Southland: Chaos

Cops are supposed to hold the line between chaos and civilized society. Every now and then chaos gets the upper hand.

Chaos and police work go hand in hand, like chocolate and peanut butter. And that bit about chaos sometimes getting the upper hand, well, it happens no matter how many defenses you set up to prevent the disorderly mess. It happens. And it seems to happen most often when your guard is down.

A natural enemy of the police, chaos is quick to escalate and spiral downward at blistering speeds. What often begins as a routine nuisance call can rapidly devolve into misery, pain, confusion, and even death. Such was the case when a former sheriff’s office captain of mine just happened to be passing by an address where deputies had been dispatched to a “something’s-wrong-with-my-adult-son” call. The captain knew the family personally, so he stopped to see what he could do to calm the situation. Bear in mind that this captain was a big man. I don’t mean he was obese. I’m talking big as in muscular, tall, and the size of two pro football linebackers combined. To top off his impressive stature was the fact that he was nearly Superman-strong—the guy you want as back up at a fight call. Any fight call.

The captain found the adult son, who, by the way, probably weighed 140lbs soaking wet while toting a bowling ball in each hand. The man paced across the backyard lawn, back and forth, side to side, like a caged lion. He was muttering to himself and to an imaginary person who was apparently walking beside him, step for step.

The pacing, mutterings, and imaginary conversation partners are all clear signs that a subject has officially stepped off the end of the crazy pier and into wacky-waters well over his head. The captain, however, assumed he could handle the wiry man and walked straight up to him, with chest poked out and biceps in full bulge mode. Intimidating to the average person? Sure. But not this time. The wild-eyed, babbling little guy instantly tore into the captain like the spinning, drooling Tazmanian Devil on the Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Within seconds, the crazy man went for the captain’s pistol. So, now the captain not only had to try to keep the guy from literally scratching out his eyes and biting off his ears, he also had to use one hand to maintain control of his weapon. Didn’t work, though. The suspect actually tore the leather holster from the captain’s gun belt. Tore it. Ripped the thick leather like it was no more than a sheet of notebook paper.

Fortunately, the captain was able to grab his Beretta 9mm and toss it onto the roof of a storage shed, out of the suspect’s reach. That’s when the real fight began. But size did not prevail. The little guy, as they say here in the south, opened a can of “whup *ss” on the captain. Finally, more deputies showed up and, as a group, were able to pin the gyrating, wiggly man to the ground. However, as if chaos hadn’t already done enough, during the struggle one of the deputies had placed a knee on the suspect’s neck, and it wasn’t until the man went limp that the deputy realized he’d shut off the blood flow to the man’s brain. The wild man died…right there, beneath the pile of panting, exhausted deputies. By the way, this was well before Tasers, and pepper spray.

The entire situation with the captain and the suspect, including the time the responding backup deputies spent there, had lasted only nine minutes. From zero to chaos…ten seconds. From chaos to death…eight minutes, fifty seconds.

So, yeah, Chaos was an excellent title for this episode of Southland. Very appropriate, indeed.

Many readers of this blog are often called upon to speak at large gatherings—writers conferences, police conventions, film festivals, award ceremonies, etc., and we all know it sometimes feels a bit safer and relaxing to have a podium or microphone standing between you and your audience. Even a small, simple laser pointer offers a bit of a barrier between the speaker and the listeners. These props also provide something to do with your hands that at least appears useful.

Imagine, for a moment, not having those safeguards in place. For some, the lecture or speech would be a bit tougher to present, right? How about this, try giving one of the best performances of your entire career while wearing nothing more than a pair of boxer briefs, socks, and a t-shirt. How well do you think you’d perform in that situation? And, for goodness sake, what on earth would you do with your hands that didn’t look disgusting?

Well, that’s exactly what Michael Cudlitz (John Cooper) did last night. He delivered one of the best performances of his life while in his underwear, and without a single place to put his hands. Not one that would have been considered appropriate, that is. Anthony Ruivivar (Hank Lucero) also spent most of the episode in his boxers.

Those of you who also follow my reviews of Castle know how I feel about TV cops losing their guns to the bad guys, and you know how tired and cliche’ I think it is to have the crooks kidnap the cops. I do. I despise those scenarios. They’re normally silly and extremely unrealistic. The actors seem to overact and the writers seem to overwrite, hoping to make the scenes work, but they rarely do.

