Most cops manage to stay sane despite all the chaos around them. But in their hearts they know, everyone has a breaking point.
Stunned. Just completely stunned. I had to sit and think about this episode for a long time. Usually I immediately watch again. But I couldn’t even think about re-watching for over 12 hours.
Lydia has never made good choices with the men in her life. And I think she is making one again. Easy-going Russell. She likes him because he will do what she says without any kind of confrontation. Therefore making her home life easy to manage while she takes on the duties of her job.
Ruben has been a great partner for Lydia. He sometimes disagrees with Lydia, but he’s so low-key, any disagreement or confrontation is almost over before Lydia realizes it. He gets Lydia and knows how to work around her - in a good way. But more than anything, he respects her. This week, they worked very well together. Whether it was confronting the detectives in RHD, or working with Dewey and Munoz to get a suspect to talk. And Ruben was rewarded with an atta-boy from Chief Beck himself.
I've liked Dewey from the beginning; even when he's been spewing forth his views of the world. And I've really enjoyed Dewey the past couple of seasons. He brings his very own spice to the show. We've seen more of his long-term friendship with Cooper. And he often brings a little humor to the show. Despite past run-ins with Lydia; he even worked well with her this week. Primarily because he wanted to help find Cooper's kidnappers; but still.
Sammy finally learns that Ben was behind the break-in at his house. He confronts Ben and it turns into them both rolling around in the parking lot punching each other. They can no longer be partners and that’s a good thing. I really think Sammy should go back to being a detective.
Ben is too far gone for any kind of redemptive arc in a possible season 6; so I think he should be fired, then go to school to become a sleazy defense lawyer like his father. When he was a rookie just out of the academy, he didn’t want any part of his Dad. But I’m not so sure he feels that way any more. As Cooper told Ben in Season 3’s “Punching Water,” “The job doesn’t make you something. It just brings out who you already are.”
Laurie has always been a great character. I have always thought that she was still in love with Cooper. She stole drugs for him, tried to get him to go to rehab, and he trusted her to be one of the very few that he could talk to. So for her to be so hateful to him in this episode was way out of character. “No. I don’t want to have a baby. Not with you. (Emphasis mine.) Not any more. I’m sorry”. That’s just cruel at this stage of his recovery. She could have said it much more tactfully. I think she understood that Cooper wanted a baby for the wrong reasons. But she didn’t have to be so heartless.
And when Laurie told him that; the expression on his face was awful. Stunned, hurt, denial, pain. I’m surprised we didn’t get a breakdown scene right there.
Cooper is unwillingly on desk duty as ordered. He goes to roll call and the room goes silent when he enters. Dewey greets him as he walks stiffly to a chair and sits down painfully. Everyone is coddling him. Bringing him lunch. And it’s getting on his last nerve. He’s ready. He wants out of the kit room. He talks to Sgt Hill (Whose first name is Terry. Who knew?) Sgt Hill himself is back to work after the death of his son. Cooper wants to know if Sgt Hill is back on duty, why isn’t he (Cooper) back on regular duty yet. Sgt Hill explains that each case is different. I’m sure Cooper already knows this; he’s just venting his frustration at TPTB that have not signed off on him yet. Cooper says, “These numb nuts know I have 5 guns at home right? I can eat one there just as easily as here.” Sgt Hill replies, “I’d keep that out of your next therapy session, huh?”
Cooper has lunch with Hicks. Hicks is chowing down but Cooper has no appetite. The conversation is friendly at first and we learn that Hicks has given up alcohol ever since the search for Cooper ended. But then Hicks asks Cooper, “Why the hell did you give up your guns?” Cooper just gets up and walks away. I can’t believe Hicks would ask him that. Hicks calls after Cooper but Coop just keeps on walking.
