Monday, April 22, 2013

SouthLAnd S5E10 "Reckoning" Review

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.


  1. This happened to me before. I used to watch Third Watch regularly. Two alum from that show actually in the last two episodes of Southland. Good to see.

    Never missed an episode; even watched it in syndication. The writers decided for the viewers and there's no getting around it.

  2. I absolutely broke out in tears when John got shot...I can't imagine Southland without him. I am so hoping this amazing show gets its well deserved renewal.

  3. Will NOT watch southland without cooper