However, the performances we saw last night were absolutely stellar. We saw Hank leave his partner alone with a criminal while he nosed around the crime scene. Big mistake. Secure the guy first and make sure your partner is safe while he cuffs the thug. THEN have a look around. If not, you’re leaving the back door wide open for chaos, and that’s what we saw unfold…quickly, too. More about this in a second. First, let’s address Cooper coming out to Hank.

The “coming out” party was very “Cooperesque,” with John doing something all writers have drilled into their creative minds…show, don’t tell. Hank constantly makes homophobic comments to Cooper, so Coop took his narrow-minded cop partner to a gay bar to make his point that being gay isn’t some kind of dirty disease. Hank calls Cooper a faggot, which makes for a silent ride during their next shift. This was the first sign of tension in the episode.

Next, they’re kidnapped by two “wired” copper thieves (how ironic that two men stealing copper electrical wire were both “wired” on meth). And this is where the tension really took off and never let up, even as the show faded to black at the end. The intensity of this show continued to build, with each scene adding to it, like a snowball rolling down a mountainside. Eventually, there’s going to be an avalanche.

Sure, Ben and Sammy experienced their own difficulties, including when Sammy chased Strokeface to a death by rebar. Of course, the death really should fall on Ben’s shoulders, since it was he, not Strokeface, who was responsible for the break-in at Sammy’s place. And then there’s Brooke, the psycho, girlfriend who promises to get even with Ben for breaking up with her over another woman. And, speaking of the other woman, she’s the sister of a guy who breaks in houses and steals for a living. Oh what a tangled web Ben has woven for himself, and for Sammy.

And still the snowball named chaos rolls…

Lydia and Ruben join the search for Coop and Hank. We saw the two detectives enter the crime scene and, as they did, both gave an officer their names. The officer then recorded their names onto a “sign in” sheet, which becomes part of the official report. This is so investigators, attorneys, etc. know exactly who visited the scene and at what time(s).

Dewey overhears an officer comparing Coop and Hank’s disappearance to Joseph Wambaugh’s story of The Onion Field, the nonfiction tale of two detectives who were kidnapped by criminals. One of the abducted officers was murdered during the incident.

Joseph Wambaugh is a former LAPD officer/detective-sergeant who is also the bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction books, including The Choir Boys and The Blue Knight. In 2012, Sgt. Wambaugh was kind enough to donate one of his signed books to the Writers’ Police Academy raffle.

Dewey confronts the officer who voiced the Onion Field comment and then vows to find the two missing officers. After all, Coop has saved Dewey’s butt more than once.

Ben’s concerned that Coop and Hank are missing. The worry on the faces of all of the officers is apparent. Two of their fellow officers are missing and that’s never a good thing.

Cooper and Hank are at the mercy of two meth-smoking bad guys who, by the way, played their roles quite well. The attention to detail by the director and camera-person was superb, as well. For those of you who don’t regularly hang out with meth users, what you saw last night was typical. The more they smoke, the more paranoid, hyper, and often violent they become. At one point we saw one of the men scratching at the back of his head and neck. In fact, he scratched so much and so hard that he drew blood. This, too, can be typical of meth smokers. They often feel as if bugs are crawling across, or under, their skin (“crank bugs”), which makes them scratch, and scratch, and scratch. This is why meth users often have many open sores on the body, especially on the face, neck, and arms.

As if the tension in this episode wasn’t already over the top, one of the meth-heads shoots and kills Hank. The two wacked-out crooks then order Coop to dig a grave. When he’s finished he’s forced to drag Hank’s body to the hole where one of the kidnappers hits Coop with a shovel, forcing him into the hole with his dead partner. Bad guy number one flees, leaving bad guy number two to finish off Cooper. He fires a shot but misses, and then speeds off in his vehicle.

Coop then runs until he reaches a convenience store where he pleads with the clerk to unlock the door and let him inside, repeatedly telling her, “I’m a cop,” until he finally collapses to the ground. Understandably, the clerk may not believe him, since all she’s sees through the glass is a dirty, bleeding man in his underwear and socks, who just happens to wearing a pair of handcuffs.

This was a nail-biting, heart-thumping episode where a million words were said with mere facial expressions and gestures. The acting in last night’s show was nothing short of sensational. Cudlitz should immediately head to the red carpet this morning to await his Emmy, because if there ever was a performance that deserved the award, his last night was it.

Of course, we can’t discount the others, either. Hatosy, King, Sherman, and C. Thomas Howell were each brilliant in their roles. Even the meth heads were superb. In fact, there is no doubt in my mind that this was the best episode of Southland we’ve seen to date. And that includes the one where I wrote those same words just a week or so ago. Rarely do we see a television show that gets better and better each week. But this one does. Kind of like the chaos snowball, in reverse, the Southland avalanche rolls and rolls its way to the top.

