“Southland” 406: “Cuddlybear Down! Cuddlybear Down!”

It’s another “day in the life” episode of Southland, as we open on Cooper, Tang and Dewey dealing with a woman shrieking in her car. As Dewey moves to pull her out, Tang yells, “She’s reaching!” and the woman produces a knife. Tang maneuvers behind her and jumps her. Freeze.

Ominous voiceover: “The average street cop in Los Angeles makes $75,000 a yer. It’s not enough.”

Flashback ten hours to Sherman rolling around in bed with some blonde badge bunny. They’re soon joined by a brunet but before the trois can menage Blondie’s husband shouts from downstairs. The Cold Sore Twins freak out and make Ben jump out the window in his boxer briefs.

Sammy’s in court, watching a man give an impact statement at the sentencing of the man who killed his son. The son witnessed a murder and Sammy persuaded him to testify and he was murdered as payback. Outside of court Sammy tries to apologize to the father, who punches him in the face instead.

Lydia‘s boss shanghais her into acting as a “field supervisor” because of personnel shortages. This entails Lydia hitting the streets in uniform. We see her struggling to put on her bullet-proof vest but I’m not sure if that’s supposed to mean that it doesn’t fit because of her pregnancy or if it’s just been so long since she’s worn it.

At roll call, the sergeant who is not Captain Rucker so why bother bringing in Carl Lumbly for two episodes saddles Cooper and Tang with a television crew. It’s been 20 years since the L.A. Riots and apparently TV news crews have been taping ever since? I’m confused. The sergeant warns them against expressing personal opinions on camera, which advice we will see they do not take.

Their first call is “a generic 415”. They roll up on a bakery where the baker is refusing to decorate a birthday cake for a neo-Nazi couple with swastikas and write “Happy Birthday Adolf” on it. The cake is not for Mister Hitler (whose birthday was the day before the episode aired) but for the cutest little neo-Nazi ever, the couples’ ginger baby. It’s a funny scene but it goes on too long. For all his earlier protestations about dealing with the media, Cooper makes for a great talking head, recapping the incident for the camera. “Wanna name your kid after a genocidal maniac, hey, it’s America right? Ignorant? Sure. Offensive? You bet. Illegal? No.”

Sherman meets up with Sammy, who rags him about going home with the Cold Sore Twins. The scene is only important because we see Sherman checking under the back seat of the patrol car, which we haven’t seen done before. They take a call to back up another unit which doesn’t really amount to anything other than Sammy filling in Sherman about his busted lip. One of the two shooters who killed Sammy’s witness got away with it and today Sammy’s going to make his life miserable by busting him for a parole violation.

Lydia‘s thrilling day as a field supervisor kicks off with her rolling up on a hot cop called Mendez who, in the course of arresting some guys, got hit in the face with a handcuff. His suspect has some more extensive facial injuries. It’s every bit as exciting as it sounds.

Next she rolls up on a cop played by the guy who played Bobby Simone’s doctor on NYPD Blue who I always thought should have been a big star. He has a stabbing victim, a student at a local high school, and it’s not at all clear why a supervisor needs to be involved. The victim’s mother appears and she knocks Lydia down to get to her child. Cue miscarriage drama.

Cooper, Tang and Dewey next deal with a bunch of nitwits lying in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard because they’re the only people on Earth who haven’t heard yet that “planking” is over. After they’re dispersed or arrested or whatever, Cooper talking heads to the camera (and looks amazingly hot while doing it). “Sometimes it feels like we’re the only ones out here not allowed to be idiots.”

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