SouthLAnd – Recap and Review – Reckoning

photo: tnt

photo: tnt


Original air date: Apr 17, 2013

FK – Sr. Editor

Every year, I cling to hope SouthLAnd will return again. I’ve written a Goodbye SouthLAnd piece, a thank you to the fans of SouthLAnd for saving the show, a petition to the fans to help save the show and haven’t missed a single minute of the show in hopes that somehow my watching it would keep it on the air. But I’m pretty sure we’ve reached the end of one of the best shows to go unnoticed. Canceled by NBC after one season, TNT picked it up for a six-episode trial run and had three 10-episode seasons after that. Last night was the last episode of the fifth season and most likely, the series.

It resolved a few story lines and left us guessing just a tiny bit on what may or may not happen in the future. It was almost a choose-your-own-adventure at the last minute.

“Most cops manage to stay sane despite the chaos all around them. But in their hearts they know, everyone has a breaking point.”

Opening scene: Sammy is doing a ride along with air patrol. They have cornered one of the men that kidnapped Lucero and Cooper. He shoots at them and fuel begins leaking into the helicopter. They have to make an emergency landing and Sammy starts to freak out.

Lydia is at the Cooper/Lucero crime scene with Christopher. What a great way to bond with your son, huh? At home, Cooper tells Lori he’s ready to move back home. He looks great, like nothing has happened. Sherman and Elena are confronted by Brook. Brook throws coffee at Sherman and tells him to get rid of Elena. He tries nicely to get rid of her but says she hopes Sherman dies. Back at her home, Lydia is nearly shacked up with Russ, as he prepares to take care of baby Christopher for the day, who got sick as she goes to work. Dewey is upset at the lack of work going towards finding the crazies that hurt Cooper and killed Lucero. It’s during his rant we find out it’s been 18 days since the incident and Cooper walks in for his first day back. Lydia and Ruben, in uniforms, meet with what appears to head detectives, who refuse to answer questions and share information with them. They are not happy. Sammy tells Sherman that Strokeface wasn’t the person who broke into his house but rather someone in a green Civic with a red hood. Sammy tells Sherman he’s going to do a ride along in the “air ship” and hopes to find the car that way.

Sherman and Sammy share a healthy breakfast and Sammy says he’s seeing someone new. Yah, I don’t buy it. Cooper tells Sgt. Hill he’s okay and wants to get back on the streets. Hill does not like the argument. During a bust, Sherman finds a banger wearing one of his rings. The guy does give him information – some guy named Chris was selling stuff in a club and he bought it from him. Sherman looks scared. At the station, Lucero’s wife comes to visit him – to ask him about the gay bar. She asks him if Hank was gay and when Cooper says he wasn’t, she almost begs him to say he was but Cooper guarantees he wasn’t. Sammy is all over the Civic and finding his stuff when he gets into the helicopter for the day. As soon as he’s on board, Sherman goes into stealth mode. Dewey calls Lydia to a meeting with an undercover cop and what do ya know, it’s Lucero’s gun. Given the meeting with RHD earlier, they decide to keep it between them and go after the two guys who sold it his guy.

Lydia, Dewey and Ruben tie the guy who gave him the gun to the detective’s tire and rev the engine. He tells them he’ll take them to the two guys. In the air, Sammy is looking for the car while Sherman knows exactly where to find it and pushes it to a no parking zone and has it towed. Lydia and Ruben are watching from the back when the two guys go to meet the guy when Dewey and the detective go after him. As they’re driving they watch as the driver shoots the passenger in the head. At some point, the driver opens the passenger door, he falls out and Ruben and Lydia roll over him. I believe Lydia’s words were “Oh, damn!” Cooper meets up with his FT who made a promise to himself if Cooper was found alive, he’d sober up – and he has. He asks him a question that throws him off and he leaves (the question was “why did you give up your gun? If I taught you anything, it was never give up your gun.”). RHD comes to the scene and they’re holding a picture of the suspect. They argue back and forth about not sharing info. Ruben and Lydia have good cover stories that angers the lead. Cooper thanks Lydia for running him over and asks him for any other info. Eventually he comes up with sulfur, everything smelled like sulfur. Sherman confronts Chris and tells him he has to leave. When he says no, Sherman tells him it will all come back to him and he hands “Mocho” a wad of money to get out of town, and to keep everything quiet from his sister. During Cooper’s shift, Lucero’s “End of Watch” broadcast comes over the PA and he can’t be inside while it’s going on. He go on the roof to listen alone on his private radio.

