Southland Catch-up

SOUTHLAND: 3.8 “Fixing a Hole”
SOUTHLAND: 3.9 “Failure Drill”

I’m terribly sorry for being so lax in my Southland postings for the last few weeks. I admitted in my last post that I was turned off by “Sideways,” and I hoped that the final three episodes would step up their game. I caught up on the last two weeks last night and I’m glad to say that both were great. I won’t go into a deep review of either episode, but I’ll touch briefly on a few points that I appreciated.

  • In “Fixing a Hole,” Sammy nears a breaking point after Nate’s widow takes her small family back to El Paso to live with her parents. Sammy kidnaps the man who he thinks killed Nate, takes him out to the middle of the desert, and makes him dig a ditch, but thankfully doesn’t have the coldness of heart required to shoot the man in the back of the head. Instead, he leaves him out in the wilderness to find his way home. I’ve got to figure that this will come back to bite Sammy later. In the meantime, though, he seems to have started to find some measure of peace, as we can see when he agrees to paint his “nursery” the same color as the baby’s room in his wife’s house.
  • And while Sammy seems to be finding some peace, Officer Cooper is unwinding rapidly. He takes too many pain pills before his shift and becomes erratic and unreliable as a result. Sherman tries to batter down his defenses a bit and get him to talk, but it only makes him clam up more. According to Ben, there are only 9 days left in his probationary period, after which Cooper will no longer be his training officer. I’m sure, though, that the last episode will show us some more serious repercussions for Cooper’s drug use. Someone, I think, is going to get hurt.
  • Regina King is so good in this show; I’d continue to watch it faithfully if the entire show was just about Lydia. She did a great job in “Fixing a Hole” in a slightly humorous plot involving babysitting an alcoholic witness. She was even better in “Failure Drill.” I loved her interaction at the shooting range with her future date (and her partner’s son, as we would later find out). Even better, though, was her shootout with the gun-toting, bullet-proof vested psycho in the factory at the end of the episode. A very exciting scene, and very appropriate that the advice she got at the shooting range came in handy to save her life.

I’m not sure exactly what will happen in the final episode next Tuesday, but I am really looking forward to it. This season was very well done over all. I think the show really benefited from the narrow cast and increased focus on only a few characters. I really hope it has the ratings to get renewed. If it does, I’d love to see the writers dip a little bit more into the personal lives of the characters when they’re off duty, which was done on occasion in the first season. All in all, a great season, and I’m thankful TNT gave this show another ten episodes. Here’s hoping for season 4.

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