SouthLAnd 4.9 – Risk

This little guy is right about Title-ist: it IS all about the dimples.

I would recommend to anyone who may have heart issues to take precaution when watching this episode. We open with Lydia and Reuben quietly approaching a dilapidated house with weapons drawn. She spies a door cracked open, and shouts, “Police! Is anybody in here?” before pushing her way inside with a flashlight.

As cops become more experienced, their confidence inevitably grows. Confidence can leave them to take more risk. That’s when they’re in real danger.” (Uh-oh.)


9 Hrs. Earlier

Ben gets razzed by a fellow cop about his bloody knuckles (beat down of Ronnie the Pimp last episode) so we’re pretty recent on the timeline from last week. This douchey cop talks to Ben like he beat up another girl, then goes off on how he blanks out around his ex-wife and OKAY JACKASS. You’re cool for hitting a woman. Way to be a great upholder of the law. (There are some major issues I have with the treatment of women in this show this episode. Not that it’s the show’s fault, it’s impassioned as always. It’s that certain things are done to women, and it’s a reminder that we haven’t progressed as a society.)

Ben “yeah” and “mm hmms” him until he goes away (um, this would be a great time for your Save All Ladies mindset, Ben). Sammy asks him quietly if Ronnie’s shown up anywhere. Nope, still pissed at getting beaten up by a pretty boy white cop, they guess.

Out at the shooting range, Tang and Coop work on their aim when Jessica says she’s gotten good news. Oh, not about that kid, who cares, she made the cut for the next round of picks for sergeant, isn’t that awesome? John wonders why he didn’t bring any Tums with him as he tells her “congratulations.” I don’t believe him.

Lydia and Reuben stand under a retaining wall wondering who the new gang is that is spraying “KBD” everywhere. Someone wasn’t too happy with it, crossed it out, and now that person is dead – poorly shot at that. (Did anyone else’s heart stop at the sight of that guy way up high in the background watching them?) She asks him again for the actual time, which means (he says) that she must want to eat, want to talk about eating, want to talk about what she doesn’t want to eat…

She has a doctor’s appointment later, okay? He wants to know if she’s okay, because it seems like she goes to the doctor a lot. Ahem. Oh, it’s just a checkup. “All right, partner. Oh, and it’s 9:50am.”

Now in their squad car, Tang rambles to John about her competition for promotion when a Prius pulls in front of them, wavering back and forth between lanes as the driver eats something and then drops a banana peel in the street. John huffs a sigh and lights ’em up. The guy is shocked to be pulled over and says that banana peels are biodegradable, what’s the big deal?

“So why don’t I come over to your house, take a shit on your pillow? Would that be okay? That’s biodegradable,” hisses John. Aha ha! The guy hands over his license and registration, whispering, “Okay. You know, I’m not the bad guy…” Coop shakes his head and laughs derisively. Tang is just baffled at them pulling this guy over for littering with a banana peel. “An asshole with a small carbon footprint is still an asshole,” he tells her, and come on: there is a writer on staff who has been hanging on to that line for a while, just waiting for a chance to say it. (And I totally agree.)

Lydia and Reuben pull up to a house where music is pumping out of a car (there are a lot of high-end rides parked at this house) and it’s like a party is going on. But Lydia approaches a crying woman and says she’s sorry for the woman’s loss, but they’re investigating Tony’s death and want to know about KBD.

The woman asks them to leave, but Lydia has a job to do. She crouches down and says that she gets it, the woman wants payback. But the other side has mothers and children, too, and they’d be crying the same tears as she is. “I hope so!” she spits out. Yeah, I don’t think they’re going to get anywhere with these people.

Lydia keeps trying to get information when the crowd presses in on her, menacingly. They want the other side dead, they don’t care about sending them to prison. Lydia holds her hands out, okay, and she and Reuben leave.

Sam and Ben shoot the breeze about whether or not they think Ronnie will come back, when Ben starts teasing Sammy about his haircut and hey, guys? Bridges are being mended! Ben laughs and says, “This the start of the comeback? Want style tips?”

Sammy Bryant (who y’all should know by now that I adore) makes a sour face and says, “Yeah, I dress like you maybe I can have a threesome with some zoo animals.” Ha ha ha. They see Amber (prostitute mom from last week) walking in broad daylight, hooking. She asks Ben for $40 in a sweet, “Won’t you help me? You promised and I’m not able to take care of myself” manner, which goes straight to Ben’s heart. Good lord. Sammy gives her shit, which shakes Ben out of his White Knight mentality; Sammy peels out, leaving Amber hissing and spitting mad.

