So, right about now, all of us "SouthLAnd" fans are feeling pretty bad for old Sammy Bryant (played most excellently well by one Mr. Shawn Hatosy). His crazy ex-wife has basically bankrupted him, threatened to ruin his career, and take his little boy away. His crazy partner has just hired a rather dim-witted young man to break into his house and steal stuff. And either that same crazy partner or a very evil gang is responsible for the graffiti all over his living room walls, the broken glass all over his floors, and his son's semi-conscious babysitter. Sammy can't catch a break, it seems. And he is such a nice guy. He just wants to raise his little boy in peace, ride around in his police car with a guy who doesn't murder pimps in cold blood (and is perhaps, even more importantly, willing to buy a cup of coffee that doesn't cost an hour's pay), and maybe even have a date once in a while. Saint Sammy.
Let us, though, remember a couple of things.
Saint Sammy is not so perfect, either. HE STOLE THE FREAKING MONEY FROM THE FREAKING ROBBERY, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE. And he was probably in the process of stealing it when Officer Ben was busy being beaten up on the train by the suspect. I mean, I grant you, it wasn't Sammy's fault that he was separated from Ben. But, he should have been busy worrying about Ben instead of taking their separation as an opportunity to gather up wads of cash in some surreptitious manner.
Yes, you could say this was all for Nate. Which it was. I mean, Sammy needed to get his plumbing fixed, and he didn't have the money because of all the legal bills brought about by the actions of his crazy ex-wife. I understand that he was backed into a corner. I understand his actions were selfless. He just wanted to take care of his son. But, he STOLE the money from the ROBBERY. He could go to prison for that. So, when we all get up in arms about poor Sammy and about how Ben could go to prison for a B&E, we should consider this. Sammy could have just borrowed the money from Ben. I'm sure Ben -- who seems to be constantly flush with cash -- would have helped him out.
Secondly, who asked Ben to lie to IA about the tape in the first place? Sammy. Yes, Saint Sammy arranged with Ben to lie to IA. They went to the trouble of getting their stories straight and everything. And it was Sammy who said to Ben, during Season 4, I believe: "You always have your partner's back. Especially when he's wrong." So, Ben was just doing what his more senior partner asked of him. Just being a good friend. I wonder how Sammy would have reacted if Ben had refused to lie to IA about anything. Hmmm.......
So, I'm sure you can understand how totally pissed Ben was when Sammy started threatening to "confess" his lies to IA. Sammy would totally have been throwing Ben under the bus. I'm sure that's how Ben justified the B&E to himself. He probably figured that he wasn't being any worse than Sammy had been to him in asking him to lie to IA. Tit for tat. When we start getting all uppity about Ben, then, are we really being fair? "Ben, you are so terrible. You had the dim bulb break into Sammy's house. HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY DO THAT??? You have gone over to the DARK SIDE!!!"
Please know that I realize I am being pretty ridiculous here. I don't think it was morally right for anybody to be stealing or lying or breaking in. I just find it intriguing that, even though Ben has done some pretty bad stuff, we don't really seem to be noticing that Sammy isn't quite perfect, either.
You know when I realized Sammy's lack of perfection? During the whole toilet paper argument with Tammy. You remember? Sammy wanted Tammy to be more "fiscally responsible" and he got all over her for going to Walgreen's instead of the Box Club to buy toilet paper.
Yes, Tammy is crazy. But, in the midst of all her craziness, Sammy did not handle himself very well. He was never very patient. He didn't really listen to her side of things. He wanted her to be somebody she could never be. And he could get really obstreperous and loud about it all.
The marriage of Tammy and Sammy was obviously doomed. But, he caused it to crash and burn more spectacularly than was necessary. Now he is paying the piper.
And he is paying the piper with Ben, too, because he has not handled that relationship well, either. He selfishly asked Ben to do immoral and illegal things. Ben did them. He did them for Sammy -- his partner and friend. And then Sammy -- at least in Ben's mind -- started threatening (in a pretty serious way) to "screw" him.
So, I don't see any saints here. I see a bad situation created by the unethical decisions of both parties.
I can't wait to see how it all turns out... :-)