Furious! Regina still has a job.
There wouldn’t be a big show if she didn’t, but she took some big risks in East New York Season 1 Episode 8.
Despite taking the leaders of a notorious crime family off the streets, she angered a DEA agent while proving herself to an obnoxious police chief. This could have gone very badly very quickly.
The comp stat meeting was a sobering reminder of what Regina is struggling with.
Chief Donaldson resented the reforms Regina had made, including stopping bugging neighborhood residents about silly stuff instead of focusing on making the streets safer.
He thought the conservative, politically savvy Suarez was a “bright diversity employee.”
He went to great lengths to portray Regina as an outsider whose disregard for the rules wreaked havoc.
If Donaldson had enough people on his side, Regina could have been sanctioned or even removed from her position. He may also have tricked the other chiefs into ordering her to enforce quality of life laws, which she knew would do more harm than good.
And in the midst of that pressured meeting, Regina decided to stand up to a DEA agent who, according to his undercover agent, at least, cared more about photo ops than catching drug dealers. That took courage!
DEA Agent: Agent Dryden is mine.
Regina: So that’s the point. Who gives the order. Who is where at the press conference.
Suarez knew better than to try to stop Regina, especially after her reaction to his attempt to defend her. But he warned her that she was taking a significant risk, and it might not have been wise to ignore that warning.
However, Regina didn’t care what the risks were. She swore an oath to protect and serve the people of East New York, and she had no time to worry about the DEA agent’s need for positive press.
That makes her a badass, but she couldn’t have pulled this off on her own. If Sean hadn’t been disgusted enough by the DEA inspector’s orders to rebel against her, Regina wouldn’t have had a case.
Regina: What do you want?
Sean: I don’t normally get asked that, but since you did it, I want to get the hell out of undercover work.
Regina: Two and a half years is a long time to be someone you’re not.
Sean wasn’t used to having his opinion cared for. The DEA expected him to follow orders, even when they made no sense and didn’t ask or want his input.
He has a bit of a crush on Regina, but regardless, if the DEA fires him for his insubordination, he could end up getting a position at 7-4. That would suit him better as he seems interested in actually arresting the bad guys.
It’s unrealistic that Regina could bring down a crime family that’s operated with impunity for decades on a tip from a DEA employee, but it has given her a much-needed victory.
Donaldson looked like a fool after he asked her why she had defied a DEA inspector’s orders just for her to announce a hugely successful raid. Men like Donaldson don’t take humiliation well; Will he come back to cause more trouble for Regina?
The DEA agent was the second person who threatened to walk over Regina to get her way. What happened to this father who threw a tantrum because he wasn’t allowed to bring his daughter home?
Regina: How did you get in here?
Man: I am her to take my daughter home.
Regina: I’m afraid she’ll have to be here for a while.
man: who are you?
Regina: I’m Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood. There have been four overdose deaths and your daughter could be a witness, so no one is going in or out at the moment.
Man: Well, Assistant Inspector Haywood, which boss do I have to call to undo this? Because I know them all.
Threatening to sue if Regina didn’t back down, he disappeared and was never seen again. While the scene showed Regina not being intimidated by anyone, it felt like a pointless conflict because nothing further happened.
This guy is another person who might later reappear to cause trouble. I kept expecting Donaldson to bring up the man’s grievances to back his case against Regina.
This time there was only one case; Instead, many of the officers had more personal storylines.
Yenko’s story with his wife was the most compelling, but unfortunately it also got the least airtime.
I wanted to know why she was afraid to leave the house or get dressed. The scene at the end between her and Yenko was cute. It also sent a message that viewers with serious mental health issues needed to hear: you can still be loved despite your struggles.
Still, it felt a bit undeserved. Yenko’s wife no longer lied to him about leaving the house, but showed up at the bar without anything in between to raise the stakes or change her mind.
Hopefully this story begins an arc that will span the entire season. I look forward to learning more about Yenko’s wife!
Richard Kind too is such a multifaceted actor that deserves a dramatic plot. I loved how his wife’s refusal to leave the house related to his earlier, more silly story about learning Italian.
Far less convincing: Killian and Corinne’s ongoing conflict over George. Killian didn’t care what negative press the bar got or how George could help the community. All he cared about was that George had a criminal record.
It’s a tired complaint now. Let’s move on.
Eventually, Bentley and Quinlan perform the typical couples dance at work, with Bentley deciding that he needs to back off because Sandeford knows he and Quinlan kissed.
Sandeford is preoccupied with his own love life; why should he care who Bentley is dating?
In any case, it never works on television with the retreat. At some point, Quinlan will likely want to go public with their relationship, or at least not be afraid to sit next to each other at a restaurant table.
Usually, this type of story leads to a partner issuing an ultimatum: go public or break up. East New York is too good a show to go down this beaten path, so let’s hope they don’t!
East New York’s winter finale will air on November 27, 2022. What are you hoping for? And what did you think of Regina’s struggle with the DEA and those in power in the NYPD?
Hit the big blue one SHOW NOTES click and let us know! And don’t forget you can see East New York online.
East New York airs Sundays at 9pm EST/PST on CBS.
Jack Ori is senior editor at TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Keep following him Twitter.