Cooper is lying there wide awake. He can’t sleep. He hears the neighbors generator come on. The neighbors he’s already warned about the noise. He gets up and checks on Laurie. She is sound asleep and wearing ear protectors. Cooper goes out, turns the generator off and then gets into a confrontation with the neighbors. I was so worried about the guy with a gun behind Cooper, I didn’t see what was coming. Cooper is looking around as though dazed, maybe confused while he bashes in the face of the neighbor. Cooper doesn’t obey the officers telling him to drop the gun, and the responding officers shoot him. I’ve had 2 different retired cops, from opposite coasts, tell me they would have shot him too. Was it suicide by cop? Or was Cooper dazed and disoriented? We will probably never know. In the end, Cooper saved Hicks, but could not save himself.
Did those shots kill Cooper? I’d like to think not. But who knows? Will the series end here? Or will we get a season 6? The writers would really need to explain a lot of things, if so. But each season has had its own arc. We've had five very different seasons; each with its own story to tell. So maybe a sixth season is possible. Will Ben pass the detective exam and move on up the ladder, despite his ethics? Or will Ben even still be a cop? And what will Sammy do? Surely he and Ben will no longer be partners. I hope Lydia and Ruben remain partners and she and Russell work something out at home. Dewey will be Dewey - so glad that he became a regular this season. Maybe we’ll get some fresh blood if we get a season 6. But all-in-all, I would rather end the series here, where there is a possibility that Cooper survives, than have a season 6 without him.
It will be such a sad, sad day when Officer John Cooper is no longer on my TV.
We asked each cast member (Ben McKenzie was unreachable) for a quote about the season five finale. Here are the responses we received: C. Thomas Howell: "As an actor you can
only hope to be a part of a project like Southland. It's literally a once in a
lifetime opportunity that I will cherish for the rest of my life. The cast and
crew have continued to raise the bar of excellence. I love every single person involved
with this show. It's by far my favorite job that I have ever had and pray we
can continue for another five incredible years! Thank you all for being a part
of it. God bless all law enforcement world wide for risking your lives on a
daily basis. May you make solid decisions in the line of duty... and most
importantly... shoot straight. A-35 code 4. C Thomas Howell, Officer William
Dorian Missick: "The finale will answer a few questions and yet present a few more and in
true Southland style, keep you on edge until the last minute."
Michael Cudlitz: "Tonight.....#SouthLAnd ........ The future is uncertain, as it always has been. ; ) "
Shawn Hatosy: "Tonight's #SouthLAnd, whether it's the series finale or not... it's fantastic! You must watch it live..."
SouthLAnd First thanks Tommy, Dorian, Michael and Shawn for sharing. Everyone enjoy the season finale. As always, it will be amazing television!
SouthLAnd has always lived "on the bubble" since TNT added it to their schedule in 2010; this means at the end of every season, renewal is not guaranteed. So we join in the efforts being made across social media to encourage all fans to contact TNT and show their apprectiation to them for picking up the show and encourage them to renew for a sixth season.
As fans, all we can do is let TNT know we support SouthLAnd and want to see more. FYI: Season four ended March 20, 2012. We did not know until May 3, 2012 that the show had been renewed for a fifth season. Renewal or cancelation news could be soon after season five ends or well into May, possibly June. Be prepared to be patient and tenacious in your efforts.
Listed below is contact information for TNT and links to Twitter and Facebook accounts promoting a season six. Included also is a link to a petition that will be presented to TNT.
Michael.Wright@turner.com (President, Head of Programming
TNT) Steve Koonin(He is the executive who has the final say on renewals; the head honcho at ALL of the Turner Entertainment Networks.) His mailing address is 1050 Techwood Drive, Atlanta GA 30318. No e-mail address for him at this time; we'll update as we can.
Karen.Cassell@turner.com (Atlanta Senior VP)
email@example.com (Atlanta VP TNT)
Samantha.Graham@turner.com (New York VP)
Eileen.Quast@turner.com (Los Angeles Sr. Director TNT)
1010 Techwood Dr. NW Atlanta GA 30318 Phone number: 1-404-885-4538
TNT's episode synopsis: "In
episode nine, chaos prevails in the city of angels when Cooper and Lucero are
kidnapped and held hostage by a pair of tweakers. All of our cops join the
frantic search to find their brothers in blue before it is too late. Sammy
searches for Strokeface. Ben tries to throw Sammy off the trail while
simultaneously dealing with an increasingly irrational Brooke."
