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'Southland' Shocker Aftermath: Catching Up With Kevin Alejandro

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jan 26th 2011 10:15AM
Kevin Alejandro, 'Southland''Southland' dropped a bomb last night. A big one. Needless to say if you haven't seen it yet, watch it now. And don't read any further until you do.

Disclaimer done, onto the good stuff -- can you believe they killed off Nate? Talk about a cry-fest, but what an amazing episode for Kevin Alejandro and his onscreen partner Shawn Hatosy, the seemingly plagued Sammy Bryant.

Very few things can get me up before 6AM, but my puffy eyes and tear-stained cheeks jumped out of bed today to talk to Alejandro about last night's shocking episode, the final farewell to Nate and what's coming up next for all the other characters in this dark season. And that includes his family, who we haven't seen the last of. Maybe houseguest Sammy's presence will finally be welcome?

We also talked about the show's amazing fans -- a group of which he's now a certified member -- his return to 'True Blood' ("You're gonna see a lot of me") and the show he's dying to guest star on.

So, continue the eulogies and mourning in the comments, but rejoice that there'll still be plenty more of Kevin Alejandro on your TVs ... just, sadly, not as Nate.

All I can say is wow ...
[Laughs] Thank you. My first word after watching last night's episode was "wow" as well. And it had been weeks since I'd shot it, and I read it several times, and I'm still like, "wow." That's real. That's real.

How soon into the season did Ann Biderman and the writers tell you this was going to happen?
They were very good about telling me even before the season started. We'd always expected something like this to happen. Unfortunately, it was me that went first, but it made sense to me. I was saddened by the news, but it made sense to me, because that's what happened. It's the story from the mouth of a real police officer who this happened to. It just made sense for me -- it's the sad, sad truth.

The show has had its ups and downs, but the fanbase is so extremely loyal. Have you gotten a sense of the fan reaction to this yet?
Oh my gosh -- the reaction to this has been overwhelming. It's amazing how attached ... how much support 'Southland' has, and we've known it from the beginning. They're the reason that TNT saved us. They're the reason that we still go strong, because we have so much support. And now I am lucky because now I am just a fan -- I'm no longer the actor on the show, I'm a fan now. So I'm part of that big crew of people who keep 'Southland' going.

As a fan with some unique insight, this season is noticeably darker -- culminating with Nate's death. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
For 'Southland'? God, I hope so.

And for the characters. Everyone seems to be at rock bottom right now.
Yeah, you know, and they only go deeper, they only go darker. But they always keep it real. You can definitely look forward to that. Whatever situations and scenarios they're about to go through, you can rest assured that it's not gonna be too fabricated. But I mean, Sammy Bryant has been through so much, I hope there's a light at the end of his tunnel!

No joke! And this was truly an amazing episode for Shawn Hatosy as well ... was it nice to sit back and watch Shawn do his thing?
Oh my god -- I learned so much by watching that guy. He was incredible, wasn't he? He just nailed it. He nailed it. That silent cry at the end ... trying to have strength, but he just completely lost it all. Man, it was beautiful. He deserves any accolade that could be given for that performance. We were texting each other last night about the show and everything ... I only hope to be as good as him one day, and that's one of the things that I told him, because he's solid.

What's next? Nate's funeral? Will we see what happens to his family?
I'm not sure I can tell you the answer to that, but I know that they do definitely get into a little bit more of my family life and how they deal with it. And, obviously, how Sammy deals with it. So, yeah, it's not gonna be a story left untold, but I'm not sure exactly how much more I can tell you about that.

What will you miss most about 'Southland'?
I'm gonna miss everything about working on 'Southland.' It's such an untraditional work environment because we work so fast. I am lucky enough to be part of the very beginning, the pilot, so I feel like I'm part of a formula, part of something we created together, and all of us as a collective team know exactly what page each other is on. So I'm going to miss that -- we're there, we're doing it. It's almost like second nature. We're a machine, you know? I'm gonna miss the relationships I've had with Regina [King], Ben [McKenzie], [Michael] Cudlitz and Shawn, everybody. We went through a rollercoaster ride together -- we went through a journey together -- and I'm gonna miss us having all of those things together. I'm excited to be a fan, but I'm also saddened I can't go on the rest of the journey with them.

