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October 21, 2014

'Southland' Season 3, Episode 10 (Season Finale) Recap

by Sharon Knolle, posted Mar 9th 2011 7:15AM
'Southland' S03/E10['Southland' - ''Graduation Day']

Tell me that I wasn't alone in wiping away a tear or two by the end of tonight's season finale. What got me the most: Sammy getting closure on Nate's murder, or John finally admitting he needs help? Or was it the long-in-coming moment when Boot Ben finally stood up to his training officer and told him he was a hopeless addict?

All in all, a satisfying cap to a too-short season. We don't yet know if 'Southland' will be back for a fourth season and, if not, tonight's finale hit just the right emotional note. Ben graduated, John owned up to his addiction and Sammy paid tribute to Nate by naming his newborn son after him.



What I've always loved about this show is that it lets the characters have these moments, these extra beats that you just don't see on other cop shows, like Ben's disappointed gaze across the rooftops as John finally limped into view, far too late to back up his partner. And Ben's shock at having the suspect fall to his death echoed that first day on patrol when he instinctively fired and realized he'd just killed a man.

Watching a bruised and bleeding Ben tear into John after catching him stealing the perp's pills, was a thing of righteous beauty. No mistake that the camera angle had Ben standing straight and tall over a hunched-over John as he shouted, "You may have been a good cop once ... [but] you're a goddamn useless training officer." Of course, John had no choice but to let Ben take him to rehab, and thank God for that.

I should have expected the moment when John thanked Ben for turning him in, but it caught me by surprise. Ben won that bet, but no one else is ever going to know about it. Likewise, John's admission to the nurse about all the pills he's been taking, followed by the half-proud, half-embarrassed statement, "I'm a cop."

I'll admit I got teared up when Sammy told Sal he named his new son after Nate. It may have been the obvious thing to have the character do, but it was also a very fitting gesture. Helluva day for Sammy, huh? He gets to breathe his late partner's name into the face of the dying suspect, without having had to kill the guy himself. And then he gets to hold his son for the first time.

Sammy deciding to go back on patrol and to be a training officer also seemed completely fitting, as did his being paired with Ben. And you've gotta love Ben's smile as they drove off. Even if he's nowhere near as physically intimidating as John, Sammy's going to be just as tough on Ben -- and all his Boots -- as John ever was. Ben's proven he can take it and a lot more. It would be great to see him in action as a more seasoned officer, but we've already seen that, haven't we? Our little pup has grown up and we couldn't be more proud of him.

Even Dewey, that motor-mouth screwball, had a moment of grace when his efforts to get a crack addict sober failed. All he could do for her in that moment when she lay nearly unconscious on a public bench was to adjust her skirt so it covered her just a little better. That's not something the old Dewey would have ever done. Ever since he cleaned up, he's still been a jerk, especially to long-suffering partner Chickie. Good for her for requesting a transfer, at long last.

As for Lydia, you'd think she'd have found a man who wasn't related to her partner, or that she'd at least have the sense to tell her before Josie found out herself. Those two can probably work it out, but their storyline didn't have anywhere near the emotional heft of the others. Work together or don't, ladies. We just hope to see you back for a fourth go-round.

Were you satisfied with the finale?

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mad tn dem

Southland is one of the finest shows I've ever gotten addicted to (yes! addicted). Each episode leaves you impatient for the next..TNT, please, please, please, bring it back! I was crushed when Saving Grace ended, please don't do it again..

June 27 2011 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pafrmdc1

As always a very satisfying season finale and leaving me wanting for more. And let's hope it is only a season finale, this is by far the best cop drama series with characters that you are interested in, as well as emotional driven that I've seen in while (NYPD Blue). Way way to short on the number of series episodes I always feel like now that they've served up the appetizers, on the with main course. TNT please bring back the ladies and gents that hold the South side down!

March 12 2011 at 6:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nathan Convey

It was a great finale. I hope though, that when they come back, Cooper and Sherman are reunited. I like Sammy, but Cooper and Sherman are the heart of the show and to have them apart seems counter-productive.

March 10 2011 at 3:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mirage

Good show.
But Nate is over compensating for the loss of his wife and partner. I'm not excited to see him back in the saddle.
That spells trouble. Is he going to want to put the beat down on every suspect? Will we have to watch him cuddle and stroke his new baby? Man up, Nate. You are now back to square one. Deal with it.

Give me more Chickie. After her shooting, i want to see her mano a mano against the mean streets.
Southland- give me more.

March 09 2011 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Davina Gantz

Like John said, no cliffhanger. I hope the show is coming back but by the way it ended, there was nothing left unanswered. It seemed like a series finale, not season. I so hope I'm wrong, I want this show back for many more seasons but the ending left me wondering if that is it.

March 09 2011 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john

no cliff hanger at the end. looks like the end of the show.

March 09 2011 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pamela

One of the best shows on tv. Hope to see next season. Great cast..............

March 09 2011 at 11:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
8bitjeff

The was a very satisfying ending to the (still shorter than we would like) season. I like how everything in this show is so authentic. The fight on the roof (Ben and perp) and the gunman in the textile factory (last week) were handled in, for lack of a more creative term, such a "real" manner. No over the top heroism or "feats of strength". Just plain bad-ass police work, camera work, and choreography. The live driving, on location shooting, and lack of "CGI" really help make this a kick ass show.

March 09 2011 at 11:42 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Jay d

I love this show I just hope it wasn't goodbye.

I really didn't like Josie at the start but Lydia and her work really well. By the end of the season I was ready for Josie and Lydia to have their own spin off where the two women focus of crimes committed against women. One thing bothers me how old is Josie because her son looks all kind of late 30's to me.

Sammy without Nate just doesn't work for me. Maybe it because I hate his wife so much and his interaction with her. He just seems so odd to me.

Ben and John all I will say is "Greatness"

One more thing who would win in a race Ben, Sammy, or Lydia?
I want to say Lydia but Sammy seem to me to be the faster of the three. It would be close with all three.

March 09 2011 at 9:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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