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Partners in Crisis, Southland “The Felix Paradox” 

Photo Credit:  Richard Foreman/TNT
Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/TNT

Cooper and Lucero

Felix “The Cat” Javier was a big fish in the drug trade. With his death, all the little fish are trying to fill the void. Drug-related arrests have gone up, so patrol and the ATF are assisting Hollywood Narco with serving warrants. Coop can see something is wrong with Hill so he takes over the briefing.

Photo Credit:  Doug Hyun/TNT
Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

During the raid Lucero gets shot. It’s a flesh wound to his neck, but it spooks him enough that he’s mouthing off to another cop in the locker room. Cooper comes to his defense and asks if he’s alright. Lucero brushes it off and tells Cooper they need to go to lunch at his wife’s restaurant. When they arrive there’s some tension between Hank and his wife, but Hank chalks that up to her shyness. Later Cooper overhears Lucero and his wife talking. It turns out he hasn’t lived with his family for over a year and a half. Lucero tells Cooper it’s his family that keeps him going. He knows he’s got people to go home to and that’s important. He’s certainly putting on a really good show.

John’s been on the phone all day with his ex-wife Laurie, who is having trouble with her neighbors. When he stops by, she thinks it’s only to help her out with that. But Cooper’s got more on his mind. Even though they aren’t compatible romantically, he knows she wants a kid and he’s ready to be a father. He’s going to cut back on his hours and he’s willing to coordinate his schedule with hers. He wants to make it work. I smell trouble, but she’s excited.

Photo Credit:  Doug Hyun/TNT
Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

Sammy and Ben

When Ben and Sammy find a little girl riding her tricycle through the drive thru, they take her home. No one seems to be there so they enter the house and stumble upon a stash of drugs and money. Then Strokeface shows up. He calls the LAPD the biggest gang in the city and mouths off to Sammy. But his words are hitting a little close to home and Sammy won’t let it go. He doesn’t like being called crooked. He knows the search they just performed will probably be ruled illegal. He doesn’t think they deserve a pat on the back for what they just did. But Ben has a different take.

Ben: “We don’t fight fair. We fight to win.”

Sammy: “What the hell are we winning?”

Sammy’s having an attack of conscience after he hears about Tammi’s recent troubles. Not only does she now have a DUI on her record, but the cops found open bottles of pills in her car when they pulled her over. It looks like his legal troubles are about to disappear, but Ben’s still worried because Sammy hasn’t destroyed the video yet. Sammy said he was going to take care of it, but he hasn’t. And because Ben’s name and reputation are on the line he choses to do something about it. He sends his girlfriend’s brother to steal the video, but in the process the brother injures Nate’s babysitter and for a panicked moment we think he’s hurt Nate as well. But Sammy finds Nate safe and sound. His house has been tagged with the NBK crew’s symbol so he thinks he knows who’s after him. And he’s not leaving his house; he’s going to defend it against Stroke face and any else who comes after him and his family.

I’m really not liking the kind of person Ben is becoming. I don’t know if his time on patrol has hardened him, but he’s making a lot of questionable decisions. His personal life is his business, but I don’t like the way he broke up with Brooke. I can’t believe she has the balls to threaten him. I’m assuming she doesn’t know about his other girlfriend, but I guess we’ll see if she finds out. But professionally, he’s doing all kinds of shady things. I hate that he lied for Sammy. I hate that he got his other girlfriend’s brother to break into Sammy’s house to steal that video. What is going on in his head and when did he become this person? Right now I don’t think he deserves to become a detective or remain in any type of position of authority. Right now, I just want him to go back to being a better person.

Photo Credit:  Doug Hyun/TNT
Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

Lydia and Ruben

It’s sad to think that every cop who partners with Lydia knows they have an expiration date. Lydia was letting Ruben into her life and I like to think his influence was making her a better person away from the job. So when their investigation into the death of Scott Hill results in them discovering police corruption, Ruben wants to handle it a certain way. But Lydia doesn’t want to listen. She’s not interested in what other cops think of her. She wants to punish the cops responsible for the death of Hill’s son. Ruben argues that IA should take over. He’s got a family to go home to and he cares what other cops think.

Ruben: “You know, you’re gonna say this is about Hill’s kid or the job but it’s not. It is about you using the job to buy time to get away from your own life. It’s real easy to be a good cop when you feel like you ain’t got sh*t to go home to.”

Ruben’s surprised when Lydia turns the case over to IA. She lets him know she hasn’t forgotten anything he said and Ruben praises her ability to push people away. He warns her that he isn’t going anywhere. The most surprising part of all of this? When Lydia goes to see Tom Everett Scott‘s Russell Clark. So interesting.

Photo Credit:  Doug Hyun/TNT
Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

Character Development: Jamie McShane‘s Sergeant Hill

He killed me in this episode. We’re so used to seeing him as this stoic, no-nonsense guy who gives briefings to patrol before they roll out. When Lydia and Ruben show up, Hill thinks it’s to collect on a debt he owes to someone over at Exposition. So when they have to tell Hill about his son, it’s really affecting. When they return later to give Hill his son’s personal items, he breaks down and Lydia comforts him. I was in tears. What an amazing performance.


Shaq makes an appearance as an old buddy of John’s. He’s a gang detective now, but he knows Cooper from when they came up together at the academy.

Southland airs Wednesdays at 10/9 c on TNT.

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