Recaps

3 Deaths, 2 Betrayals, and 1 Unlikely Friendship in Southland “Heat”

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

If you had asked me if I could love this show more before the start of the season, I would’ve said no. But now that we’re getting more of a look into the personal lives of these cops we’ve come to know over the past 4 years, I have to say this season is even better than expected. And I have high expectations, because Southland is one of my favorite shows on TV. I won’t qualify that and say it’s one of my favorite cop shows, or one of my favorite ensemble shows. It’s one of my favorite shows. Period. So what began in the season 5 premiere and has continued in “Heat,” is a closer look at these deeply flawed people I’ve come to know and love. We’ve still got all the regular cases and dynamics, but I love that added element. It’s making for a really exciting season so far. Let’s talk “Heat.”

3 Deaths

Lydia’s Mom. I think I need to start with the death that came at the end of the episode, the death of Lydia’s mother Enid. I cried. It was so unexpected. And Lydia’s reaction? Now that’s true heartbreak. Without that one tether, I think Lydia’s truly at sea. Her job is never the problem, it’s her personal life. I felt that with Enid’s presence in her life and in her house Lydia was able to balance the work/baby thing – in her own way. She really needed someone to count on, depend on, and her mom was that person. In fact, without her mother around I don’t know what Lydia’s going to do. There’s that deep personal loss, but she’s also lost the only buffer between her and her child. From what we’ve seen so far Lydia is not really bonding with her child. Now, she’ll be forced to.

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

The Veteran. I didn’t see this one coming either. Well, actually let me rephrase: I knew Cooper and Steele were going to find someone dead, but I couldn’t have guessed that this guy would take his own life. The fact that he’s the same guy Cooper and Steele gave a citation to earlier (and Steele certainly had a connection with), made this a hard blow to take. It was a very sober reminder about how lonely and alone older people can be, about how a lot of younger people don’t appreciate what the previous generation has done for them, and how maybe it’s ok to do something nice for someone else every once in a while.

The Kid. I don’t think we can consider the kid a goner yet, but things certainly seem to be headed in that direction. So until we learn otherwise, I’m going to assume his young life will be cut short. And on his birthday. Not only do we see a young child, once again, used as a pawn in a game amongst adults but we see how manipulation and lies can lead to big consequences.

2 Betrayals

Dave Mendoza’s injury is self-inflicted. I think we all knew this guy was bad news, but we had no idea how far he’d go. And I couldn’t figure out why Sherman had taken such a shine to him. I know he’s got history with the guy, but just from last week’s episode I could tell he was shady. So when Sherman starts his own little investigation into what really happened to Mendoza, things go really really badly. Mendoza’s lie leads to a series of events that end with a kid getting shot. I know Sherman cares, even though the kid is the son of a gangster. I know he’s just putting on a show for Bryant, but I’m so worried about him and his partnership with Sammy. These two guys really have each other’s backs. If one is flying off the handle, the other is calm. If one is messing up at work or in his personal life, the other pulls him back. I just hate seeing the way this partnership is deteriorating. I kind of want them to go to therapy together. I know it’s not gonna happen, but I just want them to talk to each other. But I did like when Sherman went to visit Mendoza after he found out. Sherman looked him right in the eye and said he was better than Mendoza. And he is.

Steele doesn’t back Cooper up during a shooting. That scene scared the crap out of me. Even though I think John can be a hardass and a hardhead, I admire his commitment to the job. He needs to be able to trust that his partner has his back, even if (and maybe especially because) it’s an officer-in-training. And we know Steele has courage and that he’s been in a firefight before. So when he hides behind the cruiser while Cooper engages a man with a gun, it’s shocking. I believe Steele when he says he’s not a coward; he just doesn’t think this job is worth getting killed over. He’s entitled to his opinion and Cooper is entitled to strip him of his badge. I liked where this partnership was going, so while Steele definitely needs to go, I’m still kind of sad to see him leave.

1 Unlikely Friendship

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

Cooper’s Got a “Girlfriend.” I love that this show is always surprising me with small, more emotional moments. This week we got to meet John’s special lady friend. His admirer likes to bring him homemade muffins and cupcakes. I love that he gets sh*t for it from the guys and that he tries to discourage her from visiting. And I love it that he will go out to see her even if he’s had a rough day. I’m sure I was aware that Cooper is capable of kindness, but it was nice to see it in practice.

Southland airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on TNT.

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