Southland's Regina King Previews Pregnant Lydia's Return to the Streets in a 'Scary' Episode

Big changes are afoot for Lydia Adams on TNT’s Southland (Tuesdays, 10/9cs). The newly pregnant detective is trying to keep the bun she has in the oven under wraps at work, but the dangers of the job and having a baby at her age will force her to make some tough decisions. And to add to the complications, she’s back on the street as a patrol officer, her portrayer Regina King tells TVLine.

TVLINE | What’s going on in this week’s episode?
Lydia actually ends up having to go back on patrol because of certain circumstances that leave them short of personnel in this station. She’s the only person that’s crossed trained. It forces her to have to be a field sergeant on patrol. We also see that Tang and Cooper have a camera crew that’s following them that’s doing an expose on the LAPD, so you see how they navigate that. Of course, with both of those storylines, some things occur as they do in the southland. This Tuesday’s episode is probably one of our highest-stake episodes. … It’s exciting. It’s scary. It’s emotional. There’s a lot of stuff going on.

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TVLINE | The pregnancy storyline for Lydia is a pretty big change in character. What was your reaction when you first heard about it?
“You guys aren’t writing me out, are you?” [Laughs] That was my first reaction. When I got the word that, no, that was not the case at all, I thought it could be pretty interesting. A lot of women Lydia’s age, who are single, do want to have children – probably not in the same situation Lydia’s in [being unmarried], but they do find themselves getting pregnant later in life. There’s more emotion surrounding it than when you’re pregnant in your twenties.

TVLINE | How deep are they going to delve into her personal life?
I don’t know. I know that this is the struggle that we’ll be seeing her deal with this season. Where it takes us next season remains to be seen — and it also remains to be seen if we have a next season. We’re always hopeful that we will, but as you know, nothing is promised in this business. In the event that we come back, I guess we’ll see what the decision is with the pregnancy. Will she be lucky to have a full, healthy pregnancy? Will there be something wrong with the baby? Will she find herself with the father of the child? Will we come back and the child will be a 2-year-old? You never know when it comes to television. When the next season comes back, it’s always likely for the writers to jump-cut.

TVLINE | Are you hoping that you get to skip over the wearing-the-pregnancy-belly part?
Pretty much, yeah.

TVLINE | We haven’t seen or heard from the father yet. Is that something that’s going to be explored in upcoming episodes?
Yes, you’ll definitely find out who the father is this season.

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TVLINE | Is it someone we haven’t seen before? Or is she still with her ex-partner’s son, Rodrigo?
I can’t reveal that, but I will say it’s someone that you’ve seen before.

TVLINE | We’ve seen that she has morning sickness, and is throwing up on the job. What other challenges will the pregnancy pose to her professionally?
It will show her the risks that being pregnant and remaining in the field has. As everyone knows, Lydia is a pretty headstrong person. It has not actually been verbalized, but it’s pretty clear that she is a detective that likes being in the field [and] does not necessarily like being behind the desk. You’ll see her navigate choosing how she’s going to play being pregnant while remaining in the field.

TVLINE | Is there a point at which she’s no longer allowed to remain in the field?
From my knowledge – and it’ll be explained in episodes to come – it depends on the note that the doctor writes for the pregnant officer. Obviously, as far as a patrol officer goes, there’s only a certain limit that you can go before you can no longer be out in the field. But with detectives, it definitely can, I’m sure, go a little bit longer.