PostHeaderIcon Southland: Risk – A Review And Recap

As cops become more experienced their confidence inevitably grows. Confidence can lead them to take more risks. That’s when they’re in real danger.

Overconfident. Complacency. Two words that easily roll off the tongue. Two words that don’t sound so bad, right? You know, they even have a certain “coolness” about them. But in a cop’s world, they’re two words that’ll get you killed. Yeah, been there, seen that—the bloody results of overconfidence and complacency. And, unfortunately, on Fridays you sometimes read about it right here on this blog.

A badge is called a shield, not a suit of armor. It’s not hanging on the chest as a means to stop flying lead. Yes, confidence is a great thing when used in conjunction with experience, training, and common sense. But “bulletproof” confidence alone, well, it can land even the best of cops in an ocean filled with bubbling and boiling hot water.

Common sense is probably one of the most important tools of the cop trade. It’s even more important than guns, Tasers, handcuffs, and radios. Did our Southland heroes use their common sense this week, or were they victims of an overdose of confidence? Well, let’s see. Why don’t we hop into the backseat of a few of SL’s patrol cars and eavesdrop a bit.

Partners. Sounds so carefree and happy, doesn’t it? But, let’s put that word in perspective. Cops ride together, eat together, carry on conversations, breath the same air, fight the same fights, argue the same arguments, talk to the same people, experience the same things, day in and day out, month after month, year after year. The same two people are crammed inside the jam-packed front compartment of a patrol car. And they do this on good days, bad days, happy days, sad days, grieving days, sick days, well days, and all while wearing a ton of gear, uncomfortable shoes, and a steaming hot Kevlar vest.

So think about it for a second. How would that same atmosphere be if one of those two people no longer trusted his partner? How thick would the air be inside that snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug front compartment? Not so nice, huh? Well, that’s what it’s like inside the CoopTang Mobile. Tensions are high, to say the least. And Tang’s about to be promoted to sergeant? Coop’s blood has to be boiling beneath that “iceman” exterior.

Cooper and Tang at the range is a good example of the icy conditions between the two. Tang says she thinks she’s going to get the promotion. Cooper’s cool reply, “Good for you,” had enough frost on it to chill a tall glass of freshly brewed iced tea. This partnership is done. Stick a fork in it.

Lydia…what can I say. All my bellyaching over the past few weeks came to a head tonight. Lydia (Regina King) belted out that money-making high note at the end of this week’s performance. Lesson learned…keep my hands and feet inside and my mouth tightly shut, and let Cheo Coker and Regina King drive this car, because they certainly knew where they were headed. Holy cow, what a scene—a gang member trying time and time again to stab Lydia, and almost succeeding until Ruben runs in to kick a three-pointer with the thug’s melon-size head. I was on the edge of my seat, reaching for my weapon. Hell, a rock, a stick, my fists…anything to stop the attack. But, the best I could come up with was a DVR remote and an ink pen. At least hitting the pause button gave Lydia a little breather between punctures.

Still, the scenes with Lydia, prior to this week and last night, were perfect examples of “confidence.” Well, they were good examples of overconfidence and complacency. Last night, for example, when Lydia (with child) does a few stupid things, like poking her little cop head inside a building where armed gang members are known to hang out. There’s a better way and that wasn’t it. Neither was Ruben running off to chase a fleeing bad guy, leaving Lydia all alone inside the rundown house. Never leave your partner in danger. Bad guys are a dime a dozen, just reach inside the barrel and grab another. There’s plenty to go around.

Sammy and Ben seem to be mending their differences. Sammy, however, tells Ben that he hopes there are no repercussions from the “pimp pounding” he delivered last week. An excellent example of common sense taking a backseat overconfidence—wanting to save the world in a day, and stupidity.

Let’s take a moment to point out a few high points of the show before moving on.

- Lydia and Ruben are at a murder scene. While gazing at the dead body, they’re talking about food—what to have for lunch, etc. Nothing unusual here, folks. I’ve seen people eat while standing around dead bodies. I remember one officer standing at the scene of a traffic crash and while waiting for the coroner, he had a snack of Pop Tarts, a cops’ instant meal. I’ve even seen a coroner and his crew eating donuts while standing not two feet away from their “guest of the day.”

- Cooper and Tang stop a car. Cooper approaches on the driver’s side while Tang stops at the rear window of the passenger side. Good technique. Tang could then observe any and all activity not visible to Cooper or the passengers inside.

