Posted January 18, 2012 by Greg Dragon in TV Show - Recap

SouthLAnd Recap 4.1 – Wednesday

There’s something fresh and wonderful about SouthLAnd this season and I cannot put my finger on it. No it isn’t the cute freckled face of Lucy Liu (who has joined the team as John Cooper’s partner “Jessica Tang”), and no it isn’t Lou Diamond Phillips as the jackass vet that breaks Ben Sherman’s balls the entire episode. I think it’s just the fact that it’s back on… I forgot how good the production was in this series and the pacing which doesn’t allow us to get bored.

Really my favorite change that has happened since last season’s shocking array of deaths and gut punches is the addition of Lucy Liu. John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz), fresh off of rehab from his drug abuse and back pains (visible scar tells us that they operated on him) is in beast mode. Ladies eat your heart out because your man is back, bigger, stronger, and leaner than ever. The first shot we get of him is in the gym where he’s banging the weights out like a champion.

Jessica Tang (Lucy Liu) enters the picture and acts as if she has been with the show since the beginning. She gets her share of playful racial jokes from team douchebag Bill “Dewey” Dudek (C. Thomas Howell) but rolls with them like a champ. Immediately she impresses Cooper who was the relative Jedi Master of the team before his rehab and we can see from his reactions that she is indeed impressive.

Dewey’s constant joking about a YouTUBE video of Tang, lead me to believe that she was a naughty girl in her past, but when Cooper finally watches it and it turns out to be some giant brute beating her within an inch of her life at a routine traffic stop… let’s just say I immediately understood her. Tang is a war-tested, hardened cop stuck in a cute frame and it will no doubt be interesting to watch as her adventures with Cooper moving forward.

Another surprise came with the new hairstyle of our beloved Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy), who now acts like a confident man – thank God. Teamed up with the young lady-killer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie), the chemistry between these 2 boys is something else. Now when you have a criminal running we can have the 2 sprinter caliber cops together going after him – which coincidentally happens at the end of this episode. For people wanting that Starsky and Hutch type of copping, Ben and Sammy will be the answer for that.

Unfortunately Lydia (Regina King) is still having partner issues being that we start off with a new one instead of Josie Ochoa (Jenny Gago) who I thought was a great balance to Lydia’s alpha dog tendencies. This new partner is Ruben Robinson (Dorian Missick), is an ex-soldier turned detective who, like Lydia’s first partner Russell is more of the strong silent type. We don’t get much from Ruben outside of the fact that he has a nagging wife and a good career in the military but we do get another episode of Lydia letting her heart get her in trouble with a crackhead junkie.

The introductions were made and the episode was light and straightforward. For those who care about the episode itself, the most shocking part of it besides seeing a boy who got shot in the neck bleed out, or a guy get scraped across the road 10 ft from running into traffic… wait there was a lot going on now wasn’t there? Hmm… well I was saying that the most eventful thing had to be the police station being raided by one man with a shotgun. Ben and Sammy literally pissed their pants and a couple of officers were wounded or killed.

SouthLAnd is back folks! If that doesn’t get you hot for Tuesdays I really don’t know what will.

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.