Southland: Integrity Check

SOUTHLAND: 4.06 “Integrity Check”

I don’t have a whole lot to say or consider about last night’s episode of Southland. It was very good, like much of the season has been, but didn’t contain anything particularly earth shattering (though there were a few scary close-calls thrown at some of our heroes). I just want to touch on three points:

  1. Ben’s by the book attitude: While Ben’s personal life doesn’t seem to be very conventional (hello, threesome with a married woman and her friend) his attitude towards policing is still very by the book. This has caused some minor tension with Sammy, who tends to be a little more flexible, earlier in the season and this time leads to a big problem. He thinks that Sammy planted evidence on a suspect and confronts him about it, only to learn later that it was an honest mistake and the evidence was left in the squad car by the guys on the last shift. But for Sammy, it’s all about loyalty; his last partner, Nate, was a close friend, and earlier this season, Sammy reminds Ben how important it is to always have your partner’s back. Instead, Ben openly questions Sammy, causing a rift between the two that probably won’t heal too quickly.
  2. Lydia gets pressed into uniform duty on the streets as a Sergeant, and quickly finds out that her pregnancy really slows her down. In a particularly scary moment, she gets shoved to the ground on her stomach, and eventually winds up in the hospital. She and the baby are fine, but the doctor encourages her to get off her feet and behind a desk. That’s probably not advice she wants to hear, but based on the way that she turns back on the fetal heart monitor and stares off wistfully into the distance, I’m guessing she’ll be bound for some safer work at least for the time being.
  3. I actually liked the documentary crew following around Cooper and Tang, and how many of their scenes were shown to the audience through the eyes of the camera crew. We got to see some weird stuff, like a father insisting his son’s birthday cake be decorated with swastikas, or a crazed knife wielding mini-van driver, but the biggest shock came at the end when Cooper and Tang responded to a late-night call, and some crazy guy took Cooper down to the ground and either tried to bite off his ear or his neck. John was bleeding pretty bad at the end and looked like he was in shock, but based on the previews from next week, I think he’ll be okay. Still, it was a stark reminder how things in this show can go from normal to completely chaotic in no time at all.

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