- Ben offers a prostitute money if she’ll quit the business and go home to her family. But Sammy speeds off before Ben can complete his sentence. Rookies sometimes fall prey to folks like prostitutes, drug users and abusers, etc., wanting to save them from their pitiful lives. It’s easy to do, but the results are seldom positive. The users and abusers usually wind up taking advantage of the officer’s pity, leaving the rookie a little lighter in the wallet and a little more bitter in the heart.

- The scenes with Lydia and Ruben and the gang members were good examples of “playing the game” while interrogating suspects. Lydia’s promissory note stating that she would not arrest the kid was priceless. It’s a classic and is used quite often, as are many others. Separating the thugs is always a good idea too. And always, always, always cull the weakest from the herd. They’ll talk first. Doing so also makes the remaining suspects a little nervous, so they’ll often start snitching on their buddies to try and divert to attention away from themselves.

- Cooper and Tang are once again interviewed by internal affairs investigators. This situation is eating at Cooper’s “Do Right” nerve. He wants Tang to do the right thing. He wants to tell what he thinks happened. But he’s a patrol cop, and patrol cops rely on facts.

- Tang…well, she’s a liar and will do anything to get that extra stripe. Coop’s done with her. And good for him.

- Lydia finally admits to Ruben that she’s pregnant.

- Lydia was stabbed several times. Vests do not stop penetrations from knives, ice picks, screwdrivers, and other sharp objects. However, there is a trauma plate (steel or ceramic) that covers the center of the chest. The removable plate (it’s removable to allow for washing the cloth carrier) is inserted into a pocket for added protection against the impact of a round to that area. And that’s where all but one of the punctures were delivered to Lydia’s vest.

And that brings us to this…

The recipient of the pimp pounding drives up to Ben and Sammy and begins to unload his semi-auto into the car. The result is a reverse high-speed pursuit with the cops being chased by the bad guy.

Bullets are flying, Ben is frantically calling for assistance, when suddenly…

Then we see this, the end-result of Ben stepping over the line.

Can Ben live with the consequences of his overconfident rookie mistakes?

This was probably the best episode of Southland to ever hit our living rooms. The acting was stellar, and the story was superb, starting like a train leaving the station, chugging, and puffing, and blowing clouds of hot smoke everywhere until the engine was booming our way at 100mph. And it all ended with a crash that spun to a stop at our feet.

All I could say at that point was…WOW!

This episode is a shining example of why Southland is best darn cop show on TV…ever.

 

*     *     *

*I’m issuing a BOLO (Be On The Lookout). Be on the lookout for an all new look for The Graveyard Shift. It just might take place sometime today. Check back often, and please tell all your friends!

*The Writers’ Police Academy announces renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Elizabeth Murray as 2012 Special Guest Speaker.

Dr. Murray is an author, researcher, and media consultant whose work has taken her around the world as a forensic anthropology consultant for local, regional and national agencies and organizations. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the 2012 WPA, including:

- Forensic Science Specialist for the Department of Justice/National Institute of Justice’s National Unidentified and Missing Persons System (NamUs)

- Author of two recent science books for young adults

- Numerous peer-reviewed presentations before the American Academy of Forensic Sciences

- Regular cast member for the Skeleton Stories TV series on the Discovery Health Channel

- Scientific Consultant and on-camera personality for the four-part mini-series, Skeleton Crew/Buried Secrets for the National Geographic Channel

- Visiting Scientist to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, U.S. Military Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii and Laos

- Forensic Anthropology Lecturer and Mass Disaster Team Member for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology

- Appearances on Forensic Files, New Detectives, Unsolved Mysteries, America’s Most Wanted

- Historic and prehistoric skeletal analyses, including principal investigator for Cincinnati’s Music Hall skeletal collection.

25 Responses to “Southland: Risk – A Review And Recap”

  • Emily farnham says:

    Agreed this was a fantastic review of heart pounding episode so much to done for finale next week. I couldnt sleep my mind just kept racing. Thank you again for all the wonderful insight.

  • SaraK says:

    Heart stopping, amazing episode. So many jumping off points for future stories. Can’t wait til we hear that SouthLand’s been picked up for season 5…and beyond!

  • Kate Fish says:

    That episode… I hope that Southland does get picked up for season 5. I still don’t get Tang, there’s gotta be something behind the surface- I desperately wanted to like her but with my moral standards…there is no way to excuse her behaviour. She had the chance to put the record straight and she didn’t. She’ll be gone anyways by the end of the season I assume? From a professional standpoint of view…what would have been the likely consequences for her, confessing the lie about the removal of the orange stripe on the toygun?

