“Veteran cops know better than to take work home with them.” What a great opening line for this week’s episode. Great advice, too, for all cops. Unfortunately, even though the old-timers know better, the job is in their blood and that’s where it’ll remain until the day the bagpipes play.
A cop’s job is a tough, grueling job. Police officers see all sides and aspects of human life. They witness people’s behavior at its best, and at its worst. They laugh, they fight, and they hurt—all in an eight-hour shift. Their job is to protect the citizens within their jurisdictions. To do so, they’re sworn to enforce the laws of their communities and of their state and country. That’s it. That’s all they’re required to do.
No one orders a cop to spend a few minutes talking to a lonely, elderly person whose spouse of 50 years has recently passed away. It’s not a requirement of an officer’s job to hold the hand of a sick drug addict, or to cry when a child is injured. They don’t have to work 36 hours straight, for free, while searching for someone’s little girl that didn’t come home after school. The job is an emotional roller coaster. It’s a career that’s brimming with pain, hurt, and sorrow. And that, Southland fans, is what makes Sammy run…
Now on with the review.
They’re back—the killers with the pointed-toe cowboy boots. And this time they shoot a couple of guys in a crowded nightclub. Investigators arrive to work the scene and we hear quite a bit of joking and clowning around. This is normal. Cops do what they have to do to deal with day-in and day-out death. It’s not meant to be disrespectful to the victims or their families. Not at all. It’s merely a coping mechanism for the officers.
- Detectives are seen during a brainstorming session in front of a large whiteboard. This is good stuff. I had one in my office for the same purpose. My partner and I spent many hours hashing out theories and ideas over the material on the board. Many cases have been solved in this manner. We also used the board for pre-search warrant/raid briefing sessions. Very realistic.
- A detective’s daughter was in the club when the shooting occurred, and she was sprayed with blood spatter from one of the victims. The spatter looked genuine. In fact, the angle of impact of the drops and droplets were depicted accurately. So accurate that I could almost picture a point of convergence. Great eye for detail.
- Sammy is shown trying to mentor a kid who’s teetering on the fence between good and bad. He takes the time to go to the kid’s house to speak with the boy’s mother. He takes the boy to a movie and to a restaurant. He’s trying to do all the right things, but the kid still manages to fall onto the bad side of the fence where he shoots and kills another kid. Unfortunately, the boy has been brought up in that type environment and lifestyle, which all to often becomes the only way of life they know how to lead. It’s like training to be a cop. Instructors drill the same information into their heads, day in and day out, until it’s ingrained into their minds. No longer do they have to stop and think before acting on a specific situation. Instead, they react instinctively. The same is true for kids who’ve been brought up on the streets. It’s all they know, and what they know is what they’ll do. Every time. Again, I can’t say enough good things about the writers and actors of this show. They’ve really done their homework. They may not admit it, but somebody from this show has lived this life. I know, because I’ve been there, too.
- I liked the scene where Cooper snatched the Ipod from the guy taking the upskirt photos. Not exactly legal, but I’m sure I’d have done the same thing (breaking the phone, not taking the photo).
- There’s a domestic call that Cooper and Sherman answer, and guess who’s at the heart of it? Yep, it’s the pointy-toe-cowboy-boots folks. Cooper tells Ben that they’re going to search inside the residence to make sure there’s no one inside who’s injured, or possibly dead. This is a legal search, without a warrant, but only if they search for people, not “things.” This type search is for the safety of everyone involved—officers and residents. All too often, an attacker lies in wait, sending the terrified victim outside to tell officers that all is well. Then, after the officers leave the attack continues. But, all sorts of evidence is discovered during these searches, such as the nearly 4 million dollars in cash that Ben discovered.
- Once the cash and guns are found (legally, because the lump looked like a person lying under the blanket) Cooper runs outside and yells, “Hook ‘em up (handcuff them).” This was the right thing to do. Those two killers knew it was only a matter of time before officers found their stash, and they’d certainly have no problem killing someone to get away.
- During the search a cellphone rings and one of the detectives answers. I’ve done this many, many times. I’ve also responded to messages left on pagers. Once, I even told a guy to come by the residence we’d just raided because I wanted to buy some dope from him. He did, and we arrested the big dummy. After all, he’d only walked by five or six police cars to come calling with a big ‘ol bag of dope in his jacket pocket.
This episode continued with two other raids—Trinney’s place and of a boat used for drug smuggling. The entry/raid teams carried out the procedure pretty much like a real team would.
Officers discovered Trinney’s severed head in a box, and again made jokes about the horror they’d stumbled upon. That’s probably what real cops would do to cope if faced with a similar scenario. Sure, it would bother anyone to find something that gruesome, but when you see things like that on a regular basis…well, you have to deal with it somehow.
Once again, this show tops the list when it comes to realism. Each week I feel as if I’m back on the job, chasing bad guys with Cooper and Sherman. Great show!
By the way, the print of Ben’s vest can be clearly seen in the photo above. This show is all about detail.