Lydia and Reuben walk back to their car when one of the women approaches them. KDB is Krazy But Deadly (see, the K makes them really crazy! C for crazy is just regular nuts). She says that “El Rey” is who they want – he either did it, or knows who did. They thank her, then she postures and says they better not come back no more.

Tang, who you should remember has high-tone tastes from the food truck chase, is looking for a really good burger. Coop doesn’t care where they eat, he just wants to get through the day. (Damn, it’s just broken between these two now.) They’re in a bad part of town and see a young business professional in a Porsche on the corner. They roll up and Jessica asks if he needs help. Oh, no, he’s fine, officers! Thanks! He’s already called AAA.

John Cooper, whom I love with every fiber of my being, says, “That’s good! I mean, you come all the way down here to score and your Porsche breaks down on you? I mean…dude, it’s gotta suck. You at least get what you came for?”

The guy is paralyzed with fear. It’s awesome. “Uh…no?”

“See,” Cooper continues, “the correct answer to her was yes. Yes, I need help.” A call comes in; while he takes it, Tang tells the guy to get back in his car. Turns out that the call was about Tang’s kid: he’s awake and FID wants them back, pronto. The Porsche guy gets a break as they head out.

Sammy tells Ben as they cruise the neighborhood that Ben needs to stop. Stop counseling hookers, stop beating up pimps, stop getting emotionally involved with the people on the street. He gets it – it happens to every cop at some point. But seriously. Stop.

They get a call about a battered man; Sammy says, “You tried your best. All right?” They don’t roll out until Ben nods an okay. They roll up to another young professional man, but this guy was surrounded by a “gang” and one of them hit him with a skateboard after they forced him off the road. They’re just up the hill, officers.

What? They fly up the hill to find a group of dudes on street carvers positively flying down this long hill, taking all kinds of crazy risks (oh, I see what you’re doing, writers!) by weaving through cars, riding on the wrong side, just a complete disregard for safety. They circle around and chase after them, marveling at how fast they’re going.

They drive alongside one skateboarder and order him to pull over. He says, “Can’t dude; no brakes!” and shouts “Whooooo!” as he continues to pick up speed (we’re talking over 45 MPH, too). Cut to: the whole group of them in handcuffs being led by Sammy and Ben into jail. Ha.

One of the women from Family Services pulls Ben aside and mentions that Danielle, the hooker’s daughter, ran away from foster care after 12 hours. So that didn’t work out too good, bro.

Lydia and Reuben head to a construction site where some cops are holding a group of taggers. And they just happened to be spray painting a new KBD on a wall, lookee there. One guy with a tattoo on his head, “El Rey” (and it looks like a sharpie, right?), thinks it’s hilarious that someone was shot from a rival gang. They’re not getting anything from him. But Lydia is smarter than your average bear and sees a young kid in the back. Let’s go ahead and bring him in, too. She blows off El Rey calling her a pig.

Tang and Coop take a call at a gorgeous house where a barely clothed couple is screaming at each other. They like it kinky (the guy loves bragging about this) but she didn’t like that he almost killed her by auto-erotic asphyxiation. (She couldn’t say the safety word because his fist was half-way down her throat. Jesus Christ.)

John cuts to the heart of it: “You love each other?” …yes. “Okay. Get back upstairs and have some role play. Lady? You can choke him until he passes out.” He intimidates the hell out of the guy, who is dragged upstairs by his bossy girlfriend. “Let’s go, Richard!”

John says, “Go on, Dick.” He looks around at the house, “This place is gorgeous.” Ha.

Lydia makes a point of taking the young kid at the station past El Rey for a little good cop/hey, want a burger? Of course the kid does, even though El Rey keeps hollering at him, “¿Órale vato, que pasa?”

Ben and Sammy arrive at a restaurant where an irate young woman is holding a group of men, a utensil in the air in a threatening manner. She tells the cops that she found a camera in the ladies bathroom – she knows tech and explains its range, etc. – and knows it has to be one of these guys. The guys all deny it, try to leave, when Ben asks about the dude in the back corner.

“Oh, he’s just a regular that’s always here working.” Mm hm. Ben approaches the guy, who closes his laptop. And he doesn’t want Ben to see it. WOW, DUDE. Way to be obvious. He finally consents; Sammy and Ben talk to him on the level to get him to think it’s cool to explain his system to them, which he does. Evidently this asshole charges $50 a month for membership to his Toilet Cam website. The woman is beyond irate, especially when he tries to soothingly tell her why she shouldn’t be upset: she’s his most popular girl!