  • KateNonymous says:

    I thought Ben’s efforts with the prostitute really highlighted how new he is at this. Yes, we’ve seen more senior cops try to help people who are at what appears to be the end of their rope–we’ve seen Lydia hand cash to a drug-addicted informant. But being more senior would also give him a better idea of where people are coming from, and what outcome is reasonable.

    Because chances are very good that for that woman, there is nothing back in Corpus Christi but the first person who abused her. Ben’s just too new at this to have put that all together.

  • Angie says:

    Finally an episode I actually for the most part enjoyed. Still same filler story lines but really good cliff hanger ending. Two cliff hangers actually. Used to like Tang but after she lied about the toy gun, all respect for her is gone. Not unusual in the business world to lie to get ahead but I’m guessing in cop world lying is not the way to get ahead. If she gets caught lying does she lose the promotion? Great review as always.

  • Alex says:

    Ben? Overconfident? I know this show hasn’t done this character justice at all when it comes to backstory and any sort of life off-duty with family, but I would respectfully say that what’s playing out with Ben is a direct result of the fact that he saw his mother raped and beaten and that he was also beaten trying to defend her when he was 10. That his father had abandoned them and left Ben to be responsible for her would have been a contributing factor to how he perceives dynamics between men and vulnerable children and women unable to extricate themselves from situations. I don’t see how it had anything to do with confidence, only identifying with a child and mother who were used and controlled by a man according to his whims. The fact that both were physically at risk would have hit him hard personally and I don’t see any sign that he’s had help coming to terms with his own traumas. His mother sure hasn’t, from the little that we’ve seen. That Ben’s a cop is supposed to be related directly to his childhood and those events, but the writers have done a real disservice by not linking past and present more directly and close to currently.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Alex. Thanks for your very detailed insight. We always welcome thoughtful responses and comments from all angles.

    My comments, however, are from a reality point of view – what happens in real life as it parallels and plays out on Southland (the true purpose of this review is so writers know what’s real and what’s not).

    The things we see Ben doing at this point in his fictional career are quite typical of many real-life rookie police officers, not just those who experienced trauma in early family life. Sure, that’s something that could play into the scenario, but it’s not a common theme for this all to common occurrence. Remember Sammy saying, “I know. I’ve been there (or something to that effect).” That’s because almost all cops have seen this very behavior at some time or another.

    One of the typical behaviors often exhibited by rookies is the “ten-feet-tall-and-bulletproof attitude, commonly called overconfidence. And yes, that’s what drives many rookies to make some of their over-the-top, overzealous, overconfident mistakes.

    Now, why the writers haven’t addressed the issues you’ve mentioned…I don’t know. I don’t try to read between the lines. I just comment and review on what I actually see and hear on the screen as it relates to real life police work.

  • Samuel says:

    With all due respect, I don’t agree that Ben is over confident either, and while I admire you for being an officer and serving to protect us, I don’t think every police officer is going to have your opinion. I talk to at least seven officers who also watch the show, and they don’t have your opinion on Ben Sherman’s actions. From what I saw, over confidence is not at all what his behavior the past two episodes has demonstrated. Rather what I saw, was a man who normally is rather calm and guarded, but who loses it completely when faced with a case that reminds him of his past. His over-the-top reactions (especially the intensity with which he beat down the pimp and his emotional melt down in the car afterward as well as his detached, lost, and sad demeanor in the dark locker room) point to a guy who is emotionally and psychologically disturbed. His actions are nothing new. In “U-Boat,” he lost it emotionally when he saw the stalker kill his ex-girlfriend and had a similar (though slightly less dramatic) reaction to beating down the pimp. Likewise, in “Discretion,” it was the same thing – he lost it completely when he saw a woman being raped. Cooper told him there are things he’s got to forget (referring to his past), and Ben said, “I can’t.” This is what drives him. I think he has a number of suppressed emotions he hasn’t dealt with from his past, and if you watch an interview where McKenzie talks about his character, he also mentions this and it is evident in his acting. I deal with psychological analysis on a daily basis and this is what I see in his acting – and he is doing a phenomenal job with it.

