02/21/2013 05:21 am ET Updated Feb 21, 2013

'Southland': Mendoza Gets Shot, But It's Much Worse Than That (VIDEO)

It was a dark day on "Southland" for several of the officers. Officer Mendoza was shot, leading Sherman and the rest of the force on a crusade to find the person responsible for it. Sadly, the only outcome of this was that an innocent child was shot. That it was the child of a gangbanger seemed to make it more acceptable for Sherman, and it made his current outlook even more tragic.

But the futility of the whole escapade was the real tragedy. Mendoza had lied about the circumstances of his getting shot. His was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was hoping to reap the benefits of the insurance to take care of his debts and better his life. A gang member taking the rap for it seemed of little consequence to him. How about a child?

TV Fanatic wrote that this took Mendoza's sleaziness to a whole new level. It was a brutal reminder of the lives that hang in the balance every day on this job, and sadly, as The AV Club pointed out, how horrific and thankless the job can be.

Tragedy struck even closer to home for Lydia, who was struggling with being a single mother. She was already getting a lot of help and support from her mother, so when the episode ended with her mother's death, it rocked her world to the core. How will she juggle the job of detective with the demands of a colicky baby?

The struggles continue every Wednesday on "Southland" at 10 p.m. EST on TNT.

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Midseason 2012-2013