rusty did. Gus agrees, and begins answering Hobbs' questions about Mariana.
  • When confronted by Rusty, Flynn confirms that he will search for Paloma as promised, but warns that he can't be held responsible for what happens when he does find her.

TriviaEdit

  • At the beginning of the episode, Detective Amy Sykes says that two of the aliases used at the motel are Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer is the name of the protagonist of the TV show 24 and the miniseries 24: Live Another Day.

Episode MediaEdit

What's in a Name Pt04:47

What's in a Name Pt. 9

Identity by Rusty Beck

  • Rusty interviews Gustavo Wallace, who explains more of Mariana's history.

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