    I also think part of the conflict for Ben is that the stressful things from his personal life and the stressful things he experiences on the job are very muddled. While it is true that many young cops sleep around, I see Ben’s promiscuity as more of a defense mechanism that is worsened by the fact that he has had serious trust issues since childhood and has difficulty forming close relationships with women, which is a reflection of his past trauma as well. It is also a way to decompress from the stressful things he faces on the job. After a while, he is no longer able to separate the stressors. I think the lines are very blurry.

    Ben punching the teenage girl was another example of something that would create major internal conflict for the character. Here he is trying to protect women (his motivation to become a cop in the first place), and yet he impulsively punches a teenage girl in the face. I think rather than dealing with the guilt, he has tried to suppress this – with fear that he is becoming like his father (who he has even admitted to having nightmares about and who he is scared of becoming) amongst other things.

    All in all, I see Ben Sherman as a very complex character. There is not one single thing that is driving his actions. It is a mixture of stressors and he is very troubled – in need of emotional support. Advice in my opinion is not going to help him at this point, which is why I was hoping Sammy would try to at the very least try to find out what’s going on with Ben internally rather than just assuming that it’s as simple as Ben getting too emotionally attached to a case. I don’t think all cops when they are young have melt downs to that degree and track down a perp off the clock, sucker punch them, and beat them down – seemingly in a rage black out. That is not overconfidence. That is not just getting too attached to a case. That is the sign of an emotionally troubled man.

    I think the writers have in earlier seasons emphasized the aspects of Ben’s life that make him tick and it’s up to us to connect the dots – but with Ben, I don’t view him as representative of just any young P2. I think he’s individually complex in his own right. Every cop has their issues in their personal life that when young can affect their job. These are Ben’s issues. I think what he needs is a true friend and also a therapist – not a speech.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Samuel – I thank you, too, for your insight and for taking the time to interview seven police officers to get their take on the show.

    You know, my comments are absolutely not about Ben’s psychological issues. Not at all. Could those issues contribute to the behavior we’re seeing with Ben’s “activities?” Sure, they could. Just like psychological issues could be the source of every person’s actions. But Ben’s behavior (the specific behavior I’ve addressed) is something that’s seen in real-life rookies as well. Maybe not the specific acts we’ve seen on this show, but the behavior, the rookie overconfidence, is typical. They’re fresh out of the academy with new defensive tactics skills under their belts and they often have that “I can save the world” overconfident attitude.

    My comments on this blog relate directly to the problems that occur with many rookies in real life. See, I’m somewhat of a hands-on expert on the subject since I worked as a field training officer, training rookie police officers for many years.

    You mention the scene where Ben punched the girl as something that was triggered from his past. You do realize that scene was based on a real life incident, right? Are you suggesting that the real-life officer punched the girl because he, too, has deep-rooted psychological issues about a fear of becoming like his father?

    Take a moment to consider this…how many civilians who suffer from the deep-seated issues you mention typically go out and “beat down” a very large pimp as a means of acting on their troubles? Not many would be my guess. The reason you could possibly see it happen with Ben is because he has gained “confidence” that he could overcome/handle the situation through his police training. And that confidence, as the voice-over suggested, leads them (some rookies – seasoned cops too) to take risks. And, by the way, Risk, was the name of the episode, not “I’ve Got “Issues” So I’m Punching Somebody… :)

  • I have a Question: why do cop cars not have bullet proof glass??
    I thought they did, but I keep seeing pictures of real cop cars with shattered glass. Why doesn’t every department in the country take the time to make the glass bulletproof? You KNOW they are going to get shot at. Does it cost that much?

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Yes, it cost THAT much. And it’s very heavy. And…

  • And your expendable? Surely over the course of several years they could at least do the cars that patrol the bad side of town. But I guess limos for the mayor are probably more important. :p

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Seriously, it’s not practical compared to the number of incidents where patrol cars are actually hit by gunfire. It’s not as common as you’d think.

  • Really? I guess that’s true, it probably is rare. And bullets can come through the doors and sides anyway.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    And they bad guys could always wait until the officer steps outside for lunch.

  • Audrey says:

    Loved this episode. Had plenty of the “WHOA!” moments that had been lacking for me in the middle of this season. Great job! When Sammy’s cruiser was hit, it actually left my husband speechless…and he’s normally a non-stop chatterer! =^)

  • Steve says:

    Lee, I didn’t realize Sammy saying “I know, I’ve been there” was because being there is common for rookie cops. Not knowing about the overconfidence issues rookies have, I just assumed he was referencing his own obsessive and self-destructive extracurriculars late last season. I saw a parallel between Ben attacking the pimp and Sammy’s nighttime drive to the desert last season and thought he was referring to that experience.