In my opinion, Homeland has just taken a backseat to Southland, and I was a member of the judging committee that once selected Homeland to win an award as the best mystery/suspense TV show. Yes, Southland is that good.

But, next week is the finale…the last show of the season and possibly the last episode of Southland, ever. Whether or not the show will be renewed is up in the air. Everyone in the know is extremely tight-lipped about the show’s fate.

What we do know is that Ben is in over his head. Sammy’s losing his head. Strokeface’s head was impaled by steel bars. Lydia head is all mixed up inside. Dewey’s head is spinning with worry for Cooper. And Hank was killed by a shot to the head.

Me, well, my head still hurts from all the tension in last night’s episode. After all, I was right there with the cast, fighting, struggling, worrying, and frantically trying to rescue Coop and Hank. I tried. Really I did.

How about you? What did you think of the episode? And, do you think Southland should be renewed for a 6th season?

 *By the way, if you heard Lydia mention the term “keeper” and would like to know what it is, please click this link to one of my earlier blog posts.

https://www.leelofland.com/my-aching-back-whats-on-your-gun-belt/

  1. Hallie
    Hallie says:

    Lee,
    Happened to stumble upon your blog and appreciate what I’ve read including other viewers’ comments. Superb acting by Mr. Cudlitz.
    Was hoping to read exactly what those meth heads did to Hank Lucero since the bathroom scene left so much to the imagination. Hank’s tee shirt was much bloodier after. Any comments?

  2. Gotaway
    Gotaway says:

    I’m thankful for Coop’s character being gay in a real way. The writers created scenarios where other one episode gay characters would quit. There was the contrast,Quitters & a doer who keeps struggling to make himself happy. I wish I had his courage to tell someone I loved that I needed her a lot sooner. Hank’s widow will be regretting that she had no kind words for her now dead husband. You can survive a shooting and the people you have abused verbally or with your actions will not care. Cheating death doesn’t make people love you. Anthony Ruivivar character may have got off easy if he wasn’t going to make the changes he needed to save his marriage. When I look at his character like that, I’m not angry anymore they killed off his character.

  3. Conway Eastwood
    Conway Eastwood says:

    Hank getting killed was one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen on T.V.; just goes to show how good this show is. Can’t wait for next week.

  4. Jose
    Jose says:

    another nod to the source idea for the episode, (The Onion Field murder) was when Lydia and Reuben were canvassing, right before they spotted the homeless guy with the cops pants and boots, they showed the street corner signs where the two LAPD officers who were kidnapped in 1963 (?) were grabbed and driven to the onion field outside Bakersfield.

  5. Mark
    Mark says:

    This episode of Southland was one of the best shows I have ever watched. It was intense throughout and it was disturbing. I was holding out hope that they would be rescued and was sad when Hank was killed and for a while I was not sure if Cooper would make it. If the actor who plays Cooper does not get an emmy, there is something wrong. I think this is the last season of the show. It is better to go out on top.

  6. Jen
    Jen says:

    Thanks for a great review of a simply fantastic episode. I also wondered what was in Coop’s hand at the end. This was the best episode of television I’ve ever seen. Bobby Simone dying on NYPD Blue used to be the one, but this blew that away. And for MC and AR to do almost the entire show in their underclothes made it so real. I actually believed it was happening. I still have not caught up on my sleep yet. I want to watch it again, but even knowing the ending, I know I’ll be on the edge of my seat.

    And thanks for this blog Lee. I’ve been checking it since I found it last week. My brother in law is a Police Officer and I’ve learned more about his job and have an ever greater respect for what he and all of the others are doing for us. Thank you for such a great service.

  7. Repli-Kate
    Repli-Kate says:

    @KB, you noticed something that was the only thing that didn’t ring true to me, in that Cooper stepped away from (and put his back to) Meth Guy #1 before he had the cuffs on him. It seems very atypical of that character to have done something so dangerous.

  8. 1015 Adam Henry
    1015 Adam Henry says:

    I do agree Lee, that the ‘cop losing gun to the bad guy’ scenario is played out. But its probably one of the hardest stories to write because they are overwritten and overacted. The rate limiters are the development and consequence of the story. Take for example the torture scenes. I believe that the writers did their research on how a victim would react. Anthony Ruivivar’s performance was gut wrenching and disturbing. Yet the physical appearance of such was underplayed. Cable network TV is constantly pushing the limits, but I don’t think the American audience is quite ready for the reality of an image of a tortured soul that was beaten, mutilated, violated and soiled.