Unlike season three's "Code Four" when Detective
Nate Moretta was killed and the last five minutes were heartbreaking, brutal
and raw, the entire 43 minutes of "Chaos" was starkly...just that.
Kinetic. Frenzied. Relentless. Directed (as always) fearlessly
by Christopher Chulack & breathtakingly filmed by DP Dana Gonzales,
SouthLAnd paid homage to The Onion Field,
a 1973 nonfiction book by Joseph Wambaugh, a sergeant for the LAPD chronicling
the kidnapping of two plainclothes officers by a pair of criminals during an
evening traffic stop and the subsequent murder of Officer Ian James Campbell.
Even if you had not read any spoilers before viewing, the
episode had an unsettling feeling from the beginning; you knew somehow things
were not going to end well for Coop and Lucero. First, Coop trusted (or was
just exhausted with frustration at the gay "jokes") Lucero enough to
come out to him after taking him to a gay bar for drinks. It's not easy for
Coop to trust. Lucero was only the second person Coop has worked with that
we've seen him come out to; and the first one directly. "I'm gay,
moron" Coop says as Lucero begins to acclimate to his surroundings. Lucero
seems to be accepting until the awkward scuffle as they leave the bar, Lucero uttering
a homophobic slur as they break apart and Coop has a stunned, "I thought
he understood and accepted" look on his face. Heartbreaking.
The next morning, enduring an uncomfortable silence while on
patrol, Lucero and Coop respond to an unknown trouble call where they find a disheveled
looking man banging around an abandoned building. Lucero (and later Coop) make
tactical errors; Lucero during a slipshod truck search when he gets head butted
with a gun by another druggie and Coop when he steps in front of the first man
they encountered. Both officers are stripped, handcuffed, thrown in the back of
a truck and driven out to the desert and rushed into a run-down house. The
terror begins. Brutal.
Lucero will not be quiet, continually talking to his capturers
while Coop maintains a relatively silent, more physical presence. All the scenes that occur at the house are
almost too difficult to watch but we can't look away: Lucero is beaten and
torched, Coop tries to calm him down and comfort him as Lucero gives up and
Coop keeps trying in vain to save them. Lucero is finally shot in the head.
Coop is then forced to help dig graves for both of them; Lucero's body being
dumped in and Coop pushed in beside him. Since the tweakers are in a big hurry to get
away, one shoots Coop but misses, allowing him to crawl out, hobble across the
desert to a gas station, and collapse. Only then does he allow himself to lose
control. Raw... to the bone.
SouthLAnd did what it does best in "Chaos": make
it all so REAL without the bells and whistles. Simple, dramatic storytelling; from
Lydia and Ruben's frantic pursuit for leads to Dewey's nervousness, worry and
frustration with being virtually helpless to rescue his friends. Even the tweakers
portrayed their characters perfectly.
Kudos to Anthony Ruivivar on his guest star arc. Henry
Lucero was not a totally charming character but he made us feel what he felt
whether we liked it or not. And we felt deeply Lucero's terror, sorrow and screams
in "Chaos." Bravo, Mr. Ruivivar.
Michael Cudlitz. If there is a better actor on episodic
television, I wish someone would tell me because I've not seen him. Don't deny
him, award shows. Shame on you that he's been overlooked this long. Give this
brilliant actor his due. He has created and shared with us a wonderfully unique
character and unpeeled him layer by layer, this season bringing his best performances
yet. Respect that. Honor that. It is time.
- Sammy pursues Strokeface to an impaled on a steel rod end.
Ben...come clean before others have to die or suffer the consequences of your
lies and actions.
- Brooke is going to blow the entire Alvarado division.
Great example there, Miss School Marm.
- Something besides a friendship reconnection is brewing
between Lydia and former partner Russell. Look out.