Lydia and crew go looking for the lone “tweaker left,” Cody. They find him near the train tracks and tankers and starts shooting and running. RHD accuses Lydia and Ruben for wanting to get in the headlines. Just as they are about to start the search for Cody, Lydia gets a call about Christopher and has to leave. Back to the opening scene, Cody is found from the air and shoots at the air ship. Fuel is leaking into the ship and Sammy has fuel on his foot. Sherman is listening on his radio and rushes to the scene to help. At the hospital, Lydia finds Russ who calms her down after Christopher had a seizure. I see where this is going – and I’m pretty happy about it.

At Lori’s place, they drink together after the long day. Apparently all he wants is an answer to them having a baby together. She says no, not with him, not anymore despite him seeing things clearer than ever. The devastation on his face is heartbreaking. Sammy is in the hospital after whatever kind of landing the helicopter took when Elena comes freaking out at the hospital about Mocho leaving L.A. Sammy looks on with interest. At the press conference announcing the end of the investigation, Ruben is brought forward as one of the detectives who led the investigation. RHD was not happy. Lydia is nowhere to be found, as she’s walking on the beach with Russ and Christopher. Asking the one question we’re all thinking, Russ says “what are we doing here?” She responds, “I don’t know.” But they sit there, this little family and watch the sun set. At the hospital, Sherman brings Sammy clothes and Sammy is acting kind of crazy, probably because he figured it all out. Yep, after all of this time, Sherman’s antics finally caught up with him. The two fight, starting with Sherman’s accusation that Sammy broke “the code” first when he beat up Tammi and lied about the tape. In the bottom of his soul, Sherman believes what he did was right to save the both of them. He makes a valid point (and the acting by both is incredible) and then the two of them beat the crap out of each other on the gounds of the hospital .. how does no one see this? Sherman screams “We WERE partners!” and Sammy leaves. Later that night, Sammy talks about going back to patrol and he’s talking to baby Nate. He is all alone in this world. At home, Cooper hears the transformer Lori complained about a few episodes back go on and he goes to confront the guys and turn it off. Cooper thinks they have a pot operation but they don’t have power because they can’t afford it. The two start fighting when the brother comes up and has a gun. Cooper is out of control and starts wailing on one of them. He doesn’t stop until he can’t take it anymore. When he stands up, he’s holding a gun and they shoot him on sight without realizing it’s Cooper.


My two cents:
– Lydia and Russ as a family with Christopher might be one of the best pairings yet. I always saw them two together, long before this season. I love how Russ can calm her down and make her comfortable in any situation. Man, I wish I could see where this was going. (By the way, I called this back when she met him at the diner, thank you very much..)
– Sammy finally figuring out Sherman’s secret didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was how long it took the former detective to put it all together. It would be interesting to see how things continued for the two, but, we’ll never know.
– Ruben might be one of the best newbies to ever come on to the show. And besides Russ, he might have been Lydia’s best partner.
– I love that Dewey played such a critical part in bringing down Cooper’s kidnappers. It shows just how deep the friendship between the two is.
– No baby for Lori and Cooper.
– That last thought, in my opinion, might have been the last thing to throw Cooper over the edge. His FT questioning why he gave up his guns, going back to work with rules, Lucero’s End of Watch and the constant memories .. it was all too much (let’s be honest – he wasn’t really ready). But Cooper wasn’t meant to sit at home or in a therapist’s office.
– With the unlikelihood the series will come back, it’s up to each person to choose the path their characters take. Does Cooper get saved by the paramedics and make yet another miraculous recovery? Do Russ and Lydia wind up living happily ever after? Does Sammy stay on patrol and Sherman passes his detective test and they stay enemies? What happens to Ruben? Dewey?

“I had a partner get killed, you had a son.”
“Officer Lucero .. you are now, end of watch.”

Those are my two cents. What are yours? Leave your two cents below and feel free to chat with me at Twitter at @FarrahWritesTV.

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2 Responses to SouthLAnd – Recap and Review – Reckoning

  1. Juan says:

    I really hope this not to be the series finale… it would sadden me, big time.