  9. Geoff Lin
    Geoff Lin says:

    Terrific performances by Michael Cudlitz and Anthony Ruivivar. I was on terrifying edge throughout the whole kidnapping ordeal. Storywise, it was also a very novel way of linking all of the characters in this event.

  10. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    They’d better renew for next season. If they don’t they’re as stupid as NBC (? I think that’s where Southland started. I had to tape the next showing because my TV kept going out with the storm. I had seen enough to read and understand your review but was so glad I got to see the whole thing because the acting was unbelievable. If Michael Cudlitz doesn’t get an Emmy, I’ll want to know why. And yes, I did notice the badge in Cooper’s hand. He dropped it at the end when he slid down the wall. Best episode ever!!

  11. TracyO.
    TracyO. says:

    I found myself holding my breath too, as I watched last night’s episode. As a 911 Dispatcher, I really get caught up in the characters. I often compare them to officers I know. I almost wanted to turn it off at times but I had to know how it was going to end. I thought it was a given it was going to be back for another season. I’m sad to hear it might not be back. Michael Cudlitz owns that role of John Cooper. I don’t think anyone else could make it look so natural as he does. I agree, he deserves an Emmy.

  12. chanrowl
    chanrowl says:

    I have never been so affected by a television show than last night’s episode. Michael Cudlitz performance was superb, phenomenal! And Anthony Ruivivar’s performance deserves a shoutout too; his screams of agony were bone-chilling. The emotional ride this show takes you on should come with a prescription of Xanax!

  13. KB
    KB says:

    I don’t have Twitter but I sooooo hope he know how much Southland fans want a Season 6!!! I will be heartbroken, without it! I know it sounds kind of dramatic, but I speak the truth. I also forgot to mention in my original post how much I love your reviews the day after watching. Thanks for your great insight. Lastly, do you agree with how the kidnapping went down? I mean, from a police standpoint? Should Coop have cuffed the guy quicker, should they have turned over their weapons? Basically just wondering if anything could have been done differently that may have prevented that outcome. I mean, from a civilian standpoint seems like they had no choice. However, just wondering if you, as a professional would have advised them to do something different. I just started working with probation and parole, so this episode just hit home a bit. Our line of work isn’t as hazardous, but when doing home visits for convicted felons, always have to be aware/observant.

  14. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    What’s so cool, RMW, is that the man himself (Michael Cudlitz) cares enough about his fans to make himself available. And, the others also care about their fans.

  15. RMW
    RMW says:

    Excellent review of a superb, gut-wrenching episode.

    I just have to say, Lee, it’s so cool that you can just reach out to the man himself to get an answer to the question about the badge.

    And throw my voice into the chorus calling for Michael Cudlitz to get an Emmy for his amazing work this season.

  16. Bill Bushman
    Bill Bushman says:

    I am ashamed to admit that when I first heard that there was going to be an episode about kidnapped officers, I was dreading it. Not because of the intensity, but because, as you said, Lee, of the cliche’. It’s been done before on other cop shows and it’s always seemed like a joke. How wrong I was. It was the only time that I’ve ever doubted whether or not I would enjoy an episode of SouthLAnd and I should have known that the writers, actors and crew would carry it off with the same intensity and realism as usual. If Michael Cudlitz isn’t honored for his work this season, there truly is no justice. On a side note, I actually idolize Joesph Wambaugh and I dearly love his work. I have had the Onion Field sitting on my desk for quite some time, but because of the subject matter, and my deep affinity for police officers, I haven’t had the stomach to crack it open. Last night’s episode didn’t do much to help convince me to read it as I know I’ll be picturing Cooper and Hank when I do. Another great review, Lee!

  17. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    You’re right, KB. Michael C. just told me the guy tossed in two wallets and a badge. Coop held the badge in his hand when the guy fired the round, and he kept it with him on his run to the store.

  18. KB
    KB says:

    Cooper did have a badge at the end when he approached the gas station window. I’m wondering if they may not do a season 6 and replace sammy and ben. I would prefer the whole cast stay, but with those two having already signed on to other shows and the road ben has choosen as a cop, it would make it hard to realistically have him back. I’m betting his criminal friend turns on him next week to make a deal for the most recent burglary he has committed.
    LOVE, LOVE LOVE the show and would be extremely upset if it doesn’t come back for a season 6. Easily one of the best shows on television. And of course I couldn’t finish this post without specifically calling out Cudlitz’s perfomance, it was flawless!

