SOUTHLAND: 4.01 “Wednesday”
Southland is finally back. This has been one of my favorite shows of the last few years, and I’m so glad that it still has a home on TNT. The end of last season shook up the dynamics of the cast a little bit. Sammy, now a street cop, is out on the beat with Ben, who’s no longer a boot but still very much a rookie. Lydia is now partnered up with junior detective and war veteran Ruben Robinson, and Cooper, now out of rehab, is riding with Officer Jessica Tang.
Just a quick note on all three of the partnerships: So far, I like each one a lot. There’s some interesting chemistry between Cooper and Tang, especially because both of them have something to prove to the other (Cooper wants everyone to know he still has what it takes to be a cop, while Tang wants it to be clear that despite her previous run-in with a dangerous criminal, she can handle what the job throws at her). Sammy and Ben get along like brothers. We didn’t see a lot of Lydia and Ruben working together in this episode, but I already like him more than her abrasive older partner from last year. Lydia’s first partnership with Russ was one of equals; she took more of a junior role in her partnership with Ochoa from last season. This year, she’s the older, wiser detective, so I’m looking forward to seeing her teach the newbie.
Ben is still very much a rookie, and follows regulations to the letter which causes some friction with an older, less strict officer. Sammy tries to mediate between the two as best as he can, but the intra-cop squabble is interrupted when some crazy guy rushes into the police station and starts shooting. We’re not given much of an explanation as to why this happens (which actually makes thematic sense with the rest of the episode; think about the perp getting hit by the truck, Lydia’s CI turning up dead inside the cooler, or the crazy man who tries to hang himself in front of Cooper and Tang. There is senseless, almost insane violence all around) but it’s a tense, heart-pounding scene.
I’m very glad Southland is back, and I can’t wait to see how the dynamics between the new partners evolve this season. Based on one episode, Lucy Liu was a great addition to the cast. I think it’s going to be a good year.