Major Crimes (2012–2018)
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Special Master: Part One 

Phillip Stroh claims to have information about three future murders and wants to make a deal with the District Attorney's office; however, part of the deal includes a private one-on-one interview with Rusty.


Steve Robin


James Duff (created by), Ralph Gifford (teleplay by) | 5 more credits »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mary McDonnell ... Sharon Raydor
G.W. Bailey ... Louie Provenza
Tony Denison ... Andy Flynn
Michael Paul Chan ... Mike Tao
Raymond Cruz ... Julio Sanchez
Phillip P. Keene ... Buzz Watson
Kearran Giovanni ... Amy Sykes
Graham Patrick Martin ... Rusty Beck
Jonathan Del Arco ... Dr. Fernando Morales
Robert Gossett ... Russell Taylor
Jon Tenney ... Fritz Howard
Billy Burke ... Phillip Stroh
Nadine Velazquez ... D.D.A. Emma Rios
Malcolm-Jamal Warner ... Chuck Cooper
Ransford Doherty ... Kendall (credit only)




Phillip Stroh returns, demanding a new deal from DDA Rios in exchange for his cooperation regarding "future murders." In a race against the clock to prevent the deaths of three women, Major Crimes works to save the victims while decoding the source of Stroh's information.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Phillip Stroh: Give me what I want, in writing. In return, you'll receive a chance to arrest a murderer, an opportunity that... won't come around again for a while.
Sharon Raydor: "Won't come around again for a while?" What's that supposed to mean? How did you know what would happen to our victim?
Phillip Stroh: The question is, how could you not? Oh. Perhaps I've said too much. That should give you something to think about, anyway.
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User Reviews

Otherwise good story marred by too much exposition
3 January 2020 | by Miles-10See all my reviews

Even Shakespeare knew that the best way to present exposition (characters telling the audience what the situation is when there isn't enough time to show what it is) is through conflict between the characters presenting the exposition.

That trick is used at the beginning of this episode as two characters argue about negotiations by the D.A.'s office with serial killer Philip Stroh. The key to making this technique work is getting the audience to care as much if not more about the conflict between the two characters as what they are talking about.

Otherwise we are very conscious that the characters are spoonfeeding us what we need to know to follow the story, which is what happens here. The two characters might as well be saying things like, "As you know, Stroh says he has evidence about some crimes, and we are negotiating a deal with him in exchange for his knowledge."

If this is not distracting enough, there is another bit of raw exposition later in the story. Two writers worked on the script of this episode, and another wrote the story on which the script was based, for what that is worth. (Too many cooks, second guessing each other, spoils the broth.)

A gruesome killer is on the loose, and another criminal says he wants to help catch him if only he can get better conditions in prison. The Special Master of the episode's title is a judge who is left alone with the prisoner way too much and takes way too many chances with the prisoner.

The audience is not given enough credit for being able to follow some of the otherwise interesting plot points. After a commercial break, Andy questions Sharon about the weird path that the investigation has taken, but is Andy that thick or do the writers think that this is necessary because the audience is assumed to be that thick? Most likely, Sharon's answer to Andy is really meant to explain what is going on for the benefit of those in the audience who are not keeping up.

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Release Date:

12 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Burk A Project See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

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