  19. Repli-Kate
    Repli-Kate says:

    @Claire, I thought the same thing, that they dragged Hank into the bathroom and raped him. That might have just been on my mind because of his weird schizo reaction after John took him to his local followed by their rassling, so maybe the contrast of Hank’s conflicted relationship with “teh gay” was on my mind.

  20. Repli-Kate
    Repli-Kate says:

    Coop had his badge in his hand, I think, at the gas station. Meth Guy #2 threw something into the grave that landed on Cooper, and I thought he was holding it in his hands as he ran and that he slammed it up against the window of the gas station, no? Not that the proprietress would believe him anyway but I do think he had his shield with him as identification.

  21. Barbie Hodges
    Barbie Hodges says:

    This was by far the best episode out of 5 seasons. This is the only show that I am emotionally involved with the characters. Normally I’m afraid something will happen to Sammy, but watching Cooper and Hank go through their ordeal brought a physical response. My heart was beating outside of my chest and I had to remember to breathe at times. After watching Nate die, I knew no one is safe and after the shooting of Hank, I really didn’t think Cooper would make it out alive. They have to bring it back for another season! This show makes Wednesday my favorite day of the week! I worked for a Police Dept in Animal Control and wore the uniform. I miss the camaraderie that comes with it!

  22. Pat
    Pat says:

    Love this show! Absolutely love this show! I’m a busy single dad and I don’t follow any other shows. I remember when TNT had two great shows going – “Southland” and “Men of a Certain Age”. Totally different, but both brilliant in writing and acting. TNT canned “Men” even with critical acclaim and a best supporting nomination for Andre Braugher. Michael Cudlitz should win an Emmy for last night’s episode, but that may have no baring on the fate of Southland. Please bring it back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Claire
    Claire says:

    My stomach was doing backflips throughout the entire episode, it was an amazing piece of television. I got truly scared when they dragged Henry into the bathroom. What would they do to him there that they can’t do in the main room? My head immediately jumped to sexual assault. I was oddly relieved to see the only thing bloodied was the poor man’s face. I do have a morbid question about the blowtorch. Were they burning Henry’s leg or crotch? Both options are horrendous of course, but his screams were so downright inhuman it made me wonder. Regardless, superb acting, writing and filming all around.

  24. Soraya
    Soraya says:

    Why would you NOT bring the show back??? We’ve all grown to love and live in the shoes of these characters. This isn’t just another cop-show.. this is “DA COP SHOW!” … I love the fact that the show doesn’t revolve around just being a cop.. but you actually get to know the characters individually.. after work / personal problems, etc.
    After last nights episode.. it’s a requirement to bring it back… We’re all glued to the TVs wanting more.

  25. Kelley Okane
    Kelley Okane says:

    Let me start backwards. At the end, I threw up. This was Michael Cudlitz’s season. His recovery, his ‘coming out’, his inter personal relationships-his father, his FTO, his ex-wife, his partner, the over-all development to his personal emotional side. He is a fantastic actor, especially in this role.
    As a 25 year street veteran of L.E., I watch this show as if it were one of my night shifts. The writers, directors and staff are amazingly right on point. This, by far, is THE most realistic drama of law enforcement, ever. It truly shows the ‘Front row seat to the greatest show on earth’.
    Last nights episode was the most brutal, gut wrenching, horrific, anxiety ridden piece of art. I watched it with DVR fast forwards, not to stop and watch the commercials. I closed my eyes, gasped, felt my heart outside my body, yelled at the television. In the end, I threw up.
    It topped the episode of NYPD Blue, when Simone died and Sipowitz was in the hospital with him, saying good-bye.

    Amazingly intense, sums it up.

  26. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Absolutely one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The kidnapping and subsequent torture and murder gutted me. I agree with what everyone has said about the superb acting. Simply amazing. I do hope they renew it.

  27. Tai
    Tai says:

    I have been watching SouthLAnd since the beginning. Living near Los Angeles, I was instantly drawn to this show and at first stuck with it because Ben McKenzie is easy on the eyes, but quickly fell in love with Michael Cudlitz’s character, Cooper. Tough guy with a heart of gold, overcoming obstacles that could easily keep him down, but he just keeps moving forward. Last nights episode was truly haunting. Just when I think it couldn’t get any better, it does. And for last night to NOT be be the season finale makes me nervous for what’s to come next week.