IF I MAY, KIND READERS: as a woman, this angers me almost beyond the telling. First, let me just point out that women don’t do this. We don’t do this to each other and we don’t do it to men. The fact that for years I have made a point of checking out bathrooms in public places before using them because of this very thing is beyond ridiculous. It’s disgusting. And I’m just more than a little sick of women constantly being victimized by assholes. Feh.

The woman is horrified and angry (and has every right to be) and while I get that Sammy and Ben had to fake camaraderie with this guy to get him to hang himself on his own rope, she’s listening to this and becoming increasingly upset, like not even the cops have her back on it. Just… fuck you, dudes who do this. Sorry for the two cents and language, but seriously: fuck you.

We go from this to Ben and Sammy finding Amber on the street again, wanting to know where Danielle is. Um, school? Or something? Ben lays it out for her: I’m done with you. But I will buy a bus ticket out of here for her. Just tell her that there will be one waiting for her at the foster home. He doesn’t have anything to say to her, just climbs back in the patrol car and they leave, Sammy proud of him for “cutting bait and walking away.” Amber’s a lost cause, I have to say.

Cooper and Tang have finally found a burger joint. Just as Jessica sits down with her meal, they get a call to get their asses back to FID. This running joke of her never getting to eat cracks me up, guys. She gives good bitch face.

In a moment of excellent detective work, Lydia has Puppet (the kid) at McDonalds, filling him up. She gives him her Happy Meal prize (he really is still a kid. And likes math. God damn street gangs…). She tells him that he’s good looking… which is going to be a problem in jail. Tchuh, he’s no snitch, he says while slurping on some Hi-C.

She pulls out her book and writes that she solemnly swears that she will not arrest him or any member of the KBD gang for any information that he gives her. Wow… really? She shows him her signature. Okay, then! He’s off and running: L’il Thumper did it. We hid the gun in this abandoned house. Sometimes I cry at night. I’m into My Little Ponies, but the guys all make fun of me–

“That’s… enough,” she says and motions for Reuben. “Arrest him for accessory to murder.” Wait! But she said–

“I said I wouldn’t arrest you. And I’m not. He is.” Ha ha ha. I love it. What a dummy! He asks if he can still have the toy, and there’s our somber reminder that this is still a kid, a kid who’s life is now over.

Coop is called in first at the FID and they waste no time telling him that the kid is now able to speak and he is swearing that there was an orange tip on that gun. So… is John sure that he saw what he saw? And as much as it pains him, he says yes. Because he didn’t see the orange tip. And he cannot tell a lie. (Anymore.) He is not happy about this.

Jessica is called in next and they say nothing to each other as they pass in the hallway. Damn. Jessica puts on her Officer Friendly and says that she’s glad the boy is doing well and she has nothing new to add. They ask her point blank: was there an orange tip on the gun? “No, there wasn’t. Anything else?” They dismiss her, and she instructs John to follow her back to the squad car.

Take your heart medication if you need it, because here we go. Lydia and Reuben approach the abandoned house where Puppet said the gun was hidden. Before getting out of the car and putting on her Kevlar, Lydia calls her doctor to say she might be a little late, and can she move the appointment? No? Well, she’ll do her best. Slide of the safety on her gun, and away they go. They check the front porch and move to circle the house, a set of patrol officers accompanying them.

We’re at the opener, and she pushes inside the dark house. As that door opens, Reuben shouts, “We have a runner!” and he and the patrol cops chase after someone who bolted from the front door. (One day these guys will get smart and put an exit on the roof and go into the attic. I’m just saying.) Lydia is now all alone in a dark room.

Holy – she’s whapped upside the head by someone, and it’s one of the gangbangers from the construction site. At this point I’m on my feet shouting as the guy grabs her, throws her into shelves, tables, beating her over the head as she grunts and tries to get her balance. She’s thrown to the ground and he pins her down, crawling between her legs and grabs a screwdriver and jesusfuckingchrist starts stabbing at her Kevlar with it, with both hands. (You’re with me on the symbolism here, right? Gah.)

Lydia is no wallflower, and she uses all of her strength to push back on his hands as he tries to bring it down to her throat. She’s positively shaking from the effort and trying her best, pleading, “Please!” I almost thought she’d say that she was pregnant. I’m glad she didn’t. It looks like he’s about to go through her shoulder or neck (the angle makes it hard to see) when Reuben hears the commotion and races through the house and face-kicks the dude off her.

