After a landlord is killed, Major Crimes' investigation quickly focuses on his elderly tenants, who all worked together on a 1970s detective TV program.

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Howard Gray
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Larry Murdock
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Clayton Carter
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Vera Walker
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Pauline Allen
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Storyline

A murder staged as a suicide leads the Major Crimes team to an eccentric group of retirees who once worked on a television cop show in the 1970s. Provenza struggles with a shooting proficiency exam and Rusty has a difficult time communicating with Kris. Written by skillwithaquill

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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5 August 2013 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Trivia

This episode foregoes its traditional simple display of end credits by running them over a karaoke scene that was part of the story. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Louie Provenza: Why is Jerry never here anymore?
Rangemaster R. Morton: Jerry Zein retired.
Lt. Louie Provenza: Retired? He's been scoring my targets since I became a lieutenant.
Rangemaster R. Morton: Sounds like he had a good, long career.
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Connections

References Diagnosis Murder (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

(I've Had) The Time of My Life
Written by Franke Previte, John DeNicola, Donald Markowitz
Performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
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User Reviews

 
The One Where Past-His-Prime Provenza Meets Past Prime Time TV Stars.
16 August 2013 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The episode starts with Provenza dealing yet again with the problems of getting on in years: his inability to shoot straight at the target range. (One could make this into some kind of Freudian thing but I won't go there.) If Proenza can't qualify with his gun then he'll be stuck at a desk which, for him, is as good as being retired. The impending case will reinforce this theme but will also help him find a way out.

The murder of an apartment landlord leads the team to a run-down apartment complex populated with the people who are retired from the TV business. The name of the complex, Lost Horizon, (which the residents also call Shangri-La) is from the movie of the same name and is no accident, since it fits in with the theme of Provenza's problem. (Interesting note: Sykes says that the victim had moved from "Carthay Circle" before moving into the complex. I don't know if it was intentional but that name is awfully close to Cathay, the ancient name for China, the place the people in Lost Horizon were traveling from when they found Shangri-La.)

And just in case we don't have enough TV and movie references as it is the residents provide many, many more. They are the retired crew members of a fictional TV series from the 1970s called "Prognosis: Homicide" (a show that sounds an awfully lot like the old "Quincy M.E."). They include (I'm mentioning them for anyone who hasn't seen the show) many a famous actor from years gone by: Marion Ross from Happy Days; Doris Roberts from Everybody Loves Raymond (an annoyingly insipid show - did it really take viewers NINE years to get tired of that family of incessant backbiters?); Ron Glass from the old Barney Miller show, where he played a pretentious detective who once wrote a book called "Blood on the Badge", a title I'm surprised no one has used for a movie title; Tim Conway, a hysterically comedic performer from The Carol Burnett Show; and Paul Dooley, someone who never really worked a lot on TV, preferring instead to work on stage and in movies.

Anyway the victim (who was initially presumed to have been a suicide but was actually poisoned) was the landlord of this complex. Since this is now a murder case they now have to figure out whodunit. The residents are the obvious suspects but they keep talking about someone they call Scarface (not a reference to the movie - just an apt description of him). When it turns out he has an alibi (a rather embarrassing tape of him in a karaoke contest) the attention goes back to one of the residents. (In a minor mistake the copy of his karaoke gig is on a DVD instead of something on YouTube. There is simply no way the sponsors of the contest would have produced a DVD like you buy in the stores in just a couple of days. I know, I know, it's creative license - but I can't help noticing little things like that.)

I won't give away the ending but I will make say something on another couple of things. When Tao looks at the "antique" video camera from the apartment's surveillance system, he says,"If you look through this lens you could probably see Barnaby Jones," a reference to another classic TV detective show from the 70s. When Dr. Morales provides vital evidence to the case he says he feels like Quincy "without the subtitles," because he grew up in Uruguay. As it turns out Jonathan Del Arco grew up in Uruguay and probably also watched the Quincy there, presumably with subtitles.

And yes Provenza does solve his problem, but in a somewhat unexpected way. You just can't keep a good man down.


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