Posted March 23, 2010 by Greg Dragon in TV Show - Recap

SouthLAnd Recap 2.4 – The Runner

Did you see Lydia’s (Regina King) arms at the end of tonight’s episode? All I have to say is dammmmmnnnnn! Work it out detective, work it out! She’s been hiding those shotguns underneath her jacket apparently.

Okay so tonight’s episode started with a bit of a “what the hell” from me and I am assuming most fans… Where is Rene Cordero (Amaury Nolasco) and who is this new fellow? Lydia starts the episode off examining the fallen body of a pretty crack head that had been shot once through the back. Upon investigating a bit we find out that this girl is a college student from a hard working family and a track star with Olympic aspirations – hence the name of the episode. Lydia’s new partner is introduced to Sammy and Nate – which leads me to believe he is not a replacement actor playing Rene but a new partner for our girl altogether.

So what happened to Rene between episodes 3 and 4, were there some contract disputes? Did someone not show up for work? What will become of the Lydia hookup that I’ve been shipping for? Hell while I’m asking, where is the Wood Harris character and that whole setup with the car company? I am getting a bit confused on the SouthLAnd timeline and how they sequence the writing. The sporadic adding and dropping of characters without explanation was fine for the bad guys but now with Rene out of this episode and random partner thrown in without introduction, one has to raise an eyebrow and utter “huh” at the whole thing. Anyway, I am sure it will all make sense eventually, one can’t sum up a show without going through the season in its entirety. Let’s just get back to the fun stuff.

So Jedi Cop Master John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) takes Ben to a funeral with him and we finally get a chance to meet the woman who he was married to for five years… not bad John, you could do worse sir. While the funeral revealed even more of Cooper’s past to us viewers, poor Ben didn’t get much to do or say outside of nodding his head and prodding for details on John’s fallen comrade. We do get to meet Dewey (C. Thomas Howell) fresh off his rehab this episode and I must say that I hate him even more than I did when he was a drunk loser. It’s the teeth, the creepiness and now the “hopped up on coffee” antics that come with his sobriety. What is cool about the funeral is that afterwards John coolly reveals that he is gay (for those of you who couldn’t take the subtle hints throughout the last 8 episodes) by talking about his friend ignoring him in gay bars. Kudos to the writing not going for the typical in this reveal.

Although there was the Dewey distraction along with the trip to John’s buddy’s funeral. The meat and potatoes of the episode is of course Lydia and her mysterious mustached partner fighting her idiot puppet boss and the media to try and bring closure to the runner’s shooting. The deceased girl’s dad is a poorly acted stereotype of “perfectionist sport dad” trying to pretend his pipe smoking baby was mistakenly in the hood buying crack.  Then theres the University which has a circus of lawyers and school officials running interference whenever they try and question the chief subject in the killing – her NFL bound, wannabe gangster, running back boyfriend.

When they finally get to this piece of crap him, dude is sitting in a luxurious apartment playing video game, making passes at Lydia and being an all around bastard when questioned. So to say that wrapping the case up wasn’t easy is an understatement, that is until certain gang members quickly rat out their junior soldiers and it all ends quite conveniently. I tell ya, Lydia’s boss is a real piece of shit work, I am going to assume this will be a recurring thing since she seems to be in bed with the media.

This episode was sort of a dud for me, with nothing really being attained. Not only was Lydia’s partner different – but her entire demeanor was different also… they channeled Law and Order: SVU for this episode and it’s really not that kind of show. The previews for next episode show poor Sammy dealing with his idiot wife who gets too close to a tattooed gangster. Let’s hope she dies and rid us of one of the two ridiculously annoying characters (Dewey being the second). Either way  I’m hoping for the best, come on Rene where are you at buddy? Are you done playing SouthLAnd?

The episodes are starting to jump around a bit too much, we fans like familiarity as we grow to learn more about the officers and their histories. I don’t even remember the new Detective’s name… did he even tell it to us? Oh well.

Greg Dragon

Cinephile and opinion writer, Greg Dragon has been a fan of movies since the 80's when Kung Fu theater was all the rage and Roger Moore was James Bond. Greg is the founder and lead critic of Spicy Movie Dogs. You can follow him on Twitter @Rafacus or on his Google+ account.