Oh no! Please tell us Bentley will be all right.
Winter finales almost always end with a cliffhanger to keep people talking throughout the winter hiatus. East New York Season 1 Episode 9 gave us one of the stronger ones in recent memory.
The good news: CBS has ordered an entire season of the freshman series, so we'll find out in January what Bentley's fate is. Thank goodness!
Chances are, Bentley will be okay. Cop dramas like to brush up against death, then have the police officers we know and love pull through at the last second.
Still, as cliffhangers go, this was a good one.
Until we find out exactly how Bentley is doing, we can't be 100% sure that he will pull through; that's an additional reason to tune in when East New York returns in January, not that we needed one.
East New York is one of the more compelling police dramas.
This series toes the line between the politics of being a police administrator and offering standard cop fare involving unsolved cases and workplace relationships. And since it takes place in an impoverished, primarily Black area of New York City, it provides a fresh perspective that keeps viewers coming back.
But who shot Bentley, and why?
Bentley and Sandeford ended up in an unofficial war with the cops who had their new car last after those cops left trash in the back seat. However, that's likely a red herring.
Those cops might have been pissed, but that's hardly a reason to shoot one of their own.
More likely, this is fallout from Walsh's arrest. Sandeford and Bentley arrested him as he was heading toward Antoine's studio to cause trouble, and the department wasn't about to look the other way on his involvement in either of the murders he'd tried to get away with.
Suarez: You also have to answer for killing Yolo Linden.
Walsh: Why? Cause he was your CI?
Suarez: Because he was a human being.
There's no telling how many other cops are involved in corruption and cover-ups and who might be willing to shoot one of their own out of loyalty to Walsh.
And if Walsh was doing illegal things involving drug dealers, he could easily have gotten a gang member to shoot at the cops who messed with him.
Something tells me that the corruption in the 7- 4 is going to trace back to Regina's father, too.
Regina: I'd like to clear up some inconsistencies. Yesterday, you said that your father canceled the appointment with the life coach because he was too busy.
Denise: Did I say that? I don't even remember.
Regina: You did, but today he said that he canceled because he got the call about Remy on the way. Both of those things can't be true.
Denise: Is this an interrogation?
Regina: No, it's a homicide investigation. If there are inconsistencies, they need to be explained.
Denise: It's funny, our fathers worked together and you wanted to follow in your father's footsteps. It never even occurred to me.
Regina: Are you lying to protect your father?
Denise: I'm not going to say one way or the other, but if I am, I'm going to go on doing it.
Denise kept mentioning that her father and Regina's worked together. We know that Walsh was as corrupt as they come. Was Regina's involved in illegal activity too? Or was he also a whistleblower?
He left the 7-4 in disgrace and won't talk about it, and afterward, he checked out for a long time. That's why Regina wants nothing to do with him now.
So will we get the full story by season's end, or will this mystery stretch out over several years?
The spoilers for this episode teased that a retired cop would die right before he blew the whistle on police corruption, but the story didn't live up to the hype. Not yet, anyway.
It turned out that an old man had told some stories about cops having girlfriends on the side and drug dealers under their thumb but hadn't yet named names, and so far, only one other cop was involved.
That isn't nearly the story we were promised, which is another reason there has to be more to it than this.
Suarez kept the investigation quiet, but now that Walsh has been arrested, there should be a variety of reactions, not all of them positive.
Cops often don't like the idea of cops ratting out other cops, so there should be pressure on Regina and Suarez to leave well enough alone. It should have started before Walsh's arrest; no one objected to Regina going to the memorial or tried to get her to back off this case, which was strange.
We're supposed to chalk it up to Suarez's skill at keeping this investigation on the down low, but was that realistic? Regina didn't know Walsh and was asking questions and having whispered conversations with Suarez at the memorial. Surely, someone would have wondered what she was up to.
In addition, the cops spent a lot of time in the company of a podcaster known to have strong anti-cop attitudes. That should have raised some eyebrows at 1PP!
Surprisingly, no one tried to pressure Regina into pinning Remy's death on Antoine, an outspoken critic of the cops and a man of color. In the eyes of those who don't like the idea of systemic change, Antoine should have been the perfect scapegoat.
Regina also took a risk by asking Sean anything related to this case. She doesn't know him that well, and if he didn't like the idea of cops investigating cops, he could have caused her some trouble.
Hopefully, Sean is on the up and up. He and Regina make a cute couple, and it would be horrible if slow-to-trust Regina got burned in the end.
Before Bentley's shooting, he and Sandeford seemed to be the comic relief. Sandeford kept making references to 1980s pop culture that Bentley didn't understand, but was it all lighthearted, or was there something more to it?
I can't help thinking that Sandeford's comment about Columbo has a double meaning.
Sandeford: The thing about Columbo was you saw the murder in the first five minutes, so you knew who did it.
Bentley: What was the point?
Sandeford: Seeing how Columbo figured it out.
Bentley: Was he your hero or something?
Sandeford: No. I never cared for the grey raincoat.
Within the first few minutes, we'd met Walsh, and it seemed likely he killed Remy. Could we also have met the person who shot Bentley within the first few scenes of the hour too?
Sandeford's comments also demonstrated that he's attached to the 1980s, especially coupled with his dislike of modern technology.
Sandeford: You know what I was excited about with my last car? Power windows so I didn't have to crank the windows anymore.
Bentley: Are you trying to sound old?
Sandeford: I'm just saying, I'm not taking a class in computer programming to drive this thing.
He and Walsh had one thing in common: they both thought cops become suicidal when they retire and discover they are not any better than anyone else. Walsh also couldn't let go of the past, though in his case, he longed for a time when the police force was freer to brutalize suspects, especially people of color.
The theme of forward-thinking cops butting heads with those stuck in the past summarizes East New York's premise and makes the show compelling.
Are you as excited as I am for East New York to return in January? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.
It may feel like a long wait for new episodes, but you can watch East New York online while waiting.
East New York airs on CBS on Sundays at 9 PM EST / PST (It may be delayed in some areas because of football games airing beforehand.) The next new episode airs sometime in January of 2023.