SOUTHLAND: 4.10 “Thursday”
Southland finished its far too short fourth season last night. It was another very good season overall, the standout being Cooper and Tang’s partnership. Lucy Liu was a great addition, so I’ll be sad to see her go. Cooper and Tang didn’t leave on the best of terms; Cooper was angry at Tang for covering up her accidental shooting of a child a few weeks ago (in one of the episodes I missed, unfortunately) and for putting both of them at risk with her reckless actions in the car wash. In the end, Cooper’s back on the beat with a young rookie who looks even more green than Ben did a few seasons ago.
Speaking of Ben, he’s come a long way since his idealistic beginnings. At the beginning of the episode, an injured Sammy implores Ben to not seek revenge for the attack that almost killed them both. Ferguson, his temporary partner, suggests the same. Ben promptly ignores the advice of both men and spends the episode tracking down the pimp who tried to kill him. He winds up chasing the man into and alley, and shooting him. We don’t see the actually shots fired, but when Ferguson catches up, we see a gun on the ground next to the suspect. The suspect’s gun, though, looks suspiciously like a gun we saw on Ben’s workbench at the beginning of the episode. Did he shoot an unarmed man, and plant the gun on the suspect to justify the killing? At the end of the episode, Sammy looks at Ben with a face full of concern and distress, and Ben just seems to look back with an empty expression. It seems to me like Ben has taken a dark turn, and I wonder if Sammy will wind up blaming himself for his partner’s seeming corruption.
I found Lydia’s storyline this season to be a bit boring. Her cases just weren’t that dynamic, and I wasn’t quite as drawn in to the story of her pregnancy either. She ends the season by taking herself off the streets for the rest of her term. I’m hoping the writers can make things a little more interesting for her in the next season; I think it would be interesting to see her try to balance a new baby and her work as a detective.
I don’t think renewal for a fifth season has been confirmed yet, but from what I’m hearing it seems likely. Let’s hope so, because this season just continued to prove that Southland is the best, most realistic cop show on TV. Next year, I’d really like to see the three major storylines intersect a little bit more, but I’ll take whatever I can get.