Good news first: Bentley’s going to be okay.
While it was unlikely that CBS’ newest police procedural would kill off a main character halfway through its freshman season, you never know.
East New York Season 1 Episode 10 dealt with the aftermath of Bentley’s shooting. It was an emotional, gripping hour of television that showed how difficult it is to be a cop in these circumstances.
All the cops that worked with Bentley were shocked and upset by the shooting, but they didn’t have time to get in their feelings. They prioritized finding out who shot Bentley and bringing that person to justice.
Bentley’s mother was the one who did most of the grieving and worrying. She sat vigil at the hospital, ran interference when the cops wanted to spend too much time questioning her son and demanded to know why his partner hadn’t come to visit.
Simone’s protectiveness bordered on being overbearing, but it was understandable. Her son was in critical condition, and from her perspective, the cops he worked with cared more about getting the shooter than whether Bentley recovered.
I pray that Bentley lives, but if he dies, I want his mother to make it in time.
Half the reason the cops were going all in on this case was that it was their job, but the other half was that throwing themselves into this case kept them sane.
Everyone at the 7-4 was upset about Bentley’s condition, but they couldn’t do anything about whether he would wake up. They could do whatever it took to bring his shooter to justice. It’s a mindset Simone may never understand, and that showed that she was from a different world.
Although it was only mentioned briefly, Simone is a doctor. That probably made her son’s condition even harder for her. She knew enough medicine to know his chances, but she couldn’t fix him or do anything for him except keep his fellow cops out of his room so that he could rest.
Sandeford and Quinlan took Bentley’s shooting the hardest because of their relationships with Bentley. Ruben Santiago-Hudson offered a powerful performance as Sandeford, whose guilt and anger almost took him to the point of no return.
Tamika: Where are you going?
Sandeford: They have me on a desk doing parking tickets on the streets instead of what I do best. I will not follow that order.
Sandeford lost control and beat up Tamika’s ex, who was merely a person of interest (who turned out to be innocent), and that was only the beginning!
His behavior reminded me so much of how Stabler acted on Law & Order: Organized Crime toward a suspect in Kathy’s death that I was distracted by thoughts of what a disaster it would be for the two of them to work together.
Understandably, Sandeford wasn’t content to sit behind a desk letting everyone else find Bentley’s shooter. Could anyone really expect him to? Regina gave him the cold, hard logic behind not allowing him near this case, but that didn’t address his feelings about what had gone down.
If there was one weakness in this story, it was that it took the cops half the episode to figure out that the Santiago family was behind the shooting.
My opinion? We went after the Santiagos, the Santiagos went after us. I don’t know which Santiago, but that’s where I would be looking.
I know the cops must check all possible angles, but come on! The team had just jailed the head of a notorious crime family that had evaded arrest for decades, and Sandeford was the one to make the collar.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize the Santiagos would hold a grudge and wouldn’t hesitate to come after Sandeford or his partner. So what took the cops so long to come to that conclusion?
Their initial suspects seemed unlikely. Both of them had a personal grudge against Sandeford, so they probably wouldn’t have shot at Bentley since that’s not who they wanted to punish.
Once the cops figured that out and focused on the Santiago family, things moved quickly.
Napoleon was no help at all, but did Regina expect him to cooperate? He more or less took responsibility for the hit on Bentley by making snide remarks and claiming the Feds wouldn’t invalidate his deal just because he shot a cop from Regina’s precinct.
Lucia’s willingness to give up her brother was surprising, though.
Regina pushed the misogyny angle hard, trying to convince Lucia that she could take her rightful place at the head of the Santiago family if she turned on Kiki. Lucia made a bit of noise at first, but the exchange before she gave up Kiki’s location took less than five minutes.
That wasn’t much of an obstacle! You’d think a woman as street-smart as Lucia would see through what Regina was doing. But I guess Regina knew all the right buttons to push because Lucia didn’t need much convincing.
Lucia’s quick capitulation led to the exciting climactic scenes in Kiki’s apartment, so I can’t complain too much. Still, it did seem like that happened more because the writers were almost out of time than for any other reason.
Sandeford’s behavior didn’t make sense — if he was going to cuff Kiki, why not bring him in and let the cops get a confession out of him? Of course, Sandeford was running on pure emotion, so he didn’t have to do the rational thing, but it’s a shame he didn’t.
That confession won’t be admissible since Kiki gave it while being held at gunpoint, and Sandeford would be in a lot less trouble if he hadn’t done that.
What’s going to happen to Sandeford now? Suarez indicated the brass wasn’t happy, but will Sandeford lose his badge or be suspended long-term?
In the end, no one was hurt, and the shooter is in police custody, so that should count for something.
Suarez: Did you think this was gonna go away with a wink and a nod?
Sandeford: I wasn’t thinking anything one way or the other.
Suarez: Your union delegate isn’t going to make this go away. There are going to be consequences.
Sandeford: What are we talking about? Loss of vacation days, suspension?
Suarez: I don’t know. But I wouldn’t count on the people you work for supporting you on this.
Sandeford: I never do.
And If the NYPD wants to discipline Sandeford, they’d better make sure that they haven’t taken a similar situation involving a white cop more lightly, or they could open themselves up to a discrimination lawsuit.
All that is a question for another day. For now, Sandeford was in the room when Bentley woke up, which was perfect.
Bentley and Quinlan’s relationship is now an open secret, not that they were ever doing a great job of hiding it anyway.
Regina and Morales knew something was up between them, Sandeford had witnessed them kissing, and the rest of the department was probably also aware that these two had feelings for each other.
Once Bentley recovers, he and Quinlan won’t have to do much in the way of an official announcement. Everyone can stop pretending they don’t know, and that’ll be that.
Quinlan’s neighbors praying for and leaving flowers for Bentley was a nice touch. It shows how far the project residents’ relationships with the cops who live in their building have come; the lady who approached Quinlan is the same one who initially found her to be a nuisance that she wished would move out.
Your turn, East New York fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button to share your thoughts on the winter premiere!
Don’t forget you can watch East New York online here on TV Fanatic.
East New York airs on CBS on Sundays after 60 Minutes. Times may vary because of football games earlier in the day.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.
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