She rolls to her knees, trying to catch her breath as Reuben pins him down and cuffs him. I don’t think my heart can take anymore, guys, I really don’t. She tells him she’s okay. She isn’t.

Cut to her on the front porch, sitting, when Reuben says that their runner has been caught, “Come on, partner. Let’s go.”

“I’ll find another ride,” she says.

“You sure?”

“I’m pregnant.” Tears run down her face. “Yeah, I’m sure.”

He looks at her in shock for a minute. Sure, he’s known, but hearing it is another thing entirely. He says quietly, “Congratulations, partner,” and takes off after the runner. She gets a ride from someone to the doctor’s office, looking completely out of her element, something that is shocking to see in Lydia Adams. (And how much do you love that Reuben made a point of calling her partner? He’s not going to lose her, if he can help it. They’re an awesome team. The most functional on the show.)

Sammy and Ben roll up on a knife fight to find Dewey – in a horrible Hawaiian shirt – holding two guys apart. One is a sushi chef (Dewey’s favorite) and the other is a guy not taking the chef’s bet on the Clippers game and not paying. What the…? The cops tell the guy to scram, Dewey thanks them, then orders the sushi chef to make him a rainbow roll. All in a day’s life, huh?

Tang and Cooper cruise the streets, not saying a word and focusing on everything but the 800-pound gorilla named Orange Tip.

Lydia arrives at the doctor’s office with apologies for being late. Um, two hours late, which means she’s out of luck. She gives the receptionist a look and tells her, “I’m an LAPD Homicide Detective. Sometimes my schedule is a little unpredictable.” …they’ll see what they can do, take a seat.

She’s still sweating and shaken up, but she sees two suburban-looking moms whispering about her. “Can I help you?”

One woman stands and approaches her with concern all over her face. “Sorry, I was just worried. Are you okay?”

Huh? Well, she thought it might be pomegranate juice on her shirt, but then it started to spread. A nurse calls Lydia back, and she follows, closing her blazer over her belly. She gets onto the table, opens her jacket, and pulls up her shirt which indeed had a large blood stain in the middle. That screwdriver went through the Kevlar and she has a nasty looking puncture wound under her diaphragm where she’s beginning to show. She’s devastated and starts to cry. (Oh, Lydia. I love you, I do, but come on. COME ON. Then again, we all knew this was going to happen, didn’t we? There’s no room for hope on this show, please.)

After that devastation, we get a moment of much-needed levity. Coop and Tang roll up on some little dude dressed like a golf ball. He’s whacking at things outside a store with a club, going on about how Titlelist is superior because of the dimples. Oh my god. Coop asks if he’s been drinking.

In a huffy, exasperated tone he says, “Yeah? Why?” Smash smash smash. Oh, no reason, John was just curious. They tell him to really line up that next shot. “Really?” Yeah! But don’t bend your arm on the follow through. He whacks something and Jessica manhandles the club away from him. He hisses in pain and comments on how strong she is.

She takes a call as John starts to cuff him, forcing him on his knees. Jessica says she made sergeant.

Ball: Really? Good for you! (oh my god, the excitement in his voice!)

Coop: …that’s awesome.

Ball: Is she your boss now? (hahahaha)

Ben and Sammy talk about the skateboarders. Sammy thought it looked awesome, actually, when Ben reminds him about baby Nate: is he going to let him get hurt? Hey, but none of this matters because a very familiar black Escalade rolls up and GUNGUNGUN!

Shit – Sammy floors it, using evasive moves as Ronnie opens fire on them. They roll through a neighborhood getting their back window shot out, Sammy ducking bullets and swerving when they hit an intersection and spin out. Ronnie gives them a “gotcha” look as they catch their breath and Ronnie rolls off and HOLY SHIT-THEY’RE T-BONED BY AN SUV!

One, did you NOT SEE THE POLICE CAR in the middle of the street? And two, oh my god, they were hit at like, 50 MPH and it’s bad. It’s a direct hit to Sammy’s door, too. We hear Ben calling in to dispatch, explaining what happened and that they need an RA Unit, stat. Ben drags himself out of the car, trying to not freak and Sammy is bloody and unresponsive. Not Sammy, noooooooo!

His arm is jacked up, his face is battered, and he’s unconscious. We hear sirens in the background and good lord, we only have one episode left.

Next week for the finale: everyone confronts everyone. (And I would swear on my children that I saw Sammy in one scene, so I’m going to not have a panic attack.)

Hey, Ben? This is why we cut bait and walk away.