- "I'm a cop." This line has been said by one of
our cop characters every season of SouthLAnd, usually in the finale though last
season the version was "You're a cop" said to Ben by a hooker. We
hear it this season in "Chaos" at the end of the episode repeated twice
by Coop. Nice continuation of a single line throughout the series.
As this is my final review of the season (possibly ever), a
word to TNT. Thank you. Thank you for picking up this series and helping to develop
it into a television masterpiece for all time. Please don't throw it away;
every season just gets better. If it's not already, SouthLAnd should be your shining pride. Let
this accomplishment and SouthLAnd's unmatched collective talent continue for
many seasons to come.
LAPD officers are trained to safeguard
the lives and property of the people they serve.While most threats are external, the most
dangerous come from within.
It seems that
Cooper may be over his weeks of introspection and has come to some life
decisions.He stepped up as a natural
leader much more this week than this entire season (with the exception of the
tough love he gave Hicks last week).I
especially liked his taking over the roll call briefing when Sgt Hill had a
problem with continuing.He also settled
everyone down when Lucero and the other cop started to get into it in the
locker room.Maybe Cooper will take the
sergeant’s exam alongside Ben.
scene with Laurie was amazing too.They
love each other and I think Laurie is still in love with Cooper.When Laurie asked Cooper a couple of seasons
ago to father her baby; Cooper knew it was not the right time for him.He was heavily under the influence of
drugs at the time.Now he has
been clean for a year, has built an exceptional body, and is ready to have a
baby.Ovaries around the country were
aching with the thought of a baby in Cooper’s big arms.I don’t know if I would want a little boy
Cooper or a little girl Cooper. Le sigh.
liked Sgt Hill and to see him so broken up by his son’s death was hard.After making the decision to throw their son
out of their house, it must be so difficult to realize there will never be a
time when they could get their son back and reconcile with him.
laid down the law with Lydia.He is on
to the way she operates by pushing people away.And he is not going anywhere.Lydia responds by going to see the one partner she could always control
– Russell.The former partner who
betrayed her on the big celebrity case.But maybe she can gain some control back by talking with him.
Wow.Lucero’s home life is very bad.From what his wife says, being a cop was, and
is now, taking up a lot of his life leaving no room for the family.I wonder where Lucero is actually living now
that he is separated from his family.
appearance was pretty good.If you
follow him on Twitter, you know he is a goofy, friendly guy.He’s no actor; he is best at playing Shaq.But he did well in his cameo.
I don’t know
what to say about Ben.Such a promising
cop gone sideways.I think Ben and Sammy
feed off each other – and not in a good way.Sammy gets all squirrelly about what he testified to at the IA hearing –
and his conscience starts wearing on him.Ben knows from what Sammy said that Sammy had not gotten rid of the tape
yet.Sammy has flip-flopped ethically
more than any other character.You
almost have to have a chart to keep up with which way his ethics are going to
go in any given episode.And you better
be able to keep up with where he’s at on the chart; especially if you’re his
partner. AND. Why is Sammy making excuses for Tammy once again? His lawyer lists her latest offenses and he defends her by saying she's going through a lot right now? I seriously question Sammy's mental health lately. He brings this shit on himself and I have no sympathy for him.
When Ben asks
Sammy if the tape was destroyed, Sammy responds that it’s taken care of.That’s not a direct answer.Did anyone believe that Sammy had destroyed
the tape?I didn’t think so.So Ben decides to have the brother of his
latest squeeze go to Sammy’s house and take the tape.And throw some gang signs on the walls to
place suspicion on the gang that had threatened Sammy earlier in the day.This results in the babysitter being hit on
the head and baby Nate hiding in a closet.Which causes Sammy to flip out once again and change his position on the
ever-changing chart of Sammy’s ethics.Ben’s ethics have dramatically changed over the last two seasons, but at
least you know where he stands.And I’m
not defending Ben either.These two just
don’t need to be partners.
The last two
episodes of this season look to be amazingly suspenseful.You won’t want to miss them!