SOUTHLAND, Ben McKenzie, Michael Cudlitz

Doug Hyun/TNT

Hot boys in blue alert! After a too-long hiatus, Southland returns tomorrow night to TNT and if you have been missing The O.C.'s Ryan Atwood Officer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie), we have just the thing to help you prep: scoop straight from the set on the goodness that lies ahead...

And wait a minute, death?!

Deathly Wardrobe Clue: While we were on set, Ben McKenzie was wearing a black band over his badge. Ruh-roh! So what's the deal? Well, Ben tried to play coy, but did admit there would be an officer slain. Dun dun dun. Who is the unlucky one? "It's me," joked McKenzie. Whoever it is, they'll go down in the first four episodes. And the actors were under strict orders to keep it hush-hush.

Out on Bail: Remember what motivated Ben Sherman to become a police officer in the first place? That demon is coming back to haunt him. McKenzie told us, "In episode three the guy who raped my mom gets out of jail and that tips off a pretty intense series of events." Vigilante justice perhaps? McKenzie believes, "It's about Ben understanding his past fully...and coming to peace as best he can with it."

Ghost of Police Officer Past: John Cooper's addiction to painkillers is front and center in the upcoming episodes and will cause tension with his partner. Michael Cudlitz reveals, "[John] still thinks he completely has it under control, like any good addict does...I think the audience is going to love seeing that shift in the power in the car with myself and Ben." Not enough drama for you? Episode five is John Cooper-centric, according to Cudlitz. "It will focus a lot on what John's going through, and there's some major stuff that's going on and building his life with his past."

Trouble With Partners: Detective Lydia Adams' difficulty with new partners extends into the upcoming season, this time with a tough female detective. Regina King tells us, "It's really cool––the dynamic with having the two women as partners. We're not Cagney and Lacey by any means, but two strong personalities together that detect two different ways." But how is her old partner Russell (Tom Everett Scott) taking to the changes? King explains, "Some real interesting things are going to happen. Russell's just not happy with the situation, period, so obviously when he sees Lydia out with her new partner it's a little sting."

Bad News Bunny: Officer Ben Sherman is feeling the pressures of the job and hops in the car (and bed) of a notorious police groupie or "badge bunny" (played by cult-TV fave Stacy Haiduk). He takes the ribbing and teasing of his coworkers with grace and McKenzie assures us, "We won't be going on romantic dates. It's really more to inform who Ben is becoming on the job as opposed to some long lost unrequited love."

So are you psyched for the new season of Southland starting tomorrow night on TNT? Take to the comments to debate whether Ben McKenzie could possibly be as hot in real life as he is on TV (Spoiler alert: he is!) and tell us just how much you've missed the show.

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