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So Emotional: Southland “Thursday”

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

I love this show. I get so caught up in all the story lines, worry about these characters as if they were real people, and want every single cast regular to be nominated for an Emmy. That’s how good I think this show is. Usually I talk about my favorite moments from an episode, but for the season 4 finale I need to talk about the three moments that affected me the most.

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

1. Sammy thinks he’s failed Ben. I have loved everything about the Bryant/Sherman partnership this season. The pranks provided much-needed comedy earlier this season and their budding friendship has been refreshing, especially after all the Sherman/Cooper drama of seasons past. Now, don’t get me wrong: I loved the Sherman/Cooper dynamic but I liked seeing Sherman “graduate” to another kind of partnership. His partnership with Sammy found him on more equal footing with a fellow officer. Sure Sammy’s been on the job longer but he hadn’t been on the streets for a while. And it seemed like they were finally getting back to normal – after Ben accused Sammy of planting evidence – when Ben’s questionable judgment came back to bite them both in the ass.

When Ben goes to see his partner in the hospital, he tells Sammy he’s going back on duty. Sammy doesn’t think that’s the best idea but there’s not much he can do about it except try to talk some sense into Ben. Ben says he’s fine, but we know he isn’t. We can see how desperate Sammy’s getting when he says they can even talk about their feelings. And when he starts talking about how Nate’s death affected him, I was really feeling it. I remember how hard he took it and how much it messed him up. To be able to come back from that and want to help younger officers is a testament to the kind of cop Sammy is. But Ben can’t be reached. He’s determined to help Amber and nothing will deter him.

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

2. Cooper and Tang have it out. I can’t believe Cooper was going to take the easy way out and just leave without saying anything – even goodbye – to his partner. I get that he couldn’t think of anything to say. I get that she put him in a compromising position the day she shot that kid and on the last day of her patrol. It’s so easy to judge, isn’t it? I know Cooper put himself and Sherman – and probably a lot of other people – in harms way when he was using. Is that any different than what Tang did? Yes, she shot a kid but as she tells Cooper it was an accident. Cooper thinks what he did and what she did are different, but are they? Did the way Tang handle that shooting make her a bad cop? Isn’t she still out on the streets doing her job to protect and save lives?

I think I’m asking so many questions because I still don’t really know how to feel about it. I have a problem with what she did but do I think she needs to be off the streets? I know it was a mistake but I think I admired Tang so much before that I wanted her to face the consequences of her actions. We don’t know how it would’ve gone – the department may have stood behind her or thrown her under the bus – but I think the fact that she lied when asked a direct question is what bothered me the most. That being said, I can’t deny that I think she’ll make a great sergeant. Maybe the shooting will even make her a better cop. I don’t know. But I love that she gave John the evidence he needed to turn her in if he decided that was the right thing to do. And I love it even more that John’s back to boot training. I think it’s what he does best and now that he’s clean I think he’ll do a really good job with the recruits.

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

3. Lydia decides she needs to be assigned home for the duration of her pregnancy. After the day she had, I don’t see how she could’ve made any other decision. I am so glad we couldn’t hear any of the conversation she had to have with the kid in the burn unit. I wanted to cry just looking at that poor little bandaged child. At the beginning of the episode I was practically applauding Lydia’s decision to stay on the job. I liked seeing her charge forward the way she always does to solve the crimes she’s assigned to work. But this one was tough. Listening to those witnesses and seeing the havoc Ramon Dallo wreaked on so many lives was heartbreaking. So for Lydia to take a step back and choose to put herself and her baby first is such a big deal. She worries that the stress and strain of her job will affect her fetus and I think her fears are valid. I also like that we met Terrell and she told him about her pregnancy. He was willing to leave his wife but Lydia had no interest in blowing up his life. All she wanted was to let him know and leave the door open for him to get to know his son one day.

Guest Star Goodness

I’ve got to take a moment and acknowledge Lou Diamond Phillips and Dora Burge. I don’t like Ferguson and I thought his temporary partnership with Ben was a bad idea. But Ferguson actually tried to talk some sense into Sherman and for that I’ve got to be grateful. I don’t know if this is the last we’ve been of Ferguson, but if it isn’t I think I’d be ok with that. I’ve never seen Phillips play a character like this and it’s been nice to see him do such a great job at being someone I’d never, ever want to meet.

I loved Dora Burge as Becky on Friday Night Lights and it was a pleasant surprise to see her here. She didn’t have much time onscreen, but I felt every second of it when she had to tell Lydia about seeing Ramon Dallo shoot Sam’s wife and watch her two kids burn.

p.s. Where was Dorian Missick? I’ve really liked his partnership with Lydia this season and it was a shame not to see him in this episode.

I can’t wait for this show to return, and hopefully with more than 10 episodes. I have faith that TNT will bring this intense, complex drama back for another season. And I’ll be awaiting every episode with eager anticipation.

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