Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Integrity Check" Review

The average street cop in Los Angeles makes $75,000 a year.  It’s not enough.
Did anyone take a breath during the show this week?  I sure didn’t. 

Lydia in a uniform - I never expected to see that happen.  She said she hadn’t been in uniform in a long time, and it showed.  She seemed uncomfortable the entire time she was in uniform.  Lydia is very conflicted.  She seems to care about the baby; but at the same time, she’s willing to risk her and her baby’s health in order to not be relegated to light duty.  She turns up the volume on the fetal monitor to hear the baby’s heartbeat; then turns and looks at her uniform and badge.
The cinematography in the scene where Sammy watched the victim’s father testify was excellent.  You always saw Sammy’s faint reflection in the glass next to whoever was being filmed - whether it was the father or the convicted murderer.
Tang:  “First thing a good cop learns; don’t get emotionally involved.”
The scene with the guy with the shopping cart blocking the street was a callback to a season 2 episode. Cooper tells Chickie, "Ask 'em. Tell 'em. Make 'em." Which is exactly what Cooper did with the shopping cart guy.

Dewey was playing to the cameras this entire episode.  Whether it was the planking scene, or the scene where the woman fell on her knife; Dewey just wanted to get his S.A.G. card.

Cooper was just full of command presence during this episode.  The nazi cake, the guy with the shopping cart blocking the road, the driver without license and registration, the documentary crew, and the woman who fell on her knife, “Do I think my partner should have tackled her?  Nah.  She should have shot her.”  The intensity in Cooper’s eyes when he said that was phenomenal.

I think the fact that Ben thought he thoroughly searched the squad car before he and Sammy left the police station led Ben to believe Sammy had planted the crack pipe. After all, Sammy has shown us that he is willing to walk right up to the the line between right and wrong and flirt with it.  Hell, he even kidnapped a guy last season. But he always manages to pull back and stay on the right side.
Cooper and Tang decide to call it a day.  Cooper tells the documentary team to turn off their equipment.  When they finally do, Cooper exchanges a look with Tang and they both heave a big sigh of relief.

The final scene is one of the most intense scenes I’ve ever seen on TV.  The realistic-looking blood soaking into Cooper’s uniform, the fighting, the stunned and dazed look in Cooper’s eyes.  Just amazing.  Michael Cudlitz just gave everything in that scene.  I don’t know how he was able to get up and go home that night.  What an exhausting, draining scene to shoot.  And what a performance by Cudlitz.

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