Southland Season 3 Finale

SOUTHLAND: 3.10 “Graduation Day”

After the rough episode a couple of weeks ago, Southland has bounced back nicely, and the season finale episode really emphasized this. It was a really good one all around. Officer Sherman’s brutal fight scene with a suspect on the roof of the building was a real highlight; and in true, raw Southland style this rooftop fight/chase ended when the suspect tried to jump over to another building, missed the ledge, and fell eight stories or so down to the ground, with the camera watching almost the whole way. After the fight, we get the best scene of the episode, and maybe of the series, when Sherman blows up at Cooper, accusing (truthfully of course) his training officer of being too doped up on pain meds to be anything but a liability on the street. Sherman gives Cooper an ultimatum: either let me take you to rehab tonight, or I tell the boss to give you a drug test. Cooper finally swallows his pride and chooses the former.

Lydia’s secret relationship with her partner’s son is revealed, and partner isn’t very happy about it. The writers dropped in a bit of dark humor when Lydia’s partner called her a “child molester” for having a relationship with a twenty-eight year old, just as the two detectives were actually investigating a real sexual assault on a fifteen year old. Regardless, things are left a little up in the air between these two.

Sammy sees the birth of his son, and then asks to Sal if he can go back to being a patrol officer. Seems like a dangerous choice to me, with the new kid and all, but he seems to think he can do more good there, and perhaps the time away will let him heal after Nate’s death.

The last scene of the episode was just awesome. It’s morning at the police station, and the officers are headed to their patrol cars. Sammy and Sherman have been paired together, and on the walk to the car, Sammy’s blurting out his own version of the “rookie don’t screw up” speech that we’ve heard from Cooper plenty of times before; all the while, Sherman’s got a look on his face that just screams “here we go again.” I had a smile on my face throughout the whole thing.

So, all in all, a great finale and a very good season. Early rumor has it that Southland will get picked up for another season, so I am really looking forward to where they place Cooper after rehab, and to see how Sherman and Sammy interact as partners. I’d also like to see a little bit more about the character’s lives when they’re off duty. Not too much, mind you; I don’t want this to become a soap opera, or God forbid, the latter seasons of ER, but just a little more insight into the off-the-clock lives of these characters, like we got to see in the first season, would be very welcome.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

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7 thoughts on “Southland Season 3 Finale

  1. I’m incredibly interested to see what they’ll do with Cudlitz’s character. I guess my only question left (and part of this is because I really don’t know how police training works) is how Ben’s role changes. It still looks like he’s being trained despite his graduation, and only the trainer’s changed. I thought he might end up with a new non-training partner or something. I think it’s a great change in dynamic, and I’d love to see where it goes, but I guess I didn’t understand that part.

  2. Yeah I’m not sure I totally understood that either. Maybe there’s a secondary training period or something? I don’t know. It was a little strange that Sammy was still basically treating him like a total rookie.

  3. Perhaps he had graduated from his probation period or something? I’m not sure, but I kinda thought Sammie would have a newbie by his side.

    Nonetheless, it’d be a great change for the show. I loved seeing Sherman and Cooper together, but this is a great way to add change without adding brand-new people, especially since they’re two people we already like!

  4. You missed the part where Sammy responded to the “officer down” call and found a young officer shot; I presume this is the same one Sammy refers to in his talk with Sal when he says he can teach these guys.

    As the cops close in on the shooter, it’s revealed that he is Nate’s killer, who Sammy left stranded in the desert a couple of episodes ago. I’ll have to watch the recording, but it appeared that Sammy is the one who shot him. As he died at the top of the footbridge, Sammy keeps telling him to say “Nate Moretta.” “It’s the last words I want from your mouth,” or something like that.

    There seemed to be a lot of closure in this episode while still leaving a fair bit in the air. Perhaps not unlike any other episode, other than this is the season finale and AFAIK the future of the show is still uncertain.

  5. @SK You’re right, I forgot to mention that part. It was a pretty important scene. Word on the street is that the show is heading for renewal though, so hopefully the rumors are true. Lots of interesting things they can do in the future.

  6. TNT picked up a 4th season. I thought the finale for season 3 was fantastic and very powerful. Bens character has graduated from P1 (trainee) to P2. He is no longer in his probation period, but still has a more experienced office with him.

  7. @Beaun I saw they got another season. Very excited about it. They can go some interesting places in Season 4. I’d love to see the budget expand just a little bit.

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