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October 4, 2015

'Southland' Season 3, Episode 5 Recap

by Sharon Knolle, posted Feb 2nd 2011 5:30AM
'Southland' S03/E05['Southland' - 'The Winds']

As the opening voiceover says: "Southland cops know that when the Santa Ana winds blow, you learn just how close you are to the edge." The cop closest to the edge this week: John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) who was dealing with bad news about his chronic back pain and his father's parole hearing.

Last week's emotionally wrenching loss of Nate (Kevin Alejandro) wasn't addressed until 44 minutes in when Dewey, of all people, asked if John was going to his funeral. There was no glimpse of Sammy, whom we assume is still in a state of shock.

Lydia and Ochoa butted heads once again over how to handle a complicated rape case: Ochoa had no problem lying to the victim to coerce her to identify the man who attacked her, even though the woman didn't want to testify, while Lydia wanted to leave the obviously traumatized victim out of it.

John's acupuncturist told him to consider surgery since the acupuncture wasn't helping. And he'd maxed out his 12 visits anyway. When he and Ben (Benjamin McKenzie) pulled over a suspected drunk driver, John wasn't sympathetic to the man's explanation that he couldn't afford a $30,000 surgical operation and was only taking enough medication to "get through the day." Instead, John arrested him.

Ben looked on disapprovingly but said nothing. But John came down on him hard when he saw Ben counting the confiscated pills that were checked into evidence. "I've been on the job since before your balls dropped. You want to pass judgment on me?"

Who would have pegged John as the more sensitive of the two? When he and Ben were called to rescue a dog from the grip of an enormous python, John noted that you "can't put a price tag" on your love for a pet, while Ben shared that his mother "once spent $7,000 on chemo for a Schnauzer. What a waste."

John took an abandoned teen under his wing when the boy's parents packed up and left him behind. He gave the boy his number before handing him off to social workers, but was moved when the boy unexpectedly hugged him. The boy immediately ran away from his foster home, straight to the precinct, where he asked John to let him move in with him. "I did all I can do," John insisted, which earned him a "F--- you."

On the next call, John chewed out a boy who reported his own mother for child abuse when she spanked him with a belt for ditching school. "You don't ever call the police on your mom. If I hear you're ditching class again, I'm going to take this big belt off and I'm going to hit you myself." Way to scare the kid straight. The final grace note: John's "have a nice day" and Ben's half-smile, half head-shake as he walked to the patrol car.

Over lunch, John made the case that kids today need some disciplining: "A beatdown builds character. Works for me." Gotta agree with Dewey -- that's a first -- when he retorted, "Oh yeah, you're the picture of mental health." Dewey then turned on Ben: "Hey, Boot, how did your daddy punish you? Did he pick the marshmallows out of your cocoa, or did he just get really disappointed?"

Lydia and Ochoa started to get on the same page when their victim's husband refused to speak without a laywer. "Rape victims don't usually lawyer up. Not even on the Westside," Lydia said. The peace lasted about a minute when Lydia lectured her for forcing a reluctant victim to file a report in the first place and Ochoa snapped "What is your problem?" How long can these two ride together without coming to blows? The victim turned out to be just a wife cheating with her tennis pro, caught by a husband who'd come home too early from a business trip.

John's father came up for parole, which was when we learned that he's served 20 years for rape and murder and also completed AA and earned a college degree. Watching John clench his jaw when his father said, "Everyone is worthy of forgiveness, even me," made what John said to the board come as less of a surprise: "My father should stay in here until the day he dies."

As we saw in the intro, while driving in the desert, John didn't see a ladder fall off the truck in front of him and had to veer off the road. What we didn't see: He was trying to open his pill bottle, which is why he wasn't watching the road. His cry of fury and despair wasn't just over his father, or the near-crash, but because he'd spilled his pills in the sand.

'Southland' airs Tuesdays, 10PM ET on TNT.

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Southland is my favorite show next to Blue Blood because of the great acting and constant drama. One could never get bored watching this show. I was hoping they would address the fatal shooting of Nate more and that Sammy would be there. I guess there is just so much they can pack into one hour!

February 02 2011 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Prissy's comment
George Otwori

Nate wasn't shot he was hit in the back of the head with metal bat and assaulted by multiple attackers.

February 02 2011 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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