“Southland” Episode 404 Recap: “I’m a Rock.”

All right, Southland. That’s more like it. You had a couple of off weeks but with this episode you’re…well, you’re not back but you’re definitely moving up.

We open on Lydia chasing down a suspect, a young girl named Nicole. Lydia calls out for her to stop, like that ever works. After a few blocks Nicole gases in an alley and Lydia catches up. Nicole sobs “I ruined everything” and Lydia moves in to calm her. Out of nowhere Nicole does this spinning back fist move, catching Lydia on the arm with a knife. Nicole hops into a convenient truck and peels out, directly into a squad car blocking the exit. Freeze.

Ominous voiceover: “Yeah, we’re saddling Lydia with another depressing story this week. Plus she’s stuck in a pregnancy story. But the one bit with Tang and that other bit with Sammy and the dog? That *bleep* is hilarious.”

Flashback eight hours to Lydia being violently sick. In the morning. Guess what. Downstairs she refuses breakfast from her mother (did you know her mother’s name is Enid? I didn’t.) and Enid twigs to the pregnancy. She surprises Lydia by telling her she’ll support her no matter what decision she makes, but who are we kidding? It’s American television. You can count the number of abortions on American television on one hand and still have fingers left over.

Enid asks who the father is. Wouldn’t it be great if it was Josie’s kid who Lydia was seeing last season? Josie, Lydia, Josie’s kid and their baby? I would watch the hell out that sitcom. Lydia doesn’t answer.

Outside his apartment, Ben “Rookieboy” Sherman in plain clothes spots a woman neighbor being hassled by some guy. He chases the guy off and, when a squad car stops, waves it off. Neighbor lady is grateful but launches into a bit of a mini-rant about cops, including referencing Sherman’s smacking that girl from a couple of episodes ago without realizing he’s the man himself. Sherman looks confused, not having encountered a non-badge bunny for a while.

Lydia wraps up another round of puking at the station and Officer Tang enters the restroom in search of a tampon. Lydia hands her a few, then passes over the whole box. This is lady-speak for “I’m knocked up” and Tang’s all, “Congratulations?” She advises Lydia not to tell the department for as long as possible to avoid being chained to a desk. It’s a nice moment between the two on a series in which female characters don’t often interact alone. Still, I’m feeling like there’s an obvious snark I’m missing here but all that’s coming to mind is “Sisterhood of the Traveling Panty Liners” and that doesn’t really work.

Sammy and Sherman are standing watch at a gazebo, guarding the body of Lupe, the neighborhood saint. Sherman gripes about neighbor lady and Sammy offers a tremendous rant against “boho artiste types, painting crappy protest art, living in faux urban squalor until Daddy buys them a house in the Pallisades as a wedding present.” He continues with a fairly epic diatribe against gluten and raw milk, concluding with another pitch for Ben to move out of Silverlake and join Sammy in “the land of the blue”. It’s magical.

Lydia and Snoozefest are en route to a crime scene. Lydia declines another offer of breakfast and lets Snnozefest know she’ll be out over lunch at a doctor’s appointment. They roll up on a restaurant where the body of real estate mogul Brian Monroe lies on the kitchen floor. Lydia questions Jamaica, the worker who found the body but she’s unresponsive. She does learn from an officer that Monroe sometimes let workers stay upstairs for free.

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