SOUTHLAND: 4.04 “Identity”
The big news in this week’s episode of Southland is that Detective Lydia Adams is pregnant. We’re not sure by whom, which I think is actually an interesting twist on what we might usually see in a show like this (i.e. we would have known who the father is, or at least seen a few potential fathers). I like how we see little parts of our character’s lives outside of their jobs, like Lydia’s conversation with her mother in the kitchen or Ben’s brief scene in the suburbs with the real estate agent, but not much else. We tend to see just enough so we know how their personal issues might be affecting them on the street. This episode didn’t have quite as many crazy, bizarre events as the last few, but I’ll touch on each storyline below.
- Tang and Cooper spend the episode trying to get a confused yet harmless homeless man and former Marine placed into a shelter. They even take the extraordinary step of paying a visit to a counterfeit ID maker; instead of busting him, they force him to make the homeless man an ID so he can return to the shelter. I really liked this storyline’s focus on compassionate policing. Sure, it’s great to see our heroes chase down violent bad guys, but seeing them spend so much time and effort in the attempt to help one of the most vulnerable members of society was really heartwarming.
- Lydia and Ruben were busy investigating the murder of a local man who takes in troubled kids. Turns out he was sleeping with two of his young charges; one of them found out, and the other killed him in a jealous rage. The murderer’s mother tried to take the blame to protect her child, which made Lydia wonder about her impending motherhood. Right now, it looks like she’s going to keep the child, despite the many problems it will probably cause in her career.
- Ben and Sammy spend most of their time tracking down some wanna-be gang bangers, though there’s also a small storyline about an injured dog mixed in there. Sammy really does have a soft heart for animals, though maybe that’s because his ex-wife got custody of the dog. For some reason, I don’t remember too much of this story, but I do recall Sammy explaining to Ben that he needs to move out to the suburbs to be around “his people.” It seems like Ben, after his off duty run-in with his contemptuous neighbor, is ready to take his advice, as the episode ends with him and a realtor viewing a house in some sunblasted, suburban cul-de-sac.