    Cooper is dead, no chance for him to survive bullets at his back through his lungs, kidneys and shit like that… I was just waiting for him to die in hands of “his” neighbours, but getting shot by his mates makes it more intense, he was derailed, blind, blacked out, with his brain in deadshort. You just wait at that time he’d raise up the gun and he’d fire at the police… total nuts.

    The Sherman/Sammy issue is harder to analyse in one hand, but easier to the other. They will not rat out each other, because they both have a lot for losing and nothing to win. Sammy will hate Sherman til’ end of times, Sherman betrayed Sammy over and over… down on not taking his back when they found a pipe in the patrol (Ben’s defense was he cuffed the guy brooklyn style or some shit like that); when Sammy gets shot by the black Escalade in that pursuit, I can’t remember now why, but it was fault of Sherman… again. Now putting Sammy’s son lifes in danger because he was scared of Sammys becoming moral.
    That’s a lot of shit to stand for your partner that is not only selfish but also lets you down over and over and over.
    They made a really great couple, but it was unsteady… after doing great with Cooper, you’d thougt it’s hard for him to find a partner.

    So, if this carries on, Sammy will be kept as officer or training officer, and Sherman, I have no f#cking idea where does he match this new series, but truth be told, Southland is each and one of the characters… Sherman down of the boat is not good, so if Ben McKenzie is not signed for the next season, we can call it off now (Cooper is the series too, but he was someone you could expect to be outcasted, he’s “old”, he’s a dinosaur playing with old rules… not suitable for the current LA.

    Bring Russ back was just nuts, was a desperated resource, not cool, meaningless Maybe to make Det. Adams life “less miserable”, opposed to what happened to Cooper… Cooper has been always like selfcentered, drinker and drug user but he knew he needed help, where was he aiming his life, a family, a son, then everything tumbles down.
    Det Adams life was a mess, with Russ she maybe can put everything back together and become a happy lady.

    Long hail to Ruben Robinson, medal to morality… he had what Adams hadn’t. Inner peace, somewhere to fall death, worrying in the right amount, taking apart job from family life.

    Dewey, was just epic, best mate ever… he was the police… balls out, every day, every job, kicking ass, taking name, being the police.
    He’s not to the height of Bosco, but what he did, taking down the methheads who kidnapped Cooper and killed Lucero, meant a lot.
    And blank pointing that “reseller” at the head, taking him at the truck tire, was just great, old police mafia, I don’t even know if it’s true, if even happened once, if it’s the normal behaviour when you have a cop killer in USA or LA or wherever, but it gave to the audience that family feeling inside the police… same thing for Luceros end of watch… emotive, great… patriotic family shit feeling.

    Great show, I really expect this chapter to be a season finale and not a series finale.

    In case this is the series finale:
    “What the hell did you think the gun was for, huh? Show-and-tell? Look, you’ll get over it – all right, they’ll send you to BSS, you’ll do all that Buddhist “I love and revere all sentient beings” crap; then at o’dark-thirty, next time you’re up, you will drag your weary, fried ass out of bed, you will put on your gun and your vest, and you will do it all over again. You know why? Because this is a front row seat to the greatest show on earth. Can you abuse it? Yes, sir – you can, and you will; I guarantee it. Because it is relentless, and it gets to you, and it seems like it changes nothing. But a day like today, with some interesting capers, and a few good arrests? That’s good. But every once in a while, you get to take a bad guy off the streets for good… and that, my friend, is God’s work. So now you wanna be a pussy and quit, you quit. You’re a cop because you don’t know how not to be one. If you feel that way, you’re a cop. If you don’t, you’re not – you decide.”

    That is the greatest quote of all this series, all season, all around! And it kinda shows that this wasn’t the path in were Cooper was going… he was going all opposite, giving his guns, he wasn’t feeling a cop anymore.

    But I’d like to trim that quote up a little bit more:

    “[…] this is a front row seat to the greatest show on earth. Can you abuse it? Yes, sir – you can, and you will; I guarantee it. Because it is relentless, and it gets to you […]”

    So yes, this series was (I hope not but I’ll use past tense then I’ll cry for the ending of one of the best police shows on earth) a front row to the greatest show on earth, we abused it, we liked it, we loved it. This was relentless and has got all of us.

    Christopher Chulack, John Wells, Ann Biderman… big props to you, humongous props. Chapeau…

    • Juan says:

      You can feel this was final season when Cooper at the boat of his training officer said that phrase: “Greatest show on earth”.

      I was just hoping they were making blinks or signs to the origin.

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