“Southland” 403: “Celebrate Hood Times, Come On!”

We open tonight’s episode with Tang and Cooper rolling up on a burning building. Cooper jumps out of the squad car and shouts “Where is he?” Freeze.

Ominous voiceover: “The city of Los Angeles is made up of over 100 separate and distinct ethnic, racial and religious communities. I’m telling you this to make you believe that there’s going to be some sort of clash between these communities in tonight’s episode but there totally isn’t.”

Flashback 15 hours to Ben “Rookieboy” Sherman in bed with another badge bunny. She has the video of him smacking down the girl from last week’s episode bookmarked on her smart phone and she’s into letting him manhandle her the same way. We get a sideview of her backside, but we don’t get the same from Sherman. No fair!

Sammy does a little early-morning community policing, siccing Parking Enforcement on all of the cars owned by members of the “Two Trey” gang. This does not sit well with gang leader Day Day Crawford and they puff their chests at each other.

Back at the station Captain Rucker rips Sammy a new one for harassing Crawford. So it makes perfect sense when, minutes later, he details Sammy and Sherman to watch over the Two Trey’s “Hood Day” gathering. Mixed messages much?

Lydia and her partner Snoozefest (I’m sorry, I can’t help myself) roll up on the Los Angeles River. Snoozefest practices his dull speech for his daughter’s quinceanera. When I regain consciousness they’re standing over the body of one Maria Moboro. Her shirt is missing.

Tang and Cooper roll up on a house where a distraught woman has reported a burglary in progress. The burglar is still inside so the officers move in. They come across the suspect in an upstairs bedroom and give chase, but the burglar jumps out a window and escapes. Cooper comments, “My old partner? He woulda jumped.” So ditch Tang and get back together with him already!

Tang and Cooper take more information from the distraught woman, Rebecca, when her family arrives home. Her father, an Orthodox Jew, is more upset that she broke the Sabbath than at the robbery. Against Daddy’s wishes Rebecca rides around with the officers in hopes of spotting the thief. After exchanging a few pointers on Orthodox Jewish culture, Rebecca spots the burglar. Tang and Cooper arrest him. That was some riveting television right there.

Lydia and her partner arrive at their victim’s house, Snoozefest still blathering away about his daughter’s quinceanera. A cleaning lady right out of Central Casting, including rosary beads and exclamations of “Dios mio!”, lets them in and tells them that the neighbors were all angry with Maria. The detectives look through the victim’s papers and discover credit consolidation papers for her neighbors.

They approach one of her clients, Ray Velasquez, at the home he’s being forced to sell because of Maria’s shady dealings. He was the lead plaintiff on a lawsuit against Maria. Lydia spots a photo of Ray’s son Danny, against whom Maria had taken out a restraining order. Ray tells them that Danny is living on the streets.

Searching among the homeless in downtown L.A. they spot Danny. They roust him and he takes off, but is so messed up that he can’t move faster than a walk. The detectives engage in an extremely low speed chase for the 30 yards Danny can make it before almost collapsing from exhaustion. Lydia tells Danny they have a photo of him trying to sell Maria’s jewelry and he confesses almost instantly. Maria took the shirt off his father’s back, he says, so he took the shirt off of hers. Ooh, symbolism!

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