Southland Review: Caught in the Undertow

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"Underwater" had everyone jumping in the deep end, as partnerships were tested and the new Captain handed out applications... to McDonald's.

Yeah, the new Southland captain was definitely looking to make an impression. He's here to protect, serve, and kick some ass and if his officers couldn't get in line with that... well...

Mickie D's needs all the help they can get. The McRib is back. | permalink

At least he wasn't the type to just sit behind his desk. When Ben wanted to call in SWAT to take down Grambo, Sammy knew that one phone call would send Shaft (Sammy's nickname for the new Cap) on his way, and he wasn't wrong.

With the help of a Bible, a cat named Spooky and a bean bag gun, Grambo went down without bloodshed. That the old woman was wearing a Kevlar vest and packing enough heat to take on a battalion raised a few eyebrows, but I suppose that's just another day in L.A.

Across town, Tang was blocking all of Cooper's getting-to-know-you tactics. She's obviously not much of a sharer. But since their day included a $50,000 handbag attached to a dismembered arm, a naked man jogging and another man on fire, perhaps small talk didn't hold that much appeal.

When Southland's new dynamic duo went after a monster of a man who laughed after being tazed, I loved John's reaction to their nickname. The Walking Dead my ass.

Lydia to the Rescue!

Lydia and Ruben's day had the new homicide detective treading water. First, he felt bad for the husband and father who had a few too many celebratory drinks and plowed into the woman whose hand still held the expensive purse. Unfortunately, her head was imbedded in the grill of his SUV. When Lydia looked under the hood it was like some freaky urban myth.

How drunk do you have to be to believe that was a coyote?

Ruben's misgivings only increased when Lydia sweet talked a senile grandma into giving them evidence against her grandson. Ruben's right. The world's full of shades of gray but it's the job of the police to collect evidence and find the guilty party. As Lydia said:

 We have to speak for the dead whether they deserve it or not. | permalink

Logan was far from a saint and it cost Darryl 22 years of his life but did that give him the right to shoot the man in the middle of a convenience store. That's for a jury to decide, not a detective.

Given the murky waters a detective has to tread every day, Ruben's going to need to decide if this is the job for him.

However, this day circled back around to Ben, who punched a bratty high school girl who got in his face and hit him. It should have been nothing. An annoyance at best. But Ben's having trouble dealing with the stress of the job and he's getting pulled under.

Sammy's right.  As much fun as being the single, playboy looks on the surface, underneath Ben is losing his footing.

The first line on his McDonald's application has been filled out.  Let's see what happens after his video hits youtube. If the undertow drags him down any further Ben's next career could include the phrase, "Would you like fries with that?"

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Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (24 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Ben is becoming somewhat of a jerk. I hope it's stress-related and he doesn't continue going down the road he seems to be following right now.
I'm not sure how I feel about him punching that girl. Part of me wants to point out that if it was a boy he punched like that, there would be no issue here. Sure, the boy's family and friends would most likely claim police brutality, but the media would probably let it die pretty quickly. The fact that it was a female high school student he punched, with all those phones capturing the action, will have the media salivating in anticipation of huge ratings. Still, one's gender should not be a determining factor on what's assault and what isn't.
Grambo has got to be one of the greatest names ever.
Happy to see that Tang showed no hesitation jumping into the fray to help subdue a rabid gorilla.


I was a little bit disappointed about this episode. It seemed to just be scenes glued together with no real connection and no major case for the episode. Still good scenes to watch but the season premiere was just PERFECT and it's hard to go after it.


Another great episode of Southland. The show never seems to disappoint. I love how Ben's character has developed through series, from him being sick after seeing his first dead body to the cocky cop punching teenagers in the face. I also like how John is less serious and more talkative, i think he spoke more this episode then he has through the entire last season. Great Show!


How AWESOME was it that Logan's senile grandmother was played by none other than Marla Gibbs who played Regina King's mother on "227?" And she called her Brenda, LOL!

Southland Season 4 Episode 2 Quotes

Drop the lattes and get your narrow behinds out of your patrol cars.


It's a shame to break this up. I feel like the father in Footloose.