    At this point, I refuse to believe that there won’t be a Season 6. But on the off chance that is the case and SouthLAnd becomes no more, I will be at the front of the protest line!

  28. Basil
    Basil says:

    Intense, breathtaking, gripping. Southland needs another season because I want to see how Chris chulack and co are gonna top season 5!

  29. dlwater
    dlwater says:

    Amazing episode! We all say it so often that it becomes cliche but true. This is one of the best shows on TV right now. Season 6 MUST happen! Hey Turner Network, the best show on your channel should’nt go through this! RENEW IT NOW!

  30. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    I’m not a cop, but I’m a journalist who has spent enough time on the “fun” side of the yellow tape and on the cop shop beat to know his business.

    Michael Cudlitz’s performance in this episode simply blew my mind from the first moment to the last fade-to-black. And as far as the various supporting character arcs are concerned, I think Hank’s death was telegraphed from the moment he called Coop a faggot — he simply could not, in Cooper’s words, “get it together” for whatever reason.

    Maybe, just maybe, his seemingly out of control attraction of the kidnapper’s ire was calculated from guilt — guilt over his home life, guilt over how he’d treated his partner, guilt over letting his guard down and getting them into that bind in the first place. I watched the episode a second time and towards the end it seemed like Hank was purposefully trying to take the brunt of it in order to give Cooper a fighting chance.

    If Coop wasn’t convinced to go in on having a child with Laurie, he is now I suspect. And if this isn’t enough to push him into retirement, I wonder if the same instinct that pushes him to want a kid might send him back to training boots.

    Another season 6 possibility…if Sherman’s imploding world doesn’t see him lose his badge, I wonder if the spur-of-the-moment riding combo we saw last night with him and Dewey could become a permanent partnership if Sammy is no longer an option. I think of all the main cast members, C. Thomas Howell was sadly underutilized this season. A season six of Southland is going to need some Dewey — I was psyched to see him trade the comic relief for the serious veteran with the serious street sense last night, his declaration of “this ain’t right” reminded me of the many veteran street police I used to cover.

  31. Hau
    Hau says:

    I held my breath through so much of this episode, that it’s amazing I didn’t pass out. I can’t think of any other series where I’ve had not only an emotional reaction to what was happening on screen, but a physical one as well. From the ratcheting dread last night, to the adreniline rush of the active-shooter scene a few years ago, or the heart-stopping chaos of being in that angry crowd when Nate died. Southland just consistently presents these amazing moments that stick in my mind.

    I really commend them on not resorting to any of the tropes that most shows would have pulled out. The partners bonding under the dangerous circumstances, a clever escape, or Ben & Dewey blazing in for a last minute save. The uncertainty about renewal even helped with the tension, ‘cos I didn’t for a second think that Cooper’s survival was a given.

  32. Snowprince
    Snowprince says:

    Nothing to add Lee, you said it all. Cudlitz delivered a performance just as compelling as any delivered by Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad. Give the man his long overdue Emmy. I’d be proud to ride with John Cooper anytime, anywhere.

  33. 28 Year Road Cop
    28 Year Road Cop says:

    Most “cop” shows I only watch to mock or ridicule for the entertainment value. There are a few I have liked/loved over the years. Southland is the best, ever and I don’t say that lightly. Cooper, for all his flaws, is still a great cop that I would not hesitate to partner with. Cudlitz has made this series his own, even with the outstanding ensemble cast. I sure hope Southland sticks around.

  34. Susan
    Susan says:

    Great review of this intense episode. I thought his name was Henry though? I remember Cooper yelling Henry to his partner. It totally shocked me how Henry’s character ends in this episode and how he was treated when they took him to the bathroom.

    I really hope that Southland is renewed. I think there is still a lot to see with the main characters. I am sad that Sammy and Ben have kind of become unethical at this point and it would be interesting to see where their characters go at the end of this season. I am curious about Lydia and her old partner and where that’s going too.

  35. Audrey Webb
    Audrey Webb says:

    I also was trying to help rescue Coop and Hank. Man, that was the most intense episode ever, and it was every bit as fabulous as you’ve said. In fact, as soon as it was over, I thought about you … and couldn’t wait to hear your thoughts.

    If this show isn’t renewed for a 6th season, some TV exec should be looking for a new line of work. This show keeps getting better all the time; we’re not ready to let go of these characters yet.

    P.S. What’s a “keeper”? Lydia mentioned that term when she was investigating the scene.