'Punching Water' was a truly satisfying episode. Cooper learns respect for Chickie firsthand when he is forced to work with a newly-reformed Dewey- who as it turns out is just as obnoxious and incompetent when he's sober. While Dewey's mouth wears on the viewer after a while, Cooper finds a good solution toward the end of the episode. This was a cinematic episode, with a strong central storyline involving escalating gang violence which links all the cases and necessitates the entire ensemble cast working together. Overall, it felt more on-track than last week's offering- with an ending that finally answers the question: What's the worst thing that could happen to Sammy?
The bright spot in this otherwise "dark" episode was when Cooper sends Dewey into the store for coffee, and while he's gone, grabs Ben Sherman, hops into his vehicle, and drives off. The look on his and Officer Chickie Brown's face is priceless. If payback is truly a b**ch - can't wait to see what Chickie has in store for John next week. This was a good - not great episode. It marked a return to the more gritty aspects of life for the cops and detectives, but I think they're trying to cram too much into the 50 minutes. The gangland murders were confusing - it might have been better to stretch the story over a few episodes. This would have allowed more time for character development which is what makes the show so compelling. Why is Ben continuing to see the "badge bunny" - is she fulfilling some need for him? And the disintegration of Sammy's relationship with his wife definitely needs to be fleshed out. But these are not major concerns - I think the writers will get back on track - they certainly seem to be heading in the right direction.