You've seriously been on a million amazing TV shows. What's the one you'd love to guest star on that you haven't already?
I'd like to be on 'The Tudors.' I can't wait for someone to give me a chance to do something with some heightened text. I'm pretty classically trained, and not a lot of people know that, so I would love to do something like that.

Will you be back on 'True Blood'? You and Lafayette make a great couple.
Yes, ma'am, I'll definitely be back. I've been working on that for a little while now -- for a bit I was going between 'Southland' and 'True Blood.' You're gonna see a lot of me. It's the season of the witches, so you can count on seeing me a little bit more than last season.

And I hear we'll also be seeing you in Kevin Smith's 'Red State' ...
Yes ma'am! I've been hearing a lot of stuff about that -- how he auctioned it off to himself. Kevin Smith's at Sundance and he went and bought his own film and decided he's gonna do it like old school rock 'n' roll tour and put it out there himself without giving it to any studios. I think it's so admirable and really rock 'n' roll. I love the fact that I'm part of a movie like that. It's so different from anything he's done. It's different ... it's not what anybody thinks. The fact that he has the balls to go out there and do it all himself. He cares so much about this film that he's gonna make sure that it has everything it can have behind it himself ... it's amazing.

Follow Maggie on Twitter @TheTVShowGirl

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not happy about this...I absolutely love the show but this was a bad choice...he was the best character with Regina King. A brain injury would've been more fitting...

February 03 2011 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nate was an amazing character and I was in shock when when they let him die. I am so upset. This show is one of the best out there and I just got into it...Shawn Hatosy was great in this episode...but I am really going to miss Kevin Alejandro. Although he just keeps showing up everywhere....cant wait for True Blood to see him again. But I really hope they can keep up the momentum of this season with Nate gone

February 01 2011 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Killing off "Nate" Kevin Alejandro on Southland was a big mistake. He was one of the best actors on the show! I have nothing against Sammy, but he would have been the better choice.

January 27 2011 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have watched Southland since day one and think it's the best show on t.v.! I thought the characters that played Nate and Sammy did a superb job. I'm looking forward to seeing much more of this amazing show. This show and True Blood are the only two shows that keep me up past 10!!

January 27 2011 at 3:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nate or sammy should have called for back-up before they got out of the car. there were like 50 or more gang members so they needed the back up. but wat i dont get is why the detectives like nate and sammy dont where walkie talkies on there shoulders like the patrol cops do. once nate got hit by the bat/pipe, sammy could have called for assistance quicker. and plus if i were sammy, i would have shot every one in that crowd and not just the one that he shot in the head. Did the helicopter over head make the call for assistance because once sammy got to his walkie talkie in his car, back-up had arrived

January 27 2011 at 2:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I couldn't believe they would kill off one of the few "sane" characters on this show. I loved Nate. The scene at the hospital when his wife screamed was so realistic, it brought back some bad memories for me. The night my mother collapsed and died, I was summoned to the hospital. I got off the elevator to family members of a young man screaming in primal pain like that. Apparently, the guy had a huge whole blown through his body. His family members scream unnerved me terribly as I walked down the hall to find out my mother was brain dead.

The scene in the hospital was just as haunting as that night for me.

January 27 2011 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


January 26 2011 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode was awesome. I loved the banter between Ben and Cooper like always. The death of Nate was a total shocker. I can't believe they killed that character. He was one of my favorites. However, the reactions of Nate's wife and Sammy were some of the best acting I have seen in a long time. This is one of the best shows on tv and anyone missing it is missing tv the way it should be.

January 26 2011 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Were I a police officer, I would have fired into the crowd of gangbangers. when your battle buddy is on the ground, possibly dead, due to an unprovoked attack, and your getting crowded around like that... yeah its tume to start killing people. Its a war out there, and if there is one thing I learned while being in a war myself, its that its better to be tried by twelve, than carried by six. I didn't like how they killed off Nate, and made Sammy look like some kind of chump. This episode had me out of my seat in disbelief to say the least.

January 26 2011 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Fightthegoodfight's comment
Todd Higginbotham

I agree. The whole scene was just very odd and did not seem realistic. Although Kevin says that's how it the real life incident went.

February 02 2011 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I cried. It was like loosing a real officer in my eyes. The last scene at the hospital was probably the most realistic reaction that a wife and partner could have. Amazing Acting. RIP NATE

January 26 2011 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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