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  • Complete Monster: Phillip Stroh is the most personal, depraved, and recurring foe the Major Crimes division ever faced. When first encountering the team, Stroh is using his position as a defense attorney to draw attention away from the fact that he is a Serial Rapist who has raped over 6 women, having killed his latest target. After ditching his client to take the fall, Stroh returns after being ousted as a Serial Killer who has raped and murdered five women by strangling them to death with a chain, and though trying to stab the teenaged Rusty and his Arch-Enemy Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson to death, Stroh is captured. Though locked in prison, Stroh's evil continues as he uses two men he assisted in becoming serial killers to kill specific targets for him, including his own minions, and attempt to broker a deal for a better life in prison for himself. Escaping confinement by murdering several innocent people, Stroh goes on a bloody rampage while tracking down his mother to acquire her fortune, butchering numerous people from his childhood including his step-parents and first girlfriend. Stroh is revealed to have been truly wicked since birth, as he tortured his step-sister, tried to burn his family alive, and raped and murdered three young girls while only a teenager. In the end, Stroh leaves a teenaged girl to slowly be strangled to death so he may escape, and uses his final moments to plead for mercy, only to try to strike down his enemies in return for their mercy.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Nobody expected Raydor to be popular, let alone popular enough to helm the spinoff series Major Crimes.
  • Growing the Beard :Brenda having to take responsibility for her less-than-professional actions with the lawsuit and the hunt for the leak within Major Crimes.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Actor and politician Eric Garcetti, who portrayed Los Angeles Mayor Ramon Quintero on the show, would go on to be elected Mayor of LA in Real Life in 2013.
  • Les Yay: Now that they've (reluctantly) admitted admiration for each other, Brenda and Captain Raydor have been having moments. Especially in "Last Woman Standing", with Raydor giving Brenda pep talks and fashion hints (It Makes Sense in Context). This only gets turned Up to Eleven during the seventh season, as Brenda and Raydor go from Worthy Opponents to unlikely but extremely effective allies - and, possibly, even friends. Suffice it to say the 2011 summer finale "Fresh Pursuit" left Brenda/Sharon fans hoarse from the squee.
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  • Magnificent Bastard: "Heart Attack": Dr. Luis Navarro is a brilliant transplant surgeon who decides to take justice into his own hands when he barely saves a twelve year old girl from death after she was gangraped and mutilated. Deducing that one of his free clinic's patients was the leader of the gangrape, Navarro drugs him into giving up the names of his accomplices, then kills the man and harvests his organs to use to save the life of another of his other patients. Deciding to do even more good, Navarro begins tracking down the gangrapists, killing them, and taking their organs to use in the hospital to save the lives of people on the donor list, then disposing of his victims' bodies in such a way that law enforcement believes it is the work of cartels to throw them off his scent. When finally confronted by Brenda Lee Johnson, Navarro shuts down her attempts to paint him as a scumbag crook, instead focusing on the fact that he's genuinely helping people and rounding off his charming Motive Rant by agreeing to confess only if the heart of his latest murder victim is used to save the life of a young patient.
  • Never Live It Down:
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    • Brenda's adulterous affair with Pope. Even though she has since married Fritz, he's not above mentioning her affair with Pope when he feels that she is putting her ex-lover before their marriage or her own career.
    • Frit Howard's drinking problem; besides nearly destroying his career, Fritz (prior to the start of the series) regularly drove while shitfaced drunk, to the point that he wake up in strange places with no memory of driving there.
  • Tear Jerker: "Maternal Instincts."
    • Brenda's mom's death, oh god.
    Brenda: Momma? Momma? MOMMA! FRITZ! FRITZ! FRITZ!
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