Posted February 14, 2013 by Greg Dragon in TV Show - Recap

SouthLAnd Recap 5.1 – Hats and Bats

southland recap 51

With the return of SouthLAnd the one thing I was not expecting (or looking forward to) was the return of Tammi Bryant (Emily Bergl) – the crazy ex-wife of Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy)

The show returns at a very bad time due to the very real accusations of corruption within the LAPD and the week of terror launched upon them by ex-cop Christopher Dorner. Public opinion has worsened for police in LA as this is one of many instances where retaliation due to abuse and rumor has stoked the flames on public opinion.

SouthLAnd has always served as a way to humanize the police of America, specifically the LAPD and after last week SouthLAnd may be unwelcomed so it worries me for the numbers watching and the chance at attracting new fans outside of die-hards like myself.

Enough Controversy Let’s Recap Already

This episode “Hats and Bats” was par for the course as John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) is training a new partner, Lydia Adams (Regina King) is struggling with being a mother, and Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie) is still trying to get laid.

Sammy starts things off with an odd altercation with his “baby mama” Tammi, who now appears to be strung out on some drug, and trying to frame Sammy for full custody. His partner Ben and he are still trying to mend their relationship after Ben accused him of being dirty last season and is forced to listen to him complain about Tammi and the baby during their shift.

sammy with old ladyThe most shocking portion of the episode dealt with detectives Lydia and Ruben Robinson (Dorian Missick) as they catch up to a guy who raped a drunk teen outside of a club (who happened to be a boy) and struggle to get him to take a rape kit. Lydia cannot deal with her screaming newborn and leans heavily on her mother to do it – as if this surprises us.

One of the oddest parts of the episode to me was the revealing of John Cooper’s boyfriend – since the gay part of John’s life was never a focus on the show before. Is this a turn for the worst? This is still up in the air but I have always liked the stance that John is an awesome cop who happens to be gay versus John is an awesome gay cop. Let’s hope that this doesn’t turn into Spartacus.

I really loved this opener as it preps us for the roller-coaster that is bound to happen for our favorite cops. I hold out hope that we will get some true character development for Lydia since her past is still such a mystery and some better writing for her cool as ice partner Ruben. One more thing to note is that John’s new partner is a military vet who saw 2 tours and seems to be very sensitive towards guns and people playing with them… will this be a possible Dorner parody to come? I wonder…

Despite the real life happenings with the LAPD, this show continues to be a gem and on a final note – how about the acting of C. Thomas Howell? Dewey has grown on me to the point where I actually enjoy his scenes and they are always good for a laugh due to his incessant trolling. What did you think of the opener?

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.