Posted January 18, 2011 by Greg Dragon in TV Show - Recap

SouthLAnd Recap 3.3 – Discretion

One of the more intense episodes of SouthLAnd has Ben McKenzie (Ben Cooper) showing more emotion than you will probably see ever again on the show. Not only is Ben knocking people’s teeth out in this episode, but he’s using his badge to threaten people, taking lead over his superior and crying… we see Ben crying in a very hard to watch portion of the show. What could drive a man to these extremes in one show? Who else but mom, we all have a mom and if any woman can break us down it’s mother. For Ben however it isn’t so much what his mom did but what happened to her. Followers of the show may remember the great air of mystery that surrounds the past for Ben whenever he recounts his father and the supposed beat down of his mother. In this episode we learn that the secret was his mother had been raped by a man who was just released. The news of his release sends Ben to his mother’s house to check on her (she had been drinking, crying and neglecting her bills) then he uses John Cooper’s (Michael Cudlitz) trust to pull the man over and threaten his life if he gets anywhere near his mother again. Ben was literally seeing red this episode.

On the other side of the force Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) is shacking up with his partner Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro) while his horrible cheating wife lives in his house with her European baby daddy (you heard me right). Sammy is driving Nate crazy as he is unable to properly do his job, choosing to spend most of the day screaming at his wife through the cellular phone threatening to do something to her lover. Nate is patient and tries to be there for his friend but even his wife is fed up with Sammy when he interrupts some scorching morning missionary by knocking on there door… Nate was deep in it… not cool. The situation gets to the point where Sammy drags Nate out to her house, breaks a window and gets himself and his partner thoroughly embarrassed when the local sheriff comes out to arrest them. Nate suggests some alternative living quarters for Sammy who reluctantly agrees to look into it – as he drives his partner further up the wall with his rage fits.

Lydia (Regina King) and Josie Ochoa (Jenny Gago) still butt heads for leadership and Russell is back taking council from her. Seems that Russell is on really hard times as his wife froze their account due to the divorce proceedings and his attempt at shafting the system by working while seeking pension almost lands him into hot water. Lydia complains that her mother has a new boyfriend and the two have been having loud sex every night (weird). Russell on the other hand asks Lydia for a $3000 loan due to his account being nil and his pension status being up in the air. Lydia considers it but due to Josie’s nosy eavesdropping and her friendship with Russell, she decides against it. Josie and she reach ground zero with the power posturing, leading to Lydia doing whatever she felt and Josie quoting her 20 yr experience to her. The two ultimately decide to split until Josie is proven wrong on a hunch that Lydia had and the two kiss and make-up (not really) deciding that they were great partners after-all.

Ben’s wrath leads to him making some dangerous mistakes alongside John who cracks him several times for his crap and then pulls him to the side for some one on one. The cat is out of the bag and John tells him he knows about the rape and recants an experience of his own to the rookie. He then let Ben knows that he is to not lie to him again and that he will not risk his job and his pension for Ben’s screw-ups. This cut Ben deep who apparently looks to John as more than a partner, it is a bad day for him and hearing that at the end of it made him realize that he was inevitably alone in his rage. He finds out from his mother that the rapist had reached out to her from his cell and that she had forgave him, then she explained the situation of that horrible night in detail to Ben who cries openly until the screen faded to black.

One of the more sobering and dramatic episodes I have seen in this great series and it will only get crazier as Ben becomes more hardened and Sammy becomes more unprofessional. Now this is drama TV folks, you cannot get much better than SouthLAnd.

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.