SOUTHLAND “Punching Water” Review

Southland "Punching Water"

SOUTHLAND “Punching Water” Series 3 Episode 2 – The moral of this week’s episode: “love’s a bitch, esé.” A West Side Story-esque romance causes a chain of murders that claims the lives of gang members, innocent adults and one small child. The latter becomes the catalyst that pushes the department to find the the gun – and guy – responsible.

Meanwhile, Chickie and Sherman deal with a mentally unstable man with a blow-up doll girlfriend; Cooper and a fresh-out-of-rehab-Dewey find a cheating husband in a compromised position; and Lydia and Josie are pulled from a murder-suicide to help with the gang killings, leading to a particularly heated exchange between Lydia and Dewey.

‘Punching Water’ may be my favorite episode of the series to date. It’s both heartbreaking and hilarious, equal parts character-building and case. The chain of murders was a great case to watch, but it was the way everyone manned up after Sal’s speech about the dead child that really put this episode a notch above the rest.

Dewey’s return meant Sherman partnering up with Chickie for the day, while Cooper rode with Dewey. In the past, this would have been a fun, if somewhat perilous task. But a sober Dewey is an annoying Dewey, leading Cooper to ditch him on Chickie (Dewey’s former partner), but not before an argument between Dewey and Lydia over the death of the child. I almost wish they hadn’t been broken up – Lydia looked ready to kick some serious ass!

Cooper’s issues were on the back-burner this week (pardon the pun), although he was clearly in discomfort at times. Instead, focus was on Sherman and his relationship with the cougar from last week, Redheaded Sally. Turns out Sally is the department bicycle, something that would have phased series 1 Sherman. But this is series 3, so he brushes off stories of Sally’s past escapades and heads off with her at the end of shift. Not before asking Cooper if he’s spent a little time with Sally, though. That made me chuckle.

We got some episodic closure for Nate and Sammy this week. While Nate embraces a job well done and heads off to join friends at a cookout and car show, Sammy goes home to find someone waiting for him – Victor, Tammi’s photography instructor. Sammy can only stand and stare while Victor announces his love for Tammi and says they need to “figure it out and do what’s in the best interests of the baby” before leaving. Tammi says sorry, Sammy looks heartbroken, and I’m left wondering what either of the men see in the bundle of craziness that is Tammi Bryant.

What did you think of ‘Pushing Water’? Let us know in the comments below!

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