Posted March 16, 2012 by Greg Dragon in TV Show - Recap

SouthLAnd Recap 4.9 – Risk

If there is one episode to talk about in this season of SouthLAnd, this one (Risk) is it. More specifically the last 10 minutes or so did so much damage to the lull that has been boring us to sleep that now I’m awake, concerned and kinda pissed that it took 8 episodes to get here.

First and foremost there is the white knighting of the prostitute that Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie) has been doing; a situation he got so caught up in that he beat a pimp senseless while off-duty due to the fact that he let his anger get the better of him. Then we have Lydia Adams (Regina King), a pregnant detective who has been vainly hiding her pregnancy from her partner and superiors in order to stay in action as long as possible. The last couple – John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) and Jessica Tang (Lucy Liu) are at odds because Tang is a bit casual about the rules whereas Cooper is as straight-edged as a cop can get. Jessica mistakenly shot a kid and lied about it to get promoted and John knows the truth but is unwilling to rat his partner out. This has been the summary of season 4 SouthLAnd and as it played out slowly throughout the episodes, it has finally reached a boiling point where the unexpected has happened.

Officer Sammy Bryant might be dead!

Out of all the officers that we have gotten close to throughout the seasons, Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) is probably number one next to John Cooper. We saw him lose a partner who died in his arms, we saw him go on a revenge run – almost crossing the line into murder. We’ve seen him go through a messy divorce, come home to an immature wife and face the man who took his wife as he bartered time for his baby son. He has been through some very realistic situations for a young cop and in this episode he is hurt because of his partner Ben Sherman.

Ben has shown his newness to being a cop week after week but all of it has been generally harmless until he took it upon himself to attack a pimp off-duty. Now he finds that the prostitute he cared for is back on the street working solo (the damaged pimp dropped her) and she is begging him for money whenever she sees him. Sammy told Ben to let things like that go and as the day goes on Ben realizes his mistake and blows the prostitute off. The guys are good with one another again, joking about Sammy’s son, and as they laugh and take a hill in the middle of the day they are ambushed by the pimp in the SUV shooting at them. 

Sammy does some awesome driving as he maneuvers away from the shooter and while the realism of SouthLAnd came into play with their reactions… I really wished the typical movie thing would have happened and Ben would have returned shots despite the rules and chances that he may hit an innocent. It was a crazy chase and when Sammy managed to lose the pimp they are t-boned by a vehicle flying through the intersection and the squad car is totaled leaving Sammy unmoving with his airbag deployed.

Whoa! Ya, it came from out of nowhere and was as shocking as last season when the camera panned around and Nate Moretta was dead. Is Sammy okay? We won’t know until next time… but Ben was coherent and you could see the regret on his face as his partner sat bleeding in the smoking wreck.

Sergeant Tang aka Shady Jessica

John Cooper needs a new partner, he truly does and he is about to get it since Jessica has been approved for her promotion to sergeant. After the boy who she shot wakes up and is able to talk, he tells the detectives that the toy gun he had (when Jessica shot him) had an orange tip on it. This prompts the internal investigations crew to call in Jessica and John again to ask about what happened with the shooting and John again lies for his partner that he hadn’t seen anything. Jessica sticks to her story that the orange tip was not on the gun and she is released with her honor intact and new promotion in tow.

Who would have though that the dynamic duo would come to odds over something like this but there it is and it’s quite evident that John is finished with her.

Lydia are you Okay?

Detective Lydia Adams has her own motivations at all times but they are so strange that it has me puzzled whenever something happens with her. The girl is just too private, and it is at a detriment to her health due to the tough girl act which never slows down for her. In this episode Lydia and Ruben Robinson (Dorian Missick) investigate a new gang who shot up a gangster that was crossing out their name on the walls (gangsters routinely do this to one another’s graffiti during wartime). The pair round up the men and notice that one of them is young and vulnerable unlike his brothers who are willing to go to jail and keep the silence of omerta. The young gangster is taken to McDonalds… where oddly enough he gets excited about the happy meal that Lydia buys him… because it had the last toy that he was collecting. What… The… Hell… ya, well anyway the meal and Lydia’s lies are enough to get the boy to talk and before long she and Ruben have a name and address of the shooter.

When the detectives and a few other cops descend on the house, they are discussing Lydia’s eating habits and not taking the situation entirely serious and after a runner escapes from the backdoor, every one of the cops leaves Lydia by herself trying to force entry into the house. Without any warning Lydia is attacked from within, thrown to the ground, stabbed in the stomach and is being forced on with the weapon near her throat. It was so awful that she actually begged for her life – if you’ve been keeping note, you know that would never happen in a million years unless she truly felt that it was about to be over for her. Luckily enough Lydia’s strength keeps the attacker struggling until Ruben bursts in like a bat out of hell and delivers a kick to the assailant’s face.

This is when Lydia’s motivations confuse me even more for the season as she admits to Ruben that she’s pregnant (as if he hadn’t picked up on it), refuses help and hitches a ride to her doctor’s appointment. When she’s in the waiting room we finally get a glimpse of the knife wound to her stomach and it is left hanging for us to wonder if her unborn child is dead or alive.

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So it’s gotten crazier than crazy on all angles and with one episode left in season 4 – I can’t wait to see if my man Sammy is okay and whether or not Lydia is hurt. What a phenomenal show this is.

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.