For a while, it's seemed like Julio Sanchez couldn't get a break.
He found out that his wife's death was no accident, but a suicide. His new girlfriend turned out to be a murderer. He spent time in anger management.
And on Major Crimes Season 5 Episode 5, it seemed like his behavior had gotten him in trouble again. Fortunately, that turned out to be a clever red herring.
The format of "Cashed Out" was interesting. Instead of seeing the crime of the hour unfold in real time, the story was mainly told in flashback while the CPS worker interviewed Sanchez's co-workers to determine whether he was really fit for fatherhood.
Do you really think a homeless child would be better off living on the street than with Julio?Rusty
The CPS worker didn't seem to understand the nature of police work very well, despite having been the same person who placed Rusty with Sharon.
She seemed convinced that Julio's confrontation of a suspect and successful hostage negotiation techniques were evidence of some sort of self-destructive streak.
It didn't seem to matter to her that Julio's work actually helped resolve a situation peacefully rather than via gunfire, and it didn't seem to occur to her that the nature of the job is that it requires employees to put their lives on the line to protect citizens.
She shouldn't have needed Sykes to tell her that Julio's behavior was heroic rather than stupid, nor should she have needed Rusty to question her judgment about this.
CPS: I have worries about your judgment.
Julio: There were people around me. Civilians. The hostage. You can come back every day from here until I retire and I will still say I made the right choice.
It seemed to me that the CPS worker was the one whose judgment was questionable, not Julio's.
He took into account the crowds in the park and on the street, the psychology of the hostage taker, and what would most likely keep the hostage safe in a matter of seconds.
The CPS investigator sounded more like an Internal Affairs officer than someone who wanted to make sure a foster child was going to a loving home.
The reveal that Julio was actually under review for a Medal of Valor was so sweet both because of her obnoxiousness and because it's about time Julio got a break!
You don't just go to therapy, find the problem and fix it forever. Look at me. I don't drink anymore, but I'm still an alcoholic. You can't change who you are, but you can change where you're going.Flynn
Flynn's defense of Julio was my favorite because he was so authentic. He's right; problems don't just go away, but people can grow past them anyway.
CPS: Lieutenant Provenza, I've been wanting to have a chat with you and I get the sense you're avoiding me.
Provenza: You can't take a hint.
As for Provenza, was he just being grumpy or was his testimony a carefully calculated plan to show Sanchez was exactly what CPS was looking for in a foster parent?
It used to be when someone was dead on a barbecue, they were dead on a barbecue, not updating the Facebook from beyond.Provenza
The case was almost incidental; the real story was Julio's quest to be approved to foster a child. However, it was entertaining to see Provenza struggle with how much social media was involved with the case.
As Rusty predicted, Provenza wasn't going to like the case at all. The lieutenant didn't disappoint in that regard, shooting off some funny one-liners as he tried to understand what Glen's company was even doing or how Adrian could be posting from beyond the grave.
The two people who were Adrian's backers were incredibly stereotypical and annoying, complete with unfunny jokes about breaking people if they didn't pay up. The rest of the episode was strong, though, so that's a minor complaint.
What'd you think?
Was the flashback format interesting and effective, or did it confuse you? How loudly did you cheer when Sanchez finally seemed to be on the winning side of things? Do you want to see Sanchez become a foster parent?
Weigh in below, and don't forget you can watch Major Crimes online if you'd like to see "Cashed Out" again.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.