    I do hope Sammy survives. Traffic is dangerous stuff.

  • KateNonymous says:

    “You mention the scene where Ben punched the girl as something that was triggered from his past. You do realize that scene was based on a real life incident, right? Are you suggesting that the real-life officer punched the girl because he, too, has deep-rooted psychological issues about a fear of becoming like his father?”

    However, Southland is fiction, and the writers made a choice when they had Ben throw that punch, instead of one of the other officers. So while I understand that you’re drawing broad parallels to less-experienced officers in general, it’s worth considering that Ben is a specific character deliberately crafted within that demographic.

    And who knows–maybe that officer did have similar family issues. There are more than enough bad parents to go around.

  • Ron De Laby says:

    Kate & Angie: The likely consequences of Tang admitting she took the orange cap would be, at bare minumum, loss of her promotion, loss of her current stripes, 6 months off without pay. The next level would likely be termination, and, if she was unlucky she would be prosecuted. She lied (Kiss of death). She tampered with a crime scene and obstructed an investigation. My money would be on termination and prosecution.

    Lee- I’m with you on the over confidence/young rookie attitude angle as opposed to the deep rooted emotional history. Clocking the teenaged girl is a direct reaction to being cornered and keeping your prisoner from being rescued. Why does anyone think the police are not allowed to punch women? You should deal with some of these “women” on the street.

    Samantha – Bulletproof glass would require the standard detroit issue passenger cars to be retrofitted like the obamamobile, AND you would need to fill in the door panels as well. Then the car would weigh a ton, not perform as well, and cost more in gas to drive. It’s cheaper to provide bullet proof vests. We had a Captain who came up with the brilliant idea to put strips of duct tape across the side windows to protect the occupants from flying glass during our weekend rock and bottle throwing contests. That was until we pointed out to him that it only gave the miscreants something to aim at (I swear I am at a loss as to how some people ever get promoted).

    As for the rating on this episode, I’m still hyperventilating. Ben’s part was outstanding. He keeps saying the same thing over and over again because no one’s coming yet. Classic shock reaction. The “Shot’s Fired” call was enough to start rolling everyone immediately. The delaying of the dispatcher’s response predictably got every viewer’s blood pressure up to max overload. Great scene.

    As for the Lydia scene. Lee’s absolutely right. NEVER abandon your partner. Besides two uniforms were chasing the bad guy already. I’m afraid I wouldn’t have taken the time to belt the gang banger in this case I would have shot him instantly. Doesn’t get any better than that. The scene was absolutely chilling and a carbon copy of the one in “Saving Private Ryan”.

    I, for one, do not want this program to end. It’s outstanding.

  • Alex says:

    Lee, thank you for your reply. I know that there are “tech” advisors, meaning officers and retired officers who contribute material for story arcs and to insure accuracy. I guess the point I was stressing is that while Ben is a young officer who will find himself in certain “first” circumstances and experiencing and witnessing scenarios for the first time (something I thought was largely overlooked with so much misplaced emphasis on his FTO last season, especially and unfortunately because of all the missed opportunities for Ben), he is, first and foremost Ben in those circumstances and scenarios. In addition to providing insight for ‘any’ and ‘every’ young officer, he’s approaching, perceiving and experiencing everything as a very unique character with a background that isolates him and very much separates him from the mainstream and his peers. That premise has been heavily and readily promoted from before NBC’s premiere. Some of that’s education or economics and some is the trauma and the very dysfunctional dynamics of his bizarre family situation. Without going off on too much of a tangent, I’ve heard from the beginning that what is supposed to set ‘SouthLAnd’ apart is that it is character-driven. That’s why I look to see evidence of the focus on the character primarily, then something more general as secondary. Without the specific individual aspect of the story, it’s not really about Ben and falls far short of the mark.

    Thanks for your reply.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Some of you are reading far too much between the lines I write. I have no hidden agenda or secret meanings behind my words. What I’m telling you is that an officer’s training, especially an officer who’s fresh out of the academy – a rookie – sometimes has a false sense of confidence (the 10-ft.-tall-and-bulletproof attitude). And that confidence sometimes drives them to do things they shouldn’t, like a pimp “beat down.”

    Ben’s “I-can-save-the-world-attitude” is quite often a rookie trait. No hidden messages there. No words between those lines. Just plain fact. It happens.

  • Samuel says:

    KateAnonymous,

    You said, “You do realize that scene was based on a real life incident, right? Are you suggesting that the real-life officer punched the girl because he, too, has deep-rooted psychological issues about a fear of becoming like his father?”

    I didn’t say that Ben punching the girl in the face was triggered by his past. I said his REACTION afterward was related to his past. He put up walls and tried to forget it – indulged in alcohol and yet more sex but was clearly conflicted. I guarantee you that two cops can make the same impulsive mistake but handle the consequences differently afterwards. Ben Sherman is not just a generic character. He is complex and his reactions will be different from other cops on the show because of his experiences.

  • Samuel says:

    Sorry! I realized my last reply was intended for Lee instead of KateAnonymous. I admit I’m running off little sleep and confused the comments. I apologize. Also, I hope my reply didn’t sound brash. That wasn’t the intention. It should be understood that everything I say is just my opinion and I don’t expect anyone to agree with me.

  • Samuel says:

    “Take a moment to consider this…how many civilians who suffer from the deep-seated issues you mention typically go out and “beat down” a very large pimp as a means of acting on their troubles? Not many would be my guess. The reason you could possibly see it happen with Ben is because he has gained “confidence” that he could overcome/handle the situation through his police training. And that confidence, as the voice-over suggested, leads them (some rookies – seasoned cops too) to take risks. And, by the way, Risk, was the name of the episode, not “I’ve Got “Issues” So I’m Punching Somebody… :)”

    Thanks again for your reply, Lee.

    With all due respect, in my original comment, I didn’t mention civilian reactions. I didn’t say that most civilians wouldn’t beat down the pimp. I said I don’t think most P2s would do what Ben did … much the same way I didin’t say that Ben’s past triggered him to punch the girl in my original comment. When I referenced Ben punching the girl, I wasn’t saying his past caused him to punch the girl -I was saying the writers more than likely added that storyline to create internal conflict for the character afterwards. In other words, Ben’s reaction to punching the girl and actions afterwards are going to be related to his past.

    I said that I don’t think most P2s are going to go track down a pimp, beat the heck out of him off the clock, and then have a serious melt down in the car afterwards – and convey the same conflicting emotions McKenzie displayed in his acting: a mixture of sadness, confusion, fear, detachment, etc. What he did was very extreme. Yes, the episode was called “Risk.” That doesn’t mean that the issue was overconfidence. Even before Ben Sherman was a P2 he probably would have had a similar reaction if under a lot of stress. Do you remember the episode “U-Boat?” Most people would argue that Sherman was far from “cocky” at that point as a Rookie. He was still the calm, squared away cop trying to learn as much as he could from his training officer back then in S2. He had a similar reaction when he saw the woman die due to her stalker chef boyfriend. The guy was already handcuffed and pretty much knocked out and Sherman lost it and kept punching him over and over again. This is impulsive behavior. He sees something that reminds him of his mother getting raped, and he loses it. Again, it happened in “Discretion.”

    I respect that you want to draw broad parallels to real life cops, and I respect that you were a field training officer, but this show is still a drama and not real life and thus will use some dramatic license. I don’t think they spent two seasons drilling Sherman’s past into our heads for no reason, and even Ben McKenzie has addressed his character’s “almost psychotic need to protect women driven by a traumatic experience of seeing his mother raped in front of him that he never properly dealt with.”

    Sherman may have some qualities of all P2s, but for dramatic purposes, the writers and Mr. McKenzie have created a multidimensional character who may very well be more complicated than the average person who decides to become a police officer. Likewise, Officer Cooper is more complicated than any of the police officers I talk to on a regular basis. I think Lydia’s and Sammy’s backgrounds are more similar to the officers I interact with. It’s not every day you come across someone whose father murdered and raped someone or who got abandoned by their douche father, watched their mother get raped in front of them and got assaulted trying to defend her.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Samuel, I understand what you’ve said, repeatedly. However, you obviously aren’t reading my responses, or the original post for that matter, and you obviously aren’t going to accept my comments, which, by the way are based on over two decades of actual, real life experience.

    You seem to be searching for someone who’ll agree with your ideas about what’s going on inside a fictional character’s mind and, unfortunately, you’re not going to find that someone in me. There’s no way I could begin to analyze make-believe thoughts.

    Sure, Ben’s fictional psychological issues could be the very message that SL writers are projecting, but that’s not what I’ve addressed and you just don’t get it. So let’s move on, please. This is becoming a bit redundant.

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